DD anchor distressed by net attack on IFFI gaffe

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DD

Cyberspace can be a cruel world. A Doordarshan anchor has come in for abusive criticism by netizens after failures in a live broadcast.

The 24-year-old casual announcer made a few mistakes while hosting the opening ceremony of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) live from Goa on November 20. She referred to state governor Mridula Sinha as the governor of India and failed to identify a Chinese actress. The video went viral drawing a series of uncharitable comments. She was recalled from covering the closing ceremony and has lost future contracts as well.

The nervous woman had remembered how a previous DD announcer was sacked for mispronouncing the name of Chinese premier Xi Jinping so she chose to remain silent on TV rather than repeat a similar mistake. “My career has been ruined. I am so distressed I have not eaten in four days. My family approached the cyber crime department so the video was taken off but new people keep uploading it,” she told TOI. “Of the smooth two-hour broadcast, only my mistakes have been posted. I have been successfully hosting corporate and entertainment shows since college.” She had recently changed her name with plans to become an actress.

Recalling the incident, she said, “My instruction mic failed five minutes before we went live. I should have refused to carry on but that would have been irresponsible so I held on. I was so nervous. I could not turn my head to see who was coming, and my producer could not convey the names of dignitaries. So I introduced as few people as possible, hoping the audience would recognize them anyway.”

Doordarshan’s additional director general Mukesh Sharma acknowledged that the link to the outdoor broadcasting van had failed. “We could not communicate with her and security harangued her on the red carpet as CMs and celebrities were to arrive. Trolls have blown the incident out of proportion by editing three minutes of error, causing this young child immense trauma. She almost became suicidal,” he said.

“This anchor was selected after hosting a live show, Robocon, in August in the presence of I&B minister Prakash Javadekar. We trained her for two hours in Mumbai and 45 minutes in Goa,” the show’s producer said. She said briefing involved instructions on where to stand and camera placement.

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