Berlin [Germany], Nov 25: Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) is significantly expanding its presence in India.
Director General Peter Limbourg is travelling to New Delhi and Mumbai this week 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,” the company said in a statement on Monday.
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.”
He added: “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.”
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, urbanisation, 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 the latest developments in Europe and comments on the differences between Germany and India.
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 per cent.
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 10 million to over 99 million per week.