New Delhi: Former journalist and author A. Surya Prakash has been appointed as the chairman of the public broadcaster Prasar Bharati for a second term. Prasar Bharati runs Doordarshan and All India Radio.
Prakash, who has been at the helm of Prasar Bharati for three years since 2014, retired earlier in October. In an order by the information and broadcasting ministry (I&B) dated 1 December, Prakash’s reappointment (for a period of a little over two years till February 2020) was approved by a three-member committee headed by the vice-president M. Venkaiah Naidu.
“The cornerstone of my engagement with Prasar Bharati does not change at all. At best, it is reinforced. My focus will be on professionalizing Prasar Bharati and creating content in sync with the New India vision. We have to create a digitally and technologically savvy corporation. The big battle is to make content available to consumers in all possible formats," Prakash told Mint.
Prakash, a columnist and a fellow at the Vivekananda Foundation, has held key positions in several print and electronic media organization. He has previously worked as the editor of Zee News, executive editor of The Pioneer newspaper, India editor of Asia Times (a business and political daily published from Bangkok and Singapore), political editor of the Eenadu Group of newspapers and chief of bureau at The Indian Express in New Delhi.
Prakash’s appointment comes at a time when the public broadcaster is undergoing a complete revamp in a bid to revive its finances and viewership. Prasar Bharati had recently announced its plans to put the broadcaster at par with BBC and Al Jazeera with the launch of a global digital platform by year-end.
For the year ended 31 March, Doordarshan recorded a net revenue of ₹ 827.51 crore, surpassing its annual target of ₹ 800 crore. The broadcaster had earned ₹ 755 crore in 2015-16. Meanwhile, All India Radio earned ₹ 455 crore in annual revenue for the year 2016-17, up from ₹ 447 crore in 2015-16.