Social Media: A new mantra for public broadcasting

Friday 08 February, 2019
Internet and social media have transformed the media broadcast scene across the globe.

A 5 day workshop was conducted by Prasar Bharati at its national training academy NABM this week in Delhi to impart information on social media usage across all platforms to India's national broadcaster.

Steve Ahern, a broadcast journalism and new media expert from Australia, conducted the workshop, which was organized by the AIBD, between 4th to 8th of February, about changing media consumption patterns worldwide with the influx of new media tools.

Participants from All India Radio and Doordarshan were informed on how to understand the latest developments in social media and use the dynamic nature of New media to traditional media to remain relevant. The course also highlighted the usage of Smart phones as a powerful tool for producing content faster and cheaper.

The course suggested ways of delivering content in new media such as linear, non-linear, catch-up, download, Spotify and Pandora (which is highly popular in US ) along with traditional media. A session of the workshop was devoted to learning and exploring various editing apps for seamless and fast delivery of content.

Examples of success stories were given in the course, such as an Afghan news agency which started using smart phone reporting and cloud services to decrease news reporting time. Another example was NHK Japan's national broadcasting organization, presenting content in small snack size with catchy video on social media to increase viewership among young people was an interesting case study. The changing broadcasting trends and use of social media was discussed with examples like in case of Indonesia who made use of citizen journalism.

This video was produced and edited by participants on their smart phones, to show the versatility of the powerful media devices that everyone now carries in their pockets.

Several social media tips were shared like using social media for promotion, research, live interaction with audience and repackaging of programs was discussed. Maintaining a two way relationship with audience and to know what the audience want and also to educate audience using social media was discussed in great detail.

Another interesting and useful topic was how to detect fake news on social media like Facebook and Twitter. Use of several already available websites for detecting fake news was discussed which is very useful for a broadcaster.

At the end of every session the participants had to take part in various assignments like shooting and editing videos using various apps on a smart phone. The class was asked to form a group and prepare a flow chart using new tools to optimize content for various mediums. A delightful session was also conducted were participants shared examples of fake news and discussed how to identify and combat it.

Group members were also asked to file a news story of all the activities that took place in a workshop. This is that story.

The entire class of 22 was divided into 3 groups for the last assignment to create a New National Media Business, and three groups presented their ideas of how new broadcasting businesses for the modern era should be organised, without downgrading the quality of journalism or cultural significance of the content.

The participants enjoyed the tools for use in social media for New Media gathering, editing and filing tools including mobile apps, social media accounts and social media monitoring tools. Podcasting, Vodcasting, Smart Speakers, AI, Blockchain and fake news busting were the hot topics discussed in detail. The course content was innovative and will be very useful in using social media in broadcasting which is need of the hour.

One participant commented: "The most striking and attractive feature about the training is that the faculty, Mr. Steve Ahern is the best one we can get for the purpose. He is well-versed in both the technical and sociological aspects of the contemporary media scenario. His Democratic and liberal point of view, and avoidance of political extremes makes him the right trainer for AIR and DD."

Monika Gulati from All India Radio said: "Citizen journalists will be involved and the programs will be made with them, is something we have learned."

Below are some of the social media posts created by course participants:


This report compiled by Merkha Khakha and Praful Tambe, with input from course participants.


Country India
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