Innovative programming vital for quality information dissemination: Soni

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New Delhi, July 22 (ANI): The Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Ambika Soni, on Thursday said that her ministry has redrawn its key policy parameters to 'put people first' and reach out to them effectively through innovative tools and processes.

Citing the example of digitalization of Doordarshan and AIR network, the Soni here on Thursday said that this initiative ensured connectivity to the last mile in the remotest corner of the country.

"Through such changed parameters, the Ministry was in the process of mainstreaming innovations and learning from the best practices of different stakeholders. It also enabled it to promote cost effective outreach tools through its various Media Units, while at the same time providing a platform to conduct a need assessment of the communication requirements at ground level," she said.

Soni was speaking at the Workshop on 'Accelerating Rural Development and Strengthening Local Self Governance' organized by the Ministry of Rural Development here today.

Elaborating further, the Minister said that the effort of the Ministry was to revitalize Media Units such as Song and Drama Division and Directorate of Field Publicity so that they could effectively communicate in a language and form that the people understood.

Similarly, Prasar Bharti would fulfill the mandate of it being a Public Broadcaster by positioning appropriate programmes and content.

The Minister further added that the Ministry had set a target of establishing 4000 Community Radio Stations by 2012, thereby establishing an effective advocacy tool for reaching out to the people. This would enable the community to be empowered with quality information and deliberate on issues directly concerning them within the given radius of 25 kilometers.

Taking a cue from the success of 'Azadi Express' launched by the Ministry to commemorate 150 years of Independence, Soni said: "In future, the possibility of utilizing the medium of trains including their exterior for focused advocacy would be looked into."

She informed that that it was necessary to adopt 'out of box' thinking in mainstreaming the communication initiatives of the Government.

Soni mentioned that the focus should also be on providing an integrated approach involving media units as well as wholesome entertainment.

She said a case in point was the recent conference of Media Units organized in the North Eastern Region at Guwahati on 13th July, which witnessed the participation of all the North Eastern States.

"Being a first time initiative, it provided an opportunity to understand the problems face to face with the stakeholders," Soni stated.

Highlighting the diversity of the country, the Minister mentioned that it was important to outline media plans according to the regional configuration and target audience.

It was important for ministries leading flagship programmes to focus on a media plan that took into account the diverse tastes of the target audience. (ANI)

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