BBC India – innovating, fact-checking for the Indian elections 2019 

IMAGE BBC NEWS INDIA SPECIALS DURING INDIAN ELECTIONSBBC News is innovating on its coverage of the 2019 general elections in India by launching a voice activated bulletin, experimenting with chatbot technology and by providing a daily fact-checking service to help debunk fake news.  The special content will feature across the BBC’s Indian language service, BBC India, which offers content in Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu.

BBC News journalists across India will provide audiences in six Indian languages and English with impartial and independent in-depth coverage, special interviews and expert analysis of the elections,  focusing on areas such as voters’ aspirations, frustrations and vision of India’s future.

Throughout the elections, the BBC will closely monitor the voting trends and bring insights from all over India on keenly debated topics, from farm crisis to marginalised communities to crime.BBC World News and bbc.com will look at the big stories at the heart of the campaign and provide analysis on key topics including employment, security, nationalism, the rural vote, religion, young voters and violence against women.

Starting from 15 April the BBC has launched the first ever voice activated interactive bulletin in Hindi. This special election coverage is available on smartphones and allows users to instruct their voice device to navigate through the news according to their interest.  To access it, just open Google Assistant on your phone or smart speaker and say “Ok Google, Talk to BBC Elections or BBC Elections से बात कराओ”. The service is updated each afternoon so users can “connect” to BBC Election News coverage and get the latest on what is going on.

From 16 April, BBC India is offering an experimental interactive election chatbot in Hindi and English on Facebook’s Messenger platform. The chatbot allows users to interact with the BBC, ask questions and get regular updates as the elections unfold.

BBC Reality Check election service in English and six Indian language services will debunk fake news stories and explain issues at the centre of the debate. The BBC Reality Check reports will focus on issues that affect lives and livelihoods in contemporary India, analyse claims by political parties covering a wide range of topics from the economy and social policy to national security.

BBC World News TV flagship programme Global with Matthew Amroliwala will broadcast daily at 2030 IST with an election special at 2030 IST.

Journey of Vote – an animation depicting the process of voting – started on 11 April in English and six Indian languages.

Using virtual reality technology, Hand in Hand  tells a story of faith and friendship at Kumbh.  BBC looks at the issue of urban migration and loneliness among India’s elderly living in villages.

Two films in “mixed reality” bring together art, technology and storytelling.Goodbye Fatherlaunched on 12 April, is about a farmer who took his own life last year and is narrated through his daughter’s letter to him. Using 3D illustrations, the film depicts how the tragedy affected the young woman.  Launching on 15 April, The Warli tribe highlights the lives and challenges faced by India’s indigenous community who are rarely represented in the political and media discourse of the country.

In Game Engine, releasing on 25 April, the BBC has developed an interactive time-travelling experience, using game engines to tell the story of India’s feminist movement since 1947. The experience focuses on important milestones such as the Chipko Movement, the Nirbhaya rape case protests and dowry laws.

Prime Minister Modi’s 5 years performance card is one of the most comprehensive report cards of a government done by any media organization in India, fact-checking 346 promises made by the Narendra Modi government in the 2014 election manifesto

Launched on 15 April, Modi’s Poster Women series narrates the stories of first ever women who benefited from the development schemes introduced by Prime Minister Modi.

 The Rivers of India series is a dynamic journey across six major Indian rivers exploring various issues and voters’ concerns around elections.  BBC India collaborated with famous YouTubers: Dhruv RatheeManan Desai, Nikita Narvekar,Jassi KaurNakkalites Chella and the YouTube channel My Village Show to reach out to young audiences through an innovative format.  The series brings special reports by the BBC correspondents who travelled over thousand kilometres along India’s rivers – Ganges, Godavari, Sutlej, Narmada, Cauvery and Brahmaputra.

#myfirstvote brings interviews with first-time female voters, reflecting a range of issues young voters in India care about today such as workers rights,voting for peacehigher educationwater scarcity  and child marriage. They bring a unique perspective on how women are often worst affected by issues faced by the Indian society. Offered in English and other languages, these compelling voices showcase women from various parts of India whose stories often do not get attention.

The six Indian language teams of BBC India hosted election Town Halls – bringing together local politicians and experts engaging with women and youth of India. Audiences can revisit and watch  on Facebook the meetings inMumbaiPatnaAhmedabadChandigarhChennaiTirupathy,Vishakhapatnamand Vijayawada.

BBC World Service flagship radio news and analysis programme Newshourwill be coming to India to give full coverage of the 2019 Indian elections. Listeners can keep abreast of the news daily 1830 IST.

WorklifeIndia will bring special discussions on less talked about election issues such as cow politics, clean air and identity politics every Friday at 2100 IST on BBC World News TV and BBC World Service radio. It is also available as a podcast.

The BBC World Service will also be broadcasting a new episode of The Documentary on the 14 April specifically commissioned for the Indian election. The radio documentary follows journalists from one of India’s largest tabloid newspapers. From daily editorial meetings to exclusive investigations, this ‘fly-on-the-wall’ documentary offers insight into how a newspaper covers the life and news of India’s largest city.

BBC News has developed an Inflation  alculator in  Hindi, Marathi,Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu and Punjabi which will help audiences view how inflation has affected the prices of daily products in India in 2009, 2014 and 2018.

ELECTION RESULTS: On 23 May the BBC’s LIVE interactive service will bring election results including live updates on all candidates’ positions in their electoral constituencies and updates of Assembly election results. In addition to this there will be a full day of coverage on the BBC Hindi, BBC Marathi on Jio TV platforms.

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