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fm stations

public broadcasting

community radio

technology January 2008 vol: i issue: iii Rs. 50/-

India’s first radio monthly

Radio Reaches the Masses Being Mass, is Being the Boss Rajeev Nambiar 17 Radio is a Free Medium S. Keerthivasan 21 Host Talk Pallavi, Radio Mirchi; Harsha, BIG FM NRAI: Job Oriented Training Nalin Ranjan Singh 32 A First Even Before the First Alfonso Gumucio-Dagron 48

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radio duniya awards 2008

Submit Entry NOW Last date: 25 January 2008

radio duniya awards is to acclaim and honour the professionals from the radio industry for their innovative contribution.The award is an attempt to boost the morale of the new comers, who are here to carry the legacy of radio further ahead for the generations to come.

The awards will be presented at the Gala Radio Nite on 11 February, 2008 at InterContinental - The Grand, Barakhamba Lane, New Delhi.

Nominations Invited In The Following Categories:

RADIO SHOW The award for the best radio show/programme is a tribute to the most comprehensive and engaging radio show. • Nominations are invited from the Programming Head, further endorsed by the Station Head. • Only programme/show aired between 1st February 2007 to 25th January 2008 are eligible.

AIR STATION To accolade the AIR station, which has exhibited innovation and zeal in achieving the AIR objective of covering varied subjects from G to G (grassroots to global), appealing to all levels of audience. • Nominations are invited from the Station Heads. • The station should be functional for a minimum of three months as on 25th January 2008. FM STATION To recognize the FM station which creatively stands out, striking a chord with the Indian population through its programs, music, interviews, games, community contribution and more. • Nominations are invited from the Station Heads. • The station should be functional for a minimum of three months as on 25th January 2008. COMMUNITY/ CAMPUS RADIO STATION To acknowledge the community/campus radio which epitomizes the spirit of community radio by airing programmes that have mesmerized the community/students at large. • Nominations are invited from the Station Heads. • The station should be functional for a minimum of three months as on 25th January 2008. RADIO HOST Pleasant voice, perky ‘n’ warm, connecting, spontaneously creative, community conscious, passion for music - are words which describe a Radio Host! However, the judicious mix of all these qualities will decide the Best Radio Host 2008. • Nominations are invited from the Programming Heads and endorsed by the Station Directors. • Radio hosts who are freelancing can submit their nominations directly. • The radio host should be presently, on air for a minimum of six months to be eligible. RADIO ADVERTISEMENT To award the most innovative & creative advertisement with unique impact on the audience. • Nominations are invited from the Advertising Agencies or Marketing Heads of the Companies/Radio Stations. • The advertisement should have been on air during the period of 1st January 2007 to 25th January 2008.

RADIO WEBSITE The award is to acknowledge the most interactive, innovative, user-friendly and popular radio website. • Nominations are invited from the Head of the Company. • The website should be functional for a minimum of three months as on 25th January 2008 SIGNATURE TUNE To award the signature tune which fulfilled its purpose of giving a mass appeal to the brand • Nominations are invited from the National Programming/Marketing/Branding Heads and further endorsed by the Head of the Company. • The signature tune used between 1st February 2007 to 25th January 2008 should be nominated. SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY INITIATIVE To acknowledge the most responsible social initiative programme by a radio station, which has educated people about water resources, pollution, conservation, social and management issues. • Nominations are invited from the Programming/Branding Heads, further endorsed by the Head of the Company. • The social responsibility initiative should have been organized between 1st January 2007 to 25th January 2008 in order to be eligible. MARKETING CAMPAIGN To give credence to the most motivational marketing campaign of a radio brand, which justified its marketing/sales strategies. • Nominations are invited from the Marketing/Branding Head and further endorsed by the Head of the Organization. (CEO/COO/Business Head). • The Marketing Campaign should have been running during the period of 1st January 2007 to 25th January 2008. A distinguished jury comprising of personage from the media industry will contribute in an unbiased manner to the decision making process for the awards. The Jury will review the content, credibility, realistic approach, creativity, accuracy, technicality, educational value and motivational element of the nominations.

Contact: +91-9818300368 Radio Duniya Magazine, G-4 Sector 39, Noida Tel: +91-120-250 2180-85 Fax: +91-120-2500060

India’s first radio monthly

the radio duniya magazine aims to provide a total coverage and analysis of the news, trends and events of the radio industry and facilitate a dialogue between various stakeholders of the industry.

the portal is your one stop destination to know what all is happening in the radio industry in India, and all the recent developments relating to the community radio movement.

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For editorial and advertising opportunities contact: G - 4, Sector - 39, NOIDA Uttar Pradesh - 201301, INDIA Phone: +91 120 2502180-85 Mob: +91 - 9818300368 Fax: +91 120 2500060 web:

Reach and appeal of radio Radio is the medium of the masses and surely the real medium for the masses. And as the community radio movement in the country will develop, radio will emerge as the medium by the masses, where the people of the community will decide what will be carried on the airwaves. No other medium of communication can match the reach, effectiveness or audience response that is achieved by radio. As a free medium of entertainment and knowledge dissemination, radio is free from any kinds of boundaries or restrictions. When the Indian airwaves were opened to private radio operators in 2001, the floodgates were opened for greater reach and appeal of radio as a medium. The most valuable asset of radio is its reach and non intrusive, non obstructive nature. It is available with the listeners all round the clock, and this very nature of radio, when it is with the people always, that makes it a true mass oriented media. From the paper delivery boy, who wakes up at the crack of dawn and tunes into radio as soon as he leaps out of bed, to the call center employee, who travels to work in the middle of the night listening to radio. All the people, across the socio economic spectrum tune into radio and give it the strength as a true medium of the masses. One factor which contributes to the appeal of radio is it being free to air, in a time when most of the other mediums of entertainment and information are paid, and this might help radio match or even out do the reach of the others one day. So everyone believes radio to be the medium when it comes to mass appeal and reach. There is however another side to this story, which has been highlighted by the FICCI Radio Forum, which recently took stock of the FM radio scene in the country. According to the forum, while the number of FM radio channels has grown from 10 to more than 200, the penetration of radio, number of listeners as a percentage of the population, has only risen from 45 per cent to 53 per cent. The Forum has noted that an 8 per cent rise is not commensurate with the large increase in the number of radio stations. And in order to create a larger audience base for FM radio, diversity in content has to be significantly higher. As we begin the new year, we can all come together and work in tandem to ensure that the reach and penetration of radio grows by leaps and bounds. In this new year Radio Duniya hopes to see radio emerge as a powerful medium of communication, which grows even greater in strength and reach as the preparations for the third round of licensing begin. Wishing you all a very prosperous, successful and fulling 2008!

Ravi Gupta Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Ravi Gupta President Dr. M P Narayanan Group Directors Maneesh Prasad Sanjay Kumar Sr Manager Sales Bharti Malhotra Email:

Research Associates Sanjana Sharma Mohd. Dilshad Design & Development Team Bishwajeet Kumar Singh Chandrakesh Bihari Lal (James) Om Prakash Thakur Subscriptions & Circulation Lipika Dutta Manoj Kumar Prabhat Tripathi

Editorial and Marketing Correspondence: radio duniya G – 4, Sector 39, NOIDA 201301, India Tel: +91-120-2502180-85 Fax: +91-120-2500060 Web: Printed by: Vinayak Print Media, Noida, Gautam Budh Nagar (U.P.) India Email:

It is hoped that Radio Duniya will serve to foster a growing network by keeping the community up-to-date on many activities in this wide and varied field. Your involvement in providing relevant information is essential to the success of this endevour. Radio Duniya does not subscribe to the views expressed in the publication. All views expressed in this issue are those of the contributors. It is not resposible for any loss to anyone due to the information provided.

WebProgrammer Zia Salahuddin Amit Pal Radio Duniya is being published by Elets Technomedia pvt ltd. in collaboration with Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies (CSDMS ) Š Elets Technomedia Pvt Ltd. (

knowledge for change


January 2008




Cover Story

Stations Launched



Radio: Media for the Masses Rajeev Kumar Shukla Deputy Director of Programmes (Policy) Directorate General, AIR.

Industry Updates


17 32

Station Talk 21

Being Mass, is being the Boss Rajeev Nambiar President & COO, Hello FM 106.4

Radio is a free medium S. Keerthivasan Business Head, Fever 104 FM



32 21

Pallavi Radio Host, Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM

Rj’s need to constantly innovate Harsha Radio Host, BIG 92.7 FM

NRAI: Job oriented training Nalin Ranjan Singh, Director, NRAI School of Mass Communication, Management & Technology

Community Radio

Host I am back home

26 29



Community radio for women literacy




A first even before the first

Dr. Binod C. Agrawal

The Campus Radio

Alfonso Gumucio-Dagron

Dear Ravi,

Dear Mr. Gupta,

I was reading up on the radio industry in India, when I chanced upon your site and subsequently, the newsletter and the magazine. The article line-up and the presence of key industry stalwarts reflected in your content is what prompted me to write to you.

It was quite a pleasant reading experience, as I glanced through “Radio Duniya”. I believe this is a “first-of-itskind” magazine which is dedicated to the radio industry. I too believe in the power of this medium. The platforms that radio offers for listener engagement, interactivity and innovation, in addition to entertainment, are innumerable.

WorldSpace, Inc. is the world’s only global media and entertainment company positioned to offer a satellite radio experience to consumers in more than 130 countries. In India, WorldSpace boasts a range of over 40 radio stations across genres – from Jazz to Classical, to Old Hindi Film Music and Rock. Its Indian programming includes two Indian classical stations as well as regional Indian stations along with spiritual and wellness stations. Do let me know if you would like to feature a section on satellite radio in your magazine. I look forward to meeting you and cultivating a continued working relationship with the team at Radio Duniya. Regards, Padmini Hegde WorldSpace Dear Sir / madam, I have read a copy of Radio Duniya December 2007 issue and I would like to state the content in the magazine is very enriching and informative in the current dynamic radio environment in India Mindshare Fulcrum is a dedicated unit managing Hindustan Unilever Ltd media investments in India. I head the non TV media investments (Print & Radio). Hindustan Unilever Ltd and Mindshare Fulcrum do recognize the power of radio as a communication medium. We look forward for any assistance on the radio medium.

I would like to congratulate you and the entire team at Radio Duniya for this wonderful initiative. On a quick note I would also like to share that it will add immense value to Radio Duniya if the readers are exposed to the international perspective as well. Thank you and all the very best. Warm regards, R. Anand HDFC Dear Ravi, Congratulations. It’s a pleasure to see that your magazine is covering the whole Duniya of the present radio industry in India. The best part of the December issue is that it is not only displaying flamboyancy and snippets but also talks about the policies. The interview of Ms. Zohra Chatterjee, Joint Secretary Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India was really very informative and also highlights about the future aspect of our industry. It’s like hearing from the horse’s mouth itself. There are some points which I can include in my sales pitch from today onwards. Good Job. Keep it up.

Regards, Rajesh Rao Investment Director MindShare

Thanks, Sudhi Ranjan Mishra Big 92.7 FM

Hi Radio Duniya Team, Your magazine and website are really a very pleasant surprise as far as radio news in India is concerned. I simply loved your magazine and the website. I am a freelance RJ with FM Rainbow in Mumbai for a few years now and I have recently built a community radio station for the university of Mumbai. I would like to be involved with the activities of Radio Duniya. I am based in Mumbai and have been involved with production projects for a few private FM stations too. I would also like to contribute to the working of Radio Duniya in any way possible. Do let me know the possibilities. Regards, Pankaj Athawale (Hero Hiralal on radio)

TALK2US Share your views with us Send your feedback and comments to us at January 2008 | Radio Duniya

14th International Conference & Exhibition on Terrestrial & Satellite Broadcasting

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Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union

Radio Reaches the Masses It was a serene evening in 1995. I was then posted at the All India Radio station at Jagdalpur, the district headquarter of Bastar, which then formed part of Madhya Pradesh and now is in Chhattisgarh. Although naxalite presence was quite manifest in that area even then, it was not so prevalent and overpowering as it has become now. I was an Assistant Station Director in those days, as no Station Director was posted at that time, I was effectively functioning as programme head for that station. We were having guests, as All India Radio programme officials from all over the state of Madhya Pradesh had converged at Jagdalpur to attend a regional programme coordination meeting there. After the day’s proceedings were over, we had scheduled to visit a village so that our guests could have a glimpse of the rural life of

January 2008 | Radio Duniya

that predominantly tribal area and also see a short presentation of local music and dance. Although poverty is extreme and rampant there, indigenous people have maintained and nurtured their cultural and artistic traditions very well. I formed the part of last group to leave for that sojourn, as we had sent our guests and some of the colleagues earlier. I had stayed back to supervise some last minute arrangements. In fact, besides the driver, there were only two of us in that vehicle. With me was M. A. Rahim, then the senior most announcer at that station, who, in addition to being a veteran broadcaster, was also deeply involved in theatre and other cultural activities. We started late and as darkness fell and deepened, we meandered on into that wonderful but at that hour rather desolate forest area, taking one ‘kuchcha’ road after another, relying on pure memory of a past visit. Of course, there were no road signs in those parts. Tribal villages are sparsely populated with scattered mud houses and even when we passed through them, we could not see a single man or woman anywhere. I had learned beforehand that we city-folk have so thoroughly and cruelly exploited the innocent tribal population for so long that a deep distrust dwells there and as soon as the rumble of a motorised vehicle is heard, particularly after sunset, people prefer not to be seen and noticed.

we saw a young man, probably in his early 20s, walking on the road. Our spirits revived. We moved close to him and stopped the vehicle. He kept on moving away. His lurching gait betrayed that he was high on the locally brewed ‘mahua’, a strong alcoholic beverage. I came out of the vehicle and accosted him. The strong evening breeze carried strong smell of ‘mahua’ emanating from him and confirmed his own ‘soaring’ spirits. I asked him as to how could we get to the village we were bound for. He stopped uncertainly, looked at me with blinking uncomprehending eyes and said nothing. I then realised that he could not follow Hindi. As our driver too hailed originally from eastern Uttar Pradesh and was not proficient in the local tribal dialects, I went back to the vehicle and asked Rahim to speak to the youth in Halbi or Bhatari. Rahim went to him and repeated the question. The boy just stood swaying for a few moments, appearing to marshal his thoughts. Then, suddenly, pointing a finger at him, he blurted out, “Rahim?”

AIR broadcasts cater not only to the rich and the powerful but to the entire great mass of humanity inhabiting India.

After some futile trial and error attempts, it was obvious that we had lost our way. We desperately needed to ask someone the way to our destination. But, we went on and on and did not meet anybody on the road. Then, as the path took a sharp turn,

Rahim stood transfixed for a few seconds. Then, his voice overcome with sudden emotion at thus being recognised just by his voice by that thoroughly intoxicated tribal young man, deep inside a forest, lost to the civilisation as we know and practice it, he said to me, “Sir, Aaj Meri Naukari Saphal Ho Gayee (my years of service have proved their worth today.)” I too was astounded. Then, miraculously, the boy gave him elaborate directions, which we followed and reached our destination. Even then, Jagdalpur was fast becoming in many ways a replica of so many other towns all over the

country, displaying many a characteristics of a fast urbanising society as far as upper and middle class families were concerned. Television seemed to be the most popular mass medium and well to do people tried to confirm their socio-economic status by demonstrating that they had moved on from radio to television, particularly private TV channels. As All India Radio tries to make the masses aware of the government schemes and programmes being implemented for their benefit, we had to interact on a regular basis with a number of officials of state bureaucracy and, from their behaviour and frequent hard to get acts, could sense that they exulted in giving diminishing importance to radio. The collector of the district typified that attitude. I was surprised to receive a telephone call at my home from the collector requesting for an opportunity to do an urgent broadcast. As there did not seem to be any law and order issue or some such situation developing in the district, which might have prompted such a request, I was somewhat mystified but reached office any way and shortly the collector too arrived there. He then somewhat sheepishly told me that the midday meal scheme for school going children was to be launched in the whole of the district from the very next day. He said that intimation about this scheme had reached him rather late and he had not only to inform the people of the same but also to immediately instruct the concerned government officials all over the district immediately on this. He said that he had no other way to send the instructions to those in the remote and far-flung areas but through a broadcast on All India Radio, Jagdalpur. We recorded and broadcast his message and, for once, he was profusely thankful to the humble radio. There is another memory of those days. Elections for Lok Sabha had been declared and as on earlier occasions, AIR was broadcasting voter awareness programmes to sensitise the people to exercise their democratic right. I was told that because of abysmally low levels of literacy and general backwardness of the area, the voting percentage had always been very small. Then, I had an idea. We prepared a number of short spots and jingles in the local tribal dialects exhorting people to vote. Although, this could well have been just one amongst many motivating factors, the fact was that the voting percentage increased appreciably in those elections and that too despite a call by the naxalite groups to boycott the elections. All this happened much before the recent phenomenon of the so-called revival of radio. This is not to undermine the current boom and growth in the radio industry in the country, particularly in


the private sector, which surely is most wonderful but the fact is that this has been a mostly urban development. For the metropolitan youth, the radio has suddenly become the ‘in’ thing, is considered ‘cool’ and a part of the contemporary fashion statement. The enormous commercial possibilities of the medium have spurred the big boys of the business and industry to jump into the bandwagon and to aggressively brandish their fare. It has been estimated that radio generates three-fifth of the advertising awareness as compared to television but at one-seventh of the cost. We are a country of many colossal contradictions. Although nature has bestowed a darker complexion to the majority of us, we hanker for and celebrate the fair skin and a plethora of cosmetic products promising a metamorphosis constitute a thriving industry in our country. Similarly, only because the metropolitan westernised youth have become enamoured of the new jazzy and saucy radio presentation styles, there is a sudden rediscovery of the charm and virtues and potential of radio as a mass medium. The adoption of radio as one of the preferred tools of entertainment by a small but highly visible and empowered segment of society has given rise to the theory that ‘radio has come back’ and all the credit for this is given to the new programming and presentation styles being practiced on the private channels operating in FM mode. The fact again is that radio had never gone anywhere but was always around, providing access to information, education and entertainment to the vast majority of our people irrespective of their mind-boggling diversity of regions, genders, religions, castes and creeds, languages and dialects, socio-economic clout and purchasing power. All India Radio, i.e. Akashvani played and continues to play this role of the public service broadcaster through the accommodation and celebration of these multiplicities by the all-inclusive nature of its programmes. It speaks and sings in all the languages and most of the dialects of the country. Its broadcasts cater not only to the rich and the powerful but to the entire great mass of humanity inhabiting India. It is a trusted friend and companion of the farmers (who still constitute about 60% of our population), organised and un-organised workers, artisans, women, youth,

January 2008 | Radio Duniya

children and elderly people and so on, embracing all and shunning no one, empowering everybody including the weakest and the most disadvantaged. It is the largest public service radio broadcasting network in the world. With its wide reach and deep penetration into all the nooks and corners of our nation, including the remotest and farthest areas, AIR has authored some of the most stirring sagas in the media history of the planet. Preservation and propagation of our classical as well as the folk and tribal music traditions has been one such glorious achievement. AIR’s contributions to the green (foodgrains), yellow (oilseeds) and white (dairy products) revolutions are well known and documented. It has truly been a catalyst and tool of development. It has waged a relentless battle against social dogmas and evils and striven to inculcate a scientific temper amongst the masses. It has swung into action at the times of natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes and the recent devastating ‘tsunami’. Above all, it has served to fight divisive tendencies and foster national integration and nurtured democratic values amongst the masses. Radio continues to be very cheap and thus affordable to most of the population. The technology employed in broadcasting and receiving radio programmes is comparatively quite simple and user-friendly. There is no barrier of illiteracy involved. Its smaller size, portability and lack of dependence on electric power supply add to its appeal and utility. Moreover, it is one of the most intimate modes of communication and dialogue.

wrote to us their own experiences, laying open their deepest emotional scars and thus making us their true confidants. Some of them wrote that what they were sharing with us had not been disclosed even to their own family members and close friends. Being a sound only medium thus becomes not a handicap but strength and the veneer of anonymity helps in striking a chord and forging a deeper emotional bond. It truly was a moving experience re-emphasising the sweep and impact of radio. Discovering, recognising and promoting young and new talents in many fields all over the country has been another very important role played by All India Radio. That is particularly true for music artists. Suppose there is a young boy learning Sitar at Bhagalpur in Bihar. He can approach AIR, Bhagalpur for audition and a chance to perform on radio. A group of Bundeli folk music artists at Panna in Madhya Pradesh can similarly get a chance to perform on AIR, Chhatarpur. A tribal music party at Jashpur in Chhattisgarh can get similar opportunities at AIR, Ambikapur. Thus, through its vast network spread across the nation, All India Radio has not only served all musical traditions of India by taking them to masses and also preserving them, it has afforded opportunities and a platform for the budding artists to display their talent and gain recognition and acclaim. Most of the celebrated music artists of the country began with All India Radio only.

Radio continues to be very cheap and thus affordable to most of the population. The technology employed is quite simple and user-friendly.

We were producing a radio drama serial called ‘Dehleez’ (the threshold) devoted to the peculiar growing up pangs of adolescence, with the attendant physical and psychological changes. This programme was being broadcast from a large number of AIR stations located in Hindi speaking areas of the country. A campaign for registration of committed listeners was launched and the response was huge. But the most revealing aspect of that experience was the faith and frankness exhibited by the young listeners, many of whom not only became very involved with the trials, tribulations and dreams of the characters in the serial but also

However, it is not just the field of music, where All India Radio has been promoting new talent. Similar opportunities are availed by young poets, short story writers, critics, scientists, sports commentators and so on. A large number of gifted boys and girls perform as anchors, comperes and announcers as well. It is a huge talent pool discovered and nurtured by the premier public service broadcaster of the nation.


These days the emphasis is more and more on interactive programmes like phone-ins. It must be mentioned here that field based programmes have always occupied a prime place in the broadcasts of All India Radio. Most of AIR stations have been doing public grievance programmes for more than two decades, wherein common people’s comments, complaints and suggestions regarding the functioning of various government departments and agencies are recorded and then concerned officials are approached to give their reactions. These have contributed a lot to the transparency in governance by establishing a dialogue between people and central and state governments. Now, almost all the AIR stations are also broadcasting ‘phone-in’ programmes. These ensure a two-way communication and provide the listeners too the chance to go on air to have their say and express their views. Private commercial stations have been on the scene for some years now and they must be given credit for almost revolutionising radio programming in our country by presenting a different content and employing a highly informal and chatty presentation style. However, the target of these innovations was and is the well to do urban population, particularly the youth. However, one very significant happening has been the new government policy allowing setting up of community radio stations. Now onwards, a large number of community driven radio stations will be operating and, many of them are expected to focus on issues of vital public interest. Thus, All India Radio is likely to see its efforts in the realm of public service broadcasting being complemented and also supplemented by a number of these community owned and operated radio stations. Many NGOs, educational bodies and other such institutions are now active in community radio broadcasting. Their number and involvement is certain to grow further. Of course, this role of radio reaching out to masses is not confined to India alone but is a truly global phenomenon. In fact, radio has the power to be both global and local. It adapts to the socio-economic and cultural profiles of its myriad audience and dons many ‘avtars’. Many of us might be surprised to know that in the United States of America, supposedly the most powerful, technologically advanced and developed country in the world, radio chat shows are recognised and believed to be the most influential and decisive part of the political discourse. President of USA faithfully makes a weekly radio broadcast to the nation every Saturday. Thus, radio is established even in the developed countries as the best means of communicating to the biggest number of people, cutting across all divides. But, radio assumes even


more significance and importance in less developed nations and particularly so in countries with great diversity such as India. It is said that the only constant in this world is change and radio is changing too. It is mushrooming and blossoming in a myriad ways, continuing with old and time honoured traditions and also taking up new roles and challenges. It is discovering new audiences and constructing new identities for itself. One myth that has been blown to pieces is that of television totally replacing and supplanting radio. It has not happened anywhere in the world and it is not going to happen in India too. In fact, this mindset of looking at various media options as mutual enemies and essentially replacements for each other is all wrong and misplaced. There is space for everybody, all can co-exist and play their unique role. They can and should supplement rather than uproot each other. I hope, a majority of listeners in our country will, depend upon the good old transistor radio placed in their kitchens, bedrooms, studies and so on or moving with them on foot or on a bicycle or ensconced in their cars, a growing number will get to radio differently, through webcasts on Internet and in many other ways, which the march of technology is going to create. They will go to it with different needs and expectations. However, amongst all this change what is going to endure and remain constant is the role of radio as a close friend, being both articulate and discreet, speaking and singing from near and afar.

Rajeev Kumar Shukla Deputy Director of Programmes (Policy) Directorate General, All India Radio.

January 2008 | Radio Duniya


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Radio Duniya Magazine, G-4 Sector 39, Noida Tel: +91-120-250 2180-87 Fax: +91-120-250200060

Hello FM launched in Puducherry Hello 106.4FM, Idhaan Right Number has reached another milestone with the launch of its 6th station, in Puducherry. The radio station went on air from 23rd December. Packed with entertaining programs all through the day this station will maintain the same frequency -106.4, as its other radio stations. On the launch day the radio station also gave away 1,064 gold coins to lucky winners. After its huge success in five stations across Tamil Nadu, the radio station is all set to rock Puducherry in the coming days. Sharing his thoughts on this, Rajeev Nambiar, COO, Hello FM said, “Puducherry with its large Tamil speaking population is a good radio market. With the launch of this radio station we will be able to provide an excellent platform for advertisers all over India to effectively reach their target audiences down South, through radio. We are also planning to launch our radio station in Tiruchirapalli very soon.”

Club FM 94.3 launched in Thrissur Mathrubhumi Group’s Club FM announced the launch of its station in Thrissur in December. This is the first radio station for Club FM. Club FM 94.3 FM sports the tagline ‘Ton kanakkinu fun’, meaning ‘Tonnes of fun’. The station kick-starts the day’s broadcast with ‘Good Morning’, a show providing positive tips and music. Other programmes include ‘Kalakkan Recharge’, ‘Bal-kkenni’, ‘Ladies Neram’, ‘Kabadi Kabadi’, ‘Clubmates’, ‘Love Bytes’, ‘Merry-go-round’.

BIG 92.7 FM launched in Mangalore BIG 92.7 FM announced the latest edition to its kitty in December, with the launch of its station in Mangalore. After ruling the hearts of millions of listeners across the length and breadth of the country, BIG 92.7 FM, an initiative from Adlabs Films Ltd., launched its Mangalore station in style with BIG RJs Sumesh and Raghvendra releasing 927 balloons onair, marking the official launch of the station. The launch of BIG 92.7 FM in the city marks the launch of the 39th station of the network in the country and the third station in Karnataka, after Bangalore and Mysore. Commenting on the entry of the station into the city, Kamal Mohandas - Cluster-Head Karnataka & Kerala, BIG 92.7 FM said, “We are very excited about launching in the city of Mangalore. Our radio ensures greater penetration and reach and with programmes like Suprabhata, BIG Kudla, Churmuri, Mangalore Bundi, Love Madi nodu we are sure to rule the entertainment space of the people. Our programmes have been put together after understanding the local requirements, as it is our endeavor to create content that is relevant, credible and has an aspirational value for the listeners. We are completely geared and are eagerly looking forward to entertaining the city of Mangalore.”


January 2008 | Radio Duniya

Radio Mango launched in Thrissur Radio Mango 91.9 FM has begun its operations in Kerala’s cultural capital, Thrissur. In line with the mass appeal of the channel’s programming, its street-centric, humorous promotional events , featuring impersonations of an iconic yesteryears movie hero caught the imagination of the entire city. These weeklong promos were the culmination of the RJ Freq Out contests that were taking place in the campuses of the city. Malayala Manorama’s Radio Mango 91.9 FM had earlier launched its station in Kozhikode, which is the first private FM radio station in Kerala. Radio Mango plans to launch two more stations at Kochi and Kannur.

Radio Mirchi launches in Vijayawada Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM has launched in Vijayawada, taking the total number of stations to 29 all over the country. Besides Vijayawada, Radio Mirchi is already operational in places, which include Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Indore, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Jaipur, Pune, Patna, Jalandhar, Goa, Bhopal, Vadodara, Kanpur, Rajkot, Varanasi, Nashik, Lucknow, Surat, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Madurai, Nagpur, Vishakapatnam and Mangalore Radio Mirchi will roll out three more radio stations by the end of the year to complete the total number of 32 stations in India. BIG 92.7 FM hits airwaves in Puducherry 94.3 MY FM launched in Jodhpur 94.3 MY FM has been launched in Jodhpur, the ‘Sun City’. Joining thirteen other cities, Jodhpur also gets its share of Masti n Music 94.3 MY FM way. The launch of the newest station in Jodhpur marks 94.3 MY FM`s 14th station launch nationally and the fourth for the state of Rajasthan after Jaipur, Udaipur & Ajmer. The Group has three more launches planned after this - in Kota, Jabalpur and Raipur, which will complete its launch plans for all 17 circles it has license to operate in. Says, Harrish M. Bhatia, Business Head, 94.3 MY FM, “94.3 MY FM offers exclusive FM Radio Network of five stations in Rajasthan, which no other radio player can match. Rajasthan, a very important business market, MY FM’s network and our connect with the listeners of Rajasthan, is a sure benefit to the advertisers of 94.3 MY FM, which has been the basis for the commercial success of 94.3 MY FM”

BIG 92.7 FM announced the latest edition to its kitty, with the launch of its station in Puducherry. The launch of BIG 92.7 FM in the City marked the launch of the 41st Station of the Network. The joyride will start at 5 am with ‘Suprabatham’. This spiritual programme is to be followed by ‘’Inia Vazhtugal’ by RJ Atholina from 6 to 8am. This will be followed by the Breakfast Show “BIG Vanakkam” by RJ Natarajan. Other shows on weekdays include “Chinna Chinna Aasai”, with RJ Atholina, “o Podu” with RJ Sathish and “Ennama Kannu” followed by Ragasiyamaai Commenting on the station’s entry into Puducherry, Sabita Kath, Director South, BIG 92.7 FM, said “We are very excited about launching in the city of Puducherry. The programming mix of the Station has been put together after much research and understanding of local requirements. It is our aim to create content that is relevant, credible and has an aspirational value for the listeners. We are completely geared and are eagerly looking forward to entertaining the city of Pondy. We are sure the city will welcome us with open arms and will enjoy the programmes on our Station.”


Sun TV launches FM station at Vijayawada Sun TV Network launched an FM radio station at Vijayawada in December. The radio station commenced operation under the brand ‘S’ FM through Kal Radio Ltd -- a subsidiary of Sun TV. The station would air programmes for all age groups and can be heard at 93.5 MHz frequency at Vijayawada. With this, the total number of FM radio stations operating under the Sun TV Network goes up to 17, including those in Chennai, Coimbatore, Tirunelveli, Visakhapatnam, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Bhubaneswar, Tirupati, Madurai, Tuticorin, Lucknow, Bhopal, Puducherry, Kozhikode and Indore. Sun TV Network holds licence for 45 FM radio stations across India and when all the remaining 28 stations become operational the company would become one of the largest radio broadcasters in the country.

Big 92.7 FM launched in Jodhpur BIG 92.7 FM has announced the latest edition to its kitty, with the launch of its Station in Jodhpur. The launch of BIG 92.7 FM in the City marks the launch of the 42nd Station of the Network. In the first phase of its launches, BIG 92.7 FM set up Stations in the metros of Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Mumbai. The second phase of launches has taken BIG 92.7 FM to several mini metros across the country which will eventually take the total count to 45. In Jodhpur, BIG RJ’s Vikram, Rex, Surabhi and Monika will be entertaining the city, and the adjoining areas The joyride will start at 7 am with ‘BIG Chai’ with RJ Rex. The programme would be followed by ‘’Nakhrali’ by RJ Surabhi from 10 am to 2 pm. Further, RJ Monika would be hosting “Dil Dosti etc’ from 2.00 – 5.00 pm. In the evening band, the show ‘BIG Dhamaal’ would be aired from 5.00 – 8.00 pm followed by ‘Raat Chand Aur Mai’ – a show by RJ Vikram from 8.00 pm to 11.00 pm. Commenting on the Station’s entry into Jodhpur, Praveen Malhotra, Vice President – Sales & Head – North Operations, BIG 92.7 FM, said “We are excited to launch our station in Jodhpur and are looking forward to entertain the people of this exotic city. The programming mix of the Station has been put together after much research and understanding of local requirements. It is our aim to create content that is relevant, credible and has an aspirational value for the listeners. We are completely geared and are eagerly looking forward to entertaining the Sun City. We are sure the city will welcome us with open arms and will enjoy the programmes on our Station.”


January 2008 | Radio Duniya

Mass, is being the Boss Being

Rajeev Nambiar, President & COO of

How has the journey of Hello FM been so far? It’s a journey made easy, thanks to some qualitative resources, able team and management support. We are in the process of realizing the vision with which we participated in the phase two bid. And the vision was to be the largest and the most popular radio network in Tamil Nadu. We won all the seven stations that we bid for and we had restricted our bidding to Tamil Nadu. We launched in Chennai last year in October. This year we launched in Coimbatore, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Pondicherry. We have one more station to launch now, which is Trichy. There is a lot of excitement and great expectation as Trichy is a two-player market. I believe Trichy would be the one station high on demand and that explains the excitement as we get set to play, starting from 2nd week of January 2008.

Hello FM 106.4 is the man behind Tamil Nadu’s most wide-spread radio network. He has successfully built the brand over the last one year. The erstwhile high profile head of Raj TV is credited with establishing it as the second most popular brand in Tamil Nadu. He came on board in 1996 after being with The Times of India for seven years and then heading Jain TV’s southern operations for one year in 1995. Given his experience in print, television & radio, he can be branded as a start-up media specialist. Here he elaborates on his plans for Hello FM, the mass appeal of radio and the utility of radio audience measurement.

Expectedly as we add stations, the stature of our brand, both in the entertainment and media industry is on the increase and today, we believe we are a force to reckon with. Already, we have seen almost all product categories consuming our service and the la cr`em of advertisers filling the commercial breaks. There is an increased degree of acceptance today, when we are a six station network, as against the time when we were a single station. Seven to be soon! We have already achieved operating profits and the journey has just begun! How has your print base, in the form of Malar Publications and Daily Thanti, been useful to you? There are interesting feedbacks that we get, for immediate course corrections. These tidbits and insights are from the media perspective, of being the market leader and the right guard to take to keep winning more audience and loyalty. The lineage, the heritage of being a radio brand truly born from Tamil Nadu soil, stems from this very nurturing chord. This if you ask me is our USP.

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Apart from getting some editorial plugs and programme listings published, I would say we have not really exploited the combined strengths of our group publications. Having achieved the spread with the launch of all our stations, we could now strategically work on joint initiatives and also woo certain audience groups riding on the group magazines. What I would also want to achieve, over a period of time, is to exploit the large field force that we as a group have deployed for the print business. People like news agents, reporters, concessionaires etc. would be the resource that I would like to tap into. But unfortunately we haven’t got into it in a full-fledged manner, because there are complexities involved in concluding promotional and advertising deals. What are the markets you are looking at for expansion? Our plan is to build our hegemony in Tamil Nadu as a market, as and when Phase-III is announced. We would be in the race, and probably we would like to look at the key metros in the South. But predominantly it would be to look at TN holistically, as there are merits. We are not thinking of moving out of the south zone right now, but we would definitely like to be of service to the growing FM brands in the West and the North, in terms of

strategic sales alliance for helping them reach out to southern markets and in advocating best practices. What are the kinds of innovative programming and marketing strategies being planned at Hello FM? In Chennai, now we are experimenting on a new format, which we would like to introduce early this year, because Chennai is a little cluttered as far as radio is concerned. Polarization that existed prior to phase-II stations launch seems to have thinned down. There is a definite need to bring about differentiation, without diluting the established connect. So we are experimenting on a new format, which would offer people something akin to One Day Cricket, which will have more meat, much more excitement, plenty of thrills and entertainment, which will hold people captive. We have replicated locally most of what we have done successfully in Chennai in our other markets. How has your experience in television helped you in handling radio? Having built a national market (from scratch) for a regional television network, my experience helped me understand the pulse of marketers, audiences and also media behavior, when it comes to Tamil Nadu. I do know today, when the advertising needs arise for whom, when and where. How to create a connect between marketers and consumers. Thanks to my earlier experience with media players in this market, I know best how to channelize market spending into a media brand. And in the process, also establish radio as the new medium. For radio to grow there is a need to eat into the advertising pie that television attracts. And so a better understanding of television helps showcasing the intrinsic worth of radio better. How would you compare radio and television as mediums of communication and entertainment? Radio can get the better of television in Tamil Nadu. Radio is more need-based, it has a very attentive audience. It is seen as a more personal medium and it is great for complete family engagement. Television is more like a medium consumed to kill boredom. Hence, response to advertising and communication is greater on radio. Radio, in my experience with seven stations of Hello FM, has more to offer to advertisers. We are offering marketers split-run opportunities, which is something that television cannot do. We are giving advertisers the chance to build their markets, without much wastage. This is the biggest strength of radio and we have been growing with it. About 50% of our inventory is being consumed by retail



January 2008 | Radio Duniya

advertisers, who are the real beneficiaries of radio, because they best exploit the reach of radio . Do you feel the need for audience measurement for radio? What are your expectations from RAM? I believe national advertisers can do a lot more with the medium of radio, especially here in Tamil Nadu. While we have seen a rise in the number of national brands coming on board, I see larger numbers coming in when there is a system of audience measurement in place. The universe of radio advertisers will grow and so would the money that is spent on radio. Radio would be seen as accountable when there are numbers to prove, that we have delivered as a medium. So to that extent, RAM or any other form of measurement acceptable to the industry is most welcome. But I still prefer, if instead of the diary method, technology is brought in, to ensure a level of immediacy and accuracy in the findings. And that is something for the technology providers to look into. Like people meter systems for television, I think there should be something very soon for radio. Also, I have a concern when it is a one entity driven research. We should have a minimum of two bodies to offer data on audience measurement. So what radio audience measurement tools or technology would you like to see being used? Talking out of one’s hat, there can be a system where the researchers are positioned at Stop-Over Points and they do a drive-check, to keep a record of who is listening to which radio station while driving or traveling. Probably the music system can be enabled with a microchip and a SIM card or some kinds of an access which can give you live data. But that is something for the research agency to work on and finalize. I strongly advocate that there should be some live mechanism for measuring, rather than following the recall method.

creative or communications in our weekly three hour English band. So that being the case, there are very few takers. And most national clients, having understood Tamil Nadu well, have localized communication. So that way, the music content is predominantly Tamil on our radio stations. Being a mass brand what we are working on is to revive what radio was known for in the yesteryears. We are the only station today, which has a dedicated movie band. On Sunday afternoons we have a movie band called Oli Chitram, wherein we play the sound tracks (abridged) of some of the best known Tamil films. What are your views on the statement “Radio is the media for the masses”? Yes, I would say radio is the media for the masses. Thanks to the free access to this entertainment medium, it is surely a media for the masses and the success formula is in being mass oriented! However, I want to stress that being “mass” is not a limitation. We are a Tamil radio station and Tamil audience exists in various socio-economic forms, and all of them consume the medium. So by being local, we are perceptibly the mass. Being Mass, is being the Boss. The fact that radio signal is distributed freely in a time when most of the local television channels are encrypted, I would say radio today, with near complete pan-TN reach, will match or even out do the reach of television. We could get into small villages and rural homes where probably a television may not reach. And that is a campaign

What is the kind of music content offered by your radio network? In Tamil Nadu, on all radio stations 80-90 percent of the content is Tamil music. There are few stations including us, which play English music. In our case, English music is restricted to 6 to 9 on Sundays in Chennai city alone, whereas at all other station it is 100% Tamil music. And this is what the masses want, including the advertisers. I must admit that the English band in our own station has not resulted in much sponsorship, because the retailers buy into what they consume. So when they don’t consume English or Hindi or even Malaylam in this market- they don’t buy into it. It is only for a few national channel brands that an English time band helps. We don’t accept Tamil

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which we would be running soon, because that is something we need give to radio as a category. It is not enough to build the brand of your own radio; you need to also promote radio as a category. On an average, how many call-ins does your station get? In Chennai we limited the exercise of call-ins, for the objective of bringing about a differentiator. When we launched our brand of radio, there were already two players in the market, so to stand out we realized that we need to play more music, with carefully crafted substance in the jock links. Our research told us that people wanted more content and the call-ins were not necessarily considered worthy of consumption by everyone. Except for the two souls interacting, no one may find interest in that particular piece of communication. There are only two prime time programmes where we take in callers. One is a game show Palanguyi, where we take in callers and then there is an evening time show called Cummercut. In both these shows the callers have to perform a specific act or talk on a special subject of common interest. However the platform for interactivity is set through loads of contests, SMS, IVRS, etc; and if you want to put a number there are about 20 to 25 thousands people who connect with us on a monthly basis.

is expected out of them, without us preaching. Being socially mindful is part of our ecosystem and content fabric. So that way, there is information for dissemination that one can use in every link that the jock delivers. Our brand - Hello FM is all about social programming. Do you think the content on FM radio channels is sensitive to gender concerns? I would rather put it this way, that we have not skewed our programmes for any particular segment of the audience. We have not distinguished programme as a ladies-only or men-only show. We have not categorized any of our programmes on those lines. But what is surprising is that there are women calling in when you believe that the subject of discussion would be more adept to men participating, purely from the way the RJ handles his show. For instance there is a guy with loads of attitude and he is ruthless with his pranks, which I thought only a man would like. But most callers are women and a lot of them even profess their love for the RJ on air. And I guess it is the anonymity factor which plays in these situations.

Our ROTN stations have programmes for call-ins and we take in callers even between 12 midnight and 4 am in the morning. We have had as high as 30,000 people participating in our inaugural day contest in all the stations that we launched. What are the social responsibilities of radio stations towards the audiences? How does your network contribute in this respect? Almost all radio stations have been sporting the gear of being socially responsible today. It is part of our baptism too, as we nurture our team of radio jockeys for fulfilling their social responsibility. We have spirited RJs and it is heartening to note that these set of freshers are very humane, with abundant love for the land and the people. You name the need, and they are all readily addressed. What immediately comes to mind is the recent initiative where an eye donation camp organized, and all our RJ’s went and pledged their eyes and encouraged their listeners to do the same. We have of late also made announcements on our stations in Tuticorin and Tirunelveli about issues like poor lighting, water problems etc., and these have been addressed by the authorities concerned, post our announcements. All our programmes can fit into this theme, because our content is all about information. Our audience is well informed on their city, happenings and what 20

But I must admit that there was a late-night show –Viaraga, hosted by a lady RJ, which gave people tips about romance, which probably went into a little detail and we got one or two letters, from some women welfare group stating that it didn’t portray women in the right light, which was not the intention and we explained it. Our motives and honest intentions were supported by a lot of fan mails from women listeners, with words of appreciation for the programme. However we have put a check on that show, to ensure that we don’t hurt the sentiments of any section or mindset. January 2008 | Radio Duniya



January 2008 | Radio Duniya

48 hours non-top RJing for Hepatitis patient BIG 92.7 FM along with its RJs from the Hissar Station – Saurav and Sanjay, came forward to support a Hepatitis C patient – Jogender Singh, who was unable to support his medical treatment due to financial constraints. The jockeys were heard live 24x7 from 22nd December 7.00 am till 24th December 6.00 am. Along with the on-air marathon, BIG FM also organized a rally on 21st December to request people to come forward and raise money for the treatment. The campaign was aimed towards raising money for the patient’s treatment and also share information on preventive measures on Hepatitis C. Living upto its brand line – ‘Suno Sunao – Life Banao’, BIG 92.7 FM crossed another milestone, by supporting the needy and educating people on Hepatitis C. Give up your guns for Radio Mirchi Radio Mirchi in Delhi began its Give Up Your Guns campaign on Hi Delhi on December 12, with RJ Pallavi sharing with listeners and the authorities the issues surrounding the innocent deaths by guns, which had been plaguing the city. On Khoobsurat, RJ Anu delved further into the issue, reaching out to mothers and wives, giving them a platform to express their feelings about these incidents. RJ Mandy connected with the youngsters on Total Filmi. In addition, Bollywood stars such as Irfan Khan, Farooq Sheikh, Kunal Kapoor and Atul Kulkarni, along with fashion designers, singers and MPs, joined hands to appeal to listeners, in an effort to make Delhi a safe city.

Speaking on the occasion, Alok Tripathi, Station Head Hissar, BIG 92.7 FM said, “It is our constant endeavor to offer a wholesome mix of entertainment on air and create social awareness through responsible on air and onground activities. This endeavor by our RJs has witnessed huge success in reaching out to the masses and creating a sense of responsibility. I am confident that the city of Hissar will come forward to help Jogender Singh in fighting against his illness. It was extremely comforting to see the jocks come forward to support such a noble cause…48 hours on air, non-stop is no easy task.” BIG 92.7 FM and Hindustan present Bachpan BIG 92.7 FM Kanpur and HT Media’s local daily Hindustan joined hands for a community drive named Bachpan, which aimed at spreading happiness among the orphans of Kanpur. BIG 92.7 FM and Hindustan invited citizens to donate toys and other goodies, which were distributed among the kids from orphanages of the city. With a unique mix of on-air and print promotional campaign the activity created a lot of excitement among the people of Kanpur. Many schools, local clubs and citizens came forward to volunteer for the collection drive. While BIG 92.7 FM heavily promoted Bachpan on air, Hindustan promoted the same through print campaigns. According to Manav Shankar, Cluster Head (UP East), BIG 92.7 FM, “Bachpan is another Life Banao! activity, which is aimed at extending a helping hand to the orphans in the city. We are extremely happy to receive such an overwhelming response from our listeners and are thankful for the support they have provided us. Under our brand line Suno Sunao, Life Banao!, we at BIG 92.7 FM try to ensure that we do things that positively impact people’s lives and this is an extension of the same.”


MY FM celebrates Human Rights Day Keeping up its spirit to connect with the listeners emotionally 94.3 MY FM celebrated Human Rights Day across all its stations, to spread the message of Human Rights among the citizens. A Human Walk was organized and people were reminded & sensitized on critical issues like child labor, female foeticide, right to food and water, domestic violence. Specific stations took up different issues while celebrating Human Rights Day. 94.3 MY FM, Jaipur, for instance focused on Child Labor and people were encouraged to raise their voice against any child being forced into labour. 94.3 MY FM Ahemdabad raised the issue of women and children’s health, advising parents to take care for their own health & vaccination of their children. According to Harrish M. Bhatia, Business Head 94.3 MY FM, “94.3 MY FM has been making conscious efforts to move beyond being a pure entertaining station. Radio as a medium has huge untapped potential and it is our endeavor to give listeners in our markets much more than any other station.”

BIG 92.7 FM reaches out with Rahat As the winter chill set in, BIG 92.7 FM enaled citizens across its northern stations to donate clothes and blankets for the needy. The drive, aptly titled ‘Raahat – Ek Abhiyan’ was hosted across the stations of Northern India for the month of Decemeber. This offering from BIG 92.7 FM, was yet another Life Banao initiative to help the needy face the winter chill. The stations identified key locations across the cities, where people could send in their clothing and blankets. The same were collected, sorted and then distributed among the needy, by the radio jockeys of the station. Along with the employees of BIG 92.7 FM donating generously, the stations saw several corporate houses, and NGO’s also coming forward to render support for the noble initiative. The initiative met with tremendous success in Amritsar, Chandigarh, Agra, Udaipur and Ajmer Speaking on the initiative, Praveen Malhotra, Vice President – Sales & Head – North Operations, BIG 92.7 FM said “Raahat – Ek Abhiyan was conceptualized to be able to use the radio platform effectively and to live our brand-line – Suno Sunao, Life Banao! The support that we have received from listeners has been phenomenal and very encouraging. We look forward to offering similar initiatives from BIG 92.7 FM even in the future.”


January 2008 | Radio Duniya

FICCI Radio Forum: FM radio losing sheen Taking stock of the FM radio scene in the country, the FICCI Radio Forum has noted that lack of diversity in content in FM channels is leading to disenchantment among listeners. In a memorandum to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the Forum has pointed out that while the radio industry has witnessed rapid growth in terms of advertising revenues and funds generated for the Government, there has not been significant growth in listenership numbers. The Forum stated that the current content of various FM channels was focused on Bollywood-centric music and bereft of other forms of entertainment and news and current affairs programmes. The Forum added that this was evident from the fact that while the number of FM radio channels had grown from 10 to more than 200, the penetration of radio – number of listeners as a percentage of the population – had only risen from 45 per cent to 53 per cent. This trend might stump the growth of the radio industry, which had being experiencing a CAGR of 28 per cent, warned the FICCI Radio Forum. “An 8 per cent rise is definitely not commensurate with the large increase in the number of radio stations. In order to create a larger audience base Mr. Saroj Kumar Poddar, President, FICCI for FM radio, diversity in content has to be significantly higher than at present. With appropriate policies, the reach of the medium can be much larger than TV, especially given the fact that it is a free-to-air medium unlike television, cable, or other services that demand subscription charges,” the Forum pointed out.

FICCI Radio Forum voices radio concerns The FICCI Radio Forum has urged the Government to address some key issues which it considers critical to maintain a high and sustainable growth of the radio industry in the country. The Forum has chalked out certain issues that need attention from the Government for the develpoment of the radio medium and has also given some suggestions for resolving the issues. Stressing on the need to release additional frequencies in all markets and allow broadcasters to operate multiple frequencies in the same city, the Forum observed that India being a multilinguistic country, there was adequate room in every city to have multiple FM channels catering to different sections of the population. In this context, the FICCI Radio Forum has made certain suggestions, including the proposal to have no national limits for FM radio ownership; increase local limits to 3 per cent or 33 per cent of the total licenses available in the center, whichever is less. The second frequency may be mandated to be of a different format than the first one and the broadcaster can be mandated to choose a format that is different for the second frequency from his existing frequency in Mr. A P Parigi Chairman FICCI Radio Forum & MD ENIL the same town.

Noting that private radio is the only mass medium that is not offering news and current affairs as part of its programming, the FICCI Forum has proposed 6-8 minutes per hour of news and current affairs to be broadcast on FM radio under ‘general entertainment’ license, in addition to allowing news and current affairs stations. Elaborating on the challenge faced by the FM radio industry from the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS) and Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) in issues relating to music royalties, the Forum has requested the Government to fix a reasonable and appropriate fee for music royalty. The revenue sharing model and fixed fee model has been further elaborated in the memorandum submitted. The Forum has also emphasised on the need to create level playing policies for satellite radio and FM radio. At present, there are no FDI limits for satellite radio, whereas FDI limit for FM radio is 20 per cent. FDI norms as in case of terrestrial FM radio should be applicable to satellite radio in order to ensure a level playing field. The Forum also stated that satellite radio has two revenue streams – advertisement and subscription, while FM radio has only one revenue stream (advertising) and is charged with 4 per cent revenue share of advertising. It was also suggested that the satellite licensee should also be charged a revenue sharing fee at 4 per cent for advertisement and 20 per cent for subscription.



PALLAVI RJ Pallavi is back on Radio Mirchi after a break of three years. She is having fun with her listeners, whom she wakes up everyday with her refreshing voice and tinkling laughter on a new morning show Hi Delhi only on Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM. Three years back Pallavi hosted the evening show Bumper2Bumper and relaxed the exhausted minds coming back from work with her upbeat voice and revitalizing jokes. Unfortunately, one fine morning a tragedy struck and she realised that her voice had undergone a major change and she was unable to take to the microphone. But Pallavi bounced back with her strong will power and is back where she belongs- the hot seat at Radio Mirchi.


January 2008 | Radio Duniya

How does it feel to be back on Radio Mirchi? It feels great... I feel like I am back home. What did you miss most when you were not “on the air”? I missed three Diwali’s, three Dusherra’s, three Holi’s, three Christmas’s, three New Years and six Eid’s with my listeners! And that is a whole lot of festivity and celebration that I missed out on as I was not on air. But I am back now, and it’s been amazing!!! What made you choose Radio Hosting? Forever interested in Radio as a medium, I started my career as an English Newsreader with All India Radio and then I was an announcer with Doordarshan, from where I moved to Times FM as a jockey. I also hosted Citilites with AIR FM. I heard an advertisement on Times FM saying if you think you have it in you to be a radio jockey, walk in for the auditions. I knew I had it in me, so I walked into the auditions and within 15 days I did my first show on Times FM, which was called Saturday Beat. What are the pros & cons of the job? There is nothing that I can think of right now, but one just has to keep in mind that whatever they say while doing a show should not hurt anyone’s sentiments, of any section of the society whether deliberately or non-deliberately. If not Radio Hosting, then what? Actually, I have never thought of it that way. I was always interested in Radio, so I have never gaiven any thought to doing anything else, except radio hosting. Describe your most memorable radio moment?

little black transistor, which he used to switch on and listen to the radio broadcasts. He himself used to host a number of sports shows with All India Radio, since he was the sports editor of the Hindustan Times. It was then that I understood the power of the medium, how millions can be hooked on to the smallest word just by the power of the voice coming from that little transistor! What is your USP? Well, when it come to USP, I have to say my confidence and my association with Radio Mirchi. What are the essential requirements for being a Radio Host? To be a good radio host, one needs to understand the pulse of the city. He / she should have confidence, spontaneity and the ability to connect with the people who are listening to the show. An RJ has to understand his social responsibility towards the audiences and do justice to the role given to him. How do you prepare yourself for every show? It is very simple, because all that you, as an audience talk about in life, and issues that you discuss in the office with your colleagues, in college with your buddies and at home with your family is what matters to me as your radio host. Whatever is close to your heart and is the most newsy thing of the day, is what is important for me and for my show. It could be anything, from a Nithari to a Shahrukh Khan showing off his six pack abs in Dard De Disco... if its on your mind, it is a part of my show. On an average, how many listeners do you talk to during the show? I try and talk to as many listeners as possible, because it is the listeners who make the show successful and popular. Does hosting a particular prime slot matter to you?

My most memorable radio moment has to be the time when I joined back Radio Mirchi after 3 years. The response I got in the office from my co-workers, bosses and the tremendous response I got on radio from all my lovely listeners is something that I can never forget.

It’s not about timings, so hosting a particular prime slot does not matter to me. For me its all about being connected to the listener, who is on the other end of the radio! The timing of the show is secondary.

Was there anyone or anything that inspired you to take up this profession?

What would be your message to the budding radio hosts?

I was drawn towards Radio because of my father. As a little kid, I always used to watch him in awe, when he was listening to the radio. He had a favourite

I would ask all of them to be more responsible about what they say and how they conduct themselves on air and just be natural.


A radio station is known by the RJs it has, particularly in these times when all stations sound alike. Would you agree? Not really. I think RJs are just a part of the whole package that any radio station offers to the listeners. There are other things like programming, content, the understanding of the city etc. that play a major role in creating a name for the radio station and making it well-known. Where do you see yourself a decade from now? Well, right now I only need to concentrate on the show, my voice and the listeners. There is no point in planning too much in advance! I believe in living every moment well, and not worry about the future!!!

Snapshot Queries Most treasured possession: My voice Favourite Music: I love, live, breath Bollywood music. From Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam to Saawariya to Don to Om Shanti Om. Favourite Films: All Bollywood movies Hobbies: Sketching Bollywood celebrities and cooking up and gossip! Mantra of life: Think positive

Give your views on the statement ‘Radio is a media for the masses’? Radio is the perfect medium for mass communication. What makes radio very appealing is its interactivity, its capacity to provoke dialogue and to solicit the participation of local population. It stands as an extremely versatile medium.


January 2008 | Radio Duniya


need to constantly

innovate RJ Harsha Shivaram hosts Big Coffee, the breakfast show on Big 92.7 FM. This lively Sagittarian has been a popular TV anchor for nine years, along with having hosted hundreds of mega events and parties! His pet interests include meditation, astrology, composing music, dramatics, writing and mimicry. Dynamic, funny and cheerful, there is a deep and philosophical side to this 26 year old, who adores food and loves ‘Winnie the Pooh’!! His simple yet endearing attitude mixed with wit and warmth, along with his deep voice, has made him a household name in Karnataka and with Kannadigas around the world.

What made you choose Radio Hosting?

What are the pros & cons of the job?

Well, I had always been into hosting, be it on TV or stage. I was an anchor on TV for quite some time and did my bit of off screen MCing for music releases and corporate parties. Radio as a medium was a new challenge; the prospect that an RJ would need to connect to the listener and appeal emotionally only with the voice, sounded very exciting to me.

Hmm.. the pros of being an RJ are that you get to sharpen your skills all the time!! RJ’s have their share of fun and popularity and with so many FM stations popping up now, an RJ would possibly never have to consider looking at any alternate profession!!

A radio host would need to be crisper, funnier and a lot in tune with the world. I initially joined BIG 92.7FM as an executive producer and was doing a weekend show, but my talkative pangs needed expression, I guess!!

The cons are that as an RJ, you cant con anyone!!! On a serious note, an RJ is usually someone who is perceived as having lots of fun playing music and being in the limelight all the time, but RJing is hard work. It involves loads of research, city insights, show preparation, updating oneself about the latest music craze, technical skills and alertness.

Infact, for someone like me who is a post graduate in corporate law from NLSIU, a full time job commitment in the entertainment field was an instant and sudden decision. BIG FM happened to me all of a sudden and it’s something that I have thoroughly enjoyed and learnt from.

If the RJ does not keep on updating himself or herself and does not make an effort to constantly innovate, monotony might creep in. And if the RJ does not try and keep himself or herself looking reasonably ok, listeners do get a shock associating a great voice with a not so great face!!


“ A radio host would need to be crisper, funnier and a lot in tune with the world ”

If not Radio Hosting, then what?

What is your USP?

Well if BIG 92.7 FM didn’t happen to me, I would have been a legal advisor to some corporate or taught law or been on TV for some time or even ventured into directing and scripting movies, since I do lot of writing stuff.

People have complimented me on my voice and modulation. I guess my ability to speak fluently in both English and Kannada is a positive factor. I try to bring in wit and fun to my links and can mimic popular stars and play characters on-air.

Or who knows, I would have even ended up teaching people to meditate, since that’s something that I enjoy doing!!

Some of our BIG FM listeners have told me that they can connect and identify with me easily. I have fairly good knowledge of what’s going on in the movie land and try to build personal connect with the listener.

Describe your most memorable radio moment? Lots!! Every on-air moment has been memorable, the interaction with listeners, reading out funny mesages, leading into a song and speaking over a peppy song introduction and feeling high; playing characters on air. I guess if an RJ does not try to make every link special, there is the danger of the listener turning away from the show!! Was there anyone or anything that inspired you to take up this profession? When I was in high school, I used to listen to radio a lot and I used to record songs on my old tape recorder and speak in between the songs! My mom has always been an inspiration for whatever I do and all of my loved ones egged me on to switch on that mike in the on-air studio and let loose mayhem!!


What are the essential requirements for being a Radio Host? Well, it’s not mandatory that a radio host needs to have a superb voice. Its just that one needs to sound pleasant and engross listeners. An RJ has to be fluent and bold and openminded. Being spontaneous is very essential. Needless to say, an RJ needs to be updated on music trends and should ideally like music and enjoy entertaining people. Humor is necessary and a penchant for technical skills is needed. An RJ needs to be a humble and friendly; one who can connect with the common man and the local city vibe. An RJ has to be well informed, flexible and constantly willing to grow and evolve as an individual and a good RJ is usually fun loving and energetic!!

January 2008 | Radio Duniya

How do you prepare yourself for every show? There is research that goes in, which forms the backbone of the content. Topical and relevant subjects are chosen and the preparation sheet made. Sometimes pre-producing and packaging some links for entertainment quotient is also needed. Show preparation involves discussion, recording sound bytes, going out on the streets and talking to people and getting their views. I also sit on the playlist and work out the treatment for the fabric for the particular show, not to mention packing some snacks to sneak out of the studio and eat in between songs that play back to back!! On an average, how many listeners do you talk to during the show? Well it depends on the fabric being discussed on the show. There could be anywhere between 4 to 15 callers being put on-air. Sometimes it is also necessary to talk to celebrities and relevant authorities on certain matters which would be the current topic of discussion or the vibe in the city. Does hosting a particular prime slot matter to you?

Where do you see yourself a decade from now? Actually, I believe in living life this moment so, this is quite a tough question!! But to think of it, I would see myself in the entertainment media itself, innovating and creating, possibly on radio. Social service is something that strongly pulls me; I would want to travel around the world and teach people meditation and breathing techniques!! You know, there is so much of stress and negativity in the world today and the young and old alike are suffering instead of being happy. I would want to put a smile on everyone’s face, through a mix of music and fun. Live the Company’s brand-line… Suno Sunao, Life Banao! Give your views on the statement ‘Radio is a media for the masses’? This statement is true in it, that radio is an easily accessible medium and through it one can reach millions and connect personally too. Radio mirrors the city and the society and is a trend setter also. However, not just the masses, today one would find everyone tuned in, what with every cell phone and car being FM enabled!!

Not really, since every time band is a challenge in itself. An RJ needs to adapt oneself to the target audience of each slot and the kind of tone and mood and contents required for the time band. Right now, I host the breakfast show called, Big Coffee between 7am to 11am, which is a lot of fun and hard work too!! What would be your message to the budding radio hosts? Well, radio is a great medium for interaction and expression and fun, so you are on the right track if you want to choose radio for a career. Do your bit of homework, listen to lot of radio shows and record fake links at home on your stereo system. Keep a keen eye on the music charts and keep yourself up to date with the city and its happenings and what people are talking about. A radio station is known by the RJs it has, particularly in these times when all stations sound alike. Would you agree? In a way it is true that RJs are key differentiators. However, what also differentiates is the station’s music strategy and the clear positioning that the station has for itself. But a station with cool sounding RJ’s with vibrant personalities would definitely stand out amidst the lot!!!

Snapshot Queries Most treasured possessionI don’t treasure possessions, only people!! Favourite MusicClassic rock, chants Favourite FilmsMade in America, Terminator 2 HobbiesComposing music, dramatics, poetry, writing, mimickry, astrology, films Mantra of lifeDon’t use the noggin too much….let go!!!


NRAI Job Oriented Training Nalin Ranjan Singh, Director NRAI, has a mission, that is to enlighten and enrich the educational experience and provide learning environment to the new generation. NRAI provides the combination of state-of-the-art technology and the guidance of expert faculty to help students become better professionals in their chosen careers. It facilitates the growth of its students through rich academic experience, along with practical exposure in the work place in order to realize their future ambitions. Please tell us something about yourself?

has over 600 students, and this makes us the biggest mass communication institute in India.

I actively participated in theater during my college days. I have received various awards for best actor, best director at national level, while I was doing English (Hons) from Hindu college. After I completed my training in television from TV18, I persued an MBA programme. Once that got over, I started my career by training people and radio-jockeying. I have trained people in cities like Delhi, Agra, Lucknow, Kanpur, Calcutta and have conducted over 600 workshops on radio-kockeying.

What is your view on Radio as a media for the masses?

I have conducted radio-jockey workshops for various institutions like Indraprastha University, St. Stephens, Venkateshwar, and in different countries like Mauritius, Nepal etc. I have been profiled by the BBC, NDTV, Doordarshan, Channel V, T imes of India, Tribune, Indian Express and many others. Presently I am the Director of NRAI School of Mass Communication, Management & Technology, which


Despite the cable television revolution and the reemergence of the print media, the radio industry still has its own place. Right from the rickshaw wala to the top- most CEO’s of all the companies, everyone listens to radio today. Students all across the socio-economic spectrum listen to radio while they are studying. It is there everywhere in autos, buses, canteens. It is the easy accessibility and free transmission of songs and views of RJs, which makes it a true medium for the masses. What kind of radio training does your institute offer? Is it only focused on RJ training or it trains people for all kinds of radio jobs? NRAI School of Mass Communication, Management & Technology offers a 15-day training workshop for Radio-Jockey, apart from this, we also teach radio production, script-writing, marketing and all the other detailed aspects of the radio industry in the longer duration mass communication course. Can you tell us about the scope of radio training in India? The FM revolution has just begun. A total of 700 more radio stations are set to gain licenses in the

January 2008 | Radio Duniya

“The whole concept of Radio Jockey training was conceptualized and executed by us.� third phase, all these new radio stations will require trained man-power. Hence, the scope of radio training is immense. What sets NR AI apart from other broadcasting institutes? We are the oldest broadcasting institute in the market. The whole concept of radio jockey training was conceptualized and executed by us. The first batch was in Delhi in 1996. Our students are well-placed among all the big FM channels across India, Mauritius, Dubai. We have also captured the voice-over/ dubbing and the content industry. What are you views on the growth of radio training in the country, with the growing number of FM channels? As I mentioned earlier, the FM revolution has just begun in India. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates the radio industry is projected to be a Rs 1400 crore industry by 2010. The last few years have been one of growth for the private FM stations, with about 150 private FM stations are already on air. There is little doubt that the current radio industry scenario is one of growth and even more growth. Do you have any plans to set-up your own community/campus radio? We have already applied for the license for the community radio, the students will operate

this radio station. The work has already started. It is very sad to see that people who have already got the license are not utilizing this opportunity to its fullest. We will show Delhi how to use a community radio in the proper sense of the term. The conceptualization for the programmes has already begun and we are ready to rule the airwaves. As soon as the procedural requirements are met, we will start the first true-blue community-campus radio of Delhi. Do you feel there should be greater synergy between the industry demands and the kind of training given to students? We at NRAI believe in providing job-oriented training. All the efforts are made to ensure that the course modules are such that they help the students meet the job requirements and fulfill the industry demand for trained manpower. What is the kind of placement that NRAI guarantees to its students? Radio, for that matter, any mass media is essentially a performance based field, so ultimately the students have to perform to get selected. We, at NRAI give the students all the necessary training according to the industry requirements. After the training is over, we also help the students in the process of applying for all kinds of jobs. We also coach our students on how to face the interview board confidently, and conduct mock audition tests for them.


The institute guides the students on how to make effective and impressive resumes, and finally we provide all the assistance on where and how one needs to apply for jobs in the field of radio. How is NR AI associated with the media industry? NRAI has a very close association with various players of the media industry, be it television or radio. Distinguished media professionals from the field of journalism, radio, and television are a part of our advisory board and our faculty. The students benefit greatly from their experiences and teachings. The full details can be viewed on our website What all does the RJ course cover? The basic radio jockey course contains modules on voice training modulation, scripting, pronunciation, diction clarity, intensive training over the radio console, among other aspects of radio jockeying. What is the present size of your batches? We take 20-25 people in one batch, this ensures that students get the undivided attention of the faculty and can benefit greatly from the course. Are there any expansion plans or franchising initiatives being worked out to meet the industry demands? As we all know, the radio industry is growing by leaps and bounds, so as a responsible and trusted radio training institute, we also have to grow to meet the demands of the industry. We already have a branch in Delhi and Mumbai and very soon we are expanding to Bangalore, Madras and Pune.


January 2008 | Radio Duniya


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Taare baat karein sitare se BIG 92. 7 FM organized an exclusive talkathon – ‘Taare Baat Karein Sitare Se!’ This latest offering from BIG 92.7 FM gave listeners an opportunity to catch the talented actor Aamir Khan, connecting with children and their dreams, across 32 stations of its network! This dream talkathon of ‘Taare Baat Karein Sitare Se!’ came full circle with an exciting ‘Meet & Greet’ organized by BIG 92.7 FM, in Mumbai for some lucky children and Aamir Khan. The ‘Meet & Greet’ with the high-profile star surely came as a blessing in disguise for the kids, especially on the occasion of ‘Christmas’ with a huge cake-cutting ceremony followed by lots of non-stop music, balloons and exciting fun & games. As part of the celebrations, the programme also enabled BIG 92.7 FM to reach out to lucky children across the country by allowing them an opportunity to speak to the superstar himself! The actor was heard counseling and giving away valuable advice to parents on what they should do to support their child’s future, understand the talent in children and realize their true potential. Caller interactions were organized across several stations of BIG 92.7 FM, which were connected through a video-conference facility to Amir Khan in Mumbai.

Radio City crowns the winner of ‘Hands-On SX4’ Bangalore’s Radio Cityzen Mahesh M was crowned the winner of Radio City 91.1FM’s ‘Hands-On SX4’ contest! Beating the stamina and resolve of 24 determined participants by sheer might of will, Mahesh rightfully won the Maruti SX4 by holding onto it for 65 hours. Ushering in the New Year with style and élan, Radio City 91.1FM in association with Maruti and Garuda Mall organized the ‘Hands-On SX4’ contest as the Grand Finale to the FM station’s LIVE broadcast from the Mall. Starting Saturday, December 29, 24 of Bangalore’s Radio Cityzens stood with their hands on the car. The one who touched the car for the longest period of time, would win the sparkling new SX4 to zoom away with. A fully equipped medical team comprising two medical specialists were on stand-by throughout the entire activity. Commenting on the initiative, Rana Barua, National Head – Marketing Radio City 91.1FM said, “We greatly cherish the special bond we share with our listeners in Bangalore and have always stepped ahead to enhance their involvement with us. The concept of the Hands-on Contest has been very successful internationally and the idea was to replicate the same with our listeners in Bangalore with a delightful prize to give away. Thanks to the zeal, fervour and enthusiasm of Bangalore’s Radio Cityzens, our contest was a stupendous success and a ‘Whatte fun’ way to welcome the New Year!”


Big FM Mangalore brings in new year with `elan BIG 92.7 FM, Mangalore welcomed the New Year with a unique celebration of sorts. The BIG 92.7 FM team along with RJ Devdas Kapikad also know as “Thelikeda Bolli” (star of laughter) and RJ Raghavendra visited the Mangalore Central Jail on 1st January 2008 and spent time interacting with the jail inmates. The station also played host to Actress Ramya who interacted with listeners in a special ‘Meet and Greet’ activity. Living up to its brand line of Keli Kelisi life Nimmadagisi! BIG 92.7 FM organized a fun-filled and a memorable day for the inmates of Mangalore Central Jail. The day began with RJs of BIG 92.7 FM entertaining the inmates with songs and jokes followed by a cake cutting ceremony. The RJ’s also interacted with the inmates, taking them on-air to express their views and speak to their families outside. This was a truly emotional moment for the inmates and the BIG FM team. The team also presented a big radio to Mangalore Central Jail authorities. To ensure a wholesome entertainment mix to its listeners, Sandalwood Celebrity - Actress Ramya paid a special visit to the Mangalore studios on 1st January for a ‘Meet and Greet’ with the listeners. Ramya went live on-air with RJ Raghavendra and interacted with the listeners who rushed to the studios just to get a glimpse of her. She spent valuable time with the listeners posing for photographs and interacting with children and later cut the Big New Year cake.

Meow 104.8 FM devises two new properties Meow 104.8 FM, the talk-based radio station for women from Radio Today Broadcasting Ltd, has developed new ways to reach its listeners. It has tied up with Icomm Central to develop, an online shopping website targeted solely at women. Additionally, the radio station, which currently has its presence in Delhi and Kolkata, has designed an on-ground live studio, and has christened it ‘Hum Tum’. The two properties were launched in the Capital on December 28. The new website currently focuses on Delhi, and Icomm Central has tied up with various beauty parlours in Delhi, among others, for free delivery of purchased goods. Meow FM, through a recent contest, chose 19-year-old Manya to be the face of the website. The radio station would promote the website and its various offers, from time to time. On the other hand, according to Gilroy Ashley Tills, Senior Vice President and Head-National Impact, Radio Today Broadcasting Ltd, “Hum Tum had been designed to relay live shows by connecting to the people in and around a particular environment. Hum Tum was launched in the Capital by airing live Meow FM’s three-hour evening drive time show, ‘Tu Tu Meow Meow’. Tills added the property could be used by retailers, who would want more footfalls by having the station’s shows aired from within their premises.


January 2008 | Radio Duniya

Radio City’s ‘Santa’s All Day Dhamaka’ Spreading Christmas cheer and gifts every other hour, Radio City 91.1FM heralded the festive season with an exciting contest ‘Santa’s All Day Dhamaka’ in Mumbai and Delhi. From December 17 to 28, it was ‘Ho! Ho! Ho!’ all the way for Radio Cityzens as they stand to win premium lifestyle goodies in this 2 week festive bonanza. Radio City’s ‘Santa’s All Day Dhamaka’ allowed Radio Cityzens in Mumbai and Delhi to instantly win high value consumer durables and electronic goods every 2 hours! The FM station took the festive buzz outdoor and on-ground as the ‘Whatte Fun’ Santa patroled the city with on-the-spot surprise ‘Fun kits’ up for grabs. Elaborating on the concept for this festive special, Rana Barua, National Head – Marketing, Radio City 91.1FM says, “Be it through our music, out-of-the-box content innovations or exciting festive specials, we are committed to deliver an unmatched

Mantra FM celebrates the Christmas Spirit Christmas is the time of celebration, love, sharing, caring and expressing. It’s the festival of gifts and celebrating life. It’s the festival of Santa, and that’s what Mantra brought to the cities by celebrating Christmas with its audiences. All stations dedicated time to Christmas carols and the melody of “jingle bell, jingle bell” flowed from one show to the other, as Mantra played the role of Santa this Christmas across its stations. There were various on-air contests, Mantra FM asked to people to make unique wishes for their cities and receive exciting gifts from the radio station. It received a tremendous response with people wishing for their cities things like a greener city, more organized traffic and and so on. The Mantra Santa also gave loads of gifts such as special Christmas goody bags, vouchers for monthly grocery, mobile phones, and loads of chocolates, cakes iced with non-stop music, entertainment and love for the city. How could Mantra forget to full fill its duty of spreading the mantra of smiles, even to those innocent children who are deprived of their parents love. Mantra RJ’s along with Mantra Santa had the most wonderful time of there life when they got a chance to spend Christmas Eve with kids at home for orphan’s while singing carols, playing games, enjoying a treat with them and sharing a smile this Christmas. The experience was shared with listeners when kids were also taken on-air with OB connect and their requests were played.

Radio City experience for the discerning listener! ‘Santa’s All Day Dhamaka’ is an actively dynamic, on-the-hour promotion which will infuse a ‘Whatte fun’ festive zing in the lives of Radio Cityzens in Delhi and Mumbai.”

Becil’s revenue shoots up high The Broadcasting Engineering Consultancy India Ltd. (BECIL), a department under the Information and Broadcasting ministry, earned a profit of Rs 79.2 million in the year 2006-2007 as against Rs. 22.7 million a year ago. The turnover rose three-fold during the year, rising to Rs 986.7 million as against Rs 315.2 million in the previous year. The major activities which contributed towards this increase included the successful implementation of common transmission infrastructure (CTI) to private broadcasters during FM Phase II, wherein the company created CTI for 245 FM channels in 87 cities using Prasar Bharati infrastructure spread over the entire country. In addition, Becil executed orders for setting up studios for a large number of FM Phase II broadcasters and

commissioning of Lok Sabha TV channel and multi-media studio for Rashtrapati Bhawan. The company also took up the consultancy and system integration or establishment of interim transmission set ups in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Jaipur, Hyderabad and Bangalore for various FM broadcasters and provided transmission power to broadcasting organisations. In the FM radio sector, the company has orders worth Rs 1.83 billion for bringing up CTI in 87 cities. The company has also submitted a proposal of Rs 977.2 million to the External Affairs Ministry for re-enforcement of radio coverage in Afghanistan involving medium wave and short wave hp transmissions along with studio centres.


Speed Dheena becomes Chennai’s most popluar RJ

Sea Waves on Airwaves

BIG 92.7 FM’s breakfast jock “Speed” Dheena has been recognized as the “Best Male RJ of the year” by Ananda Vikatan, a popular Tamil weekly magazine in Chennai.

With Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) becoming the refreshingly new ‘mantra’ in today’s world, media brands are at the forefront in this mission. With this in mind Hello 106.4FM, Idhaan Right Number, as a part of their CSR initiative has tied up with ‘Indian National Center for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS)’ to give information about the sea conditions everyday on their radio channel.

Speed Dheena who hosts the breakfast show, BIG Vanakkam on BIG 92.7 FM - Chennai is already every Chennaites’ favourite. Hailed as the most popular RJ by Tamil radio listeners, he is well known for his ability to find humor in various situations. He takes entertainment seriously because he seriously wants to keep his audience entertained! His objective is to keep the listeners pepped up at the end of his show. RJ Dheena has recently completed an on-air marathon for 92.7 hours continuously to enter Limca Book of World Records. Speaking about the achievement P.B Ramaswamy, Station Head, BIG 92.7 FM Chennai said, “Our heartiest thanks to Ananda Vikatan for recognizing RJ Dheena’s effort. We would like to thank our listeners who made it possible for Dheena to reach the top position and look forward to their support in the future too”

Red FM ties up with Delhi’s biggest college festivals Red FM Delhi, the ‘station for expression’ of millions of music lovers was the official radio partner for Delhi’s three biggest college events ‘Confluence’, organized by Hansraj college, ‘Mecca’ arranged by Hindu College and ‘Crosswinds’ organised by St. Stephen’s. Keeping in tune with its strategy to target the youth and reach listeners at various touch points, Red FM added much more excitement to these youth festivals.

The information will include the height of the wave, direction and speed of the wind, ocean current, potential fish finding zones and also gives early warnings on depression on the sea, cyclones and tsunami alerts. Hello 106.4FM would air this information 2 to 3 times a day across their radio stations in Chennai, Tuticorin, Tirunelveli and Puducherry. This information will be available 15 to 20 km into the sea so that it can prove to be highly beneficial for the fishermen who are out into the sea to know about the weather conditions. Speaking on this occasion Charles, Head-Marketing, Hello FM said, “This is an initiative taken by Hello FM to help the fishermen who mostly are the victims of any disturbances in the ocean. Through this information we can reach them and keep them aware of the weather conditions so that they can be safe while venturing into the sea. We are glad to join hands with INCOIS for the betterment of the society.” Delhi said, “Along with ground-breaking on-air content, Red FM participates in various on-ground activities to reinforce the bond with our listeners and reach out to them in every possible way. With our interesting concepts surrounding college events we want to reach out to the youth of Delhi and provide a ‘platform of expression’ for the youth.”

During the day, Red FM team were present all through the event to conduct various interactive games at the Red Dhamaal Zone setup at Hindu and Hansraj College. Students won loads of Red FM branded merchandises. Live songs requests were taken from the campus and these were aired on Mera Wala Gana with RJ Smriti. Commenting on this initiative Akash Verma, Station Head


January 2008 | Radio Duniya

‘Chipak Ke Jeeto’ with Big 92.7 FM Living upto its brand-line Suno Sunao, Life Banao! BIG 92.7 FM, in association with Hyundai Motors’ newly launched i10 is hosting the ultimate endurance test, aptly christened – Chipak Ke Jeeto. The contest Chipak Ke Jeeto, a one of its kind challenge, allows the contestant who remains touching the swanky new Hyundai i10 for the longest period, to grab the keys and drive the machine home! Chipak Ke Jeeto conceptualized and presented by BIG 92.7 FM, will be held simultaneously across five major cities of Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kolkata.

Commenting on this one of a kind contest Anand Chakravarthy, Vice President, Marketing – BIG 92.7 FM said, “We have always believed in creating exciting formats to entertain our listeners. Chipak ke Jeeto is the greatest endurance test of all times! And with Hyundai Motors, latest exciting offering - the Hyundai i10, to be won, we are sure to have large participation, across the country. This event, happening simultaneously across 5 stations, is a true Life Banao offering from BIG 92.7 FM delivering a unique entertainment experience to our listeners.”

The call for entries started from December 13, 2007 in Delhi and Bangalore followed by Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kolkata. To be eligible, entries should reach on or before December 25, 2007 and will be followed by medical tests and counseling sessions, before the short-listed finalists are announced. The finalists will then compete with each other to win the car from January 11, 2008 across all 5 locations. ‘Chipak ke Jeeto’ will also have a host of celebrities visit the location and root for the participants. Bangalore in shades of Indigo and Blues On 1st & 2nd December, Bangalore welcomed the winter chill with the best of Jazz & Blues music. The Black Dog Jazz series’ Indigo & Blues International Jazz & Blues Festival was historical in more ways than one. After 15 long years the city saw the celebration of one of the finest genres of music and how! Indigo & Blues International Jazz & Blues series brought to the city some of the best jazz & blues musicians, making it the single biggest tribute to the music form. It seemed like the perfect setting of winter, as the nippy weather blended finely with the music and Black Dog scotch in the sprawling heritage ambience of the Jayamahal palace Hotel. The festival kicked off with some of Bangalore’s well know Barracuda Blues Band. Their performance was followed by the Jazz funk band Junckt and Rajeev Raja. The evening got headier with Global Unity’s Adrian D’souza on the drums and Karl Peters on the bass guitar. The next day started on a high note with the deep bluesy vocals of Peter Isaac’s Chronic Blues Circus. Radha Thomas, the host of Indigo & Blues, the jazz & blues show on Radio Indigo and a popular jazz artiste herself stole the show with her intoxicating vocals giving much credit to Gerard Machado’s excellent work on the guitars. The evening got even better when Konarak Reddy teamed up with French guitarist Bob Bonastre who brought in the beautiful blend of individual styles – Indian & European. The who’s who of the Jazz circuit in Bangalore were seen relishing every riff of the festival. The poolside venue gave the festival the classic touch. All in all, the city was hued in Indigo & Blues!

The Eagles: Only on Radio City 91.1FM In an unbeatable treat for rock enthusiasts in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore, Radio City 91.1FM joined hands with Universal Music in an all-exclusive radio partnership for ‘The Eagles’ much awaited album – ‘Long Road out of Eden’. This is the first full studio rock album from the group in over 28 years. This festive season, Radio City brought The Eagles’ fans a true-blue rock experience by bringing their brand new album only on the FM station’s sassy and glamourous show - City City Bang Bang. As part of this association, Radio City conducted a 3 day Eagles’ Special on ‘City City Bang Bang’ in these cities from Dec 24-26, 2007. Speaking on the association, Rana Barua, National Head Marketing, Radio City 91.1FM said, “We are extremely excited to present one of the most awaited albums of the season on City City Bang Bang. This show sees tremendous response from listeners and is a great platform to capture the excitement on the new album. All our associations are driven on the basis of the value we can jointly offer to our discerning listener. So, be it the best in adult contemporary music that he wants to listen to or the most exciting entertainment options, we are here to give our listener just that – a ‘Whatte Fun’ experience!”


ommun ty Rad o

Community Radio for Women Literacy: Insights and Lessons from an Indian Experiment Community Radio for Education In the last fifty years radio has been utilised for education in many parts of the world, especially for adult literacy. The first attempt to use radio in India for education was a pilot project known as ‘Rural Radio Forum’ initiated after Independence. Rural Radio Forum was modelled around Canadian Rural Radio Forum’s first broadcast in 1941. In spite of Rural Radio Forum’s success beyond expectation, within 15 years, it was closed down and few years later, there were no functional rural radio forums in India. In 1984, the All India Radio (AIR) established its first local radio station at Nagercoil, (Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu). Nagercoil radio station gave a

Opinion on the use of radio for education, especially of women’s education, has been recommended, though concrete research findings are scanty. And the ones available are limited to small “experiments” and “projects”. Findings of one such attempt of radio use for women literacy has been discussed here.

Project in Radio Education for Adult Literacy (PREAL) Consistent with the New Education Policy (1986), the Government of India initiated National Literacy Mission (NLM) to eradicate illiteracy from the country. One among several methods under consideration was the use of radio to improve the pace and quality of the literacy teaching-learning process. The “Project in Radio Education for Adult Literacy” (PREAL) was carried out to impart literacy through radio and support the awareness and functionality components of PREAL. The Directorate of Adult Education, Government of India, selected approximately 3,600 Adult Education Centres in the Hindi speaking states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh spread in 10 districts covering eight All India Radio (AIR) stations. On an average, thirty adult learners were selected for each Adult Women Education Centre. In this way, about 108,000 women learners were selected to participate in PREAL.

PREAL used radio to promote literacy skills Inauguration of Community Hall at Samakhiali village (reading only) and to facilitate teaching of constructed as part of the earthquake rehabiliation programme

meaningful direction in the use of radio for education and development. Radio for adult literacy was reported in West Bengal by Basu (1992) who found positive gains in adult learning from radio. Recently, Ghosh, reported use of radio for adult literacy. Dighe and Reddi also indicated liberating power of ICT for women’s education. In neighbouring Sri Lanka, local radio was used for adult learning with some degree of success. Similar efforts have also been made in the AsiaPacific region.

literacy in Adult Women Education Centres. The underlying premise was that 15-20 minutes of radio broadcast once a week (and its repeat broadcast as well as repetitive use in the nonbroadcast mode) would reinforce learning among women and supplement teaching of literacy skills by instructors. Specially designed Radio primer was used as a supplementary tool to the adult literacy primer. Instructors were trained to coordinate lessons from both primers. The major thrust of radio broadcast was on literacy learning (reading of standard Hindi) and teaching. Specifically, it focused on enabling the adult learners to read with the help of radio primer. 43

The core content of the radio programmes were focused on learning and teaching of reading skills. The radio programmes were presented in a graded pattern. At the end of twenty-six radio lessons, the adult learners were expected to read and recognise all Hindi words along with the words from their active vocabulary. Quite clearly, PREAL being a complex endeavour, several factors like radio, print primers, quality of instructions, motivational levels of the learners, physical, administrative and social environment of learning affected the overall outcome of the project. Radio broadcast in PREAL was only one of the many components, which cumulatively were likely to influence learning. At the grassroots, women learners participated in PREAL. For each Adult Women Education Centre an instructor (as far as possible a local educated woman) was selected and trained for organising and running the adult literacy programme and to use radio-cum-tape recorder (two-in-one). In each Adult Women Education Centre, 30 women learners in 3600 villages were selected. In this way, 1,08,000 women learners were the participants of PREAL.

PREAL Assessment In order to assess the specific contribution of radio in the women’s learning, the project was evaluated using field experimental design. The design included pre and post measures in experimental (adult women learners having normal teaching and access to radio broadcast) and control (adult women learners having only normal teaching) groups. Two per cent or 72 Adult Women Education Centres equally divided among the eight districts and nine matching control Adult Women Education Centres were selected. All the 30 women learners of each selected centre were interviewed. Finally, 4320 women learners (2160 experimental and 2160 control) constituted the sample of the survey. All the 144 instructors of selected Adult Women Education Centres were also interviewed in the survey. However, no more than 3326 respondents were interviewed from 181 Adult Women Education Centres (95 experimental and 86 control) in pre survey, Among them, only 2367 could be interviewed from 154 Adult Women Education Centres in post survey.

Rural Context In PREAL villages one or the other dialect of Hindi was spoken. In almost 95 per cent villages, agriculture was the major means of livelihood. The 44

other commonly found activity was dairy and/or animal husbandry. The development activity in these villages was somewhat lopsided. The national and regional political parties were active in these villages, having 77.3 per cent functioning village council (panchayat). Almost half of the villages were physically segregated on caste lines. More than 88 per cent villages had schools for primary education and above. Rajasthan had the distinction of having a school for every village. It is in this rural backdrop that the Adult Women Education Centres were organised. They were mostly located in the central part of the village or in the instructors’ home. These centres were organised in convenient pucca large or small rooms.

Instructors Over 90 per cent of the instructors were women, as per the design of the project. More than half of the instructors (50.3 per cent) had an education between class nine and twelve. This level of education was thought to be sufficient to teach adult women learners, as decided by the project planners. As many as 54.5 per cent instructors owned radio and frequently listened to entertainment programmes. Similarly, 44.7 per cent instructors watched some television and 77.3 per cent had some exposure to cinema. But only 18.9 per cent read newspapers more than once or twice a week. On the whole, media exposure, except radio, was low. Instructors were especially trained for PREAL by State and District level trainers in the operation and maintenance of radio and teaching methodology. In addition, every instructor was trained for Improved Pace and Content of Learning, (IPCL) though 52.3 per cent instructors had not participated in any IPCL training before.

Radio for PREAL In the experimental Adult Women Education Centres, the instructors were given a 12 volt radio-cum-cassette recorder or two-in-one and three audio cassettes and batteries for recording and replaying the radio lessons. Radio Reader or Akashvani Pathmala was given to supplement the efforts of women learners. IPCL primers were given to all learners. Radio sets were available for use to 70.6 per cent instructors before the start of PREAL, whereas 29.4 per cent received it after the programme had started. The sad part was that no more than 47.1 per cent radio sets were in working condition, though there were inter-state variations, highest being Bihar (63.2 per cent) and lowest in Madhya January 2008 | Radio Duniya

Pradesh (27.3 per cent). Observations indicated that the instructors were not clear about the use and purpose of the blank cassettes provided to them (32.2 per cent instructors did not record any programme, 27.9 per cent instructors recorded between one and nine programmes and remaining recorded from 10-26 programmes). Radio lessons were useful for 78.2 per cent instructors. After the completion of the PREAL more instructors had favourable opinion about the adult education (from 75.0 per cent to 83.8 per cent). Opinion about the usefulness of PREAL was positive in all states. Comprehension of radio programms by adult women learners according to the instructors became difficult with increasing complexity of lessons.

Women Learners In line with the objectives of PREAL more than 90 per cent adult learners were females. Most of the adult learners belonged to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes at whom the National Literacy Mission was aimed. Among women learners there were 16.7 per cent literate women. In this respect, PREAL managed to cater the targeted adult women learners to a very large extent. Tests of functional numeric and reading ability before the start of PREAL indicated one out of 12 or about 8 per cent women learners were literate. This finding was not surprising as 16.7 per cent women learners reported having formal education. Most adult learners joined the adult literacy programme of their own choice, referred to as “self desired� learners. The externally persuaded adult learners were over 40 per cent who joined the programme because they were enrolled by the instructor or Prerak. The distribution of Radio Reader was disappointing among the adult learners. Radio Reader was not received even by one fourth of the adult learners by the end of PREAL (availability improved from 14.5 per cent to 24.4 per cent by the time the PREAL was over). The Adult Women Education Centres did not function regularly. Inter-state analysis indicated that in Madhya Pradesh, it was most irregular whereas, in Rajasthan it was most regular having difference of almost 1:7. It seems there were inherent structural difficulties in running the adult women education centres on a regular basis.

Literacy Gains from Radio Lessons Women learners, in spite of several difficulties like lack of supply of books and educational material, low attendance, understood the advantages of

the ability to read and write. It is this reason why a large majority of the women learners had favourable response towards adult women literacy programme. Overall very little difference was found between the experimental and control groups as far as ability of reading of sentences and words were concerned. Further, no appreciable differences in gain were found between women learners of experimental and control groups, thereby reflecting little or no contribution of radio lessons in accelerating the teaching, learning process during PREAL. Given all the problems associated in the implementation of PREAL and dropouts of the women learners at every stage, it is difficult to isolate any contribution of radio especially when only 61.5 per cent or 796 out of the total 1295 women learners in the experimental group claimed to have attended PREAL literacy classes, and only 42.5 per cent or 551 had heard the radio lessons at varying frequencies in which only 4.9 per cent could listen to 22 to 26 radio programmes.

Conclusion In conclusion, it would be difficult to say that radio intervention in the women literacy programme, in any way, positively contributed in improving the attendance, due to low use of radio. On the other hand, it was encouraging to observe that radio broadcasts acted as facilitators in improving the teaching and learning situation and also helped increase interaction between learners and the instructors. Women learners, who attended the classes gained from the adult literacy programme and became literate. Hence, more than pedagogy, the techniques of appropriate management, operation and implementation need to be worked out for the success of the programme. In PREAL while usefulness of radio was indicated, the contributions of radio in accelerating the learning process could not be fully realised as radio broadcast remained marginal due to several factors. This needs to be further explored to define the role of radio in the adult literacy programme.

Dr. Binod C. Agrawal is Vice Chancellor, Himgiri Nabh Vishwavidyalaya, Dehradun (Uttarakhand), and Director, TALEEM Research Foundation, Ahmedabad.





dio a R s pu m a ANNA 90.4 FM is the first campus based Community Radio in C e the country. It is aired from the smallest, completely digital, tape th less, and multi purpose studio at Anna University. It is broadcasted on seven days a week between 7.00AM to 6.00PM

As a non-commercial station, ANNA FM takes pride in being an alternative to mainstream media, and offers the public a forum for expressing their views, that otherwise may not be heard. A small staff, several volunteers from the Educational Multimedia Research Centre and the Department of Media Sciences, coordinators and over 50 general volunteers drawn from the Anna University and community at large run the station. ANNA FM has a variety of programmes supporting the involvement of students, service announcements, event announcements and socially relevant stories for on-air broadcast. Educational Multimedia Research Centre, Anna University is one of the seventeen media centres established by the University Grants Commission to produce Educational Television (ETV) programmes for the college students. Consortium for Educational Communication (CEC) coordinates the activities of media centres. Anna FM 90.4 has just completed three years of successful broadcasting dedicated to the cause of community development in its coverage zone. They have archived over 5000 hours of quality broadcast content in these three years with the co-operation of the community, partner organisations, faculty and students of the Department of Media Sciences, Anna University.

Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. Launched in July 2005, the project is a community radio initiative in participatory science communication for disadvantaged women in the Anna FM coverage zone. The objective of the project is to impart scientific awareness for everyday living through Anna FM and thereby enhance their livelihoods. Among the several programmes aired on Anna FM, the weekly live show with the community “Samuthaya Nerkanal” has completed three years of continuous broadcast and has succeeded in forming three self-help groups for the women listeners.

Programmes at ANNA FM Music Anna FM is very careful about the broadcast rights. It produces its own music. Young talented musicians are brought to the studio and their music is recorded. Preference is given to instrumental music. A Gold CD is gifted to each

Being at first Campus Community Radio in the country, a number of Community Radio aspirants (Over fifty of them) have been visiting them to learn about the Anna FM set up and seek guidance on the nuances of running a Campus Radio Station – Programming, Editing, Administration, Finance, Training and Sustainability. Anna FM was awarded a year long “Science for Women” project titled ‘Sakthi Arivayadi’ by the


January 2008 | Radio Duniya

performer as a token of appreciation. Anna FM retains the broadcast rights. Programme for the visually challenged The National Institute for Visually Handicapped has a branch in Chennai. It produces audio cassettes for the visually challenged students. Anna FM has allotted an hour per day to broadcast these materials so that the visually challenged in and around the coverage area can benefit. The service started in August 2004. Arokiya Vazhvu: (Building a Health Community) Anna FM organises interviews with health experts and doctors on various diseases. The impact of these diseases are discussed. The program also focuses on Siddha medicine, Naturopathy,Yoga and Ayurveda. Lifestyle Programme: (The Pulse of Community) Lifestyle programme is one of the main programmes of Anna FM. It discusses the lifestyle of the marginalised sections of the community. Discussions with snake charmers, gypsies, watchmen are examples of the same.

National gold medal winners have been inducted into the Champions Development scheme, and weekly interviews about their achievements are broadcast. Career Guidance This programme is on air every Saturday. It is an inspirational and motivational programme for youngsters, giving live examples of success stories. It is about developing positive attributes and qualities within an individual which will help him/her to succeed in life. Prof.B.Ravishankar, Management Training Division, SISI Govt. of India, and General Director of IMET, (Institute of Management Education and Training) co-ordinates the programme. Community Pulse This slot deals with issues that are currently pulsating in the community. So far topics such as awareness on HIV, tree planting, women SHGs, community maintenance of

Police Community Interaction Every Sunday at 4.00pm, the Chennai city police officials interact with the community on traffic problems, methods of preventing cyber crimes etc. From inception, this weekly programme has got a tremendous response from the community. Muyarchi Thiruvinaiyakkum: An Effort to Include the Differently Abled An interaction with differently abled children, their parents and special educators is organised. The programme empowers the participants. Vidhyasagar, and before that the Spastics Society of India have partnered Anna FM.

beaches, community views on National Anthem, superstition and a host of other topics, benefiting the community have been covered.

English Language Programme: Mind Your Language This programme is aimed at enhancing spoken and written English, interview etiquettes, improving vocabulary etc. The English Department of Anna University brings out the programme and it is highly appreciated by the community.


Illam Sadhanaiallargal Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu has tied up with Anna FM for this programme .

The content of the programmes are to improve the livelihoods of the community. Community involvement is the key for Anna FM’s success.

Anna University holds the unique distinction of having on its sprawling campus, India’s first campus Community Radio, Anna FM. It has been able to realise its Community Radio objectives since its inception on February 1, 2004. Everyday 11 hours of programmes are aired.


A first even before the first One seldom has in one’s hands a book that comes at the right place and at the right moment. This is one of those. Let me start with some comments that have everything to do with the content-matter of the book recently published by SAGE India. Dangerous moving landscape My overall impression when looking at Indian television is that it has been hijacked by commercial interests. TV networks have mushroomed in recent years, but browsing through hundreds of channels, one has the impression of looking at mirror images of each other. General human values, development concerns and/or Indian culture are absent, unless we concede that Indian culture is what has been modelled by Bollywood during the past three decades, and not the millenary culture that has been so influential in humanity. What would Gandhiji say today? While in Delhi last November, I attended the National Press Day celebration organised by the Press Council of India. The Honorable Speaker Shri Somnath Chatterjee read a strong statement comparing the media in India before and after Independence; his remarks about mass media in modern India were dramatic: “Some channels have not scrupled at compromises with the truth”, media is now a “profit-making venture”, “profit should not be the sole criterion when it comes to news and views”… He and other panellists mentioned the lack of social responsibility in Indian mass media, which has generally turned its back to social development issues, in favour of sensationalism. Mass media seems to be the only unregulated sector in Indian society, left to the dictates of “free enterprise,” which has replaced the soul of “freedom of expression”.

acknowledgment that community media has a place in society. Although the declared intention is to support community media in view of its role in social development, the restrictions imposed could hamper – rather than promote - the establishment of local media, which contributes to the well-being of communities. While countries such as South Africa, Canada, Australia or Ireland, to name a few, place no strict restrictions, the Indian legislation impedes community radio stations to air news or to generate significant income through advertising to achieve sustainability. South Africa, for example, includes among the purposes of community radio, “to ensure plurality of news, views and information…” and “encourages members of the community served by it or persons associated with it or promoting the interests of such community to participate in the selection and provision of programmes to be broadcast in the course of such broadcasting service…” In spite of its limitations, the legislation on community radio in India was welcomed by the independent radio movement world-wide, because it recognises that community radio is a sector distinct from commercial and public media.

Regulating the right to communicate

It is foreseen that within the next three or four years, hundreds (if not thousands) of community radio stations will be granted licences to operate. Hundreds have already applied and some of them, such as Radio Sangam in Machnoor, Zaheerabad (Andhra Pradesh), are ready to air, with all the necessary equipment, transmitter, antenna, staff and hundreds of hours of already produced programming, on issues that are relevant to the community.

The Indian Government has enacted in 2006 a legislation that regulates the would-be community radio sector. For a country that has scarce or no regulation for commercial media, this is a paradox, even if on the other hand it is also an

So far, one year after the legislation was enacted no community radio station has been awarded by the Indian government with a license to operate. Only campus radio stations from main universities in the country are allowed so far; however they are

Ironically, a new sector of media, community radio, is the most regulated one so far, even if it is only about to be born.


January 2008 | Radio Duniya

not strictly-speaking community radio stations for development and lack the participatory processes that are indispensable for decision making.

A first even before the first All the important issues above, and many more are tackled by the book “Other Voices – the struggle for community radio in India�, a first and innovative critical approach that is the result of various years of research and analysis, authored by Vinod Pavarala and Kanchan K. Malik. Vinod is a professor of communication and Dean at the Sarojin Naidu School of Communication, University of Hyderabad; whereas Kanchan is a Lecturer at the same university and school. The book includes a wealth of information, distributed in chapters that cover the most important issues related to community radio. Although written mainly for India and the South Asian region (using terms that are not used elsewhere, such as crore or lakh), it includes a useful chapter with comparative information and analysis about legislation in South Africa, Ireland, Canada, United States and Australia. Community radio in India is analysed comprehensively in the perspective of history and development of public and commercial broadcasting in the country, pre and post colonial times. However, this is not just a well-informed academic exercise. A full chapter is devoted to describing, comparing and analysing four grassroots experiences of would-be community radio in India, namely: a) Alternative for India Development (AID) project in Daltonganj (Jharkhand); b) Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan (KMVS) project in Bhuj (Gujarat); Voices project in Budhikote (Karnataka); and d) Deccan Development Society (DDS) project in Pastapur (Andhra Pradesh). The history of each initiative, the constraints and the current degree of development is portrayed. The authors did not just read about them; they visited each site numerous times for research purposes. This chapter of the book only represents a fraction of the research; however the conceptual framework of the whole book has no doubt benefited from in-depth analysis of those four pioneering projects. Each case study, different as it may be, has a common thread: the right to communicate for all people in India, particularly the poorest of the poor.

Participatory development for social change At least half of the book focuses on the conceptual analysis of community radio in relation with important development issues. Participatory


communication is an essential hinge of the authors’ reflections on the need to further develop community radio in India. The authors have a deep knowledge and understanding of the theory that exists in the world related to the right to communicate and participatory development, so they are not short of appropriate references as they grab the issues that are relevant to India. Their analysis covers both national and international key conferences and workshops that have allowed the conceptual framework of participatory communication for social change to develop and become, as it is today, a cornerstone for economic, social and political development.

and “awakening abilities of self-expression”, and also for “building solidarities”; in other words, for contributing to the strengthening of social capital. Issues of culture and identity are central to the analysis. The chapter that follows focuses on community radio for empowerment, with particular attention to the gender dimension. This is particularly vital in India, where many of the grassroots communication activities are led by women. Actually, three out of the four initiatives that have been studied, are carried-out by women-only collectives. Women seems to bear the knowledge, the creativity and the strength to carry out the most enduring challenges in communication. Because this book is the first on its genre and aims to pave the way for the development of community radio in India, it not only contains important reflections and analysis on all the issues mentioned above, but also includes a useful Appendix section with a number of documents that are key to understand the issue of community radio; documents such as the “Supreme Court Judgment on Airwaves” (1995), the “Bangalore Declaration on Radio” (1996), the “Pastapur Initiative on Community Radio Broadcasting” (2000), the “Executive Summary of Recommendations for a Policy on Community Radio Broadcasting in India” (2004), and, naturally, the “Policy Guidelines for setting up Community Radio Stations in India, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India” (2006). It may sound ironical that the first book on community radio in India is published at a juncture where no real community radio yet exists in the country. However, the vision that the authors and the publisher had in anticipating events is to be praised. No one can now say that India ignores the main issues concerning community radio, its philosophy, its main characteristics, its contribution to development and social change. From now on, on the basis of this knowledge and the cumulated experience at the grassroots level, the way is wide open for the blossoming of community radio in India, and thus, in Asia.

Alfonso Gumucio-Dagron “Revitalising Civil Society – Forging Counterpublics with Community Radio” (Chapter 6), is particularly important for the understanding of the various roles of community radio in the globalised world. In the midst of the powerful trend of non-regulated media globalisation, the local alternative becomes increasingly important in terms of “nurturing local language and culture”, as it is for capacity duilding


is a development communication specialist and author. He is the Managing Director for Programmes at the Communication for Social Change Consortium.

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