German pubcaster DW looking to expand its presence in India

MUMBAI: Germany’s international broadcaster DW is significantly expanding its presence in India. This week Director General Peter Limbourg is traveling to New Delhi and Mumbai to negotiate and sign agreements with private and state-run broadcasters.

DW also plans to open a new bureau in New Delhi shortly. In addition to maintaining a network of freelance correspondents across the country, a permanent presence in India will bring DW closer to both the audience and the story and make reporting more substantive and relevant.

DW Director General Limbourg said that there are good reasons for DW‘s South Asia strategy. “DW currently has 31 million weekly user contacts in all of Asia but we see a far greater potential for the continent, especially for India. We offer content in eight Asian languages, and of course Hindi is one of them. In order to reach more users here, we must make sure to provide content which is really relevant to them.”

“With nearly 900 TV channels, hundreds of 24-hour news channels in several languages and digital media growing at an amazing speed every year, India offers vast opportunities and challenges for journalism,” Limbourg said.

Co-productions are key success factor: “In South Asia, like anywhere else, our programming aims to give all parts of society and all political parties equal coverage,“ Limbourg said, adding that “in fast-changing social and political times which in many ways are linked to a rapid technological transition, we are ready to meet the high expectations which people have of the media. They want news but also motivating stories and educational programs. And there is a demand for high-quality ‘infotainment’ formats which carry a serious message.”

For DW, co-productions have become one major success factor. In India, two examples are TV magazines Eco India and Manthan, produced by DW and local partners. Eco India looks at the energy of tomorrow, alternative resource management, the future of mobility, urbanization, biodiversity, conservation, sustainable consumption, the effects of climate change, inequality and innovative technologies. In addition to English, Eco India has also been broadcast in Hindi since September.

Manthan is a science and technology format in Hindi. It focuses especially on latest developments in Europe and comments on the differences between Germany and India.

DW increases user reach worldwide: With currently 197 million weekly user contacts worldwide, DW has seen significant growth over the last year. Between August 2018 and August 2019, the number of users has increased significantly, growing by more than 20 percent.

The development is primarily attributable to a significantly higher number of online visits. Around 61 million people regularly use DW services online. Video is important above all: roughly three-quarters of the hits are generated by videos. The use of social media platforms also increased in other languages, most strongly on YouTube.

DW’s TV-channels continue to be highly popular, the number of television viewers rose by ten million to over 99 million per week.

Founded in 1953, Germany’s international broadcaster DW offers TV-channels in English, German, Spanish and Arabic. Radio and online content is available in 30 languages. Programs include news, features, talk formats and documentaries covering everything from politics, business and science to arts, culture and sports. DW promotes exchange and understanding between the world’s cultures and provides access to the German language.

DW Akademie’s media development projects in approximately 50 developing and emerging countries strengthen the human right to freedom of expression and unhindered access to information. Together with its partners, DW Akademie develops free media systems, and in creating access to information and setting standards for education and independent journalism.

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