Sie sind auf Seite 1von 72

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Sr. No.

Index

Page No.

01

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

02

CERTIFICATE

03

Radio

04

History Of Indian Radio, Indian Radio

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

05

Developments of Indian Radio

06

Radio: A Potential Medium for Education

07

Community Radio in India: A Study

08

A new vision for Community Radio in India

09

Role of Radio in Disaster Management

10

THE POTENTIAL OF RADIO BROADCASTING AS A MEDIUM FOR

All India Radio 11

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

12

Broadcast of Community Service activities from All India Radio,

13

Independent Voices: Radios Role in Democracy and Development

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Radio
Radio is the perfect medium for mass communication. If we compare it to other mass media, radio consistently ranks as the most popular means of disseminating information, regardless of the continent. What makes radio particularly appealing to research projects, however, is its interactivity, its capacity to provoke dialogue and to solicit the participation of local populations. Originally, radio or radiotelegraphy was called "wireless telegraphy", which was shortened to "wireless" by the British. The prefix radio- in the sense of wireless transmission was first recorded in the word radio conductor, coined by the French physicist Eduard Branly in 1897 and based on the verb to radiate (in Latin "radius" means "spoke of a wheel, beam of light, ray"). "Radio" as a noun is said to have been coined by the advertising expert Waldo Warren (White 1944). This word also appears in a 1907 article by Lee De Forest, was adopted by the United States Navy in 1912 and became common by the time of the first commercial broadcasts in the United States in the 1920s. The term was then adopted by other languages in Europe and Asia. British Commonwealth countries continued to mainly use the term "wireless" until the mid 20th century, though the magazine of the BBC in the UK has been called Radio Times ever since it was first published in the early 1920s. In recent years the term "wireless" has gained renewed popularity through the rapid growth of short-range computer networking, e.g., Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN), Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, as well as mobile telephony, e.g., GSM and UMTS. Today, the term "radio" often refers

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

to the actual transceiver device or chip, whereas "wireless" refers to the system and/or method used for radio communication, hence one talks about radio transceivers and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), but about wireless devices and wireless sensor networks. Radio In 20th century In 1960, the Sony Company introduced its first transistorized radio. It was small enough to fit in a vest pocket, and able to be powered by a small battery. It was durable, because it had no vacuum tubes to burn out. Over the next 20 years, transistors replaced tubes almost completely except for very high-power transmitter uses. By 1963, color television was being regularly broadcast commercially (though not all broadcasts or programs were in color), and the first (radio) communication satellite, Telstar, was launched. In the late 1960s, the U.S. long-distance telephone network began to convert to a digital network, employing digital radios for many of its links. In the 1970s, LORAN became the premier radio navigation system. Soon, the U.S. Navy experimented with satellite navigation, culminating in the invention and launch of the GPS constellation in 1987. In the early 1990s, amateur radio experimenters began to use personal computers with audio cards to process radio signals. In 1994, the U.S. Army and DARPA launched an aggressive, successful project to construct a software-defined radio that can be programmed to be virtually any radio by changing its software program. Digital transmissions began to be applied to broadcasting in the late 1990s.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Radio in 21st Century Today, radio takes many forms, including wireless networks and mobile communications of all types, as well as radio broadcasting. Before the advent of television, commercial radio broadcasts included not only news and music, but dramas, comedies, variety shows, and many other forms of entertainment. Radio was unique among methods of dramatic presentation in that it used only sound. For more, see radio programming.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

History of Indian Radio


The history of Indian Radio dates back to late 1930s with the first establishment of All India Radio in 1936. Broadcasting began in India with the formation of a private radio service in Madras (presently Chennai) in 1924. In the very same year, British colonial government approved a license to a private company, the Indian Broadcasting Company, to inaugurate Radio stations in Bombay and Kolkata. The company almost went bankrupt in 1930 but the colonial government took away the two transmitters and the Department of Labour and Industries started operating them as the Indian State Broadcasting Corporation. In 1936, this very Corporation was renamed All India Radio (AIR) and was controlled by the Department of Communications. When India became independent in 1947, AIR was made a separate Department under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Government of India controls the radio broadcasting in India that works under the Directorate General of All India Radio. It was established in 1936 and since 1957 All India Radio was renamed as Akashvani. Akashvani is a government-owned, semi -commercial operation of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. There were only six radio stations in India at the time of independence. All India Radio`s network had expanded by the mid-1990s to around 146 AM stations along with a National Channel, the Integrated North-East Service that aimed at reaching out to the tribal groups in northeast India and handles the External Services. There are five regional headquarters for All India Radio, namely in the North Zone in New Delhi; the East Zone in Kolkata;

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

the North-East Zone in Guwahati, Assam; the West Zone in Mumbai; and the South Zone in Chennai. The government-owned network of Indian radio provides both national and local programs in Hindi, English, and sixteen regional languages. Commercial Radio services in India started in 1967 by Vividh Bharati Service with its headquarters at Mumbai. Vividh Bharati earned its revenues from extensive advertisements and had been broadcasting from thirty-one AM and FM stations during the mid-1990s. India has a wide-ranging network of medium wave and short-wave stations. In 1994 there had been almost eighty-five FM stations and seventy-three short wave stations that connected the entire country. The broadcasting equipment used in India is mainly indigenous and reaches special audiences, such as farmers needing agro climatic, plant protection, and other agriculture-related information. The number of radio receivers increased almost five times between 1970 and 1994. Initially it was around 14 million that rose to nearly 65 million. Most radios are also produced within India. The foreign broadcast service is a function of the External Services Division of All India Radio. In 1994 seventy hours of news, features, and entertainment programs were broadcast daily in twenty-five languages using thirty-two shortwave transmitters. The primary target audiences are the listeners in neighboring countries and the large overseas Indian community. The early history of Indian radio broadcasting in independent India set the parameters for the succeeding role of television in the nation. At Independence, the Congress government under Jawaharlal Nehru followed three major goals: firstly, to achieve political integration; secondly, to

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

attain economic development; and finally, to achieve social modernization. Indian broadcast media was expected to play an important role in all three areas. In those days radio was considered as an integral medium of communication, primarily due to the absence of any motion medium. All the national affairs and social changes were informed through the waves of broadcast media and within no time, popularity of radio spread nationwide. Indian radio proved to be a prime medium of social integration. Indian Radio took birth and was promoted by the government at its best for the objective of political nation building. National integration and the development of a "national consciousness" happened to be the primary objective of All India Radio. Broadcasting was organized as the solitary reason of the chief planner of this process of political integration - the State. The mission of broadcasting helped to overcome the urgent crisis of political volatility that followed Independence and cultivated the long-term progression of political modernization and nation building that was the prevailing ideology of the newly formed nation. Indian radio also took up the task of aiding in the development of economic scenario. The Indian Constitution was adopted in 1950 and authorized a strong role for the Indian State in the economic development of the country. The use of broadcasting was further considered to be a development process that was naturally a consequence to this state-led developmental philosophy. Indian radio was specially designed programme to contribute to the process of social modernization, which was an important pre-requisite of economic development. The dominant development philosophy of the time scrutinized the problems of development as the basic ones in

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

the developing countries. These internal causes included traditional value systems; lack of entrepreneurial ability, lack of innovation and lack of a national consciousness and experts could suggest only communication solutions to bring upon. The main problem was that the old ideas were influencing the young minds thus hindering the process of social change and modernization. The role of broadcasting provided an inlet for the flow of modern ideas.

It was due to the same reason of static thoughts prevailing in the society; that television came into existence in 1959. Television broadcasts started from Delhi in September 1959, again associated with the All India Radio`s services. Programs were broadcast twice a week for an hour a day on welfare topics related to community health, citizens duties and rights, and traffic and road sense. In 1961 the television medium were expanded to include a school educational television project, however the importance of radio did not decline. When television was taking birth, radio happened to be a matured medium in India. Various entertainment programmes were added in the curriculum of Indian Radio that included melodious songs and interview panels. A limited number of old U.S. and British shows were also telecast sometimes in radio. The oldest radio station of India, All India Radio or Akashvani is one of the largest radio networks in the world.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Developments of Indian Radio


Several radio channels and FM frequencies today interpret the steady Developments of Indian Radio.
The quick and dramatic changes of Indian radio are usually credited to Broadcasting Authority of India. The national television or the Doordarshan and All India Radio, or Akashwani networks had been state-owned and was controlled by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The news reporting through radio customarily presented the government`s point of view and there was hardly any public interaction. The newsreaders used to narrate their script and the audience would listen to the frequency according to their choice. In 1990 V.P. Singh`s National Front government provided financial aid to the Prasar Bharati (Indian Broadcasting) Act that was considered by Parliament. This act provided greater autonomy to Doordarshan and All India Radio. The changes that resulted in the scenario of Indian radio were limited. The bill allowed the establishment of an autonomous body to control Doordarshan and All India Radio. This unit operated under a board of governors, who were appointed for policy making and a broadcasting council to respond to the complaints. This was the start of interaction through radio.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

With time the number of radio stations has increased from about 100 in 1990 to 209 in 1997. Indian radio now has tremendous reach and presents the best option for low-cost programming. Listenership of Indian Radio has reached a plateau. At times the listenership has risen in certain urban areas due to the recent time allotment to private companies on five FM stations. Film and other popular music constitute the main curriculum of such stations, contributing to an increase in commercial time radio and thus earn advertising revenues from Rs. 527 million in 1991-2 to Rs. 809 million in 1995-96. The noticeable development in Indian radio has been the proper efforts that were taken to use radio for social change, like the state-supported radio rural forums for agricultural communication in the 1960s and promotion of adult literacy in the 1980s. The advent of regional radio in India popularized this medium even more. More recently NGOs have come together and initiated several broadcast programmes on women and legal rights, emergency contraception, and tale-serials that deal with social issues. Although Indian Radio saw almost no improvement in its initial years, in the present decade the functioning of regional radio channels have lead to a massive network all across the country. Local broadcasting, reflecting local issues of concern to the community is another development of Indian radio. Some communication experts believe that an increased and accelerated commercialization of radio will eventually cut down the costs of FM radio sets, thus making local radio even more available to the extreme rural areas of the country. Presently, radio

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

broadcasting is done in 24 languages and 146 dialects all across India and there are 104 million radio households in the country, using approximately 111 million radio sets. The inclusion of FM facility in mobile phones and portable pocket radios has popularized this medium in every nook and corner of urban areas. Although the transmitters have not reached the extreme corners, developments assure quick installation; a recent survey shows that Indian radio reaches out to almost 97.3% of the country`s population and 91% of the country`s geographical area. A March 1996 survey, says that there had been around 186 radio-broadcasting centers, 148 medium wave transmitters, 51 short wave transmitters and 94 VHF/FM transmitters in India. Indian Radio now enjoys equal importance as television and print media. The developments of radio in India was steady during the 1960s and 70s, but accelerated during the 1980s and 90s. Radio has now become an intimate form of communication and the FM channels like Red FM, Radio Mirchi, Power Fm and others have contributed greatly in developing this strong network.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Radio: A Potential Medium for Education


While admiring the growth of radio production and broadcast technology, Madhu Ranjan feels that it still continues to be an under-utilized technology in education. According to her, radio has enormous potential to improve distance education systems especially when integrated with other technologies such as television, mobile telephones, and the Internet. Soon after its invention in the late 1890s, radio, due to its information and entertainment value, vast reach, and immediacy, became the most popular means of mass communication around the world.

With the arrival of television, the birth of satellite broadcasting technology, and later the Internet, radios listener base began to erode and its importance diminished. In the 1970s, however, radio (FM band) once again gained popularity, especially among young listeners.

Today, improved broadcasting quality, more innovative and entertaining content, and new technological developments in fields such as digital and satellite radio have made radio a resurgent medium, extremely popular in the fields of advertising and entertainment. Affordability, portability, and access indoors and outdoors give radio a clear edge over other

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

media. Additionally, radio is increasingly becoming amore dynamic medium, as it is integrated into other new technologies such as television, mobile telephones, and the Internet. This has opened up new opportunities for a variety of forms of delivery and access. For example, portable, low-cost FM transmitting stations have been developed and digital radio systems that transmit via satellite are being set up in many parts of the world. Internet streaming audio software technology now allows a global audience to listen to news from a distant country. In addition, the development of wind-up and solar radios utilizing inexpensive power sources allows radio to can cut across geographic, economic, and cultural boundaries. However, radio still continues to be an under-utilized technology in education. This is somewhat surprising because, for a learner, radio is a simple, user friendly, accessible, and a wellestablished medium. From an educational provider's point of view it is easy and inexpensive to set up, produce, and broadcast programs. Most nations currently have the engineering skills and broadcasting talent to apply this technology to education. Today, many schools, colleges, universities, and other organizations use distance education systems. While developing a distance education system, factors such as cost effectiveness, efficiency, and the availability of appropriate communication technologies, as well as access and equity issues, particularly those related to gender, language, social status, and religion, are the most important considerations. Other factors to consider relate to how distance learners can best use their higher order thinking skills and how they can cope with the limitations of time, age, gender, and

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

language. Radio is able to address these issues while reaching diverse group of learners and can be valuable in many different distance learning environments including schools, colleges and universities, businesses, and public sector organizations. For distance education providers, radio is a cheaper alternative to other communication technology mediums. Producing interactive radio programs in distance education requires only low-priced equipment compared with other cutting-edge technologies. Educational institutions do not need to spend much money for establishing interactive radio studios in their organizations. Learners are equally fortunate, because they do not have to buy or rent the costly and complex equipment required by TV and the Internet. There are no boundaries to broadcasting educational programs with interactive radio throughout the world and as long as learners have access to a very low-cost radio, they can listen to programs wherever they are; riding in their cars, traveling by bus or train, or working at home. Moreover, interactive distance educational programs can be recorded for learners via inexpensive equipment, such as cassettes, CDs, or MP3 players. Educational radio helps provide equal access to knowledge for everyone by breaking digital walls around the world. Interactive radio programs allow people with disabilities (with the exception of the hearingimpaired) to hear the voices of instructors, classmates, and experts, enhancing their ability to learn. While listening to interactive radio programs, learners have more time to construct knowledge. Community radio is also an immensely powerful technology for the delivery of information with enormous global potential. It is particularly powerful in providing access to information for

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

marginalized populations, including women, minorities, and the poor, who often do not have access to more cutting edge technology. Radio can expand opportunities for the intended beneficiaries of development to participate in the in the development agenda, which can appropriately and adequately respond to their needs and aspirations. Currently, the benefits of radio as a learning medium are overlooked. Conventional wisdom assumes that high-cost communication media ensure better interactive distance learning. Radio, however, when incorporated with interactive learning approaches, as enormous potential to improve distance education systems. In a very imaginatively designed program - funded by USAID and implemented by EDC - that makes the process of teaching-learning interesting and meaningful, radio lessons that introduce substantial interaction among students and teachers are improving classroom interaction in close to 300,000 government schools reaching over 25 million primary school students across several states in India. Many interventions around the world are using radio innovatively; successfully enhancing the quality of teaching learning in traditional classroom settings, imparting health messages to communities; and providing useful information on agriculture to farmers. Although it is not currently being exploited to its full potential, radio is a medium with tremendous potential, particularly for educational purposes.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Radio as a Medium - Personalization vs. Simplicity/Cost?

With the growth of satellite and mp3, there have been a lot of entries lately on the web, in print and in the blog sphere about the decline and fall of radio as a medium. Personally, I love radio and I always liked it as an ad medium both for its rich and the type of creative it could force you to. But, hey, I'm getting old so rather than trust my opinion I thought we ought to talk to someone who really knows what they are talking about.

Mark Ramsey of the Radio Marketing Nexus was nice enough to give us his take of both the current playing field for the Radio industry and what he sees as the right play or plays for the media owners/stations as well as the media buying universe. Here's a summary of our discussion in two installments:

Marketing Playbook: So what is all this about the decline of radio?

Mark Ramsey: The reports of Radios death have been greatly exaggerated. Despite some of the dire predictions from recent publications like Barrons and Fortune, here are the facts, courtesy of Arbitron Ratings:

Radio reaches about 94% of all persons age 12 and over, and that percentage is down only about 2% overall in the past five years. What IS true is that people are spending less time with Radio than they used to. In any given quarter-hour listenership is down an average of 17% rocketing to 30% among 18-24s. The reasons for this are many from the rise of Hispanics and

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Spanish-Language tastes which broadcasters have yet to catch up with to the splintering of tastes in general. It should not surprise us that as media options of all kinds increase the share of attention received by any given one (whether radio, TV, newspaper, or whatever) should decrease. Radio is not at all unique in this regard. In fact, it would be remarkable if Radio didnt follow the same trends as other media. Nonetheless, none of the new options are gaining the kind of massive audience traction that Radio continues to enjoy. The markets have a fixed number of competitors and a comparatively robust advertising market. Whats more, Radio is an ideal vehicle especially for the local business who is promotionally active and for whom a mobile, active audience is the primary target. All this adds up to an enviable business.

So whats wrong?

Radio has dramatically consolidated recently. A few companies own vast numbers of stations (although, I should add, vast numbers of stations are also owned by many small companies, too). With size and consolidation comes the temptation to make big promises to Wall Street promises which may at some point become unsustainable. Such aggressive promises to Wall Street can make any performance look mediocre.

Strike one.

The easiest way to increase revenue is to bulk up on spots. That is, until you reach the point where both clients and listeners start screaming as they are doing now.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Strike two.

The biggest criticism of Radio is perceived sameness across the dial and across the country. While true to some extent, Im seeing a lot more risk-taking now than I saw in the years before consolidation, because in the old days one radio station was the entire portfolio today its only a very small corner of a portfolio, so risk can be spread much more thinly. Now is the time ripe for innovation. Nevertheless, the popular bias says: Big + Consolidated = Little Variety.

Strike three.

Fortunately, Radio is by no means out.

Marketing Playbook: What do you see as the overall ABCs (current situation, desired future, gap that needs to be bridged between the two) of the radio industry?

Mark Ramsey: A. Today: Radio is current with audiences everywhere: in their cars, on their hips, in their homes, and were aiming for a future where we will always be their number one source for convenient information, music, connection, and entertainment.

B. The gap in my mind is the degree to which we can continue to innovate and grow talent in our industry at a time when many other industries are much more attractive to talent at all levels.

C. The challenge is: How do you make Radio cool again?

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Marketing Playbook: Let's go further with this assessment on a few other dimensions. First, what is the effect of bigger market or technology factors on the use and economics of radio?

Mark Ramsey: Technology personalizes audio but at the cost of complexity.

That is, you can design your own radio station (which is what an iPod is) with some degree of effort. But it will always be the station you design and nothing more. Nothing on it will ever surprise or delight you. And doing the designing will always take a non-trivial fraction of your time more of a problem for folks past their student years who are time-poor.

Radio, conversely, has to navigate in a music world where folks can always hear a music mix they like better than what the radios playing out of their own home-grown station. Well, Radios passive and easy but also not quite your favorite mix. So its a trade-off.

What Radio will always have that your home mix wont have is distinctive personalities. Growing our talent base is, I suspect one of our most formidable challenges particularly at a time when a very vocal minority spends their abundant free time plotting to rid the airwaves of some of our most compelling entertainers.

As for economics, that remains to be seen. As you know, lots of these technologies are not advertiser based, theyre consumer-based. That is, you pay for them or subscribe to them. Perhaps the greatest competitive advantage of all for Radio is this: Radio is FREE.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Community Radio in India: A Study


Summary "A necessary condition for the creation of an alternative institutional environment that can effectively revitalize civil society is progressive state policy that takes a fresh perspective on media and society. From this starting point, Kanchan Kumar undertook research to record the methods and motives with which grassroots non-government organizations (NGOs) and media activists are pursuing the cause for community radio in India. Kumar undertook (and details here) case studies of 4 grassroots-level projects using community radio for development: the Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan-KMVS project in Bhuj (Gujarat); the Alternative for India Development-AID project in Daltongunj (Jharkhand); the Deccan Development Society-DDS project in Pastapur (Andhra Pradesh), and the Voices project in Budhikote (Karnataka). Her fieldwork also involved collection of policy-related documents, as well as interviews and focus group discussions. Based on her research experience, Kumar's paper sets the stage for studying community radio by suggesting what types of questions to ask broadcasters and others - to the end of getting a sense of how they conceptualize public access to airwaves and where this movement lies within the context of globalization of communication technologies. Kumar discusses what types of research strategies she drew upon to analyze how community radio is being used (and hailed) as a medium for articulating more people-centered development needs and establishing decentralized public spaces for dialogue and collaborative action in India and around the world. In short, this paper presents a basis for evaluating community radio initiatives by sketching approaches for

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

engaging with the stakeholders in this sphere and through the responses of collaborators and participants in these projects. Kumar begins by situating her research in the context of The Pastapur Initiative on Community Radio Broadcasting, a document that she describes as "an important landmark in the narrative of the ferment for community radio in India." At a 4-day meeting in 2000 organized by UNESCO, communication experts, media practitioners, researchers, educators, trainers, NGO representatives, journalists, policy makers, and students of mass communication and law reviewed the status of community radio in South Asia and discussed action to lobby for legislative action by the Government of India to enable the functioning of non-profit, people-owned and -managed community radio stations. However, for Kumar, the document "points towards a remarkable absence of sustained, context-specific research undertaken on the potential of community radio and its sociological and political ramifications with respect to the media scenario in India." Set against this background, Kumar sought to explore conditions for the creation of an enabling environment for democratic media by taking into consideration the history of broadcasting and the issues that currently challenge/impede media policy formation in India. She also endeavored to examine how the message development process of community radio by itself becomes a training ground for participation in the broader issues of development at the community level. Some of the questions/indicators she used included:

The concept of community radio: definition and features? What would people do

with 'a radio of their own'?

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Policy (India): How has advancing democratic functioning of radio been contentious

in debates about a comprehensive media policy in India? What enabling legislative framework can the government create to open up the broadcasting sector for community radio?

International perspectives: What kind of progressive legislation is being adopted by

liberal democracies to facilitate radio for community empowerment?

Alternative media: Lobbying: What ideology drives lobbying efforts by organizations

that seek to draw on community radio? What form does this lobbying take?

Civil society: How would community radio contribute to dialogue, access to

information, new forms of political action and empowerment?

Communication for social change: How can community media play a role in

enabling rural people to manage their own development?

Gender, caste and class: How do the categories of gender, caste and class play out

in both production and reception of the content?

Community radio initiatives: What are some models of community radio in India

and their socio-economic, political and cultural contexts?

Capacity building: How can technology are demystified for the marginalized and

capacities of communities are enhanced to take control of radio?

Degree of participation: What is the extent of community participation in different

stages of the content development and distribution process of community radio? What is the sense of ownership among producers, volunteers and listeners of community radio programmes?

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Power and control: What role do power equations within the community play in

control of media technologies?

Perceptions at the grassroots: What are the perceptions of the members of the

community about the role community radio can play in empowering them?

Kumar shares her strategies for evaluating community radio initiatives, by detailing specific interview exchanges (conducted with project management and the representatives of the facilitating NGO) and focus group discussion questions. The latter conversations were conducted in the local language and in comfortable settings where the members would normally gather to hold discussions in their villages. The list of critical questions that were used to steer the focus group discussions with the help of a moderator included the following: 1. To what degree are respondents exposed to the media - folk media, newspapers,

movies, television, radio or tape-recorder etc.? 2. Are they aware of the "community radio" in their village? How did they come to

know of it? 3. Do they listen to the programmed of this radio? How do they listen - in homes,

public spaces, groups or alone? 4. Is there any control of public listening contexts by people in leadership roles? Any

formal/informal discussions following broadcast? 5. 6. Are there any technical problems in reception of the programmed? Do they find the scheduling of the broadcast/narrowcast appropriate?

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

7. 8. 9.

What about the language and format of the programmed? How frequently do they listen to community radio programmes? Have they participated in any programmed?

10. What issues are talked about in these programmes and how are they different from those in mainstream media? Do grassroots issues and indigenous ideas get transformed into radio programmes? Are there avenues to give feedback? 11. What do they find are the uses of such a project and its programmes - information, education, entertainment, etc.? 12. What kind of feelings do the programmed generate? 13. Would they like to be on the programmes? Have they visited the facilities any time? Is there a feeling of ownership and control?

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

A new vision for Community Radio in India


Community Radio is a subject which is gaining popularity thick and fast in the world of development and social communication. The top down communication models of the 70s have lost their sheen considerably, and the new keywords are inclusion and participation. While there is no doubt about the potential of the medium, and enough success stories to demonstrate its feasibility, there is very little to cheer about with the Indian story.

Before harping on the lackadaisical movement, let us for a moment establish what is definitely positive. India is perhaps the only country in the South East Asian region to have a separate and distinct policy for community radio. Countries like Nepal do not distinguish between commercial and community radio, in spite of more than 15 years of history. A strife stricken Sri Lanka places community radio squarely under the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation. While stations like Kothmale CMC has shown remarkable participation, the station manager, technical manager etc are all employees of SLBC, and all advertising revenue goes back to SLBC. In recent years, the pressure to consolidate the advertising pie for CR has only increased steadily.

Secondly, the Indian policy places community radio within the framework of article 19 of the Indian Constitution which enshrines the freedom of speech and expression. This means that it recognizes the fundamental right of communities to express them, and further recognizes community radio as a legitimate tool for expression. In contemporary development communication debates, Amartya Sen has also said that giving a voice to the voiceless is a form of development. In

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

this sense, the Indian policy is an admirable one and has already inspired a similar policy in Bangladesh.

Thirdly, and this is not a popular opinion, the Indian policy, allows for a maximum of 100 Watts ERP (Effective Radiated Power) and maximum 30 meters height for the tower. This on a FM band gives about an average of about 10-12 kilometer radius of coverage. In a diverse country like India, it could be dangerous to have community radio stations with a large coverage area. It could actually lead to local and regional media monopolization and eventually an exercise in cloning All India Radio. We already have Low Power FM AIR stations, and there is no need to reinvent the wheel.

Lastly, the policy explicitly states that the community radios management structure should be reflective of the community it seeks to serve. This is an excellent addition to the policy which aims to give political power to communities through ownership and management of media. Only participation is not enough to give rise to ownership. Formal community ownership is an aim which has been formalized through this policy.

Having said all this, there is a lot which can be done without in the same policy. And it is these that I would like to focus on in this piece. It is perhaps of these obstacles that today a less than 100 community radios are on air and this in

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

spite of a statement by the Government in 2006 expecting 4000 radios in the first year!

The most obvious and glaring inconsistency in this policy is the prohibition on news and current affairs. This condition defies logic since the policy does not go on to define what constitutes news and current affairs. By deliberately keeping notions of news very vague, the government has left a loophole for penalizing community radios which fall out of favor. It is obvious that there are two streams of thought which have dictated this line. First, this is the age of coalition politics, and is it BJP or the Congress; the national parties are dependent on their allies for forming the government. However, each ally is also looking at increasing their tally, either to form the government themselves, or to claim key ministries in the cabinet. This automatically means that the powers at the Centre do not want local politicians (Panchayat level/District/State) to use the tool politically. Many states today in the country are dominated by smaller parties, and they will only be strengthened by exploiting community radio.

The other is a psychological reason, which is the colonial hangover of paranoia and mistrust of its people. The government knows that in a few years, it will be impossible to monitor content. Today, cable operators are being quickly phased out, and satellite television is replacing the old network. This makes content easier to monitor. Also today privatized media is hostage to advertisers, and does not have a political mandate. If there are 5000 community radios, then it would be impossible to practically monitor or regulate them beyond a point.

The only practicality is to chart out a broad guideline and leave it at that. Those who are caught violating will be made examples of. This only reinforces the lack of trust in the common man

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

by the government. We are still governed by draconian laws like Indian Telegraph Act, 1855, and this news prohibition is just another manifestation of colonial thinking.

Another huge problem which is not directly about the policy but equally critical is the licensing procedure both in letter and spirit. All applicants are required to send the applications to Delhi and subsequently appear personally in Delhi. This is expensive and inconvenient for grassroots groups in other parts of the country. Once they come to Delhi, they are asked to appear before a screening committee, comprising of UN agencies, donor agencies, Planning Commission etc. One doesnt know on what basis this committee is constituted, and moreover, these applicants are not given any help in terms of what they should be prepared for. There have been reports of how random questions are asked of applicants. For example: Do you have enough money to put an AC in your radio? This makes one wonder about how the executive and legislature sees this particular tool. Further, there is a clear distinction in procedures between NGOs and universities. NGOs applications take nearly a year and half to get processed, while universities applications take about 6-7 months to get processed. Again, this is indicative of the fundamental mistrust of the government in civil society institutions. This in spite of a screening committee, and clearance by a whole host of ministries, including Home, Defense, etc. The policy clearly mentions deadlines for each department to clear the application, but these deadlines are often ignored, without communication to the applicant. This means that people have to wait really long to get a simple broadcasting license. Ironically, it is also true that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is very understaffed as far as community radio is concerned. This means that files, reports, surveys etc are all misplaced or lost regularly, further delaying the process.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Even if NGOs do make it through this process, there is a heavy distortion of data regarding the technology available for community radio. There are two parts to the technology. One is the hardware, and the other software. Regarding hardware, the government has only highlighted quasi-governmental bodies like Bharath Electronics (BEL) or WEBEL, and has made it very difficult for indigenous manufacturers like NOMAD to become authorized dealers. This is as far as transmission is concerned. Also people dont know too much about tried and tested equipment as far as production equipment is concerned. There needs to be more discussion and sharing of experiences as far as production equipment is concerned. Moreover, indigenous manufacturers like NOMAD also need to start implementing their open sourcing philosophy, and actually start building capacities of various technical personnel in radios. This capacity building cannot stop at mere handling of issues with transmitters, but also sharing the actual design blueprint of the transmission. This is the only way to democratize hardware.

Another huge area of need is the need to publicize. Today almost every NGO/Community is aware of something like NREGA or even RTI. Even the UPA government cited these two acts as success stories of their term. Similarly, it would be of great help if the government publicized and

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

promoted community radio with equal if not more vigor. Communication and expression needs to be given pride of place if we are to democratize the process of development. Today, there are people even in IT & Telecom Ministry or WPC (the wing which gives frequency to CRs) who dont even know about the existence of such a policy, much less civil society actors. There are areas like Chhattisgarh, areas in the North East, or Rajasthan, where not even a single application has been filed for CR. The applications have been coming mainly from Delhi and Tamil Nadu. Most of the radios are universities. This is a related problem. Universities are well networked and have good access to financial resources. Thus they know about the policy or are told about it and asked to apply. In this way, most of the available frequencies are being allocated to universities. Of course, campus radios can play a huge role, but there needs to be healthy balance between campus, NGO and agricultural centers in terms of licenses given. Such problems have led to silent and cold wars between campus radio and NGOs. This division will only further weaken a movement which is yet to take off.

Lastly, allow me to move the focus a bit to the NGOs who actually have received the license. A quick perusal of the Ministrys website will reveal that all the NGOs who have obtained the Wireless Operating License (WOL) are large NGOs whose accounts are comparable to finances of some of the smaller states in India. These NGOs are usually working in several countries or at least several states in India, have head offices in multiple Metro cities, and have huge programs which work with lakhs and lakhs of people. They are as institutionalized as our infamous bureaucracy, and have very little potential of community participation. This is perhaps even worse than not having a policy.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Today what is happening is NGOs are setting up community radio stations investing lakhs of rupees, and then using it as a tool to enhance their existing NGO programmes. The radio then becomes a one way propaganda tool. Not very different from how Hitler used the radio in Nazi Germany. NGOs are somehow immune to the idea of participatory communication. The idea still persists that communities are one-dimensional cardboard cut outs, who only have problems, and it is only the NGOs who have the relevant solution in the form of projects. Thus the radio is a handy tool which can inform the people about these projects and bring about awareness. Instead of spending money on salaries of field coordinators, who had to go to each village and mobilize people for meetings etc, now a single message on the radio can mobilize people. Thats what community radio is being limited to. We need an urgent re-configuration and re-imagination of radio from the civil society. Information and knowledge is power. But the key question is who is creating information for whom. The very central core idea of CR is that you hand over this power to the communities. NGOs merely facilitate the process through becoming license holders. This is where the policy line The structure of the management should be reflective of the community it seeks to serve becomes so important.

Also we need to think strongly about who exactly is applying. Community radio when in the hands of such big NGOs, totally defeat the purpose of such a tool. The most marginalized communities which development often speaks of, like adivasis, dalits, people with disabilities, people with AIDS, senior citizens etc, still dont have access to community radio. The word community is not homogeneous. There are wheels within wheels so to speak. There are communities who are relatively poor, by the middle class standards, but are middle class by some

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

others standards. This means that they are probably just above BPL, are a part of some microcredit organization, their children are all going to schools, the family usually has a small piece of land. The adivasis are still being discriminated against. The dalits are still ignored, and the senior citizens are still being thrown out of their homes as they are a burden. Nothing has changed. It is to these communities that radio needs to cater to.

For this, there are several changes one needs to work towards. This means that first of all, we need to talk to peoples movements who are actually engaging with these communities and their challenges. We need to tell them about this policy, and help them through the application process. We need to make available hardware and software which is less than 1.5 lakh rupees in total. Moreover, we need to mobilize financial resources which can subsidize capacity building. It is only when community radio comes in to the hands of the people that it will start becoming a true movement.

Another crucial change which needs to happen for the movement to really take off is representation for community radios of this country in a political sense. Community Radio Forum was started in Jan 2007, registered as a Society. Today it has less 50 members, and hasnt had a single election. As a member of the Forum, I must also take responsibility for the collective inaction. Today, there are some urgent steps

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

which need to be taken. Firstly, all existing community radio stations must be sent material about the Community Radio Forum, its activities and benefits for members. This should feed in to a massive membership drive. In a period of six months, a democratic process should be undertaken where new blood should be introduced to the CRF. An election to determine who will lead the CRF will make a huge difference in galvanising the process. Further, more impetus needs to be given to actual practitioners to participate in the CRF rather than advocacy activitists, or capacity builders. We have done our job by putting pressure for a policy and in a small way by building capacities of people. The common concern has been the lack of skill in dealing with the government, or lack of English in dealing with the press/international agencies. However, we must stop being protective about our practitioners and let go. It is only when practitioners take the plunge that we will get experience. Advocacy activists, trainers, teachers etc, should ideally take the backstage at this phase of community radio, or the movement will surely suffer death by implosion. Practitioners who have leadership skills need to be identified by consensus and be given guidance through fellowships and other opportunities. This will happen only if the CRF pumps in money to get practitioners to meet more often and share and exchange common challenges, positives, and experiences. This will result in a vibrant Forum.

This Forum should then take strict self regulatory action regarding community participation, programming, management, financial practices etc. If NGOs or universities are using the label of community radio to mobilize funds, or just using it as a propaganda tool, then CRF should be empowered to take disciplinary action against such members. The government should collaborate

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

with the CRF to enable such self regulatory action. Censorship and regulation by the State itself are unhealthy and dangerous signs for a democratic country.

Im sure that it is only then that we as actors in this community radio movement will be able to tackle such cancerous issues. Until then, we will have to be satisfied with the mere rhetoric of community radio to benefit the rhetoric of development!!

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Role of Radio in Disaster Management

Amjad Khan, not the dreaded Gabbar of Sholay, but an 8 year old lad in a new shirt, given in the camp, is gazing at faces, on the platforms of Bathnaha railway station, which has been turned into a mega relief camp for flood affected people of Bihar. Eyes dried in search of his abba (father) and two aapas (elder sisters) who have been swept away by the cruel Kosi. Embracing a branch of tree for five days and fighting for life without any food and drinking water, he was rescued by army personnel and brought to the relief camp of Bathnaha. It took 10 minutes for the AIR team to make this boy speak and then he spoke, live on radio through a mobile phone. Voice choked with emotions and fear Abba, ahan kahan chee? I am alone here. Please come and take me back. Hundreds of eyes surrounding him in the camp swelled with tears. Anil Tiwari of AIR Purnea, who was accompanying the team, could rediscover the power of his small local radio station to reach to the hearts of the people. This team from AIR Directorate was dispatched to Bihar on 8th September to address the post flood distress of the victims of Kosi. The IT team at Delhi had developed software which could transfer all the messages coming to a telephone number to a centralized database and load it on a server space. A provision had also been kept for uploading the missing persons information and posting messages from the field via

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

internet. Apart from enlivening the AIR stations, this team travelled extensively deep into the flood affected areas and mega relief camps. There was heart touching moments at every spot. People in groups with their invaluable radio close to the heart gathered around the team and poured out their despair as if they had found the most trusted relative for years. Akashvani had visited them for the first time after the catastrophe. The staff of local AIR stations worked relentlessly with a great sense of responsibility and dedication. The AIR team, after reaching Bhagalpur on 9th September coordinated the implementation of the special helpline module from the AIR stations of Bhagalpur, Patna, Darbhanga and Purnea. Once the module was publicized SMSs, messages through message box and information of missing/found person started pouring in, which were broadcast at regular intervals by these stations. The team visited some relief camps and marooned villages around Khagaria and Sonbarsha. Travelling in wooden boat for two kilometers through the flood water, the AIR team reached Aakah villages in water to find the villagers waiting for food, clothes, medicines and drinking water. The roads in the village had become like canals and had converted the single village in to a group of small islands. At AIR Darbhanga the situation was amazing. P N Jha, A K Roy along with engineering friends were busy answering the phones at the console and directing the presenters in the studio. The phone in programmed being broadcast from AIR Darbhanga, thrice daily, was getting a wide response and was highly awaited by thousands of listeners. On 12th September at 6.40 PM a choking voice in the live phone-in programmed of AIR Darbhanga, is searching for his father who

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

has been missing for the past 10 days. The message was on air. At 7.20 PM a brimming voice came in the same hour long live phone-in programmed Dont worry; your father is safe at Saharsa. Radio again united a family. Manikant Jha, popularly known as voice of AIR Darbhanga, who was slept only for three hours in the past 15 days smiled again. All the messages received through SMS on the AIR helpline number were automatically transferred to a database and uploaded on a central server in Delhi created by IT division of AIR. The frontline stations of Bihar i.e. AIR Darbhanga, AIR Bhagalpur, AIR Patna and AIR Purnea would access this message and within no time it would be on air, reaching every nook and corner of Bihar. Some of the announcements carried by AIR Darbhanga, Bhagalpur, Purnea and Patna were: Shri Bijendra Mishra, who is safe at SSB Camp, Bathnaha is searching for Sh. Shankar Mishra and his family who were at Balua Bazaar, Saupaul. If they are listening to this broadcast, they may contact Bijendra Mishra. Sh. Bhavnath Singh, aged 65 years is missing since 01-09-2008. Shri Prafull Kumar Roy from Naruar, Madhubani, is impatiently searching for him. Information about missing or found persons can also be given to AIR, Darbhanga, Purnea, Patna and Bhagalpur. Akashvani stands with you during this testing time and will spread your message throughout the State. We are sure, with our efforts, your prayers and blessings of the Almighty, your families will be re-united. Hundreds of such messages are still reaching All India Radio through SMS, phones and internet, which are being broadcast regularly. Scenes of tens of people surrounding a radio set and listening curiously, waiting for news of their dear ones is a common sight across the relief camps, in the marooned villages and in the temporary hutments

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

lining both sides of the roads. For people who have left their homes for the relief camps with just their clothes they could gather and the radio set this is the only medium to get information. In line with AIR Darbhanga the AIR stations of Purnea also started dedicated phone-in programmed for flood victims of thirty minutes duration a day. The phones kept ringing and the messages kept pouring in. After two days, keeping in view the public demand, the programmed was extended to one hour daily. The dedicated staff of All India Radio in Bihar was busy in production and broadcast of programmed for the flood affected people, which is a praiseworthy effort. The current floods in Bihar were not just floods, the people who have seen it and have saved their lives staying on tree tops, stranded in the waters call it parlay (a disaster). It was a national catastrophe. It was a challenge and All India Radio has proved that it is the only source of information and mode of communication, a trusted friend and above all the ray of hope. It had already proved this role during the tsunami, the super cyclone of Orissa and many other natural calamities. It is well publicized for the people in the areas that are regularly experiencing the anger of the mighty nature to keep a torch-light and a radio set ready to face it. In the absence of electricity and uprooted communication towers the battery powered radio set is the only link with the outer world. Thus, these were testing times for radio and it proved that even amidst the glare of hundreds of television channels and glossy magazines it remains the trusted well wisher of common folks.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

THE POTENTIAL OF RADIO BROADCASTING AS A MEDIUM FOR


DISSEMINATING AGRICULTURAL INFORMATION AND TECHNOLOGIES

Abstract In order to catalyze the distribution of information and the uptake and adoption of novel technologies it is imperative to employ efficient and cost-effective tools and methods. Radio effectively fits in the category of the most efficient means for dissemination of knowledge, information and technologies to catalyze adoption of technologies a desk literature review was conducted to establish the effectiveness of radio broadcasting as an appropriate means of disseminating agricultural information and technologies. The process included the examination of proceedings of conferences and workshops, international workshops on farm radio broadcasting, FAO extension manual highlighting successes on the subject as well as papers presented at various forums on broadcasting. Various individual reports and consultant reports were also used. This review sought to determine the impact of radio broadcasting as a medium for dissemination of

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

agricultural information and technologies with a view to strengthening the uptake of information and technologies for increased production. The study/review also aimed at documenting the success of radio broadcasting in disseminating information and technologies in a cost-effective and economic manner especially to the smallholder in Kenya. Introduction Agricultural research is the source of knowledge and innovations that propel current and future agricultural development. With the increasing challenges of globalization, information technology, international and regional competitiveness, the role of agricultural research as a source of knowledge, technology and innovations has become even more imperative and demanding. However, despite the long history of successful research and release of good varieties and technology packages, Africa continues to suffer food deficits of the main food crops such as maize, wheat and rice. Levels of technology adoption are low and farmers yields are about 50% or less of what should be possible to achieve. It is imperative to maintain a certain level of development in the agricultural sector to ensure not only food security but also peoples livelihood. Appropriate and improved technology and information are the key to growth in not only agriculture but also every other sector. The lack of awareness about the improved technologies and high levels of ignorance about improved technologies among farmers implies that the dissemination methods are not effective in transferring messages. In Kenya, the Strategy for Revitalizing Agricultural (SRA) recognizes the fact that the full potential of the research capacity is not being properly utilized due to the foregoing reasons. This

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

paper seeks to augment the potential of radio broadcasting as a viable medium for dissemination of agricultural information and technologies. Broadcasting ranks as the most familiar and widespread use of radio. Radio broadcasts feature music, news, discussions, interviews, descriptions of sports events, and advertising. Today, many people wake up to clock radios, drive to work listening to car radios, and also spend some of their leisure time hearing their favorite radio programs. In addition to broadcasting, radio is also used for quick communication by pilots, police officers, firefighters, and other individuals. Scientists use radio waves to learn about the weather. Some telephone messages are carried by radio. Methodology A desk literature review was conducted to establish the effectiveness of radio broadcasting as an appropriate means of disseminating agricultural information and technologies. The process included the examination of 24 papers selected for appropriateness, 14 from the proceedings and final report of the international workshop on Information and Communication Technologies Servicing Rural Radio: New Contents, New Partnerships and 7 from various sources covering pertinent areas in; Rural radio history and content Experiences in farm and rural radio Rural radio audiences

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Radio and ICTs Agricultural research and Extension Food security Gender considerations in radio broadcasting Pluralism in broadcasting in Africa and Institutional support for development of radio. A research paper on rural media The FAO extension manual A paper of the Agricultural Research and Extension Network (AGREN) The FAO paper on Strategic Vision Guiding Principles on Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems for Rural Development (AKIS/RD) Working Paper No. 192 of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) on ICTs and rural development Papers on broadcasting from the website A report on Agricultural extension on the web

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Results and discussions The Case for Radio Radiotelegraphy is an important means of communication. It enables people to send words, music, codes, and other signals to every part of the world and even into deep space. Radio works by creating communication signals and changing them into radio waves, a type of electromagnetic wave. These radio waves are then transmitted through the air and space at the speed of light (186,282 miles per second). They can even get through some solid objects, like building walls. A radio receiver changes the waves back into their original sounds thus transmitting to the listener. Broadcasting ranks as the most familiar and widespread use of radio. Radio broadcasts feature music, news, discussions, interviews, descriptions of sports events, and advertising. Today, many people wake up to clock radios, drive to work listening to car radios, and also spend some of their leisure time hearing their favorite radio programs. In addition to broadcasting, radio is also used for quick communication by pilots, police officers, firefighters, and other individuals. Scientists use radio waves to learn about the weather. Some telephone messages are carried by radio. Educational radio has been employed within a wide variety of instructional design contexts. In some cases it is supported by the use of printed materials, by local discussion groups, and by regional study centers. It is sometimes designed to permit and encourage listener reaction and comment. Indeed, in some cases, there is provision for the audience to raise questions and to receive feedback.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

One of the most dominant and widespread examples of the use of educational radio, "Farm Radio Forum." Was started in Canada in 1941 as a radio discussion program and served as a model which was adopted subsequently in a number of developing countries. After 10 years, its sponsors, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA), and the Canadian Association for Adult Education (CAAE), invited UNESCO to cooperate in carrying out an evaluation of the program and its effectiveness as an instrument of adult education (Abell, 1968; Coleman & Opoku, 1968; Mathur & Neurath, 1959; Nicol, Shea, Simmens, & Sim, 1954). The lessons learned from Canada such as the use of forums, multimedia, printed materials, two-way communication and various production techniques (drama, interview, panel discussion) were then introduced in India early in 1956, and in Ghana in 1964, with the initiative and sponsorship of UNESCO. The radio programs for rural forums have been concerned with the problems of agriculture, rural development, rural education, innovations, self-government, and literacy. Such forums have now been introduced in many developing countries. By 1968, a total of about 15,000 were reported (Nyirenda, 1981; Waniewicz, 1972). For the 2 billion people who live in the rural areas of developing countries, radio is still the most popular, the most economic and the most accessible means of communication

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Table 1 Table 1Radio sets and Population in Africa 1955-95

Years

1955

1965

1975

1985

1995

Radios in Africa

1,865

11,900

32,600

72,000

111,560

Population Ratios of radios to people

230,871

293,295

390,238

506,234

663,454

1:124

1:25

1:12

1:7

1:5

Radio is a superb intermediary that easily reaches rural communities, sending out knowledge, and is also able to profit from new technologies. Radio offers many and varied services including: communicating on agriculture and public health educating people about new practices giving stakeholders in rural development to express themselves in their local languages building social consciousness and mobilizing and accelerating change.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Gender Considerations In Africa, radio is still the most appropriate communications technology that is available to the majority of Africans particularly the disenfranchised rural communities, women and the youth (Sibanda J, 2001). A survey carried out by FAMW-SADC of Harare, Zimbabwe established that majority of women from different communities owned radio sets (Figure 1). Table 2 also shows that the majority found time to listen to the radio at any point during their daily lives, even if they did not own the radio sets.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Table 2 Table 2Radio listening versus ownership among women

Do listen

Do not listen

Sometim es listen 100 4.9% 101 11.6%

Total

Own a radio

1 900 93.4%

34 1.7% 166 19.2%

2 034 100% 867 100%

Non owners

600 69.2%

As regards perspectives and new approaches, communication for development cannot ignore the new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). (FAO, 2001) However, 95% of the persons who use the internet live in North-America, Europe or Asia, while only 0.75% lives in Africa.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Conclusion Radio can be a superb intermediary, one that easily reaches rural communities, sending out knowledge, and is also able to profit from new technologies. Radio is a powerful communication tool. Experience with rural radio has shown the potential for agricultural extension to benefit from both the reach and the relevance that local broadcasting can achieve by using participatory communication approaches. The web was first used to deliver agricultural content to rural US farmers almost ten years ago, but its use remains at an early stage around the world (Schmitz J. G., 2003).

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

All India Radio


India presents huge challenges to any broadcasting institution that aspires to serve the whole nation. All India Radio (AIR), the state-run monopoly, was expected to take these challenges on and help build a modern nation state with an egalitarian social democracy. More than a billion people, nearly half of them living below the poverty line, are spread over a land mass of 1.27 million square miles. Although urbanization and industrialization are the hallmarks of postcolonial India, nearly 75 percent of the population still lives in 55,000 villages, eking out a living from farming. About 10 percent are employed in industries in urban areas. Indias religious, cultural, and regional diversity is striking, with 83 percent of the population claiming Hinduism as their religion and Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains accounting for the rest. Fourteen officially recognized languages and hundreds of dialects coexist with English. Hindi, the official language of modern India, is slowly gaining a foothold with the masses. Uneven development characterizes India; cities such as Bangalore claim a place in the global computer industry as the Silicon Valley of India, whereas villages have extremely bad roads and lack clean drinking water, medical facilities, and schools. Significant advances have been made in literacy rates since independence in 1947, but a mere 52 percent are functionally literate. Social inequity such as caste, class, and gender inequality can be found in urban and rural parts of the country. Untouchability is still practiced against nearly 170 million people who are cast aside in near-apartheid conditions.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Origins
Enthusiasts in Indias big cities pioneered radio by organizing amateur radio clubs in the early 1920s. Their efforts, and the successful growth of radio in Europe and the United States, gave impetus to a group of Indian entrepreneurs who established the Indian Broadcasting Company on 23 July 1927. Nevertheless, by 1930 their pioneering effort to launch privately owned radio ran into trouble because of lack of revenues. Broadcasting from their two stations, located in Bombay and Calcutta, they catered to the small European community and Westernized Indians while ignoring the masses. The colonial government was faced with the rising tide of anti-imperialist sentiment in the country; being interested in the propaganda potential of broadcasting, it bought the assets of the Indian Broadcasting Company and renamed it the Indian State Broadcasting Service (ISBS). In 1935 the colonial government took another decisive step by inviting the BBC to help develop radio; one of the BBCs senior producers, Lionel Fielded, was sent. Fielded is credited with having the name of the organization changed to All India Radio and for laying the foundations for public service broadcasting with the goal of providing information and education. He returned to England in 1940. By 1947, the year of Indias independence, the AIR network had grown to 11 stations with 248,000 radio licenses.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

AIR Today AIRs growth and reach have been phenomenal in the last 50 years. There are 333 transmitters today, including 146 medium wave, 54 short wave, and 133 FM. Some 210 radio stations cover 90 percent of India and reach 98 percent of the population. AIR claims a listenership of approximately 284 million who tune in on 111 million radio sets. Although controlled by the central government, AIR introduced advertising in 1967 and earns 808 million rupees a year (US$1 = 48 rupees). The government makes up any deficit in its operating expenses. AIR broadcasts in 24 languages and 146 dialects for domestic audiences and in 24 languages for international audiences. Approximately 303 news bulletins are aired daily, of which 93 are intended for national listeners, whereas regional stations originate 135 news bulletins daily. In addition, there are special bulletins on sports, youth, and other major events, such as the annual Haj to Mecca by Muslims or the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad. More than 80 stations in the AIR network broadcast radio dramas in various languages. Forty percent of the broadcast time, however, is set aside for classical, light, folk, and film music. The External Service, set up to act as a cultural ambassador, airs 65 news bulletins in 16 foreign and eight Indian languages. In addition, magazine programs on sports and literature; talk shows on sociopolitical-economic issues; and classical, folk, and modern Indian music from different regions of the country are broadcast.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

AIR employs well over 16,000 persons. Approximately 13,000 are regular government servants; the rest are contract employees. They are transferable every three years, and so these employees seldom come to know the community in which they work. Such a huge organization cannot escape a hierarchical structure and the formal nature of appointments, promotions, retirements, and codes of conduct. Instead of demanding commitment to listeners, the organization requires its employees to adhere to the rules and procedures of a large government department. Because the employees have very little functional freedom, creativity and innovation are sacrificed. Lethargy, apathy, and favoritism unfortunately permeate the organization.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Information & Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) Role of Amateur Radio in Development Communication of Bangladesh The world is now divided into two. One part is affluent in information, the other poor in information. At present time the nation that does not have any way or knowledge to acquire information through information & communication technologies is poor. Presently there has also been severe change in the definition of Literacy. The citizen able to use or having access to Internet, computer, telephone, radio & other technologies, is a digitally literate citizen. And the ones unfamiliar to use or not having access to these are digitally illiterate. This new dimension of illiteracy has added up to our society in this age of information & communication technologies. In the third world, especially in Bangladesh there has emerged a regrettable distance rather than the expected proximity. And this pitiable distance is called Digital Divide. Information & Communication Technology consists of facility to communicate, Information resource & authority to communicate. Presently in Bangladesh for every thousand people there are only 1.5 computers, 4 telephone connections & 7 televisions. That means from the above instance we can see digital divide is not only limited between the first & third world but have spread between the cities & villages, between men & women of Bangladesh. In recent times the rapid flourishing of ICTs is playing a significant positive role in poverty alleviation. The increased possibility of acquiring & sharing information resulting from the expansion of Information & Communication Technology creates positive atmosphere for poverty reduction.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

So, today the biggest challenge stands before us is how we will use Information & c communication Technologies as the greatest tool of poverty reduction in Bangladesh. How the poor people will use Information & Communication Technologies to empower themselves, how they can use to bring about positive change of their condition & position & how can their access to the knowledge society is increased. Above all how to establish Information & Communication Technology as a human & public right rather than opportunity. A preeminent medium of Information & Communication Technology is amateur or ham radio. Amateur radio is a science related Hobby. People having this hobby are called Ham or Amateur Radio Holder. Hams communicate with other Hams all over the world through radio transceiver after getting license from the Government. The Hams have opportunities to attain plenty of skills in the attractive world of Information & Communication Technologies. Hams play a major role in national disasters, emergency medical treatment & other public Services. Especially in situations when the general communication systems like telephone, mobile, Satellites are devastated hams instantly come to action by setting up alternative communication & serve people as volunteers. A ham is devoted to be tolerant, honest, friendly & patriot. The authority of amateur radio can play a big role as part of ICTs in a developing country like Bangladesh. Because, a) A workforce skilled in electronics or technology can grow up without any extra investment though the expansion of amateur radio.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

b) The skill of amateur radio holders in electronics & modern communication system can be used in nationally important aspects including poverty reduction. c) The amateur radio holders can provide such important public services that are not possible by the government bodies in such a short time. d) The individual skill, knowledge & experience of the amateur radio operators help to make the nation confident & self-dependent & present the country to the world with respect. Bangladesh Government approved the introduction of amateur radio service for the first time in 1992. Ministry of Post & Telecommunication of Bangladesh works as the focal ministry for amateur radio through the T & T Board. The T & T Board used to provide license for General grade, or High Frequency through a one level examination. At present the number of license Receiver is around 60 70. But in Japan a total of Thirteen lakh, Fifty thousand One hundred & Twenty seven (13,50,127) & in Australia Twenty two thousand nine hundred & sixty five, in India Fifteen thousand amateur radio operators are operating now. The T & T board stopped taking the exam to acquire amateur radio license for last three years without any pre declaration. We encouraged the board through continuous advocacy for those three years. Morse code being included in the previous exams resulted to a passing number of 4 5. Also there were various mentalities working not to let people pass.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

A national amateur organization named Bangladesh Amateur Radio League was established on 20th May 1979 as an amateur radio related organization. This organization became Member of International Amateur Radio Union in 1992. Besides, in 1993 the Foundation for Amateur Radio Services (FAIRS) Bangladesh branch was established. These two organizations worked as amateur radio organizations in Bangladesh from 1993 to year 2000. But afterwards due to change of leadership & other reason, Bangladesh Amateur Radio League became an ineffective & now defunct organization. The person whose name is in the web site as general secretary has been staying in America for long. This is quite unwanted to us. Bangladesh is absent in the world amateur related forums only because of its ineffective organizations. But still some people are trying to stay with it. As a result Bangladeshs representation in amateur radio programs has collapsed home & abroad. BARL is failing to play any effective role to preserve the interest of amateur holders & clear the roadblocks in the way of amateur radio growth.

BNNRC was established on year 2000. Since then BNNRC started nationwide campaign for the spreading of amateur radio. For this awareness about amateur radio increased nationwide especially among the civil society along the coastal belt. BNNRC started continuous advocacy since Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission was established on 2oo1. As a result amateur radio exam was first held under BTRC on January 2004 & for the first time Morse code was withdrawn in Bangladesh. Keeping the exam in front BNNRC started nationwide campaign. A total of 300 applied for the exam & 237 of them took part in it. A total of 76 passed the exam overcoming all barriers.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Amateur radio can play a positive role in development communication of Bangladesh. Especially alternative communication can be built up between the coastal zone such as the 16 districts & the capital city.

Already amateur radio network between Dhaka- Chittagong, Dhaka-Coxsbazar, and Dhaka Barishal & Dhaka Bhola has been established & working successfully. Moreover, recently experts identified Bangladesh as an earthquake prone area. They said, Bangladesh is situated on the harmful tectonic plates of Indian sub continent. An earthquake of 6-rector scale can turn cities like Dhaka/Chittagong or Shylhet into piles of debris. Besides devastating buildings earthquake also harms the service structures. For instance, conflagration from bursting the gas pipes etc. Water, electricity & telecommunication systems are severely damaged during earthquake. So communication systems other than amateur radio cant be initialized instantly. We can provide a helping hand to reduce damage & increase security through establishing amateur radio at an emergency during natural calamities like Cyclones, typhoons, earthquakes etc. According to a statistics, although only 5% of the world cyclones strike Bangladesh but 85% of the worlds cyclone damage is created here. Bangladeshs major weakness in taking cyclone precautions & carry post cyclone activities is malfunction of telecommunication system. Besides, the tendency of cold wave, heat wave, and boat capsizing & water surge is increasing every day. Amateur radio can stand beside public as an Information & Communication service.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Broadcast of Community Service activities from All India Radio,


Udaipur: An Initiative of media broadcast by Seva Mandir

India is passing through a period of all pervasive changes in society today. Change is not only reflected in the thinking of common man but also among those values which have been preserved by people over the past several centuries. As a matter of fact, the breakdown of old values and creation of new values is an ongoing process. In the present context, this process, on one hand has been influenced by the economic trends in society, and on the other by the revolution in the field of communication. And the basis of both these instruments of change is the process of globalization. Therefore, keeping in mind the fast pace of economic changes, steps are being taken in several countries for introducing protective measures for economically backward segments of the society. A part of the voluntary sector is actively working in this direction. However, such efforts initiated by them are by far limited and inadequate, considering the wide reach of the changing social values. So the challenge of halting the erosion in values is naturally confronting the voluntary organizations.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

There is a strong need to educate and awaken the vulnerable social segments that may be blindly following the new socio-cultural changes. In this task, the role of the media in maintaining and promoting peoples participation is most important. Again, changing social values reflect on the culture of a society most ubiquitously. Against this scenario, for all practical purposes, it is a big challenge for social organizations to identify tasks which will help stall the process of changing values and get social endorsement for the efforts to be initiated by them and also make proper publicity and propaganda of their programs and activities. It is true that due to their several years of association, voluntary organizations have carved out a place for themselves in society as well as in local dispensation but it is a bit difficult to make a place or space for themselves in the outer periphery. Since radio is the cheapest and the oldest medium of publicity and dissemination of information in rural areas of our country, this medium has bound people with new dimensions and novel thinking different from their daily routine in life. Illiteracy is not a hindrance for its usage. Well meaning words and communication with patience are special characteristics of radio broadcasts. Seva Mandir has endeavored, over the last 40 years or so, to implement various models of socio-economic development within its outreach area. The institution has been working with 360,000 persons belonging to 70,000 families residing in 626 villages and 56 urban settlements located in Udaipur and Raj samand districts. Amongst these people some 68 percent are tribal population. After having worked for such a long period, it is now being felt that Seva Mandir needs

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

to create publicity for itself. At present, on an experimental basis, we are trying to promote peoples participation at the local level by publicizing and distributing information through the print media about the community activities run by us. It was also decided to pilot test communication through radio programmes.

The work of recording the reports on community work for their broadcast from All India Radio (Akashvani) has been started on an experimental basis. This work began on 26 March 2008 when, for the first time, the recordings were broadcast on the radio. Since initially people were not accustomed to such programs it took them some time to understand and assimilate. We also had some hesitation such as - how will the broadcast be made from All India Radio and what shall be the subject matter of broadcast. However, when for the first time, the proceedings of the meeting of men and women Panches and Sarpanches of Badgaon block was broadcast from All India Radio, people liked it very much and it was quite easy to understand being in local dialect. Later on, I read out the script of the above broadcast to the Chief Executive and Members of the Executive Council of Seva Mandir. Everyone praised the program, supported it wholeheartedly and encouraged me to go ahead. Gradually, the demand for recording community programs and their broadcast began pouring in from different blocks as a result of which, this program is now being run under the supervision of the administrative unit of Seva Mandir. It has been realized that in the changed socio-economic scenario, it is very essential to associate with the media (electronic as well as print media).

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Thus, up till now, the following programs have been broadcast from All India Radio, Udaipur at the divisional level:-

TABLE 1

26.03.08

Badgaon

Meeting of Panches and Sarpanches:Since the last few years, work is being done with the CastePanchayat in Badgaon block. Consistent efforts made by the Panchayat have brought changes in the status of the women of Chhali group. Women are sharing a common platform with the men folk and are now participating in the caste decisions. However, to make these changes significant and pervasive there is a need for effecting a substantial change. In this meeting, the women of Chhali group were honored for their innovations by Shri Ajay Singh Mehta, Chairman of Seva Mandir.

05.08. 08

Kherwad a block (Jharia Mahudi, Harua Fala)

Discussion at Non-formal education Centers A programmed was recorded with the children, instructor and Education Officer In-charge of Jharia Mahudi and Harua Fala Non-formal education centers in Kherwada block. The subject of the recording was what are the challenges faced by the

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

instructor in gathering children in one place where the center is situated, when they live in scattered homes; the problems Faced in teaching; what and how do the children learn at the Centre? They also enacted a short drama on the importance Of education in their lives. The program was for 30 minutes and the children were very excited to listen to their own Voices on radio.

Besides, airing full programmes through Akashvani, Seva Mandir also aired news items of some of their activities so that information about the activities could reach out to a larger audience. News about the following activities was aired during the months of April-June 2008:-

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

TABLE 2

A training program on tailoring organized, in Kherwada block for some 2.04.08 womens groups, in collaboration with the District Rural Development Agency. Training on child labour rights by a Delhi based institution, Child Line 06.05.08 Foundation, to the representatives/ workers of various blocks including the police and workers of Seva Mandir, the child line nodal agency for Udaipur District. The inauguration of a Community Care Centre in Udaipur city to extend 30.06.08 Psychological or emotional help to those people who are unable to disclose their disease due to the associated social stigma and are, therefore, compelled to live a life in isolation. This year, 167 bighas of the village pastureland (Chak), a common property 13.08.08 resource, was vacated from illegal encroachment by the Semal village community in Badgaon block. The story about the community now working on developing 28 ha. of this pastureland was broadcast from AIR to publicize and inspire other villagers. Prize distribution ceremony under the Monsoon Project of the Education Unit which aimed at stopping or checking migration of children for labour, by 23.08.08
Broadcast Journalism

providing financial assistance to the parents of the children. Besides

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

scholarship to the child, awards were given to the best school and best gram samuh also. Two villages, Kolia and Gura in the Kotda block, were selected for the Pilot programme. Separate features on the two villages were broadcast on AIR with the expectation that such programs may provide incentives for popularizing education in villages.

Since the distribution of printed publications of Seva Mandir is very limited, information can be shared only with a limited number of groups by means of these publications. Therefore, 4 it is necessary that people are made aware of all such developmental programs by using other popular channels of communication. Moreover, use of such processes help the media also to understand the significance of the work done by voluntary organizations like Seva Mandir.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Independent Voices: Radios Role in Democracy and Development


According to Empowering Independent Media, CIMAs inaugural report on U.S. media assistance to developing countries, free media play an integral role in fostering democracy and development, and have the ability to transform a number of critical areas, including government accountability, empowerment of women and minorities, and education. As governments and foundations have increasingly embraced the role of democratization in development, they have begun to direct more assistance into independent media in their efforts to hold governments accountable, foster free and fair elections, and strengthen civil society. As Developing Radio Partners notes, independent radio stations, in particular, have attracted increased funding in recent years. The dominant communication medium in much of the world, radio is inexpensive, available to citizens at all levels of society, including the illiterate, and due to its pervasiveness, is well-placed to reach out and give voice to marginalized groups. How does radio play a fundamental role in democracy and development? How can civil society organizations tap into its potential more effectively? In the advent of broadband, text messaging, and other new information technologies, is radio still a relevant medium in which stakeholders should invest? The speakers explored these questions and examined radios role as a vital communication tool in promoting democracy.

About the participants: Santoso is the founder and managing director of KBR68H, the largest independent radio news agency in Indonesia, which provides content via satellite to more than 630 radio stations in Indonesia as well as 10 countries in Asia. Santoso has been a journalist for the past 20 years and was at the heart of the struggle for

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

media freedom in Indonesia prior to the fall of the authoritarian government in 1998. He was one of the founders and the first secretary general of the Alliance of Independent Journalists, produced a popular underground political publication, Independen (Independent), and was coordinator of a leading freedom of expression organization, the Institute for the Studies on Free Flow of Information. After the Soeharto regime fell, Santoso helped found the Indonesian Association for Media Development (PPMN) in 2006. An Ashoka fellow, Santoso is a published author and editor of several books. He and KBR68H have won domestic and international awards for their work, including the Danamon Heroes of Society Award in 2008 for extending information access to remote parts of Papua, and most recently the 2008-2009 King Baudouin International Development Prize. Tasneem Ahmar is the director of the Uks Research Center, where she designs and organizes seminars, conferences, and workshops, and conducts research on various development issues. Disturbed by the negative portrayal of women in Pakistani media, Ahmar launched Uks in 1997 to sensitize the media on how to better report on women and human rights issues. From May 2003, she has been working as executive producer for the Uks Radio Project, leading a team of women radio journalistsin producing Urdu language radio programs, interviewing personalities, and producing features and discussion programs on women and social issues. Previously, Ahmar was director of the Overseas Research Center of the American Institute of Pakistan Studies (AIPS) at Wake Forest University, where she served as a liaison between U.S. and Pakistani government agencies and officials, as well as academic institutions. She began her career as a desk journalist for the English language daily, The Muslim, in 1979. A specialist in media monitoring, advocacy, and training on gender issues, human rights, health, and education, Ahmar is a recipient of the Internews Media Leadership Award for 2009. Grace Githaiga is the executive director of EcoNews Africa (ENA), a sub-regional organization dedicated to disseminating information

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

about sustainable development, empowerment of rural communities, and influencing policy formation in East Africa, particularly for marginalized communities. Githaiga just completed a Humphrey Fellowship at the University of Marylands Philip Merrill College of Journalism, where she focused on strengthening community medias role in influencing national policy and international negotiations. Until recently, Githaiga was the chair of AMARC Africa (World Association of Community Broadcasters). Joan Mower is the director of development and public relations at the Voice of America (VOA), where she has done extensive media training for the VOA and oversees special broadcasting programs in Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Mozambique, and Burundi. In 2007-2008, she worked at the U.S. Department of State, handling public affairs on Sudan and Darfur. Previously, she was the communications coordinator at the Broadcasting Board of Governors which she joined after serving as the director of international programs/Africa at The Freedom Forum/Newseum. She has worked with journalists across Africa, including Senegal, Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, Mali, Sudan, Ethiopia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Chad, and Rwanda. She is also a former Foreign Service Officer. Mower began her career as a journalist and worked for the Associated Press in Washington, covering the State Department, Congress, and stories about Africa. She graduated from the University of California/Berkeley with a degree in African studies, and holds an M.A. in African Studies from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

About the awards:

The King Baudouin International Development Prize acknowledges the work of persons or organizations which have made a substantial contribution to the development of countries in the southern hemisphere or to solidarity between industrialized nations and developing nations. It also seeks to remind public opinion that the problems of development are today even more acute than when they gradually emerged in the collective awareness of nations in the aftermath of the Second World War. Beyond the financial value of the King Baudouin International Development Prize-150,000 Euros-the prize provides winners international visibility and publicity with key foundations, international NGOs, and bilateral agencies, including the United Nations, the World Bank, and the European Union.

The Internews Media Leadership Awards are an annual celebration of the transformative power of information, recognizing international journalists and the difference that quality news and information makes in peoples lives. They celebrate the importance of empowering local media around the world. Inter news Network is an international media development organization whose mission is to empower local media worldwide.

Broadcast Journalism

The Potential of Radio as a Broadcast Medium

Broadcast Journalism