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news details
As casuals run the show RNU DDK Srinagar loses credibility as public service broadcaster
1/14/2021 11:51:33 PM
Jehangir Rashid

Early Times Report

SRINAGAR, Jan 14: With few people discharging their duties as regular employees the Regional News Unit (RNU) of Doordarshan Kendra (DDK) Srinagar has lost its credibility of being a public broadcaster with very few people relying on the information being provided by the unit through its news bulletins.
Sources told Early Times that just three persons of RNU are on the regular rolls of DDK Srinagar with the rest of the job being carried out by the casuals. They said the important work is being carried out by the casual staff despite it being paid peanuts with the experienced staff being the worst sufferers. “The RNU has earned a bad name for nepotism and degrading quality and content due to incompetence of the officials. A news casual has to be engaged after a due process comprising of a written test, audition and an in interview, however scores of people have been engaged illegally as news casuals and social media executives,” said sources.
Sources said that a few of the news casuals are working in the news unit for last 20 years and an amount of 300 rupees is paid to them for a shift with scores of people engaged without approval draw 1600 per day, despite doing nothing. The news content generated from RNU clearly depicts the sad state of affairs and neglect of the ministry.
“RNU produces 14 news bulletins in Kashmiri and Urdu in a day. Apart from the main news bulletin of 7 PM almost all other bulletins are repeated and not a single story is updated. The officers at the helm of affairs have left the news unit at the mercy of casuals because of their inability to write or translate news items,” said sources.
“Though there are casual news editors but they have been rendered as mere translators. They have been directed to carry certain news items without editing the news items professionally. The RNU of DDK Srinagar has turned into a PR Unit of selected bureaucrats and acquaintances of the concerned officials,” said sources.
Sources said the RNU has become a hotbed of ‘extortion’ with money being ‘extorted’ from news stringers and other casuals. They said that despite working in difficult situations, 15 percent money is ‘extorted’ from the stringers. They said the stringers were not paid in 2019 and 2020 and once the payment was made, they were asked to deposit 15 percent share with a casual dealing with contracts.
“There are huge irregularities in transport budget as well. The News Unit has hired two vehicles, but these vehicles are being used to ferry families and friends of the concerned officials. The News Unit once known as one of the best official news unit in the country is dying a silent death,” said sources.
Sources said the officials manning the RNU DDK Srinagar are enjoying the patronage of higher ups. They said the news unit needs an overhaul and competent people need to be posted in the news unit to regain its sheen. Otherwise this will also die a slow death breeding corruption and nepotism.
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