All India Radio (AIR) is making plans to give out election-related news, results, analyses and comments, and even tweets, to compete with TV news channels.
AIR's first attempt at directly linking four regional stations for live phone-ins during the assembly election results Dec 8 proved a huge hit. Now it is gearing up to replicate the success on a bigger scale for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, AIR director general (news) Archana Dutta stated.
On Dec 8, when election results were pouring in from Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi, AIR's News Services Division, for the first time, linked its units in the four state capitals to provide listeners with direct results and comments from the ground.
"Delhi connected with the other three regional news units (RNUs) at Jaipur, Raipur and Bhopal for the election results. We had live phone-in comments from experts, election analyses, results and leads were announced right from the counting centres," Dutta said.
"It was similar to what TV news channels do with four to six commentators or correspondents linked together for a single live programme," Dutta added.
AIR correspondents relayed poll results from counting centres to the regional units as well as reactions of political leaders and common people. "This was an experiment, which proved to be a success. Our broadcast engineers had planned out the entire exercise," Dutta said.
Ahead of the general elections, AIR would start holding meetings and workshops in 2014 with engineers and regional units to ensure it all goes smoothly, she said.