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For Broadcasters

Science is the most difficult content to handle and quite often, broadcast professionals shy away from dealing with scientific content. I had already done a large amount of work in the area of science and related issues, including technology, health, education and a wide variety of development issues, I was called in to conduct workshops in many countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

As you can see from the menu link to Previous Workshops, I have done a variety of workshops for broadcasters. But now I offer only the following courses for any TV or radio channel that wishes to improve and diversify their programming content in science and related areas such as health, agriculture, technology and environment.

Workshop on Science

My book on Broadcasting Science was published five years ago by UNESCO and is available for free download as pdf – unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0019/001921/192165e.pdf.

A book is useful only for transferring knowledge. A workshop is useful to build skills and change attitudes. Though the workshop and the book are related in terms of the content, people who have read the book also gain a lot from the workshop.

The focus of this series of workshops will not be production of programmes. It is assumed that the broadcast professionals know how to use the camera, editing etc., as with any other kind of programming. The workshop will deal with only the biggest hurdle in science productions – well researched and well constructed scripts.

This series of workshops have been held in different locations in India also. Two of them in Film and Television Institute of India. Some of the workshops were supported by Vigyan Prasar. And some are self funded. The next such workshop will be held in C-DIT Thiruvananthapuram in the last week of December 2015.

This series is now being offered to broadcasters who wish to include science in their programming.

Workshop on Health

In the 1980’s, as Chief Producer of Medical Television, I was involved with Continuing Medical Education, Training of Paramedics, Patient Education and General Health Edutainment. I have been involved with public health education programmes and have had to supervise such productions by others.

Though I have written on health issues and produced programmes related to diseases and conditions even later, it was with HIV that I got an international perspective and a broader understanding. Ultimately, UNESCO published my book HIV on TV – Getting the Story and Telling it Right as a Journalism Education Series. This was too narrow a topic for real benefits. I have taken a broad look at the field in one chapter of Broadcasting Science. But the number of pages was a limitation. There is a need for a book on health reporting. Since there is no funding to write such a book, I will focus on workshops on the critical topics which are needed by broadcasters.

There is a channel called O2 in Vietnam where the news, current affairs, talk shows, documentaries and soap operas are all related to health. And it started making profits by the end of the year. It is a lesson for broadcasters in India who are struggling to survive due to faulty programming strategies.

Workshop on Agriculture

Though more than 60 percent of the people in India live in rural areas, the TV and radio channels still target the urban population. Though agricultural production in India has been going up – though not as fast as the population – so has increase in acreage of fallow lands

Migration of farmers and their suicides continue to be on the increase. At times, they are worthy of being even news items.

Though rural marketing has been on the rise, cash strapped media channels are not able to capitalise on it since they do not have appropriate programming strategies. And they lack trained manpower in production department who can deliver the appropriate content.

This series of workshops aims at meeting the challenge of trained and skilled manpower in this specialised area of production which meet the demands of the rural people while satisfying the urban viewership.

Workshop on Environment 

Environment has been the traditional bastion for activist producers. It is considered a soft subject by broadcasters. The study of complex systems, network theory and new findings in ecology are changing this perspective. Awareness of basic biology, ecology and earth sciences is necessary for doing justice to the beat. The political, economic and socio-cultural parameters also come into play when reporting environment. The knowledge and skills required to balance the perspectives and the maturity required in reporting the issues will become the factors that will be considered in the branding of a channel.

The workshops in this series aims to meet these challenges that the channels will face in the next economic downturn.

Workshop on Issues related to Development

Development is not only economic development. Business and economics have been there for sometime – in fact, as the main programming planks of many channels in India. But economic development does not depend on only on business and politics. There are technological, social, cultural and even religious factors playing a role. The channels that wake up to this reality will need this series of workshops.

This series stems from my experiences in training NGOs in India to use video and digital technologies on the one hand and a series of workshops on Millennium Development Goals for Broadcasters in the Asia Pacific region. Any channel interested in any of the areas mentioned above may contact me for the details of the workshop.

Consultancy on Quality and strategic programming

Quality content is what would allow many of the existing broadcasters to survive and thrive in this decade since quantity of channels have gone past the demand. The advertising revenue has already plummetted due to spreading of the available resources. Available technologies enable delivering high definition signals to homes. But compelling content is missing to get the home owners to switch on the TV and then to surf through the channels to ultimately stop on yours.

I offer consultancy on this issue consisting of rapid assessment of the channel – consultations with CEO and top management, brainstorming with middle level and selected interviews with executives and assistants – in 5 days at the end of which a brief report will be presented to top management. Which will be followed by a more detailed report, identifying critical areas that need attention and rectification to improve quality.

This is done in tune with the processes of quality check up offered for broadcasters by international organisations. But with deeper understanding of Indian media industries and at lower costs.

See the Past Projects and Consultancies that I have executed to assess my capabilities to meet your specific requirements.

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