The Digital Switchover of Doordarshan: Intriguing Dynamics of Policy Options
Keywords:digital television, India, Doordarshan, broadcast policy
AbstractIn a country with few channels occupying the terrestrial space – all of which are owned by the public broadcaster – what is the rationale behind the expensive and mandatory transition to digital terrestrial television? This paper undertakes a hard look at the incorporation of this transition in the wider moves towards digitalization by Doordarshan, India’s public broadcaster. Drawing on approaches in institutionalism that aid unraveling why certain interests get prioritized over others, the paper unmasks the official reasoning justifying the digital switchover in India. The paper infers that the marginal sections of society, for whom Doordarshan is the sole affordable TV outlet, will be the most challenged by this mandatory transition. Moreover, the move to terrestrial digital broadcasting is not guided by public interest values like enhancing diverse content, which could be the key mechanism for Doordarshan to regain the viewership it has lost to private satellite channels.
Copyright (c) 2017 Vibodh Parthasarathi, Supriya Chotani
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