Dr. Fakira Mohan Nahak


The launch of ETV Oriya started a new era in television reporting. The channel appointed a reporter in each district of the state and bureaus were established at various key locations like Jeypore, Sambalpur, Bolangir, Berhampur, Rourkela, Balasore, Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. All these bureaus are controlled by the State Head Bureau at Bhubaneswar. A video journalist and a 2MB technician were assigned to the respective bureaus along with a Bureau Chief Reporter. The bureau chiefs, in addition to managing the 2MB Centre, also doing technical arrangements to send the visuals and bytes of the stories filed by the nearby district reports to the news centre in Hyderabad.

ETV has always taken proactive steps to report on the interests and needs of Odisha or Odias. Whenever there was a need to go outside the state to report, ETV has sent its reporters. The channel was not even a year old when the National Games held in Hyderabad from December 13 to 22, 2002. However to cover the athletes of the state and to create an interest about sports among the viewers, ETV Oriya sent Mayadhar Pradhan to report the sporting extravaganza. At that time, Sambit Mohapatra and Himanshu Pati Mishra, senior sports reporters of the print media, went to Hyderabad from Odisha to report on this national level sports competition. Similarly, ETV did broadcasts all the news related to the first Afro-Asian Games held in 2003.

Swadheen Rout interviewing Sachin Khedekar at IFFI-2007

In 2004, it was decided that International Film Festival of India (IFFI) will be held permanently every year in Goa. Although the film festival started in 1952 and is already recognized as one of the major film festivals in Asia, its permanent venue was decided very late. For the first time in 2005, Mihir Ranjan Acharya went to Goa for reporting on behalf of ETV Odia. Though working in the news desk, Mihir is more interested in film making, editing and reviewing, hence was given the responsibility of reporting. He reported on this international film festival for two years in a row. During this time he interviewed many nationally and internationally renowned film directors, producers and actors. Among them were famous French actress Dolores Chaplin, granddaughter of world-renowned comedian Charlie Chaplin, actress Nandita Das, veteran Kannada actor-director and one of the pioneers of parallel cinema Girish Kasaravalli, director Madhur Bhandarkar, ace choreographer Saroj Khan, veteran actor Shashi Kapoor and filmmaker Biplab Roy Chowdhury. . Apart from this, it was an honor for Mihir to meet late Manohar Parrikar, former Chief Minister of Goa. For the first time, the viewers of Odisha got the opportunity to get information about various programs and competitions of IFFI, Goa in their mother tongue.

Swadheen Rout interviewing Apurba Kishore Bir at IFFI-2007 Goa

The next year i.e. in November 2007, Swadheen Rout was given the responsibility to go to Goa and report on the film festival. He was initially reporting at the district level and later started working at the news desk. So both these experiences helped him to report the film festival very efficiently. At that time he interviewed actors like the multi-talented Sachin Khedekar, Shweta Basu Prasad. Similarly, Swadheen was very successful in getting the exclusive interview of the renowned cinematographer and director Apurba Kishore Vir from Odisha. During these three years, ETV produced special episodes on the Goa International Film Festival. In later years this news was gathered with the help of Panaji Bureau in Goa and Mumbai Bureau in Maharashtra.

Fakir Mohan Nahak reporting from Hyderabad Jagannath Temple

In addition, ETV sent its representatives to the respective locations for special coverage of the inaugural ceremony of Shree Jagannath temple in Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. While Bhubaneswar was yet to have a robust IT infrastructure to draw attention of the software giants, Bengaluru has always given opportunity to countless engineering graduates and post graduates from Odisha in the software industry. ETV had sent its representative Rudra Narayan Das to Bengaluru to report on the Shree Jagannath temple and the presence of Odias in the IT sector. Based on the report, ETV prepared a special programme called Cybereshwar ra Swapna (The Dream of Cybereshwar).

Shaktisai Mishra reporting from Kurnool Ramagundam

The author himself had the privilege of reporting on the grand inaugural ceremony of the Hyderabad Shree Jagannath temple. On this occasion, ETV met many organizers and entrepreneurs including senior IPS and IAS officers AK Mohanty, Priyadarshi Mishra, Yatish Chandra Mohanty. Shaktisai Mishra went to NTPC Colony at Ramagundam in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh for his reporting when the Sree Jagannath Temple was established. Apart from all this, during the elections of West Bengal, Assam and Uttarakhand, the representatives of ETV Oriya got the opportunity to report from there. Among them, Smruti Ranjan Behera, Subhranshu Shekhar Panda was prominent.

ETV-Oriya has always sent its representative to outside of Odisha for the coverage of any Odisha-related news and also taken the help of network reporters whenever and wherever required. It has always given its best to make sure that no news related to Odisha or the Odias outside Odisha go unreported. Other television channels of the state started following the trend of reporting from outside the state that was started by ETV Oriya. At various times they have sent their representatives to different parts of the country to report. ETV Oriya has truly been a trend-setter.

(Dr. Fakira Mohan Nahak is a writer and former media professional. He is currently working as the Head of the Department of University Institute of Media Studies, Chandigarh University at Mohali, Punjab. Views are Personal)


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