The government is considering launching a new web news channel to disseminate “India’s perspective’s on global events” that will cost ₹75 crores, ET reported.
According to its concept plan, the digital channel — that will include apps, Youtube subcribers, and a possible website — “will challenge the anti-India narrative in foreign media through hard and compelling commentary, challenge stereotypes attributed to Indian systems” with the goal of becoming a “global news brand for the voice of India.” The idea is being spearheaded by Prasar Bharati chairman, A Surya Prakash, and Prasar Bharati board has already given its nod to the project.
Many countries have founded state-backed international news organisations. For example, the Xinhua News Agency, the official press agency of the People’s Republic of China that reports to the Chinese government has been rapidly expanding globally.
The US has “Voice Of America,” an editorially independent media organisation that receives US government funding; and the UK has BBC News, which is strongly independent yet technically accountable to the UK government, on which it also relies for a huge chunk of its funding. While the Australian government funds the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). And Al Jazeera, which is also known for incisive world reporting, is backed by the Qatar government.
It’s unclear if India’s new global news channel will have editorial independence. However, it does plan to have a corporate structure under the Companies Act, 2013, and have both “financial autonomy and global competitiveness,” according to the ET report.