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HomeIndiaGovernanceDD News shot PM Modi’s Mission Shakti speech — but without logo

DD News shot PM Modi’s Mission Shakti speech — but without logo

The Doordarshan logo was avoided to keep the broadcast out of the ambit of the Model Code of Conduct.

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New Delhi: It was state-owned Doordarshan (DD) News that shot Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Mission Shakti’ address Wednesday, but the logo of the channel was deliberately not displayed in the final feed to keep it out of the Election Commission’s watch, ThePrint has learnt.

Highly-placed sources in Prasar Bharati, the parent body of state broadcasters DD and All India Radio, confirmed that the video was indeed shot by DD News, while other channels of DD and AIR sourced the speech from there.

The logo, however, was not displayed on the feed to avoid violating the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), according to which, both DD and AIR are supposed to take permission from the EC before broadcasting such a speech.

One of the MCC’s clauses says that misuse of official mass media during the election period for “partisan coverage of political news & publicity regarding achievements with a view to furthering the prospects of the party in power shall be scrupulously avoided”.

No permission was taken for Modi’s Wednesday speech by DD or AIR.

Earlier in the day, a highly-placed government source had told ThePrint that DD and AIR were “not involved in the PM’s A-SAT speech at all” and had sourced the feed from YouTube.

A senior DD official called the broadcast “unprecedented”, and said such broadcasts require a lot of prior permissions and internal messages. But “even basic file noting for internal communication was waived off in the case of this broadcast”, the official said.

In response to ThePrint’s queries, Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati said: “Since the matter is being actively looked into by the Election Commission, it would not be appropriate for me to make any comments at this time.

“Doordarshan and All India Radio as media units of Prasar Bharati are mindful of their obligations and responsibilities as India’s Public Service Broadcasters, as mandated by the Prasar Bharati Act. DD and AIR are key stakeholders to the election process in this role, and are closely working with the Election Commission in several areas such as voter awareness etc. They will continue to be guided by the Prasar Bharati Act in discharging the same.”

Also read: How AIR & Doordarshan beat EC’s model code to air PM Modi’s A-SAT speech

How video was sourced

After the EC held an internal meeting on the issue Wednesday, the poll panel had asked AIR officials where they sourced the PM’s address. Sources told ThePrint AIR replied that the video was sourced from DD.

A top source said since it was shot by DD News, AIR and other DD channels had to source it from the channel, and that the public broadcasters never source any such important speeches from private entities.

Sources said the instructions to DD News to shoot the surprise speech came from the PMO.

“The fact that the DD News logo was avoided in the feed, making it look like it may have been shot by any other channel, may act as a cover for the PMO in shielding itself from any action from Election Commission,” a top source said.

Also read: PM Modi didn’t consult Election Commission before ‘Mission Shakti’ address

PM Modi’s preference for DD News

There is a full-fledged studio in the PM’s residence at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg, with a DD News set up.

Many of the PM’s addresses are pre-recorded by the DD News team, while sometimes, they are broadcast live.

Sources said even when demonetisation was announced by the PM on 8 November 2016, the video was pre-recorded and broadcast by DD News, with other channels sourcing it from there.

However, any other channels sourcing content from DD News give credit to the channel.

This article has been updated with Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati’s comment.

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  1. The ruling party has that privilege of misusing the official organs of the govt. Earlier govts also did the same thing. Indira Gandhi lost her power because of such misuse. But now our EC, SC, are all powerless. Election code of conduct is a big farce. The citizens are taken for a ride. But citizens will decide as they did in 1977.

  2. Jumla again. Why this need to fool the nation and the EC?
    and what’s up with the flag? is this safron and white version the future of the indian flag under the bjp? may be the charka should go too? remember, ashoka denounced hinduism and chose budhhism?

  3. If there is/was no DD logo on the PM’s speech shot, then it was not broadcast by DD. Period. Thou shalt not ask more. Understand !!!!! Swastika.

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