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New Indian Express publishes fake news saying Kalaburagi Doordarshan Kendra is shutting down, gets fact-checked by Prasar Bharti CEO

Kalaburagi Regional Centre of Doordarshan decides to shut down analogue terrestrial transmission, but New Indian Express misleads by saying entire Kendra is being shut down

On Saturday (October 9), the New Indian Express alleged that Prasar Bharti will stop the transmission of its programmes from the Kalaburagi Regional Centre in Karnataka from October 31 onwards. The claim was made by one Ramkrishna Badseshi, who works as a senior special correspondent for the newspaper.

In a tweet, Badseshi wrote, “Prasar Bharati finally decides to stop transmissions of the programmes from Kalaburagi Regional Center from October 31.” To substantiate his claims, he had also attached a screenshot of an article written by him on the same topic. In the report titled, ‘Doordarshan Kendra to stop transmission’, the journalist cited a press release by the channel on Friday (October 8).

While quoting the press release, it said, “As decided by the Directorate General of Prasara Bharati, the High-Power Transmitter at Kalaburagi (Karnataka State) operating on channel No 07, Frequency: 195.25 MHz Visual, and 189.75 MHz Aural will cease to operate with effect from 31-10-2021.”

Screengrab of the New Indian Express article

The New Indian Express further added, emphasised, “However, there has been no mention of anything about whether the programme production in the Kendra here and whether the existing building will be completely utilised to continue the production unit and on how much staff will continue to work after stopping of transmission from this centre.”

Journalist Ramkrishna Badseshsi also alleged that officials had confirmed the contents of the press release. He also cited Kalaburgi MP Dr Umesh Jadhav to claim that he tried to persuade the Union government against shutting down on Doordarshan Kendra but to ‘no vail.’ Reportedly, Doordarshan Kendra Gulbarga was the first TV station in Karnataka and was commissioned on September 3, 1977.

Kalaburagi MP, Prasad Bharti CEO debunk misleading claims of New Indian Expres

In less than half an hour, Prasad Bharti CEO Shashi S debunked the claims made by the New Indian Express. He pointed out, “Media should conduct itself in a responsible manner verifying all facts. There’s no change in content creation by Doordarshan Kalaburagi. Content from DD Kalaburagi will continue to be aired on DD Chandana in it its designated slot apart from digital platforms and social media.”

Screengrab of the tweet by Shashi S

The Prasad Bharti CEO further blamed certain ‘sections of media’ for misinterpreting the press release and clarified that it was meant for phasing out obsolete rooftop antennas and analogue transmitters. “Phasing out of analog transmitters which were set up decades ago is a necessary reform.”

Screengrab of the tweet by Shashi S

Earlier on September 23 last month, BJP MP Dr Umesh Jadhav had dismissed rumours regarding the shutting down of Doordarshan Kalaburagi Station. “I had met Shri Ramakant, ADG DD Chandanabng where he clarified and added that Kalaburagi station is converting Analog Territorial Transmitter to Digital Transmitter,” he had tweeted.

“Ramakanth clarified that Doordarshan has decided to convert the analog territorial transmitter (ATT) to digital transmitter. Further, they are tying up with universities to produce educational content for Chandana. He also clarified that there are 29 staff working at Kalaburagi, of whom only two have been transferred. Currently, Kalburagi Doordarshan is producing weekly half-an-hour programme for DD Chandana,” the BJP MP had informed in September. However, the New Indian Express nevertheless attributed him to claim that Karnataka’s first channel was going to go off air soon.

It is notable that when Doordarshan had started its operations, it started with analogue terrestrial transmission. People needed to install the analogue antennas, also known as Yagi antennas, on rooftops or tall poles to receive the signal. But with the advent of satellite TV and digital cable TV, and streaming services, terrestrial transmission has become obsolete, and therefore the transmitters and other equipment for the same are being removed from TV stations.

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OpIndia Staff
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