Natasha Jha Bhaskar, from Lok Sabha TV in India, visited Canada to look at educational programming. Her travel bursary objective was to find out how educational channels work at TVOntario (TVO) and apply the knowledge at her broadcaster back in India, in order for it to produce TV that better educates the public and helps with making informed decisions.
But it was also a chance for Canadian broadcasters to learn about TV production in another country. Natasha said: “My visit to TVO also helped them to find out more about the Indian television industry and the way we work. With more than 500 TV channels, my friends at TVO were amazed and wanted me to elaborate on the ways we maintain our viewership.”
Natasha was particularly interested in how the internet is used for popularise TVO’s programmes. Canadian broadcasters are using social networking to increase viewership, and she believes Indian PSBs such as Doordarshan (the national broadcaster) and her own Lok Sabha TV, which is India’s parliamentary channel, could replicate this. She was also keen to learn about Canada’s approach to TV for the school curriculum, useful in India where she said there is a shortage of teachers, and high levels of pupil absenteeism.
Back in India, Natasha now plans to develop social networks for shows that she anchors or produces, which could then be rolled out throughout the station. And the project has started a hopefully ongoing relationship between TVO and Lok Sabha. Natasha will be writing blog posts for TVO about common issues between the two countries, and she hopes to faciliate a meeting between the heads of the stations when the MD of TVO visits Delhi later this year.
“Travelling to Canada has further cemented my belief that broadcasting can play an important role in development of the society,” Natasha concluded.