In the light of several gaffes made by its official Twitter handle, a red-faced All India Radio (AIR) has decided to train its staffers in the art of social media postings.
The AIR’s handle, which has 1.65 million followers (including the Prime Minister’s Office), was among those who trolled actor Priyanka Chopra on her choice of attire while meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Berlin recently. Though officials dubbed it as an inadvertent mistake, the post was viewed as the public broadcaster’s disapproval of Chopra’s dress and posture.
More recently, AIR’s handle made another blooper while reporting the court proceedings on liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s deposition from London. “#VijayMallay extradition: #India gets mocked in London court; it’s an epic failure for #CBI,” it tweeted.
A screenshot of All India Radio’s tweet on Vijay Mallya’s extradition case.
Taking note of such slip-ups, AIR has now decided to train its social media staffers, most of whom are contractual employees, in news coverage.
“Being young people, these staffers have made some mistakes. They will now be trained in selection of news and framing of sentences,” said an official, adding that the social media team has now been placed under the “supervision” of a senior functionary.
The official, however, refused to say whether any action has been taken against those responsible for the erroneous tweet.
The government’s communication arm – the Press Bureau of Information – came under intense criticism in 2015 for posting a photograph that showed Modi observing the Chennai floods from a helicopter. The aerial view of the flooded city, as seen from the chopper window, was obviously photoshopped.
C’mon, @PIB_India. Stay away from Photoshop. pic.twitter.com/VpxHtj7mHG
— Tanvi Madan (@tanvi_madan) December 3, 2015
A senior PIB official said as the government was relying heavily on social media outreach, it was necessary to undertake periodic training of the staff for keeping them abreast with technology.
“Workshops on photography and video-editing are also held, so that they can tweet with embedded videos and live-stream press conferences,” he explained.