Broadcast Journalism

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How to Write a Radio Script

·           Formulate a story idea. Outline your characters, plot, setting, conflict and resolution.

·           Write a narrative of the story. Put the “meat” of the story on the bones of your outline. Always keep the limitations of radio in mind. You are writing for listeners, not viewers.

·           Divide the narrative into scenes, with good descriptions of setting, character, and sound effects.

·           Write the dialogue based on your narrative. Let your characters and sound effects give the listener a clear picture of the action in their mind.

Put the story into radio script format. This includes:

a. Write a page heading. This is used to specify what program or episode you’re working on and what page you are on in the script. It should be placed across the top of the page.

b. Write a scene heading. This specifies the scene number, description of the scene’s location, and time of day.

c. Include script cues. There are three things a listener mainly retains from a radio drama: dialogue, music, and sound effects. Each of these audio components is identified as a “cue”-because they happen at a given time in the script and the director may have to instruct someone (“cue them”) to produce it.

d. Insert music cues. Varying emotions can be achieved through the choice of music. Clearly written instructions regarding music cues will greatly assist the cast and crew in influencing the mood of a given scene.

e. Include the dialogue cues. This helps the director and the actors prepare themselves for proper timing and execution.

f. Insert the sound effect cues. Sound effects help to establish the scene or depict action. Sound effect cues are always underlined.

g. Compose your production notes. Engineers, cast or crew require specific instructions that are handled as production notes–comments from the writer on how to coordinate cues or achieve particular effects. These need to be clear and precise.

·           Edit your radio script after letting it sit for a few hours or days. A fresh set of eyes will help you catch any mistakes in grammar or plot. Consider having a third-party scrutinize the script for you.

·           Present the script to your producer or editor and make revisions as necessary.

Tips & Warnings

·  Radio scripts are the blueprints of your presentation. There is seldom time in radio programs for script memorization so your notes and cues must be precise to achieve the results in real time.

·  Detail the setting and characters as much as possible, so the actors and actresses can embody the characters, and the sound-effects operator can plan his effects.

·  Always remember you are writing for listeners, not viewers or readers.

Writing for Radio

Do you have ambitions to break into writing for the performing arts? There’s plenty of scope. Radio and television in particular eat up material with an insatiable appetite. To break in, however, you need writing and marketing techniques different from those required in conventional publishing.

You’ll have a far greater chance of breaking into television if you’ve already established yourself in writing for radio. Radio is the best starting point by far for new writers, especially new playwrights.

Radio allows far more freedom than TV. Anything goes. You can:

·           Cast as many characters as you like, because the actors can play more than one part.

·           Take the listener anywhere in the world with appropriate sound effects.

·           Set your play against any kind of background in any kind of weather, in daylight or darkness.

In television, all productions are subject to budget constraints.

Listen to as much radio as you can. Tape programmes you like and analyse them, noting, for example:

·                  How many scenes?

·                  How long are the scenes?

·                  How many changes of scene?

·                  How many players per scene?

·                  How many players in total?

·                  What kind of dialogue?

·                  What sound effects?

Note the names of producers whose work appeals to you, and try sending your script to them.

Finding Markets

The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) is one of the biggest markets for freelance writers. Radios 3 and 4 broadcast around 500 plays a year between them, and with the coming of digital radio, new channels are opening up all the time. There are opportunities for comedy, drama, short stories, panel game ideas … the scope is as wide as your imagination.

The best source of information by far is the BBC website ( where you can access ‘The Writer’s Room’. Here you’ll find all the appropriate addresses and guidelines for script submissions, including the required script formats. If you’re not on the Internet, beg or bribe a friend to download the information for you.

If you’re interested in writing comedy, you can subscribe (free) to the Entertainment Writers’ e-mail newsletter, and apply for tickets so you can attend programme recordings.

                                                                                   RJ TALK SHOW

 Signature tune of the radio station8 seconds
RJ- Good morning people, you are tuned into 9.11 . This Seanna you RJ giving you a wake up call. 5 seconds
 “Society Tea “Sponsor of the show15 seconds Jingle
RJ: Salaam Mumbai hope you are up and moving . In the light of the recent pulwama incident that shook the country to the core I have here with me Sir Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar the director general of the central reserve police force who will sharing more details on the same. Welcome to the show Sir Rajiv and we are happy to have you here with us. 10 seconds
Sir; Thank you for inviting me here . The country is still reeling from the affects of the pulwama attack. 5seconds
RJ: That’s true. Our first question is : Were  there any intelligence reports of the attack occurring ? If yes why weren’t they taken seriously? 5 seconds
Sir- There are baseless rumours that the intelligence received unconfirmed information  /threats a few days about the attack. However the intelligence keeps receiving unconfirmed threats which could not be proved hence they might have been not acted upon. 8 seconds
RJ: Our second question is “How did the terrorists Lay their hands on the explosives weighing 350 kgs and transport them through a protected highway? 5 seconds
Sir-This is a question that is on everyone’s mind. The attack caused a lot of speculation and the same is still under investigation 8 seconds
RJ- Why our soldiers still using sub standard defence equipments  despite a steady rise in  the annual budget 5 seconds
Sir- With the annual budget just being closed I am sure that there will new technology and equipment provided to defence personnel 5 seconds
RJ-Does the army see the  retaliatory strike as a means to justify the attack? 5 seconds
Sir- There are varied opinions that being shared on all social media about the retaliatory strike. In my personal view war is not the answer and I would support a peace collaboration with Pakistan to end this conflict. 8 seconds
RJ- What are the security measures taken after the pulwama attack? Are there any funds being raised 5 seconds
Sir- Going back to what I have said earlier there is much speculation on the attack and investigations are yet going on. However stricter and more stringent measures are being put into place to ensure the safety of defense personnel. With regard to the question of fund, we cannot do anything without the funds hence the same will have to be raised.  10 seconds
RJ: With that being said we are at that part of the show where you Sir answer a question from one of our dedicated listeners 5 seconds
 Phone ring tune3 seconds
Caller- My name is Subramanian. Sir Rajiv it is such a privilege to talk to you. My question is what according to you at this stage is important ? Is it to strengthen the basic availability of equipment or invest big looking at the future of potential war ?  5 seconds
Sir- We are definitely looking to strengthen security and make better equipment available. War has never been and will never be the answer  5 seconds
RJ- Thank you Mr Subramanian for calling in. We hope you have a nice day. 3 seconds
RJ- With this we conclude our talk show for the morning. Thank you Sir Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar for making time out of your busy schedule to be her with us and enlighten us.  5 seconds
Sir- Thank you for inviting me to this discussion. It was indeed a pleasure to be here. 5 seconds
 Signature Show tune4 seconds

 TV Talk Show

 Channel IDChannel ID graphic 10 seconds
 Programme IDProgramme ID graphic 10 seconds
Anchor- Good morning. In consideration of the recent pulwama attacks that has shaken the country we have Sir Rajiv Rai Bhatnaghar- the director general of the central reserve police force here with us today. Anchor-110 seconds
 Background music  5 seconds
Sir- Thank you so much for having me here today. The country is still in a state of turmoil post the recent pulwama attack Sir Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar13 seconds
Anchor-The Jammu-Srinagar highway is the main connecting route between the two regions of the state. It is the most utilised route for mobilisation of the troops connecting the two different regions. Numerous attacks have happened on this route. Is the highway secure for the movement of troops anymore? How will the route be secured if India decides to go on a full-scale strategic escalation against Pakistan? What are the mechanisms in place to secure the highway ? Anchor110 seconds
Sir – As of now we have no intentions of escalating with Pak, but if we were we would we can not give an info as to how we would go about securing the route as it could use a means of counter intelligence against our forces  Sir Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar1 7 seconds
Anchor- Do you feel an escalation of war with Pakistan is the right answer instead of a joint operation against the common terror cell and furthering the talks of peace?        Anchor1 6 seconds
Sir –   We do not promote war. War is bad for everyone and this will be taken care of systematically. However if the terrorists take another move, there will stand a chance for an attack on the specific threat.  Sir Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar Split screen6 seconds
Anchor – 6)Do you’ll intend to increase operations along the borders?   Anchor1 4 seconds
Sir – Yes we do intend to increase operations along the border i.e., increasing the number of soldiers at the borders. Which means more training and more supplies. The budget has been approved. Sir Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar1  6 seconds
Anchor -Does the army see the retaliatory strike as a means to justify the attack? Anchor16 seconds
Sir-“The death of our officers shall not go in vain” – Pm Modi. The army could not agree more on this and they feel it is absolutely justified to fight fire with fire. Sir Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar1   10 seconds
Anchor-What are the security measures taken after the pulwama attack? Are there any funds being raised  Anchor16 seconds
Sir- There is much speculation and investigations  are going on looking into the attack. However security measures are being put into place for the safety of the defense personnel Sir Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar17 seconds
Anchor- Thank you for being on the show. It was a pleasure speaking with you.   Anchor15 seconds
Sir- Thank you for inviting me to this discussion. Sir Rajiv Rai BhatnagarSplit Screen5 seconds
 Programme IDProgramme ID Graphic 10 seconds
 Channel IDChannel ID Graphic   10 seconds

Overview of impact of important newspaper

The first newspaper in India was the Bengal Gazette or Calcutta General Advertiser   , which began to publication on January 29, 1780.  It was a two-sheet paper with three columns on either side. Each page measured 12”X 8”. The Indian Gazette secured postal concessions from the Governor General, Warren Hastings. This provoked Hicky to be vindictive and abusive of Warren Hastings. Hicky was put on trail and was convicted. He was given a jail term of one year, a fine of Rs 5,000 and asked to pay damages of Rs 500 to Hasting. The trail came about when Hicky could not offer a bail of Rs 80,000. He was arrested in June 1781. The Bengal Gazette continued to appear regularly and in the same aggressive manner. Hicky lampooned Hastings and all members of the government. In 1782 four or more cases were filed against Hicky and his types were sized. With it came the end of the paper.

                               In 1784 came the Calcutta Gazette, and in February 1795 came the Bengal journal. In April 1795 came the oriental magazine, a monthly. All these publications generally carried news about the European community in India and their social lives.

                              Circulation, of all these publications was between 100 and 300 copies. They, nevertheless, marked the beginning of the Indian press. Newspaper were evolving both in serious content as well as presentation

Till 1818, all newspaper published in India were in English language. All of them were owned and edited by Englishmen. That year, tow Bengali journals came out; Dig Darshan and Samachar Darpan. Even though the two were in Bengali, they were started by Baptist missionaries, to propogate their faith.  The two journals, however, awakened readers to the possibilities of running newspapers in Bengali. The missionaries also strated an English monthly, the friend of India. This was later merged with the statesman

   In March 1921, Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, a member of the Viceroy’s executive council in charge of law, set up a committee with himself as chairman, to study the implications of repeal of the press Act. The committee recommended that;

1.        The press act should be abolished

2.        The newspaper (incitement to offences) Act should repealed.

3.        The press and registration  of books act, the sea customs act, and the post office act should be amended where necessary to met the following conditions

A)  The name of the editor should be inscribed on every issue of a newspaper, and the editor should be subjected to the same liabilities as the printer and the publisher, as regards criminal and civil responsibility.

B)   Any person registering under the press and registration of books act should be major as defined by the Indian majority act.

C)   Local government should retain the power of confiscating openly seditious leaflet, subject to the owner of the press or any person  aggrieved, being able to protest  before a court and challenge the seizure of any such documents in which case the local government ordering confiscation should be called upon to prove the seditious character of the document .



Saranya Fa


G)     freelancer

H)   Newspapers have become an essential part of modern life. The modern man starts his day by reading over the news with a cup of tea. Equally unimaginable is a morning without the daily newspaper for some people. It is because newspapers are seen everywhere in the world. They are printed and published in each and every language known to man all over the world. Newspapers are called ‘the mirrors of the world’. They reflect and report the trends and happening from all parts of the world. Usually, they cover every aspects of life- national, international, local, social, political, cultural etc. They design in a complete picture of our day-to-day life. This is why from the all powerful presidents, prime ministers and CEOs to the unemployed youth and job seekers, all begin their day by reading the dailies.

I)          Newspapers are the guardians of democracy. They keep the general peoples well-informed to the world about the goings on. Well-informed public is essential for the success of a democracy. People have to be made aware of all the important happenings. Newspapers perform the duty of making people aware of everything. They form the public opinion and turn the people for or against the moves of the rulers. This is why even the most fears one dictator is afraid of the press. They picture every aspect including jokes, matrimonial, huddles, scientific facts, and cinemas etc.

J)          Besides, newspapers also add to the knowledge of the readers by informing them about the new discoveries, inventions and products. The magazine selections of newspapers provide a colorful bouquet of information and entertainment.

K)   The advertisement published in the newspapers also serves a great purpose. Matrimonial advertisements help people to find suitable life partners. Newspapers also help people to buy and sell property.

L)        Newspapers help the job seekers to find suitable jobs through the ‘wanted’ columns. Advertisements help a great deal boosting up sales of the consume products and others. Newspaper also helps people in investing the money wisely in the stock-market. Catering to every taste and every need, newspapers present the whole world. Totally they play a vital role in life and part of human beings.

How to Write a Feature Story for TV News

A feature story for TV news can be more difficult to write than a hard news story. There are rules that govern hard news coverage, but feature stories are all about the reporter’s storytelling ability. A “feature” is a story with limited hard news value that is still worthy of being featured on television. Examples of this type of story are festivals, parades and “good news” human-interest stories.


o   1

Ask yourself why someone would care about the feature story. It is not enough that you or your co-workers find it interesting. The reporter must make the viewers care. Look for a theme that will appeal to most people. This could be a struggle against adversity, selfless work for a good cause, or something really funny or unique.

o   2

Think about your pictures first. Visuals are more important in a feature story than a TV news story. A news story can be driven by facts, but a feature story must have compelling pictures, or there is no reason to show it. Consider the pictures you have and can get, then build the rest of the story around them.

o   3

Interview people with the pictures in mind. Ask your interviewees specific questions that relate to your visuals and encourage them to reference the pictures. Make your interviews dynamic and active. Talk to the subjects while walking around an environment that has significance to the story. Interviews with people like festival cooks, animal handlers and cheerleaders always make for good TV.

o   4

Let the feature story tell itself. Walking and talking with an interview subject often works well in a feature story. Allowing him to talk while showing compelling video over his words is also a great device. Use plenty of natural sound in a feature story. Watching and listening to people going about their lives tells a great story without the reporter doing a thing.

o   5

Craft your feature story to build curiosity. Fill in the gaps by leading the viewers gently through the story. Use as few words as possible. Introduce the main subjects of the feature story, get viewers to care about them, present the challenges they face, then reveal the resolution or what is left to be done. The reporter’s job is to get the audience engrossed in the story.

News readers and news anchors

A TV news anchor is a man or woman who reports news stories, usually over a live broadcast. He or she usually reads from a teleprompter and note cards to deliver news to viewers. Anchors provide lead-ins and commentary to taped scenes and introduce stories presented by field, weather, and sports reporters. Professionals are generally very articulate, friendly, and objective on camera. Many anchors, especially those who work at smaller, local stations, work alongside researchers and editors to think up ideas for stories and write transcripts for broadcasts.

News broadcasts usually follow a fairly standard routine. Most programs begin with one or two anchors reporting lead stories and breaking news. Programs might show video footage while an anchor describes the story to audiences. Anchors also provide transitions into live reports from field correspondents and other parts of the broadcast, such as sports and weather.

At local and national stations, news anchors typically spend a great deal of time reading up on stories and practicing their deliveries before appearing on camera. Live events or breaking news stories, however, require anchors to explain situations without any preparation. A TV news anchor must be able to read and interpret information very quickly so that he or she can deliver it to audiences in a clear, concise, informative manner. Timing is essential for news anchors, and professionals often have to make judgment calls on how to shorten or lengthen a report to fit time constraints.

A TV news anchor might be required to report stories that may be devastating or depressing, or contain personally sensitive subject matter. It is his or her responsibility to deliver such news in the most objective manner possible, avoiding emotional outbreaks and personal commentary. News anchors are experts at concealing personal feelings and opinions while reporting stories. In addition, an anchor at a small broadcasting company is expected to have extensive knowledge of the surrounding area so that he or she can accurately report on local events and appeal to members of a community.

To become a TV news anchor, a person must typically hold at least a bachelor’s degree in communications or journalism. Most news anchors begin working in other positions at local broadcasting companies, either behind the scenes or as field reporters. After gaining sufficient experience in the business, individuals with good camera presence and proven reporting skills are often promoted to TV news anchor positions. An anchor who gains popularity with viewers has the potential to obtain a more prominent position in a bigger production, such as a national news program.

What is breaking news?

Definition: Breaking news refers to events that are currently developing, or “breaking.” Breaking news usually refers to events that are unexpected, such as a plane crash or building fire. Breaking news can also refer to news that occurs late in the day, close to a news outlet’s usual deadline.


In early coverage of a breaking story, details are commonly sketchy, usually due to the limited information available at the time. For example, during the Sago Mine disaster, initial reports were that all twelve miners were found alive, but news organizations later found only one actually survived.

Another criticism has been the diluting of the importance of breaking news by the need of 24-hour news channels to fill time, applying the title to soft news stories of questionable importance and urgency, for example car chases. Others question whether the use of the term is excessive, citing occasions when the term is used even though scheduled programming is not interrupted.Some programs, such as HLN‘s Nancy Grace have even used the term for events which occurred months before.


A documentary film is a movie that attempts to document reality. Even though the scenes are carefully chosen and arranged, usually through editing after filming, they are not scripted and the people in the movie are not typically actors. Sometimes, a documentary film may rely on voice-over narration to describe what is happening in the footage; in other films, the images speak for themselves without commentary. A documentary often includes interviews with people in the film for additional context or information.

What Makes a Film a Documentary

In general, documentary films focus on real life and include footage of events as they happened. A movie about World War II might feature actors portraying soldiers, real or fictional, in the war, recreating certain battles or events. In contrast to this, a documentary film about World War II might primarily feature news reel footage of actual fighting, with commentary from experts and veterans who were in the war. It is this focus on documenting reality above drama or a fictional narrative that typically separates these movies from summer blockbusters and other popular films.

Broadcasting policy of govt of India

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is a branch of the Government of India is the apex body for formulation and administration of the rules and regulations and laws relating to information, broadcasting, the press and films in India.[1]

The Ministry is responsible for the administration of Prasar Bharati-the broadcasting arm of the Indian Government. The Censor Board of India is the other important body under this ministry being responsible for the regulation of motion pictures shown in India. As of 28 Oct 2012, the head of the ministry, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Independent Charge is Cabinet Minister, Manish Tewari.[2]

The mandate of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting are:[1]

·        News Services through All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan(DD) for the people

·        Development of broadcasting and television.

·        Import and export of films.

·        Development and promotion of film industry.

·        Organisation of film festivals and cultural exchanges for the purpose.

·        Directorate of Advertising and visual publicity DAVP

·        Handling of press relations to present the policies of Government of India and to get feed-back on the Government policies.

·        Administration of the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 in respect of newspapers.

·        Dissemination of information about India within and outside the country through publications on matters of national importance.

·        Research, Reference and Training to assist the media units of the Ministry to meet their responsibilities.

·        Use of interpersonal communication and traditional folk art forms for information/ publicity campaigns on public interest issues.

·        International co-operation in the field of information & mass m

Criticism and controversies

The Ministry has often been criticized for the actions of the various bodies under it:

·       Doordarshan, the Indian Public Television Broadcaster, has posted losses for several years despite being granted exclusive access to several events including cricket matches and having the largest terrestrial network in the country.[3]

·        The decision of the Censor Board of India to censor some films due to political reasons like foreign ones while allowing several others which may often contain several suggestive and deeply disturbing scenes has been questionable.

·        Arbitrary actions taken in the past to ban television channels which ostensibly showed explicit scenes, as well as actions taken to ban general use websites like Yahoo Groups, have been widely criticized in most quarters of the country.[4][5]

·        All India Radio is the only radio broadcaster allowed to broadcast news within India, though this is likely to change with the recommendations of the TRAI.[6]


·        Sensationalism is a type of editorial bias in mass media in which events and topics in news stories and pieces are over-hyped to increase viewership or readership numbers.[1] Sensationalism may include reporting about generally insignificant matters and events that don’t influence overall society and biased presentations of newsworthy topics in a sensationalist, trivial or tabloid manner.[2][3]

·        Some tactics include being deliberately obtuse,[4] appealing to emotions,[5] being controversial, intentionally omitting facts and information,[6] being loud, self-centered and acting to obtain attention.[5] Trivial information and events are sometimes misrepresented and exaggerated as important or significant, and often includes stories about the actions of individuals and small groups of people,[1] the content of which is often insignificant and irrelevant relative to the macro-level day-to-day events that occur globally. Furthermore, the content and subject matter typically doesn’t affect the lives of the masses[1] and doesn’t affect society, and instead is broadcast and printed to attract viewers and readers

·        One presumed goal of sensational reporting is to increase or sustain viewership or readership, from which media outlets can price their advertising higher to increase their profits based on higher numbers of viewers and/or readers.[13][14] Sometimes this can lead to a lesser focus on objective journalism in favor of aprofit motive,[15] in which editorial choices are based upon sensational stories and presentations to increase advertising revenue.[15] Additionally, advertisers tend to have a preference for their products or services to be reported positively in mass media, which can contribute to bias in news reporting in favor of media outlets protecting their profits and revenues, rather than reporting objectively about stated products and services.[14][16]

·        However, newspapers have a duty to report and investigate stories related to political corruption. Such investigative journalism is right and proper when it is backed up with documents, interviews with responsible witnesses, and other primary sources. Journalists and editors are often accused of sensationalizing scandals by those whose public image is harmed by the legitimate reporting of the scandal. News organizations are not obliged to (and are often ethicallyobliged not to) avoid stories that might make local, state and national public figures uncomfortable. Occasionally, news organizations mistakenly relay false information from unreliable anonymous sources, who use mass media as a tool for retaliation, defamation, victim and witness tampering, and monetary or personal gain. Therefore, any story based on sources who may be reasonably assumed to be motivated to act in this way is best interpreted with critical thinking.

Community radio

Community radio is a radio service offering a third model of radio broadcasting in addition to commercial and public broadcasting. Community stations serve geographic communities and communities of interest. They broadcast content that is popular and relevant to a local, specific audience but is often overlooked by commercial or mass-media broadcasters. Community radio stations are operated, owned, and influenced by the communities they serve. They are generally nonprofit and provide a mechanism for enabling individuals, groups, and communities to tell their own stories, to share experiences and, in a media-rich world, to become creators and contributors of media.

While Indian radio is shifting from a government monopoly to a highly-commercialized broadcasting network, citizens’ groups are also demanding that the media be democratized.

Imagine a country which has 18 officially-recognized languages and a total of 1652 mother tongues in a country nearly a billion strong and spread over an area of 3.2 million square kilometers — that’s India.

Given its diversity and expanse, one could well understand the problems that tribal, under-privileged, or minority cultures face in getting their voices heard.

As far as the radio is concerned, long years of official domination by the government, outdated, but existing British regulations, and the rampant commercialization of the airwaves have complicated the problem. Citizens groups and non-profit organizations in India are pushing for a wider representation on the centralized and hierarchical Indian radio network — with some success. Court rulings have recently favored the establishment of new, local stations and campaigners from across India are underlining the importance of radio in shaping the destiny of Indian society For decades, India’s radio stations have been centralized, unable to cater to the regional diversity of India, and lacking editorial independence. Now, citizens’ groups are pressuring the government for a community radio model.

Call it by any name — community radio, rural radio, cooperative radio, or development radio — its proponents feel that radio holds the key that will unite India’s linguistic and ethnic diversity and improve the economic disparity and the huge rural-urban divide.


1. Truth

The prime responsibility of a journalist is to convey information to the public.

A journalist is obliged not to conceal information whose content and importance is a subject of public interest.

A journalist must publish views that may contradict his/her own opinions. While presenting controversial views he/she must maintain a balance between the opposing sides to ensure equity among the parties.

2. Objectivity

A journalist must always protect the right to criticize and make comments in a reasonable and fair manner.

Informative materials of any type (video, audio, text, photo, etc.) should be carefully and closely examined in order not to distort information.

Non-documented illustrations, photo and video modification, or any other alterations that might mislead the public must carry an appropriate explanatory note.

While reviewing material provided by various newspapers or any other informational sources the main content of the information must not be altered. Cutting of texts or any other changes applied to them must not result in distortion.

A journalist must always declare his identity when dealing with an information source. This principle can be neglected only in case of obtaining exclusive and vitally important information in the public interest that cannot be gained otherwise.

A journalist must take a particularly careful approach when providing a summary of an interview not to violate the rights of an interviewee as a co-author in any way.

3. Honesty

A journalist must describe facts and events based on actual and reliable evidences. He/she must not conceal information or misinterpret it.

A journalist must avoid illegal ways of obtaining information, photos, and news.

Carrying out journalistic investigation secretly can be permitted only in special cases. However, the public interest does not justify any illegal action on order to obtain the information.

Any inaccuracy in providing information or making comments (if in the future it is regarded so), must be immediately corrected through the same informational source or by the same journalist who presented the information.

4. Confidentiality

A journalist must maintain professional secrecy and the confidentiality of a source providing information.. This promise can be broken only in case if any criminal action or any other action carrying risk to the public is being planned.

5. Independence

A journalist must fulfil his/her professional duties without allowing any third parties to interfere. Namely, he/she must not be influenced by government officials or any other bodies that can alter the contents of journalistic material or impair the independence of journalistic activities. Any representative of the mass media is obliged to resist anyone who restricts their independence. This principle applies to cases when facts and events are misinterpreted or distorted by the head of the institution where the journalist works (his/her employer).

A journalist working simultaneously in a governmental body should do his utmost to keep his official duties apart from journalistic responsibilities. The same goes for those public servants who intend to start journalistic activities.

Publishing material or views under the influence of a third party’s private or financial interests is not justified. Advertisement and editorial material must be clearly distinguished.

6. Respect for human rights

A journalist must respect the private life of an individual and the social environment that he/she lives in. However if an action by a certain individual is connected to the public interests the journalist may consider this question. In such cases a journalist must be cautious not to violate the rights of other interested individuals.

A journalist must be careful in describing any criminal, or tragic events. He/she must try not to cause danger to human lives. While describing similar events, it is not justifiable to give the names of suspects and their relatives, or to publish the material enabling these to be identified person. To provide society with information about an event does not necessarily require persons to be named.
This principle does not always apply when a suspect or victim is a public official or celebrity, which gives the situation special importance.

Reporting subjectively on criminal cases or court trials is inadmissible.

A suspect must not be reported as a criminal offender or companion in crime until it is so proved by the official court decision.

Special caution must be exercised when reporting juvenile crimes.
The principle of respecting the future of the young limits a journalist in providing juvenile offenders’ names or their photos. This rule also applies to cases when a teenager is a victim.

A journalist must be particularly careful during disasters or any other national calamity. In such cases he/she must give priority to saving human lives, and put his professional duties in second place. It is strictly inadmissible to manipulate victims’ feelings.

It is intolerable to practise racial, national, sexual, religious, physical, political, social or any other form of discrimination

A journalist must avoid indicating any of the above mentioned groups if this is not essential in the clarification of facts and events.

Plagiarism and unwarranted accusations are inadmissible.

Dumbing down of news

Is the news we are provided not prioritized properly?
This is a debate that has not ended up with any conclusions so far. What decides or rather who decides what the general public should know and what the general public need not know?

On Sunday, following the Pantaloons Femina Miss India contest that had taken place in Mumbai on Saturday night, the Times of India, and Bangalore edition carried a news report filling almost half a page in the main paper about the event.

Right below the report of the Miss India event was a small 3 column report of a very tragic incident – a small boy of about 9 years of age was beaten up brutally by police officers. His crime: he had stolen 500 rupees. He stole the money to get to his grandmother after his mother had abandoned him while he was asleep.
The boy was roughed up so much that his face was extremely bruised, his arm was broken, and he almost crawled into court holding his stomach in pain. The judge has called for strict action against the policemen. And has asked for medical treatment to be given to the boy immediately.

Tell me… what is more important for the general public to know?
We are all aware that the size and positioning of a story speaks volumes about the importance the newspaper gives it.
Is it more important for people to know in detail what happened at a glamorous event, or is it more important for them to be made aware of such dehumanizing acts vetted out to poor kids?

It appears as if newspapers today are prioritizing glam and celebrity gossip over things that are of more importance to the lay man.

The same accusation can also be applied to the sports stories. newspapers are accused of prioritizing cricket (and all the glam associated with it) side-lining any other sport.

It is however, a vicious cycle.
We cannot blame newspapers alone.
They run on money. They need their revenue. And so they cater to what their audience wants to see.
Is it not true that a majority of the people look forward to the glam-quotient of their news than its relevance? Is it not true that the majority of people want to see cricket stretched out onto 3 pages?

So who’s to blame?
Is it the newspaper- because after all, what appears in the paper and in what order determines what I read.
Or is it the public- because what we want is what we see?

Rise of Hindi newspaper

The first newspaper, we have seen, was the Oodunt Marthand in Devanagari script, published from Calcutta from May 1826.  It was edited by Pundit Jugal Kishore Shukla of Kanpur and owned by him and Munoo Thakur of Banstalla Gali. The latter was also printer.  License was granted to the two to publish the paper under the press ordinance of 1823 on February 16, 1826.

                                                                                  The Parliamentary papers of 1831 lists only two ‘native publications’ Oodunt Marthand and Bangadoot. Records however reveal that Oodunt Marthand closed in December 1827, after bringing out 79 issues. It was discontinued for lack of circulation and financial support from the government.

                                                  The Bangadoot, the Hindi weekly edition of the Bengal Herald, was published from 1829 every Saturday. It was owned by Raj Ram Mohan Roy, R.M. Marathi, Dwarkanath Tagore, Prosonno Kumar Tagore, Nil Ratam Haldar and Rajjisen Singh. It was a vehicle for the propagation of Roy’s views and thoughts. It aimed at attacking orthodoxy, social vices and fanaticism.

                                                                                                                                   The period of 1835 to 1857 saw a spurt in the number of publication Bengali, Guajarati, Marathi, Tamil and Telgu most of them reflected people views on current affairs, events, or social matters. Some papers were started to defined Hinduism and its practices that were under attack. Among such issues were Sati and child marriage. There enough controversial issues to stimulate the press. In 1845 came the Banaras Akhbar from Banaras, edited by Raghunath Thatte. Its patron was Raja Shiv Prasad. It covered local news and translation from Sanskrit books on law. It had 44 subscribers.  In 1850 came the Sudhkar under the editorship of Tara Mohan Mitra, in Hindi. This was a bilingual paper and the language used was Khari Boli .Jugal Kishore Shukla of Oodunt Marthand in 1850 brought out the Samyabad Marthand, which continued to be published till April 1852. Shukla thus earns the recognition of being one of the pioneers of Hindi journalism. Hindi newspaper also played a constructive role in the promotion of family planning programme of the government, ruler health programmes and adult literacy campaigns. The Hindi press helped immeasurably in the under-standing of the political processes to the ruler masses, with result more and more people were drawn into active politics. News paper in Hindi also came to play important role during elections, when almost contestant flocked to them for popularizing their candidatures and propagating the specific views on local affairs. The press council also went on record to say that the current practice of appointing journalist’s even editor’s on contract, cuts at the very root of press freedom.  

Growth of Indian regional journalism

It was in May 1826 that the first Hindi newspaper, the Oodunt Marthand, appear in Nagari script, in Calcutta the news paper was license under the press ordinance of 1823. By 1930 there was one more Hindi news paper, Bangadoot. Financial constraints forced the closureof the Oodunt Marthand in 1827, after 70 issues of the papers. The Bangadoot was the Hindi edition of the Bengal Herald published every Saturday


Raghunath Raina*

        There is a Greek myth about King Sisyphus. His punishment in Hades was to roll a heavy stone up a hill. As he reached the top the stone would roll down.

        Autonomy for the electronic media has been the labour of Sisyphus.

        It started with the Chanda Committee (1966) followed by the Verghese Committee (1978), the Joshi Committee (1985), the Sen Gupta Committee (1990) and, finally, the Prasar Bharati Act (1990) which was enforced through an ordinance nearly a decade after it was enacted.

        The Sisyphean boulder, however, rolled down soon enough. Now it is sought to be pushed up again by yet another Committee consisting of three experts in broadcasting, marketing and information technology.

        There are, of course, many factors for making the freedom and independence of the media a will-o’-the wisp. The major one has been the policy makers’ preoccupation with the form of control over the media, rather than with their role in a highly diverse, society confronted with complex and urgent problems of growth in a globalised world.

        The crucial question is : media for whom and for what. Once this has been defined, a suitable structure can be formed to achieve those objectives. But so far the cart has been put before the horse and hence the Sisyphean endeavour.

        The choices before us are clear: should the media be market-driven in which information and entertainment are national commodities determined by the exchange value or media are natural institutes geared to democratic and development process. The other arguments could be : should the media become a mere tool to satisfy the consumerist drives of the urban elite or a source of enrichment and empowerment of the masses. Should the media be deep-rooted in the unique Indian civilisational ethos or promote a debased, derivative and ersatz culture. Should the media structure be top-heavy, top-down, vertical, centralised system or decentralised right upto the panchayat level, an integral part of the community involved in their life, problems and aspirations. Should the media have a homogenizing influence or be a forum for a free inter-change of ideas, information and experience among equals, without dominance or discrimination.

        These are the issues before the Committee. It has to determine whether the present Prasar Bharati Act, conceived about two decades ago, has not already become obsolete in the light of the media revolution and proliferating problems of the people and their aspirations. Thinking with the present structure will neither enable it to meet the breath-taking technological advances nor the awesome challenges of the new century.

        The need, therefore, is first to conceptualise the role of the media in today’s and tomorrow’s India. Some of the considerations which the new Committee needs to take into account have been formulated by the UNESCO-sponsored Mac Bride Commission.

        In its report Many Voices, One World, for example, it says : “Imbalances in natural and information and communication systems are as disturbing and unacceptable as social, economic, cultural and technological disparities”.

        Directly relevant to the Committee’s task is the Commission’s observation: “Communication, with its immense possibilities of influencing the minds and behaviour of the people, can be a powerful means of promoting democratization of society and widening public participation in the decision-making process. This depends on the structures and practices of the media and their management and to what extent they facilitate broader access and open the communication process to a free interchange of ideas, information and experience among equals, without dominance or discrimination”.

        Even more importantly, the Commission emphasizes that “The development of democratized and diversified media should provide larger opportunities for a real direct involvement of people in communication process.”

        The present centralised, top-down bureaucratic structure of the media cannot fulfil these objectives. The Prasar Bharati Act has only changed the signboard. It, therefore, needs to be recast drastically because:

* Independence and freedom of the media have meaning only if they are practised down to the panchayat level. Internal decentralisation and devolution of authority is as crucial as the macro level restructuring.

* While marketing is essential the “returns” cannot be computed only in terms of commercial revenue. The potential gains in the quality of life through empowering people is far more important in the long run.

        This demands the rejection of the present model and adopting of a community-based media. These are different from the conventional top-down systems. They are media for use by the community for whatever purpose it decides. They are media to which members of the community have access to information, education and entertainment. They are the media in which the community participates as planners, produces, performers. They are the means of expression of the community, rather than for the community. Community communications describe exchange of views and news, not a transmission from one source to another.

        This model is based on the belief that man can only liberate himself. He cannot be liberated by another. For man makes himself. It is his ability to act deliberately, for self-deliberated purpose, which distinguishes him from the animals.

        The expansion of his own consciousness, and therefore, of his power over himself, his environment, and his society, must therefore ultimately lead to what we mean by development or empowerment.

        It is this model of communication, rooted in people, which can satisfy diverse cultural needs of ethnic and social groups and strengthen the web of natural integration and stand up to the onslaught of global information system. If, on the other hand, the media compete with satellite and private commercial channels on their terms, the national media will be completely swamped by global cultural and economic systems.

        If these aspects are ignored by the new Committee in its recommendations for restructuring Prasar Bharati, it will prove another Sisyphean endeavour.

* Media Critic, New Delhi


The CNN effect is a theory inpolitical science andmedia studies that postulates that the development of the popular24-hour international television news channel known asCable News Network, or CNN, had a major impact on the conduct ofstatesforeign policy in the late Cold War period and that CNN and its subsequent industry competitors have had a similar impact in the post-Cold War era. While thefree press has, in its role as the “Fourth Estate“, always had an influence on policy-making inrepresentative democracies, proponents of the CNN effect argue that the extent, depth, and speed of the new global media have created a new species of effects qualitatively different from those that preceded them historically.[1] The term’s coinage reflects the pioneering role played by the network CNN in the field, whose “saturation coverage” ofevents like theTiananmen Square protests of 1989, thefall of Communism in eastern Europe, the firstGulf War, and theBattle of Mogadishu was viewed as being strongly influential in bringing images and issues to the immediate forefront ofAmerican political consciousness and beyond. Despite these origins, the term as used generally refers to a broad range of real time modern media, and is not exclusive to CNN or even24-hour news cycle broadcastcable news.

In his research paper Clarifying the CNN Effect: An examination of Media Effects According to Type of Military Intervention,George Washington University professor Steven Livingston identifies three distinct aspects that fall under the broad term of the CNN effect. The media may function alternately or simultaneously as a policy agenda-setting agent, (2) an impediment to the achievement of desired policy goals, and (3) an accelerant to policy decision making. By focusing instantaneous and ongoing media coverage on a particular conflict, international incident, ordiplomatic initiative, thenews cycle effectively demands political attention, as governing politicians attempt to demonstrate that they are “on top of” current issues.

The effect has been, according to Margaret Belknap, that “[t]he advent of real time news coverage has led to immediate public awareness and scrutiny ofstrategic decisions andmilitary operations as they unfold”

Deeper penetration and wider broadcast of statements and actions by public figures may increasetransparency, but it can also complicate sensitive diplomatic relationships between states or force an official reaction fromgovernments that would otherwise prefer to minimize political risk by remaining noncommittal. The information revolution and spread ofglobalmass media through the Internet and international 24-hour news thus accelerates the policy-making process, requiring a faster tempo of decision and action to forestall the appearance of a leadership vacuum.

Former Secretary of StateJames Baker said of the CNN effect “The one thing it does, is to drive policymakers to have a policy position. I would have to articulate it very quickly. You are in real-time mode. You don’t have time to reflect.” His former press secretary, Margaret Tutwiler, mirrors his sentiment: “Time for reaction is compressed. Analysis and intelligence gathering is out.”

Natural Disasters and the “CNN Effect”

While the “CNN effect” most commonly refers to the effect thatnews media have on politics and government during political conflict, its effect on decisions made during natural disasters is also noteworthy. As videos and images are broadcast worldwide immediately after or even during natural disasters, these images may convince the public to donate money or pressure governments for immediate action.

The “CNN effect” may have played a role in increasing aid following theAsian tsunami (2004), theKashmir earthquake (2005),Hurricane Katrina (2005), and theSichuan earthquake in China (2008). Following the Asian tsunami, for instance, the media “blitz” that followed this natural disaster may have helped prompt an unprecedented outpouring of donations. “By February 2005, the international community had donated $500 per person affected by the tsunami, compared to just 50 cents for each person affected byUganda’s 18-year war.”

                             Prasar Bharati

Prasar Bharati (Hindi: प्रसार भारती; literally Broadcasting Corporation of India) isIndia‘s largestpublic broadcaster. It is an autonomous corporation of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting,Government of India and comprisesDoordarshantelevision network andAll India Radio.

Prasar Bharati was established on November 23, 1997 following a demand that the government owned broadcasters in India should be given autonomy like those in many other countries. TheParliament of India passed an Act to grant this autonomy in1990, but it was not enacted until September 15, 1997.

mrinal pande is the current chairperson of Prasar Bharati and Baljit Singh Lalli is the current CEO.

Expansion plans

Digitization of AIR & DD is going on full face, as some of DDK’s (Doordarshan Kendra’s) are already getting digitized. All the new establishments are digital and there are plans to modify the existing. New transmitters are being ordered and plans for purchase of digital transmitters are already on paper.


Doordarshan (Hindi: दूरदर्शन; literally Tele-Vision) is the public televisionbroadcaster of India and a division ofPrasar Bharati, a public service broadcaster nominated by theGovernment of India. It is one of the largest broadcasting organizations in the world in terms of the infrastructure ofstudios andtransmitters. Recently, it has also started Digital Terrestrial Transmitters. On September 15 2009, Doordarshan celebrated its 50th anniversary.


Doordarshan had a modest beginning with the experimental telecast starting inDelhi on 15 September 1959 with a small transmitter and a makeshift studio. The regular daily transmission started in 1965 as a part ofAll India Radio. Thetelevision service was extended to Bombay (nowMumbai) andAmritsar in 1972. Till 1975, seven Indian cities had television service and Doordarshan remained the only television channel in India. Television services were separated from radio in 1976. Each office of All India Radio and Doordarshan were placed under the management of two separate Director Generals

in New Delhi. Finally[when?] Doordarshan as a National Broadcaster came into existence.

Nationwide Telecast

Doordarshan headquarters, Parliament Street,New Delhi

National telecasts were introduced in 1982. In the same year, colour TV was introduced in the Indian market with the live telecast of the Independence Day speech by then prime ministerIndira Gandhi on 15 August 1982, followed by the 1982Asian Games being held in Delhi. Now more than 90 percent of the Indian population can receive Doordarshan (DD National) programmes through a network of nearly 1400 terrestrial transmitters and about 46 Doordarshan studios produce TV programs today.


Presently, Doordarshan operates 19 channels – two All India channels-DD National and DD News, 11 Regional languages Satellite Channels (RLSC), four State Networks (SN), an International channel, a Sports Channel and two channels (DD-RS & DD-LS) for live broadcast of parliamentary proceedings.

OnDD National(DD-1), Regional programmes and Local Programmes are carried on time-sharing basis. DD-News channel, launched on 3 November 2003, which replaced the DD-Metro Entertainment channel, provides 24-Hour news service. The Regional Languages Satellite channels have two components – The Regional service for the particular state relayed by all terrestrial transmitters in the state and additional programmes in the Regional Language in prime time and non-prime time available only through cable operators. DD-Sports Channel is exclusively devoted to the broadcasting of sporting events of national and international importance. This is the only Sports Channels which telecasts rural sports like Kho-Kho, Kabbadi etc. something which private broadcasters will not attempt to telecast as it will not attract any revenues.

Active Doordarshan

It is an Interactive Service of Tata Sky to show 4 TV Channels of Doordarshan which are not available on Tata sky as normal channels. Active Doordarshan channels are DD Kashir,DD Podhigai,DD Punjabi and DD Gujarati .

DD has its own DTH service calledDD Direct Plus. It is free of charge.

International Broadcasting

DD-India is being broadcasted internationally through Satellite. It is available in 146 countries worldwide, however the information on picking up this channel in other countries is not easily available. In the UK, DD-India was available through the Eurobird Satellite on the Sky system on Channel 833 (the logo is shown as Rayat TV). The timing and programming of DD-India international is different from that of India. Transmissions for Sky Digital U.K. stopped in June 2008 and DirecTV U.S. stopped in July 2008.


           Citiations of Bias

  • Doorsharshan does not have an independent editorial control unlike theBBC. Prasar Bharati, its parent body has all board members appointed by theGovernment of India acting through the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. This control is evident in a budget that allows expenditure on “propaganda and public relations”.
  • It has been actively used especially during theEmergency for government propaganda.
  • In 2004, it censored the airing of a controversial documentary onJayaprakash Narayan, one of the opposition leaders during the Emergency.
  • In response to Pakistani propaganda in the Kashmir valley, Doordarshan launched the Kashir Channel in Kashmir for pro-Indian propaganda. DD Kashir beams programmes like Sarhad Key Do Rukh (Two faces of border), Pakistan Reporter, PTV Sacch Kya Hai (PTV! what is truth.
  • It has in association with All India Radio established high power transmitters along the India-Pakistan Border to counter Pakistani propaganda with its own.
  • During Operation Bluestar, only government sources were used for reporting the story. Here Doordarshan was complicit in the production of a video that claimed acts of violence which when investigated by independent journalists were found to be false.

    Commercial Viability

  • Once private television channels were allowed in 1991, Doordarshan has seen a steep decline in viewership in homes with Cable and Satellite Television which in 2002 was just at 2.38% for DD National.
  • While it earns significant advertising revenue due to the compulsory feed given to it by the highest bidder to national events including cricket tournaments, there has been a proposal to give it funds by imposing a license fee to own a television in India like the BBC. However this is unlikely to be imposed keeping in view the financial constraints of the average Indian

All India Radio

All India Radio (abbreviated as AIR), officially known as Akashvani (Devanagari🙂 is theradio broadcaster ofIndia and a division ofPrasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India), an autonomous corporation of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting,Government of India. Established in 1936,[1], today, it is the sister service of Prasar Bharati’sDoordarshan, the national television broadcaster.

The word Akashavani was coined by Professor Dr. M.V. Gopalaswamy for his radio station in Mysore during 1936.

All India Radio is one of the largest radio networks in the world. The headquarters is at the Akashwani Bhavan,New Delhi. Akashwani Bhavan houses the drama section, the FM section and the National service. TheDoordarshan Kendra (Delhi) is also located on the 6th floor of Akashvani Bhavan.

A national service planned, developed and operated by the Prasar Bharati Broadcasting Corporation of India

Sound broadcasting started in India in 1927 with the proliferation of private radio clubs. The operations of All India Radio began formally in 1936, as a government organisation, with clear objectives to inform, educate and entertain the masses.  

When India attained Independence in 1947, AIR had a network of six stations and a complement of 18 transmitters. The coverage was 2.5% of the area and just 11% of the population. Rapid expansion of the network took place post Independence.  

AIR today has a network of 232 broadcasting centres with 149 medium frequency(MW), 54 high frequency (SW) and 171 FM transmitters. The coverage is 91.79% of the area , serving 99.14% of the people in the largest democracy of the world. AIR covers 24 Languages and 146 dialects in home services. In Externel services, it covers 27 languages; 17 national and 10 foreign languages.

Growth & Development

The first radio programme in India was broadcast by the Radio Club of Mumbai in June 1923. It was followed by the setting up of a Broadcasting Service that began broadcasting in India in July 1927 on an experimental basis at Mumbai and Kolkata simultaneously under an agreement between Government of India and a private company called the Indian Broadcasting Company Ltd.

When India became independent, the AIR network had only six Stations located at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Lucknow and Tiruchirapalli with a total complement of 18 transmitters – six on the medium wave and the remaining on short wave. Radio listening on medium wave was confined to urban limits of these cities. As against a mere 2,75,000 receiving sets at the time of Independence, now there are about 132 million estimated radio sets in the country.

Now the broadcast scenario has drastically changed with 215 broadcasting centers, including 77 local Radio Stations, covering nearly cent-per-cent country’s population.


AIR has many different services each catering to different regions/languages across India. One of the most famous services of the AIR is the Vividh Bharati Seva (roughly translating to “Multi-Indian service”). Vividh Bharati celebrated its Golden Jubilee on 3 October 2007. Vividh Bharati has the only comprehensive database of songs from the so termed “Golden Era” of Hindi film music (roughly from 1940s to 1980s). This service is the most commercial of all and is popular inMumbai and other cities of India. This service offers a wide range of programmes including news, film music, comedy shows, etc. The Vividh Bharti service operates on differentMW band frequencies for each city as shownbelow.


All India Radio entered the realm of external broadcasting shortly after the outbreak of II world War on 1st October, 1939-when it started a service in Pushtu for listeners across- what was then the country’s North West Frontier.The service was designated to counter radio propoganda from Germany, directed to Afghanistan, Iran and Arab countries.With the end of the war, the Victorious and Allies lost interest in continung with the propoganda warfare and the equipment was presented to AIR, which took over its active control.The need of continuing certain services was assessed and the number of services was rearranged.


        There is a Greek myth about King Sisyphus. His punishment in Hades was to roll a heavy stone up a hill. As he reached the top the stone would roll down.

        Autonomy for the electronic media has been the labour of Sisyphus.

        It started with the Chanda Committee (1966) followed by the Verghese Committee (1978), the Joshi Committee (1985), the Sen Gupta Committee (1990) and, finally, the Prasar Bharati Act (1990) which was enforced through an ordinance nearly a decade after it was enacted.

        The Sisyphean boulder, however, rolled down soon enough. Now it is sought to be pushed up again by yet another Committee consisting of three experts in broadcasting, marketing and information technology.

        There are, of course, many factors for making the freedom and independence of the media a will-o’-the wisp. The major one has been the policy makers’ preoccupation with the form of control over the media, rather than with their role in a highly diverse, society confronted with complex and urgent problems of growth in a globalised world.

        The crucial question is : media for whom and for what. Once this has been defined, a suitable structure can be formed to achieve those objectives. But so far the cart has been put before the horse and hence the Sisyphean endeavour.

        The choices before us are clear: should the media be market-driven in which information and entertainment are national commodities determined by the exchange value or media are natural institutes geared to democratic and development process. The other arguments could be : should the media become a mere tool to satisfy the consumerist drives of the urban elite or a source of enrichment and empowerment of the masses. Should the media be deep-rooted in the unique Indian civilisational ethos or promote a debased, derivative and ersatz culture. Should the media structure be top-heavy, top-down, vertical, centralised system or decentralised right upto the panchayat level, an integral part of the community involved in their life, problems and aspirations. Should the media have a homogenizing influence or be a forum for a free inter-change of ideas, information and experience among equals, without dominance or discrimination.

        These are the issues before the Committee. It has to determine whether the present Prasar Bharati Act, conceived about two decades ago, has not already become obsolete in the light of the media revolution and proliferating problems of the people and their aspirations. Thinking with the present structure will neither enable it to meet the breath-taking technological advances nor the awesome challenges of the new century.

        The need, therefore, is first to conceptualise the role of the media in today’s and tomorrow’s India. Some of the considerations which the new Committee needs to take into account have been formulated by the UNESCO-sponsored Mac Bride Commission.

        In its report Many Voices, One World, for example, it says : “Imbalances in natural and information and communication systems are as disturbing and unacceptable as social, economic, cultural and technological disparities”.

        Directly relevant to the Committee’s task is the Commission’s observation: “Communication, with its immense possibilities of influencing the minds and behaviour of the people, can be a powerful means of promoting democratization of society and widening public participation in the decision-making process. This depends on the structures and practices of the media and their management and to what extent they facilitate broader access and open the communication process to a free interchange of ideas, information and experience among equals, without dominance or discrimination”.

        Even more importantly, the Commission emphasizes that “The development of democratized and diversified media should provide larger opportunities for a real direct involvement of people in communication process.”

        The present centralised, top-down bureaucratic structure of the media cannot fulfil these objectives. The Prasar Bharati Act has only changed the signboard. It, therefore, needs to be recast drastically because:

* Independence and freedom of the media have meaning only if they are practised down to the panchayat level. Internal decentralisation and devolution of authority is as crucial as the macro level restructuring.

* While marketing is essential the “returns” cannot be computed only in terms of commercial revenue. The potential gain in the quality of life through empowering people is far more important in the long run.

        This demands the rejection of the present model and adopting of a community-based media. These are different from the conventional top-down systems. They are media for use by the community for whatever purpose it decides. They are media to which members of the community have access to information, education and entertainment. They are the media in which the community participates as planners, produces, performers. They are the means of expression of the community, rather than for the community. Community communications describe exchange of views and news, not a transmission from one source to another.

        This model is based on the belief that man can only liberate himself. He cannot be liberated by another. For man makes himself. It is his ability to act deliberately, for self-deliberated purpose, which distinguishes him from the animals.

        The expansion of his own consciousness, and therefore, of his power over himself, his environment, and his society, must therefore ultimately lead to what we mean by development or empowerment.

        It is this model of communication, rooted in people, which can satisfy diverse cultural needs of ethnic and social groups and strengthen the web of natural integration and stand up to the onslaught of global information system. If, on the other hand, the media compete with satellite and private commercial channels on their terms, the national media will be completely swamped by global cultural and economic systems.

        If these aspects are ignored by the new Committee in its recommendations for restructuring Prasar Bharati, it will prove another Sisyphean endeavour.

History of Radio

Radio — signalling and audio communication using electromagnetic radiation — was first employed as a “wireless telegraph”, for point-to-point links where regular telegraph lines were unreliable or impractical. Next developed was radio’s ability to broadcast messages simultaneously to multiple locations, at first using the dots-and-dashes of telegraphic code, and later in full audio.

Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian inventor, proved the feasibility of radio communication. He sent and received his first radio signal in Italy in 1895. By 1899 he flashed the first wireless signal across the English Channel and two years later received the letter “S”, telegraphed from England to Newfoundland. This was the first successful transatlantic radiotelegraph message in 1902.

Radio-telegraphy is the sending by radio waves the same dot-dash message (Morse code) used in a telegraph. Transmitters at that time were called spark-gap machines. It was developed mainly for ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship communication. This was a way of communicating between two points, however, it was not public radio broadcasting as we know it today.

Wireless signals proved effective in communication for rescue work when a sea disaster occurred. A number of ocean liners installed wireless equipment. In 1899 the United States Army established wireless communications with a lightship off Fire Island, New York. Two years later the Navy adopted a wireless system. Up to then, the Navy had been using visual signalling and homing pigeons for communication.

In 1901, radiotelegraph service was instituted between five Hawaiian Islands. By 1903, a Marconi station located in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, carried an exchange or greetings between President Theodore Roosevelt and King Edward VII. In 1905 the naval battle of Port Arthur in the Russo-Japanese war was reported by wireless, and in 1906 the U.S. Weather Bureau experimented with radiotelegraphy to speed notice of weather conditions.

In 1909, Robert E. Peary, arctic explorer, radio telegraphed: “I found the Pole”. In 1910 Marconi opened regular American-European radiotelegraph service, which several months later, enabled an escaped British murderer to be apprehended on the high seas. In 1912, the first transpacific radiotelegraph service linked San Francisco with Hawaii.

The U.S. Navy quickly recognized radio’s potential. Following successful tests by Great Britain and Italy, the Navy Department’s 1899 annual report noted that Marconi equipment would soon be evaluated, “in order to determine its usefulness under service conditions”. These tests quickly convinced the Navy of the value of radio, and three years later R. B. Bradford, Chief of the Bureau of Equipment, reported that “There is no navy, so far as the Bureau is aware, which has not given special attention to this subject”. The U.S. Navy began to equip its entire fleet with transmitters, and also set up an extensive chain of coastal stations. Radio was also employed as an aid to civilian and military navigation, beginning with time signals broadcast beginning in 1905: U. S. Navy Department Annual Report Extracts 1899-1908.

The Agriculture Department was responsible for some of the earliest radio broadcasts, including weather reports in 1912, although the first transmissions were in telegraphic code: U. S. Agriculture Department Annual Report Extracts: 1898-1927

Broadcast History of Radio

Dot-dash radiotelegraphy (primarily Marconi) was used experimentally as early as 1897. By 1910, in general use for ship-to-shore communication. This was not “broadcasting” but point-to-point communication.  What made broadcasting possible was the invention of the audio tube by DeForest in 1906-the tube permitting modulation of sound. Voices of Caruso and Emmy Dustin were broadcast experimentally in 1910; from 1910 to 1917, there was considerable amateur experimentation with broadcasting of various forms of program materials-chiefly talks, vocal, music, and phonograph records. With U.S. entry into the war in 1917, all radio was taken over by the U.S. Navy to prevent possible use by spies, and the development of new equipment was protected from patent infringement suits by government order. Broadcasting was being regulated under the Wireless Act of 1910.

This period marked the start of “regular” broadcasting; after the government removed restrictions late in 1919. The Radio Corporation of America was formed in 1919 as a patent pool to control the use of the new equipment which had been invented during WWI, but which was not able to be used unless all the conflicting patent owners would permit. The make-up of RCA consisted of those companies that had the key patents or would shortly buy them for wireless telegraphy. They got the bonus of wireless telephony as well. Formal “broadcasting” is usually considered as beginning on November 2, 1920, when Westinghouse’s KDKA-Pittsburgh broadcast the Harding-Cox election returns and inaugurated a daily schedule of programs. Throughout period, broadcasting was on an experimental, non-commercial, amateur basis.

Radio Homes

At time of the 1920 KDKA election returns broadcast, probably not more than 1,000,000 radio homes; by September 1923, the number had increased to slightly less than 2,000,000 or about 8 percent of all homes in the U.S. By September 1926 to appropriately 5,500,000-just about 20 percent of all homes in the United States. From 1926 through 1930, the number of radio-equipped homes increased from a little over 5 million to approximately 12 million, roughly 40% of U.S. population.

In 1923 through 1926 a large proportion of sets were home-made; many sets were of “crystal” type.  “Regular” sets had from two to five tubes; all were battery-powered; all used three-dial tuning; all used earphones instead of loud-speakers.  No cabinets; chassis was not enclosed; a wet battery and two dry-cell batteries required. Between 1926 and 1930, sets still battery- powered, but at very end of period some AC sets introduced, powered from regular home electric current.  They still had three-dial tuning.  During this period, loudspeakers were introduced; by September 1926, probably half or more of all radio homes had sets with loud-speakers.  Most sets were enclosed in cabinets, but with speakers not built-in; speakers were “extras,” in early period “morning-glory” type, later of a “cone” type which hung on a wall.  The average set manufactured in 1926 cost about $125.00-speakers were extra ranging in cost from $50.00 up to $100.00.  But, with speakers, listening to programs, rather than DXing (for distant listening), was made possible. By the end of the period receiving sets were selling at an average price of $80.00.  AC power was now used for most sets-except in

rural areas where the battery was still used but with a less elaborate set-up.  All sets were enclosed in cabinets; all had loudspeakers; practically all used single dial tuning.

Radio Stations

As of November 1920, there were no more than 16 or 18 stations; in January 1922, only 30 stations licensed; in January 1923, nearly 500 stations on the air; by September 1923, approximately 520 stations. Prior to October 1, 1922, all stations used same channel-wavelength of 360 meters, equivalent to present 833 kilocycles.  In October 1922, not more than half a dozen stations with as much as 50-watts power; most operated on from 10 to 15 watts power.  By September 1923, probably five or six stations used up to 500 watts power-while power increases were common, most stations used less than 100 watts.

Stations throughout the 20’s fell into three classes; some 15 to 20 owned by major electronics manufacturers-General Electric, Westinghouse, Stromberg, etc.; another 12 or 15 owned by large newspapers, department stores, insurance companies; remainder owned by churches, schools, radio repairs concerns, and amateurs who operated stations “just for fun.” Practically all major experimentation carried on by first type of stations-they were the “leaders” in broadcasting. No full-time operation by any station. Studios invariably very small-too small to accommodate audiences or even ordinary orchestras. Studios draped with monks’ cloth or burlap to prevent echo.  Carbon microphones only-poor quality response and pick-up limited to 12 to 18 inches.

In 1923-1926, there was no increase in number of stations-in September 1926, still about 530 stations on the air.  But many of weaker or earlier stations had gone off the air; and been replaced by others. Probably half a dozen stations had power of 5,000-watts by 1926-none as yet had gone to 50 kW power, however, and a majority of stations operated with only 50 to 100 watts power.  No station as yet operated for a “full” 18-hour day. In a large number of cases, from two to four stations in same area divided time on the same channel. In major cities, some studios were capable of seating a studio audience of 200 to 300 people; draped walls still used near pick-up areas. Condenser mikes introduced before 1926; most studios still used old carbon mikes. The most important improvement probably the introduction of faders or volume controls and of “mixing” panels-allowing use of materials coming from a number of different mikes to be blended into a single sound combination.

In 1926-Herbert Hoover, the Secretary of Commerce was told he had no authority to control the power, amount of time on the air or frequency of stations. The passage of the Radio Act of 1927 created a 5-man Federal Radio Commission (FRC).  As of September 1930, approximately 600 stations were on the air under licenses issued by the Federal Radio Commission. The FRC insisted stations install improved equipment-which resulted in 200 to 500 pre-1927 stations being forced off the air.  FRC also required stations to broadcast for regular periods, not on a hit or miss basis. Still numerous part-time only stations, but by summer 1930, most larger stations broadcast a full evening schedule and 2 to 4 hours daytime. The first 50 kw station was WGY, Schenectady in 1927.September 1930 a total of nine 5 kW stations.  Of the remainder, perhaps 100 used power ranging from 500 watts to 5 kW, nearly 500 stations running 100 watts or less. Large stations, as well as networks, usually had special “audience” studios-a “stage,” which served as the actual broadcasting studio, and an audience “auditorium” seating from 200 to 300-but with double-glass separating the audience from the entertainers. During the period, ribbon microphones generally replaced both carbon and condenser types in general use around 1925 or 1926. Electronic pick-up of phonograph records, first introduced around 1926 or 1927, was made standard equipment in practically all larger stations by the end of the period. In connection with this new facility, at least one concern, the World Broadcasting Company, started a transcription library service with both library and 33 r.p.m. turntables made available to stations on a rental basis.

Radio Networks

In the early 1920’s, there were some temporary, experimental nets attempted but no permanent nets. The first coast-to-coast network broadcast took place in October 1924-a broadcast of a political rally from Madison Square Garden. During the seasons of 1924-25 and 1925-26, a “pick-up” network made up of stations from New York to Chicago-practically all of them electronics-manufacturing-company-owned- carried programs three or four evenings a week-including some one-time sponsored programs. AT&T had a net of 12 stations for some programs but nets were still experimental as we know them today.

The first permanent network, NBC-Red, started operations in December 1926; and in January 1927, the second RCA network, the NBC-Blue network, put its first programs on the air. CBS was organized later the same year; it inaugurated service in September 1927. At the start, NBC-Red had 20 stations; NBC-Blue had only 5 stations; CBS had 16 stations. Prior to the spring of 1928, all network stations were located north of the Ohio River and east of the Missouri with coast-to-coast service inaugurated by NBC-Red in December 1928.

Commercial operations.

The first sponsored program to be broadcast was by the AT&T station WEAF in New York in October 1922 (which was later sold to RCA to become WNBC and which is now WFAN). The telephone company, as part of the RCA patent pool just extended the concept of “pay phones” to “pay radio.” This was an exception; probably up to September 1923, not more than half-a-dozen sponsored programs had been broadcast, by all stations combined-and all on a “one-time” basis. Radio was non-commercial and talent wasn’t paid; even “regular” announcers worked without pay on most stations.

Several large cities stations-principally those owned by electronics equipment manufacturers, by newspapers, by department stores, or insurance companies began selling time to advertisers by the winter of 1925-26, but even the larger stations had sponsors for no more than 8 to 10 programs combined with income of not more than $300,000 to $400,000 for the year ending September 1926.  There were some participating spot announcements in programs.  But there were no “chain breaks”; no “sell” commercials.

Then the commercial rush began. Total revenues from sale of time to advertisers from September 1926 to September 1930 were more than $60,000,000-with $48,000,000 going to the networks, but only $12,000,000 representing local advertising.  During 1930, network time sales were more than $27,000,000.   Advertising was “institutional”- networks permitted no “selling” commercials, but merely courtesy announcements identifying sponsors of programs.  It sounded much like present-day PBS. Both network and local advertising was on a “program” basis with the sponsor supplying the concept, talent, and paying for the time on the station. Spot announcements had not yet been developed (spot announcements as “sell” announcements), nor were advertisements inserted at chain breaks.


Before 1923, in the present-day sense, there were no “programs”-no formal opening or closing, no exact or even approximate timing, no paid talent, no regular week-after-week scheduling.  All programs were broadcast as one-timers and the idea of a program series hadn’t yet been developed.  Materials broadcast from studios were limited to talks, light music-usually vocals by soloist, or at most by trio or quartette. Practically no recorded music as direct electronic pickup not yet developed.

There was extensive use of “remotes” by large stations-pickups of orchestras from hotels, dance halls; of band concerts; or even symphony orchestras, operas, plays from stages-all as stunts. Occasionally “play-by-play” broadcasts of sports events from baseball and football to polo or boxing.  Only broadcasts at regular intervals were of weather forecasts; news broadcasting had not yet developed. No station was on the air more than four or five hours a day-even that not on a regular schedule, starting at same time each day or each evening. Usually, not more than one hour a day of daytime broadcasting by any station-and a majority of stations weren’t even on the air regularly, every day of the week. Programs were strictly amateur-except for “stunt” pickups of music groups.

Starting in 1923, there was a major advance in the program field. While most stations still had “formless” programs, presented by amateurs, as before 1923, during the 1923-26 period, larger stations had developed definite program forms. Programs on these stations ran for periods of 30 to 60 minutes; had definite openings and closings; made extensive use of announcer-narrators; were built around program ideas. Program types in general use included well-developed musical variety shows built around specialty orchestras; concert music, almost identical in form to radio concert music of today; and talks.  One or two stations experimented with broadcasting one or two-act stage plays from studios but without adapting the scripts for radio.  A number of stations presented an early type of variety show-usually for an hour or two full hours, once a week, around midnight-using vaudeville acts currently in town, a studio orchestra and depending heavily on work by a station MC and all on an “ad lib” basis.

Between 1926-30, sponsored network programs were at least 30 minutes in length; half at least of all evening sponsored programs were full-hour broadcasts. The most popular network program forms were musical variety-nearly always by “specialty” orchestral groups-and concert music.  An early type of variety program was carried on networks from their beginnings-variety in the sense of “using a different type of material each week”-one week a musical program, another week a debate, a third week a dramatization, and so on. Dramatic programs, using materials adapted for radio from short stories or sometimes original materials, appeared as early as 1927 and dramatic forms included hour-long “prestige” drama, 30-minute “thrillers,” both 30-minute and 15-minute “light” or “homey” drama, and 30-minute informative data-mostly historical.

At least two or three minstrel-show types of variety programs were carried on network schedules during the period; around 1929, an early form of “comedy variety” appeared, consisting of a series of four or five comedy “single” acts in a half-hour period.

Very popular throughout the period, both on networks and locally, were “song- and-patter teams”-two person “acts” appearing for either 15 or 30 minutes, with “patter” used extensively between songs.  Late in the period, “patter-only” comedy acts appeared. One of the earliest was the Amos ‘n’ Andy combination, which presented “patter” on a

five-evenings-a-week basis for a 15-minute period.  Use of a “story line” by Amos ‘n’ Andy did not come until the fall of 1930. However, some use was made of the comedy dramatic form during the 1929-1930 season-but no program of that type survived beyond that season.

Networks also offered once-a-week news broadcasts which always featured news from Washington; quite a number of talk programs, chiefly in the daytime; Sunday afternoon religious programs; several programs of light music, and some of the more popular of which featured organists.

Local programming was far behind that on networks.  Most important local features were the hour-long types of variety programs developed before 1926, programs presenting song-and-patter teams, programs of light music presented by local amateur vocalists or pianists, and, of course, talks. A very few stations offered a limited amount of recorded music, late in the period.

Broadcasting – The primary role of Broadcasting is to provide information, education and entertainment to its listeners and viewers. Types of Broadcasting systems are Radio, Internet , Podcast and Television

  • Radio – Invented at the end of the 19th Century by Guglielmo Marconi. Podcast and Internet radio are kinds of radio.
  • Television – Invented in the late 1800s, Paul Gottlieb Nipkow, a student in Germany, developed the first ever mechanical module of television. He succeeded in sending images through wires with the help of a rotating metal disk. This technology was called the ‘electric telescope’ that had 18 lines of resolution. Using a Nipkow disk, Scottish inventor John Logie Baird succeeded in demonstrating the transmission of moving silhouette images in London in 1925, and of moving, monochromatic images in 1926. Baird’s scanning disk produced an image of 30 lines resolution, just enough to discern a human face, from a double spiral of lenses.


Internet Radio: Also called as web radio, net radio, streaming radio, e radio. An audio service transmitted via internet. This kind of service cannot be paused or replayed. This radio service is accessible from anywhere in the world. Internet radio offers news, sports talk, and various genres of music—every format that is available on traditional radio stations. The first live internet only broadcast of a live band was Seattle based space work group Sky Cries Mary on November 10th, 1994, by Paul Allen’s digital media start-up Starwave, based in Seattle

Podcast: They are digital media files mostly downloaded from internet. It is a variation of Internet radio.

Radio:  Radio owes its development to two other inventions, the telegraph and the telephone; all three technologies are closely related. Radio technology began as “wireless telegraphy”. AM was the dominant method of broadcasting during the first eighty years of the 20th century and remains widely used into the 21st. It is a process of radio broadcasting using Amplitude Modulation or AM. AM radio has been around a lot longer than FM radio. The first radio broadcasts occurred in 1906 or so, and frequency allocation for AM radio occurred during the 1920s. In the 1920s, radio and electronic capabilities were fairly limited, hence the relatively low frequencies for AM radio

FM –This means Frequency Modulation Frequency modulation is a form of modulation which conveys information over a carrier wave by varying its frequency (contrast this with amplitude modulation, in which the amplitude of the carrier is varied while its frequency remains constant). In analog applications, the instantaneous frequency of the carrier is directly proportional to the instantaneous value of the input signal. This form of modulation is commonly used in the FM broadcast band. FM radio was invented by a man named Edwin Armstrong in order to make high-fidelity music broadcasting possible. He built the first station in 1939, but FM did not become really popular until the 1960s. By 1941, 50 FM stations were on the air. Then the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. The ensuing war diverted resources and froze development.

History of Radio:

The development of sound and broadcast technology was first exploited as a means for military and commercial communication. ‘Wireless Telegraphy’ used in 1912 to rebroadcast the SOS signal from the sinking Titanic. The Great War was a key factor in accelerating the application of wireless technology in the same way that the Second World War provided a social and political impetus in developing the practical skills of radio journalism and portable recording facilities.

In 1920, radio broadcasting was born. Powerful transmitters sent out radio waves representing the sound. These radio signals could be picked up by anyone within range with the right receiving equipment. The same basic technology is still in operation today. The shift from print-based journalism to electronic media began in the 1920s. Competition between newspapers and radio was minimal; because the latter was not yet effective news medium in 1920’s, Radio was beginning to make an impact on society and journalism.

Radio was the first medium for broadcast journalism. The source of information was newspaper. The commentators read out news from newspapers in the form of Headlines. People listened to radio bulletins, but to “read all about it” they picked up a tabloid or a foldout. In the 1920s, radio broadcasts consisted of between two to four hours of daily news read from newspapers. Classical music and church sermons took up the remaining programming. Daily 15-minute newscasts were common on stations by 1924. In 1925, more than 70 percent of air time was devoted to music; just .7 percent was devoted to news. By 1929, 40 percent of the population owned radios, tuning in to hear music, sports scores,

By 1930’s there was regular editorial spot for writers on social and cultural issues of the day, comedians to First Ladies show on radio. It was also the decade which saw the rise of 35mm Photography and Photojournalism. This decade saw the beginning of Radio Journalism… It is a boast the printed word can never match

News programs increased in the late 1930s due to the interest in the growing war in Europe. By 1941, almost every station in the U.S. had four to five local and one national news program daily. Edward R. Murrow broadcast war reports from London. “Today with Bob Trout” became “European News Roundup,” a 15-minute nightly news report. It was followed by a 15-minute commentary by H. V. Kaltenborn. Both shows on CBS were the country’s first 30-minute news broadcast. According to Edward Bliss’ book “Now the News,” from 1941 to 1945, the number of hours devoted to news programs doubled to 11 hours a week. By the early 1950s, news radio programs waned in popularity as the newest medium, television, turned listeners into viewers.

Birth of Radio Stations

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

  • It went on air in 1922. On14thNov, 1922, regular broadcasting started from London.
  • 12th May, 1928, First Broadcast of the BBC Dance Orchestra
  • 21st Aug, 1933, BBC News read by a woman for the first time.
  • (Soon it was discontinued)
  • BBC represented at the first time General Assembly of the International Broadcasting Union at Geneva on 3rd April, 1925
  • The first radio station to come up in London. It was broadcasting music, church sermons and small amount of news. Slowly many programs came from Thriller to comedy. And news started gaining importance.  

National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC)

  • NBC was the first major broadcast network in the United States. Soon CBS also came into airwaves.
  • It came into airwaves in 1927. Their first daily news program in 1930 was with Floyd Gibbons.
  • NBC’s the “University of Chicago Round – table,” which aired from 1931 – 1955, was radio’s first news hit. The panel discussion’s 30-minute format featured guests such as cabinet members, Congressional leaders and Prime Ministers to address political topics.

Columbian Broadcasting System (CBS)

  • On 21st January, 1927, the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) came on the airwaves
  • The CBS news commentary program, “The March of Time,” reported on the growing European war threat by Edward R. Murrow.
  • CBS aired its news program featuring journalist Lowell Thomas
  • News programs remained on the networks through the 1950s, such as “People’s Platform” on CBS for 14 years and the “Northwestern Reviewing Stand” on the Mutual Broadcasting network for 20 years.

All India Radio (AIR)

Radio Broadcasting began as an amateur effort in Nov, 1923 with the setting up of Radio Clubs in Kolkata and in June.1924 in Mumbai and Chennai. Licenses then were provided by British Government. It started as Indian State Broadcasting Corporation. In 1936, it was renamed as All India Radio. In 1957, it was renamed as Akashwani, controlled by the Government of Information & Broadcasting.

The history of broadcasting in India is very interesting. As per the Govt. of India Act

1935, state governments were allowed to run radio stations. With the constitution

coming into force in 1950, broadcasting was put in the central list. In 1942 during the

Quit India Movement, Dr. Ram Monohar Lohia ran an underground Radio Station for three months.

The resurgence of Radio actually took place in India in 1995 with the commencement of

FM broadcast by AIR, where some slots were given to private producers on

sponsorship basis. Privatization in Radio came to India in 2003 with private players

being given the licenses to operate FM Radio Stations. This practice continued with

more and more FM Stations being given licenses in phases. The entertainment

programs primarily based on music and vociferous Radio Jockeys along with

interactive formats made FM very popular, especially among the young people and

radio sets got back their positions in the households and found new places in buses and

auto rickshaws.

At the time of Independence, it had 6 radio stations. By late 1990’s it had 146 AM Stations. The number of radio receivers increased almost five times between 1970 and 1994. Initially it was around 14 million that rose to nearly 65 million.

In 1994, almost 70 hours of news, entertainment programs were broadcasted in various languages with the help of 32 shortwave transmitters. The broadcasting technology in India is mostly indigenous and reaches far and wide to various listeners like farmers who require various updated information on plant protection, agro climatic, and other agriculture-related information.

Radio was vital medium of networking and communication, mainly because lack of any other mediums. All the major national affairs and social events were transmitted through radio. It played a vital role in social integration of the entire nation. It focused on development of national consciousness. The early history of Indian radio broadcasting in independent India set the parameters for the succeeding role of television in the nation. In those days radio was considered as an integral medium of communication, primarily due to the absence of any motion medium. All the national affairs and social changes were informed through the waves of broadcast media and within no time, popularity of radio spread nationwide. Indian radio proved to be a prime medium of social integration

It was due to the same reason of static thoughts prevailing in the society; that television came into existence in 1959. Television broadcasts started from Delhi in September 1959, again associated with the All India Radio`s services.

The news reporting through radio customarily presented the government`s point of view and there was hardly any public interaction. The newsreaders used to narrate their script and the audience would listen to the frequency according to their choice.

Indian Radio now enjoys equal importance as television and print media. The developments of radio in India was steady during the 1960s and 70s but accelerated during the 1980s and 90s. Radio has now become an intimate form of communication and the FM channels like Red FM, Radio Mirchi, Power FM and others have contributed greatly in developing this strong network.

Indian Radio Programs

There are numerous Indian radio programs broadcasted in the Indian Radio Stations, both national and the private channels. The Indian radio programs deals with various kinds of subjects lately. In the previous years, news programs were presented in a plain manner through news reading. However, with passage of time, these news programs on radio have become equally interesting and interactive as the one`s on Television. Radio Mirchi presents their news show in each of the cities following the similar pattern, but the names vary according to the city. For instance, it is `Hi Delhi` in New Delhi and `Hi Kolkata` in Kolkata.

The Indian radio programs of comedy are miscellaneous in content and aim at crunchy entertainment in short durations all through the day. Some Indian radio programs also discuss films and cultural activities of the country and update their audience with the happening cultural activities of their respective cities. Although majority of the Indian radio programs revolves around music, instrumentals and super hit songs, the curriculum, of such programs never seem bland, rather come up with surprising twists every time they are presented. The Indian radio programs often focuses on relationships, personal problems, women activities and charitable activities. Many promoting shows on Indian Radio make the slogans of the local charitable organizations vocal. Such programs aim at much higher profit that just entertainment and Indian radio has sufficed every requirement of the Indians. Whether it is enjoyment, or winning prizes, or debates and even contributing to some social work, the Indian radio programs have devised enough opportunities for the audiences.

Some interesting regional radio programs of India, promotes the tradition and culture of the respective state through discussions with the experts. These Indian radio shows often call upon social activists and experts to their studios, discuss about various issues, and awaken the audience of the same.

The Indian radio programs have become popular with passing years and is believed to be one`s closest and most personal mate that offers numerous options to an individual`s choice and preferences.

Radio personalities

Radio Mirchi Indian radio personalities brought about some of the most significant changes in the audio media of the nation. Lately, the radio organizations are made up of copywriters, producers, compering executives and most importantly radio jockeys. The RJs or the radio jockeys have been serving the Indian radio competently for almost a century. Earlier they were known as the radio announcers, who only functioned as news readers or hosts and later with the advent of FM channels the Radio Announcer were referred to as Radio Jockey or RJ. Nowadays being a radio jockey has become a desired career option due to its lucrative future and celebrity status.

Lately, the radio jockeys play the role of the navigator as well as entertain the listeners and simultaneously provide updated online information. Every successful RJ is best known for his own style of communicating. A sweet, mid to heavy voice is considered to be the best one for broadcasting. However, individualistic charm of the Indian radio personalities made them actually famous. To deliver all of it through voice is not that easy task and confidence is the key word to attain success.

Ameen Sayani, one of the most popular radio announcers of Indian Radio, is presently working for Red FM. He attained fame with Binaca Geetmala and Bournvita Quiz Contest and ruled over the airwaves during 1950s and 1960s. His elder brother Hamid Sayani has also been a radio personality of international fame. The celebrity actor Sunil Dutt started his career in Indian media through Radio. Vijay Kishore Dubey and Shiv Kumar Saroj are also two of the popular radio announcers of Indian Radio. After the popularisation of FM channels, the trend of radio jockeys increased even more. FM channel broadcasts in stereo and has very good sound quality as compared to other short, medium wave channels. As a result, the vocal talent of the radio jockeys is truly exploited extensively in these FM channels. Rhicha Vyas and RJ Prateek are the two most popular radio jockeys of contemporary Indian Radio. The medium has reached out its local audiences through radio jockeys like Anuj Gurwara and Cindu Chandrasekharan.

Community Radio

Many of the first radio stations were cooperative community radio ventures not making a profit. It is a type of radio service which offers a third model of radio broadcasting beyond commercial broadcasting and public broadcasting. Community radio stations are operated, owned, and influenced by the communities they serve. They are generally nonprofit and provide a mechanism for enabling individuals, groups, and communities to tell their own stories, to share experiences and, in a media-rich world, to become creators and contributors of media.

Modern community radio stations serve their listeners by offering a variety of content that is not necessarily provided by the larger commercial radio stations. Community radio outlets may carry news and information programming geared toward the local area

Radio is the main source of news and entertainment for most of India. All India Radio is

in the top tier of radio coverage, as it is the public service broadcaster. Private FM

Radio Stations have now become the second tier. Community Radio promises to be the third tier, closest to the people.

Community Radio focuses on low cost and low return pattern of operation, which is aimed at educating and entertaining the community using their own idioms and language in contrast to the private FM Radio, which is primarily driven by entertainment and business considerations.

Community radio stations were in operation on cable systems from 1978. In the UK, the idea of community-based services can be traced back at least as far as the original concept for BBC local radio in the early 1960s

In India, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, 47 community radio stations were operational in India by 1 November 2009 (including 45 campus-based stations and two CRS run by NGOs). By 4 December 2009, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had issued Grant of Permission Agreements (GOPA) for 62 community radio stations. Most of the GOPAs were issued to educational institutions.

Commercial Radio

Commercial broadcasting is the broadcasting of television programs and radio programming by privately owned corporate media. Commercial broadcasting is primarily based on the practice of airing radio advertisements and television advertisements for profit.

Radio broadcasting originally began without paid commercials. As time went on, however, advertisements seemed less objectionable to both the public and government regulators and became more common. While commercial broadcasting was unexpected in radio, in television it was planned due to commercial radio’s success. Television began with commercial sponsorship and later transformed to paid commercial time.

In the United States, on November 2, 1920, KDKA aired the first commercial broadcast

In March 1922, in Seattle WA, Remick’s Music Store sponsored a one night a week program on station KFC, co-owned by an electric shop and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper. Remick’s supported the show with big ads in the newspaper– inviting people to come in after the show and purchase the songs the Remick’s Singers had just performed.

On April 4, 1922, car dealer Alvin T. Fuller purchased time on WGI, Medford Hillside, MA and did so again several more times

The radio industry has changed significantly since that first broadcast in 1920, and radio is big business today. Although other media and new technologies now place more demands on consumer’s time, 95% of people still listen to the radio every week. Internet radio listening is also growing, with 13 percent of the U.S. population listening via this method. Although consumers have more choices today, 92 percent of listeners stay tuned in when commercials break into their programming.


Radio has made a comeback in the lifestyles of Indians. Radio has the reputation of being the oldest and the cheapest medium of entertainment in India. The radio industry has been completely reshaped by the various private players that entered the sector after the government allowed foreign investment into the segment and opened the licenses to the private players.

  • AM & FM 

The first one which was used in olden days for transmission purpose is AM & FM.

  • Satellite radio

Satellite radio is one of the fastest-growing entertainment services in the world and it is making its presence felt in a small but a positive way in India. A satellite radio is basically a digital unit that receives signals broadcast by communications satellite. This allows a person with a set to follow his favorite stations anywhere in the country unlike the terrestrial radio (AM and FM) whose signals are limited to a certain area depending on the power of the station. Some of the advantages of a satellite radio are that the sound is of digital quality and there are no commercials. But it is not for free, it is available on subscription for a fee. An example would be “world space radio”.

  • HD radio 

(“hybrid digital” or “high definition”) is a brand name of a method of digital transmission of AM and FM radio stations. The HD Radio system is unique which allows stations to broadcast crystal-clear audio and a variety of text-based services, as well as more FM channels, without changing to new frequency bands. Hybrid system is a system in which digital signals are sent along with the analog carrier.

  • Internet radio

Internet radio e-Radio is an audio broadcasting service transmitted via the Internet

BBC Radio – Case History

1920’s – The total staff of the broadcasting company was just four people. It had been set up only a few weeks earlier by the manufacturers of wireless sets, mindful that the public needed something to listen to. The task of reading those first bulletins on 14 November, at six o’clock and nine o’clock, fell to the director of programs, Arthur Burrows. He read each bulletin twice – once quickly and once slowly – and asked listeners to say what they preferred. Just imagine, he said, having to read an item about, say, a political crisis in Czechoslovakia – littered with “place names strange to the eye, and looking as though they had fallen accidentally from a child’s alphabet box”.

The first bulletins included details of the opening of the Old Bailey sessions, a speech by the Conservative leader Bonar Law, the aftermath of a “rowdy meeting” involving Winston Churchill, a train robbery, the sale of a Shakespearean first folio, fog in London – and “the latest billiards scores”.

The second day of news broadcasts brought the first results of the 1922 general election. The Times reported the following morning that, with no more than thirty thousand people holding wireless licenses, perhaps the most interesting feature of election night “was the phenomenon of “listening-in parties”.

23 December 1922 – Daytime bulletins banned

“I do not think there is much demand for an earlier bulletin,” said John Reith – who, aged 33, took over as the BBC’s general manager exactly a week after the transmission of this first so-called “General News Bulletin”. As a result of a deal with the press and the news agencies, it had been agreed that no news would be broadcast before seven o’clock at night.

“We want to work smoothly with the newspapers,” said the BBC’s Sir William Noble. The hope, he said, was that broadcasting would serve as “an incentive to the public to buy more newspapers”. Reith pointed out in his autobiography, collecting news was a “very costly business”.

There were other restrictions, too, in these early days. Bulletins had to begin with the words: “Copyright news from Reuters, Press Association, Exchange Telegraph and Central News”.

Also, there was to be no coverage of controversial subjects – just as there were to be no live commentaries on sports events.

The absurdity of the restrictions was underlined in 1926 when BBC radio was able to broadcast live from the Derby. Listeners could thrill to the thunder of hooves, and the shouts of the crowd. But there was no commentary – and the audience had to wait until seven o’clock to find out who had won.

30 April 1926 – Daytime bulletins banned

The general strike of 1926 was to change forever the public perception of broadcast news.

The drama began on 30 April, when the voice of John Reith interrupted a music program to inform the nation of a strike by Britain’s miners.

The Government was in favour of taking over BBC and making it their voice / mouth piece

1 January 1927 – Bulletins given new reporting freedom

On 1 January 1927 the British Broadcasting Company became the British Broadcasting Corporation.

The birth of the new BBC also brought a new freedom “to collect news of and information relating to current events in any part of the world”.

The charter granted to the corporation also opened the door to news before seven o’clock in the evening. And a bulletin at half past six was introduced, after further negotiations between the agencies, the newspapers and John Reith – now honoured with a knighthood and given a new job title as the first director general of the BBC.Over a period of two years, the amount of time devoted to news bulletins doubled. Alongside the expansion in news came an expansion in sports commentaries – another result of the change from company to corporation. Highlights in 1927 included the Derby, the Boat Race and the FA Cup Final.What the charter had not done, however, was to end the ban on broadcasts about controversial topics – to Sir John Reith’s great disappointment. But he continued to press the case, and took care to offer safeguards: for example, that there would be no expression of views contrary to the interests of the state.In March 1928 the government agreed that – while the BBC could still not express an editorial opinion – it was now free to broadcast on “matters of political, industrial or religious controversy”.In August 1929, after the close of radio programs, the BBC started transmitting experimental television pictures – although the start of a television news service was still many years away.1930 – Technological changes in the newsroomReuters and the like were still supplying most of the raw material but the BBC was now taking the lead in the selection and editing of stories for its bulletins. This was made possible following the installation of a full service of news agency tape machines in the newsroom at Savoy Hill.The editorial staff was doubled – and soon found its hands full.In addition to the output of the tape machines, information began pouring in, too, from the various arms of government. This was largely in the form of official announcements – such as advice to post early for Christmas, and warnings about heavy traffic. Eventually, the bulletins became so cluttered with these “official notices” that a separate slot had to be created for some of them – leaving the news staff to concentrate on the real news.Prints public holiday meant for radio no news. Listeners who tuned in to hear the bulletin on Good Friday itself were informed: “There is no news.” Piano music followed.1932 – The rise of the news announcerThe BBC did not acquire its first newsman with newspaper experience until 1932.Yet the audience continued to grow. One factor, certainly, was the appeal of the newsreaders. Just as in entertainment and drama, appearing on the radio – if only to read the news – was a passport to celebrity. Newsreaders seemed a species apart, who dressed accordingly (since January 1926, announcers had been under orders to wear dinner-jackets in the evening, as a mark of respect to performers also obliged to dress formally).Adding to the air of mystery, the BBC insisted that the announcers remained anonymous on air – though the Radio Times did sometimes publish the odd photograph.However, in 1932 the Daily Express gave the names of Stuart Hibberd, TC Farrar, John Snagge, Godfrey Adams and Freddie Grisewood. Clearly, the public held them close to its heart. One chronicler of the BBC observed that: “An announcer could not cough during a broadcast without receiving presents of everything from cough-lozenges to woolen underwear.”1938 – Foreign language services launchedThe BBC’s first foreign language service began in 1938 with the launch of the Arabic Service. The aim was to use “straightforward information and news”. And the immediate hope was to counter the propaganda that Arabs were hearing from a station set up by the Italian leader, Mussolini, after his troops had overrun Abyssinia. The Munich crisis, in September 1938, ensured the explosion in international broadcasting would continue. At just a few hours’ notice, the BBC was asked to provide news bulletins in German, French and Italian – to accompany translations of an address to the nation by the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain. Reports tell of a German speaker being dragged out of a cocktail party to help. It was soon decided that the new European services should continue indefinitely.1939 – Broadcasting and listening to the world”It’s war now. Tell the truth – that’s our job.” This was the message to the BBC’s domestic news staff from their editor on 3 September 1939 – the day that marked the start of World War II. Already though, the BBC was on a war footing. On 25 August, domestic radio began carrying extra news in mid-morning, and at lunchtime – something new for an audience accustomed to hearing no bulletins until the evening.The following day brought an invaluable strengthening of the Broadcasting House news operation – with the establishment of the BBC Monitoring Service. Hundreds of recruits, many of them refugees from Nazism, were given the task of listening in to foreign broadcasters – from a base in the grounds of a country house, at Wood Norton near Evesham in Worcestershire. The monitors were soon covering almost 250 foreign bulletins a day in thirty languages. The news team also found their own numbers increased – by an influx from television. Just two days before war began, the infant television service had closed down – for fear that enemy aircraft might fasten on to its transmitter.The expansion of broadcasting to listeners overseas continued apace. When the war began, Britain was speaking to the world in English, Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese, German, Italian, French and Afrikaans.By the end of 1939, the list of target audiences had been expanded to include Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Rumania, Yugoslavia, Greece, French Canada, and Turkey.In another sign of the times, announcers on the new Home Service were no longer required to wear dinner-jackets for the evening shift. There is said to have been a sense that standards were slipping when one of them now took to occasionally wearing shorts.1940 – War presents new challengesThe BBC had made no attempt to hide any bad news – of which there was plenty in the early days of 1940. The Admiralty was soon accusing it of “unrelieved pessimism” over its reports of Britain’s losses at sea.Churchill became the prime minister of a national government in May 1940 – and described the BBC as “the enemy within the gates, doing more harm than good”. The number of daily bulletins had gone up to ten but gradually, the number was reduced, eventually to six. It was the nine o’clock evening bulletin that provided a focus for the nation – “almost as sacrosanct as family prayers are said once to have been”, according to historian of the BBC, Asa Briggs. Audiences regularly numbered sixteen million – half the adult population. The bulletins were also changing fundamentally. The formal weather forecasts disappeared altogether – to avoid giving help to enemy planes.1940/1941War prompts naming and campaigningThe summer of 1940 brought an end to the BBC tradition of nameless newsreaders – at least for a time. The BBC explained that, in wartime, listeners “must be able to recognise instantly the authentic voice of BBC broadcasting”. It was on the lunchtime news of 13 July 1940 that Frank Phillips became the first reader to identify himself.1943 – War broadcasts fetedThere can be no doubt that the BBC’s news broadcasts to Europe – and beyond – played a critical part in the struggle against the Axis powers. The daily audience in Germany itself for BBC broadcasts is estimated eventually to have reached at least ten million – and perhaps half as many again.1945- BBC war coverage applaudedBBC News emerged from WWII with its reputation vastly enhanced. News bulletins were widely believed to have been fundamental to the morale of the troops.It was a “big factor”, said writer and broadcaster Desmond Hawkins, “the huge difference between the First and the Second World War”.In the process, the nature of the news operation had itself been transformed. Many changes were evident on air. But, behind the scenes, large numbers of newspaper journalists had been recruited to challenge the BBC’s ways of doing things. The new arrivals helped to “kick out the stuffiness,” according to former war correspondent Frank Gillard.
Throughout the conflict, BBC News had also gained enormously from the expertise of the Monitoring Service. The monitors had succeeded in capturing the war’s “immediacy, its intricacy, its subplots and its surprises”, wrote the BBC’s historian, Asa Briggs.Overall, the BBC emerged in 1945 as the world’s leading international broadcaster. It had gone into the war broadcasting in seven foreign languages. It came out of it broadcasting in 45.1970 – Voices from the fieldListeners to Radio 4 in 1970 found their daily dose of news and current affairs much altered.The controversial Broadcasting in the Seventies document had laid down plans for a new pattern of “generic radio”.The plan for Radio 4 was that it should become a “wholly speech network” – with an expansion of news and current affairs.The spring schedules brought the first editions of PM and The World Tonight on 6 April – now two of the bedrocks of Radio 4.The most radical changes in 1970 came in the “straight” radio news bulletins. For the most part, listeners were accustomed to hearing just one voice during a bulletin. That was the newsreader, delivering his script in traditional BBC style. “If the journalist reporting is really good, there is no substitute for hearing him say what he has to say”, was his verdict. In his view, BBC radio news bulletins were now doing “more efficiently than before their job of telling people what is happening and explaining it”.1991 – Radio 5 launches non-stop newsSaddam Hussein brought a non-stop news service to BBC radio early in 1991. It took three years to make it a permanent fixture.Radio5 Live sprang into life on 28 March 1994. Birt saw it as providing “a service of intelligent news and sport for a younger audience”, “coherent and cohesive”.Jenny Abramsky, in charge of radio news and current affairs, saw 5Live as “engaging and accessible”, finding a “new tone” for radio news programs.1997 – News on the moveIn 1997 BBC radio news journalists left Broadcasting House to join their TV colleagues in a purpose-built extension to Television Centre.

History of Indian radio

Broadcasting began in India with the formation of a private radio service in Madras (now Chennai) in 1924. In the very same year, British colonial government approved a license to a private company, the Indian Broadcasting Company, to inaugurate Radio stations in Bombay (now Mumbai) and Calcutta (now Kolkata). The Company almost went bankrupt in 1930 but the colonial government took away the two transmitters and the Department of labor and Industries started operating them as the Indian State Broadcasting Corporation. In 1936, this very Corporation was renamed All India Radio (AIR) and was controlled by the Department under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Government of India controls the radio broadcasting in India that works under the Directorate General of All India radio. It was established in 1936 and since 1957. All India radio was renamed as Akashwani. Akashwani is a Government-owned, semi-commercial operation of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. There were only 6 radio stations in India at the time of Independence. All India radio’s network expanded by the mid-1990’s to around 146 AM stations along with a National Channel, the Integrated North-east service that aimed at reaching out to the tribal groups in northeast India and handles the external Services. There are five regional headquarters for All India radio, namely in the North Zone in New Delhi, the east Zone in Kolkata, the North-east Zone in Guwahati, Assam, the West Zone in Mumbai, and the South Zone in Chennai.

The Government owned network of Indian radio provides both national and local programs in Hindi, English, and Sixteen regional languages. Commercial radio services in India started in 1967 by Vividh Bharti Service with its headquarters at Mumbai. Vividh Bharti earned its revenues from extensive advertisements and had been broadcasting from thirty-one AM and FM stations during the mid-1990’s. India has a wide-ranging network of medium wave and short-wave stations.

The Broadcasting equipment used in India is mainly indigenous and reaches special audiences, such as farmers needing agro climate, plant protection, and other agriculture-related information. The number of radio receivers increased almost five times between 1970 and 1994. Initially it was around 14 million that rose to nearly 65 million. Most radios are also produced within India.

The foreign broadcast service is a foundation of the External Services Division of All India radio. In 1994 seventy hours of news, features, and entertainment programs were broadcast daily in twenty-five languages using thirty-two shortwave transmitters. The primary target audiences are the listeners in neighboring countries and the large overseas Indian Community.

The early history of Indian radio broadcasting in Independent India set the parameters for the succeeding role of television in the nation. At the Independence, the Congress government under Jawaharlal Nehru followed three major goals, firstly, to achieve political integration, secondly, to attain economic development, and finally, to achieve social modernization. Indian broadcast media was expected to play an important role in all these areas.  In those days radio was considered as an integral medium of communication, primarily due to the absence of any motion medium. All the national affairs and social changes were informed through the waves of broadcast media and within no time, popularity of radio spread nationwide. Indian radio proved to be a prime medium of social integration.

Indian took birth and was promoted by the government at its best for the objective of political nation building. National integration and the development of a “National consciousness” happened to be the primary objective of All India Radio. Broadcasting was organized as the solitary reason of the chief planner of this process of political integration – the State.  The mission of broadcasting helped to overcome the urgent crisis of political volatility that followed Independence and cultivated the long-term progression of political modernization and nation building that was the prevailing ideology of the newly formed nation.

Indian radio also took up the task of aiding in the development of economic scenario. The Indian Constitution was adopted in 1950 and authorized a strong role for the Indian State in the economic development of the country. The use of broadcasting was further considered to be a development process that was naturally a consequence to this state-led developmental philosophy. Indian radio was specially designed program to contribute to the process of social modernisation, which was an important pre-requisite of economic development. The dominant development philosophy of the time scrutinized the problems of development as the basic ones in the developing countries. These internal causes included traditional value systems; lack of entrepreneurial ability, lack of innovation and lack of a national consciousness and experts could suggest only communication solutions to bring upon. The main problem was that the old ideas were influencing the young minds thus hindering the process of social change and modernization. The role of broadcasting provided an inlet for the flow of modern ideas.

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

Prasar Bharati Act

The Prasar Bharati Act provides for establishment of a Broadcasting Corporation, to be known as Prasar Bharati, to define its composition, functions and powers. The Act grants autonomy to All India Radio and Doordarshan, which were previously under government control. The Act received assent of President of India on September 12, 1990 after being unanimously passed by Parliament. It was finally implemented in September 1997. By the Prasar Bharati Act, all the property, assets, debts, liabilities, payments of money due, all suits and legal proceedings involving Akashvani (All India Radio) and Doordarshan were transferred to Prasar Bharati.

Prasar Bharati is a statutory autonomous body established under the Prasar Bharati Act and came into existence on 23.11.1997. It is the Public Service Broadcaster of the country. The objectives of public service broadcasting are achieved in terms of Prasar Bharati Act through All India Radio and Doordarshan, which earlier were working as media units under the Ministry of I&B and since the above said date became constituents of Prasar Bharati.


All India Radio (AIR) has been serving to inform, educate and entertain the masses since its inception, truly living up to its motto – ‘Bahujan Hitaya: Bahujan Sukhaya’.


To provide information, education and entertainment, for promoting the welfare and happiness of the masses.  All India Radio strives to:

  • Uphold the unity of the country and the democratic values enshrined in the constitution
  • Present a fair and balanced flow of information of national, regional, local and international 
  • interest, including contrasting views, without advocating any opinion or ideology of its own.
  • Promote the interest and concerns of the entire nation, being mindful of the need for harmony and understanding within the country and ensuring that the programs reflect the varied elements which make the composite culture of India.
  • Produce and transmit varied programs designed to awaken, inform, enlighten, educate, entertain and enrich all sections of the people.
  • Produce and transmit programs relating to developmental activities in all their facets including extension work in agriculture, education, health and family welfare and science & technology.
  • Serve the rural, illiterate and under-privileged population, keeping in the mind the special needs and interest of the young, social and cultural minorities, the tribal population and those residing in border regions, backward or remote areas.
  • Promote social justice and combat exploitation, inequality and such evils as untouchability and narrow parochial loyalties.
  • Serve the rural population, minority communities, women, children, illiterate as well as other weaker and vulnerable sections of the society.
  • Promote national integration.

AIR Broadcast Code & Ethics

Broadcast on All India Radio by individuals will not permit:

  1. Criticism of friendly countries;
  2. Attack on religions or communities;
  3. Anything obscene or defamatory;
  4. Incitement to violence or anything against maintenance of law & order
  5. Anything amounting to contempt of court;
  6. Aspersions against the integrity of the President, Governors and the Judiciary.
  7. Attack on a political party by name;
  8. Hostile criticism of any State or the Center;
  9. Anything showing disrespect to the Constitution or advocating change in the Constitution by violence; but advocating changes in a constitutional way should not be debarred.
  10. Appeal for funds except for the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund, at a time of External Emergency or if the Country is faced with a natural calamity such a floods, earthquake or cyclone.
  11. Direct publicity for or on behalf of an individual or organization which is likely to benefit only that individual or organization.
  12. Trade names in broadcasts which amount to advertising directly (except in Commercial Services).


  1. The code applies to criticism in the nature of personal tirade either of a friendly Government or of political party or of the Central Government or any State Government. But it does not debar reference to and/or dispassionate discussion of policies pursued by any of them.
  2. If a Station Director finds that the above Code has not been respected in any particular by an intending broadcaster he will draw the latter’s attention to the passage objected to. If the intending broadcaster refuses to accept the Station Director’s suggestions and modify his accordingly, the Station Director will be justified in refusing his or her broadcast.
  3. Cases of unresolved differences of opinion between a Minister of State Government and the Station Director about the interpretation of the Code with regard to a talk to be broadcast by the former will be referred to the Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India who will decide finally whether or not any change in the text of the talk is necessary in order to avoid violation of the Code.  


The Election Commission (EC) recognises the significance of television and radio in the coverage of elections. Their reach is widespread and impact substantial. On the one hand, the electronic media can be misused to favour one party or another. But on the other hand, the EC recognises that electronic media can, if used properly be an important source of information for voters across the country. It can provide the widest first-hand education for voters on political parties, their symbols, various leaders and different issues in the election. This is why electronic media all over the world is the single biggest source of information of voters in terms of debates, campaign, coverage etc.

It is essential therefore that a model code of conduct is established for electronic media both to ensure that it is not misused as well as to ensure that it be used in the best interest of democracy and the voter.

Listed below are the Dos and Don’ts for election coverage on electronic media.


  1. There should be no coverage of any election speeches or other material that incites violence, against one religion, against one language, against one group etc.
  2. In any constituency, only one candidate should not be projected. While it is not   necessary to cover every single candidate (as some constituencies may have   several candidates), at least the more important candidates should be covered in any reports from a constituency.
  3. The following could be covered in a balanced and fair manner:
  • Campaigning and excerpts from campaign speeches.
  • Symbols, banners, flags and other campaign materials of parties.
  • Results of opinion polls by non-political, professional organisations with a proven track record.
  • Party manifestoes (critical analysis of which is also perfectly legitimate.)
  • Candidates and their views in different constituencies across the country.
  • The positions taken by the main parties on different issues important to the electorate.
  • Debates between major parties and candidates.
  • Analysis of previous voting patterns, victory margins, swings etc.

4.   By ‘balanced and fair’ it is meant that among the major political parties:

  • No political parties should be given substantially more coverage than others. The ‘balance’ need not be achieved in any single day or in a single story, but over a reasonable period of time, say one week.
  • Balance does not mean each party must get exactly the same air time to the last second, but parties should be given broadly the same amount of time.
  • Balance implies that to no reasonable person should it appear that one political party is being projected to the exclusion of others.

5.   Procedures:

  • All producers must record a copy of their program off air for use as reference in case of any disputes.
  • The EC shall be the final arbiter in any dispute.

6.   The final interpretation of any disputed passage or story should be with

  • The Election Case of disagreement with the broadcaster, one authority could be nominated by the Election
  • Commission who could take a decision immediately when approached.

  *Subsequent clarifications-


Exit poll results are not to be published/broadcast before the completion of each phase of polling.

FM Phase-Ill Policy extends FM radio services to about 227 new cities, in addition to the present 86 cities, with a total of 839 new FM radio Channels in 294 cities. Phase -III policy will result in coverage of all cities with a population of one lakh and above with private FM radio channels. 

Salient features of the approved Policy for Phase-Ill as against Phase-11 are as under:

  1. Radio operators have been permitted carriage of news bulletins of All India Radio. 
  2. Broadcast pertaining to the certain categories like information pertaining to sporting events, traffic and weather, coverage of cultural events, festivals, coverage of topics pertaining to examinations, results, admissions, career counseling, availability of employment opportunities, public announcements pertaining to civic amenities like electricity, water supply, natural calamities, health alerts etc. as provided by the local administration will be treated as non-news and current affairs broadcast and will therefore be permissible. 
  3. The limit on the ownership of Channels, at the national level, allocated to an entity has been retained at 15%. However, channels allotted in Jammu & Kashmir, North Eastern States and island territories will be allowed over and above the 15% national limit to incentivise the bidding for channels in such areas; 
  4. Private operators have been allowed to own more than one channel but not more than 40% of the total channels in a city subject to a minimum of three different operators in the city. 
  5. FDI+FII limit in a private FM radio broadcasting company has been increased from 20% to 26%;
  6. Networking of channels will be permissible within a private FM broadcaster’s own network across the country instead of in ‘C’ and ‘D’ category cities only of a region allowed at present. 
  7. A choice is proposed to be given to the private FM broadcasters to choose any agency other than BECIL for construction of CTI within a period of 3 months of issuance of LOI failing which BECIL will automatically become the system integrator and set up co-location facilities and CTI. 
  8. Special incentives for North East (NE) Region and Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) and Island territories: 
  • Private FM Radio broadcasters in North East (NE) Region and Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) and Island territories will be required to pay half the rate of annual license fee for an initial period of three years from the date from which the annual license fee becomes payable and the permission period of fifteen (15) years begins. 
  • The revised fee structure has also been made applicable for a period of three years, from the date of issuance of guidelines, to the existing operators in these States to enable them to effectively compete with the new operators. 
  • Apart from the fee relaxation, it is further proposed that Prasar Bharati infrastructure would be made available at half the lease rentals for similar category cities in such areas. 
  • The limit on the ownership of Channels, at the national level, allocated to an entity has been retained at 15%. However, channels allotted in Jammu & Kashmir, North Eastern States and island territories will be allowed over and above the 15% national limit to incentivise the bidding for channels in such areas.

The provisions of the Policy will also be available to FM Phase-II operators. 

The incentives provided in the Policy with regard to J&K, North Eastern States and Island territories will make the operations viable in these areas and are expected to result in better offtake of channels. The steps taken in the new policy will bring down operational costs and improve viability in general. To improve the viability further as against a maximum of 4 channels in D category cities permitted in FM Phase-II, FM Phase-Ill proposes only 3 FM channels in D category cities so that there are lesser operators to share the advertisement pie. The reduction in the lock in period of shareholding of promoters/majority shareholders from the present 5 years to 3 years will give them greater freedom to change the Share Holding Pattern. 

Content diversification because of news content provided by All India Radio, because of categories being specifically permitted and because of multiple ownership of channels in a city except in D category cities will allow operators to distinguish themselves from others to be able to cater to niche audiences. This will also increase the overall listenership base and the listening time. 

E-auction for the channels will be conducted in batches and number of batches will be decided by the Ministry of I&B, depending upon the response from the bidders after auction of first batch. The Ministry of l&B will appoint an independent expert agency, though a transparent selection process, following established procedure, to conduct e-auction.

Community Radio in India

The initial struggle
A historic judgment delivered by the Supreme Court of India in February 1995 ruled that, “airwaves constitute public property and must be utilized for advancing public good.” The judgment further decreed that broadcasting media as a whole should promote freedom of expression and speech and, therefore, should be able to enjoy freedom from Government monopoly and control subject to regulation by a public body. Following this judgment, campaigners for community radio in India struggled through the good part of a decade for the creation of a new tier of not-for profit radio stations, owned and run by local people, typically in rural areas, which would enable marginalized communities to use the medium to create opportunities for social change, cohesion and inclusion as well as for creative and cultural expression.

De-monopolisation of Airwaves

Radio broadcasting in India shifted from being a government monopoly to a highly commercialised broadcasting after the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB), Government of India, announced the Phase I of auctioning of licenses in November 1999. The Phase II of the private FM radio licensing policy announced in July 2005 made access to the airwaves a whole lot simpler and feasible for the commercial players. Radio entertainment in India witnessed a revival of sorts, as the airwaves broke free from government control. However, the long-standing demands for a third tier of independent, not-for-profit broadcasting in the country yielded only a confined ‘campus’ avatar of community radio in the form of ‘Guidelines’ issued in the first quarter of 2003. That allowed “well-established” educational institutions to set up FM transmitters and run radio stations on their campuses.

This decision diluted somewhat the hegemony of the state and market over radio. But to open up the broadcasting sector for an urban, educated, elite coterie in areas that are already well-served by media violates the fundamental philosophy behind community radio. It was mere tokenism to say that campus radio would provide space for development and change-oriented content. If radio did not enable the marginalised, rural or poor populace to disseminate their own messages, and to challenge the mainstream understanding of social issues, the whole purpose would be lost.

Radio, designated by several as a medium of the poor, seemed to have been hijacked by the elites.  The Government of India for a long time resisted the demands for opening up this sector, under misplaced apprehensions that secessionists, militants or subversive elements would misuse the medium.

The Campaign for Community Radio in India

Several non-governmental organisations and media-activist groups campaigned for nearly a decade for the right to set up local radio broadcasting facilities to support their community development work. They also networked to further the cause of community radio in the country. This network, soon after the announcement of the community radio policy, came together in January 2007 to constitute the Community Radio Forum (CRF) of India. CRF has espoused the mandate to support and promote the setting up of community radio stations in India and to lobby for policy changes that would amplify the progressive nature of the community radio policy and further simplify and democratize the licensing procedures.

The Bangalore-based communication campaign group, ‘VOICES’ convened a gathering of radio broadcasters, policy planners, media professionals and not-for-profit associations in September 1996 to study how community radio could be relevant to India, and to deliberate on policies appropriate for such an action. A Declaration calling for the establishment of community broadcasting was signed. A suggestion that AIR’s local stations should allocate regular airtime for community broadcasting was put forward. Requests were also made for grant of licenses to NGOs and other non-profit making groups for running community radio stations. Subsequently, UNESCO made available a portable production and transmission “briefcase radio station” kit to VOICES to do experimental broadcasts of programs for a hands-on learning experience towards the objective of setting up an independently-run community radio station.

A UNESCO sponsored workshop, hosted by an Andhra Pradesh NGO, Deccan Development Society (DDS) from July 17-20, 2000 in Hyderabad issued the ‘Pastapur Initiative’ on community radio that urged the government to take its intentions of freeing broadcasting from state monopoly to its logical conclusion, by making media space available not only to private players but also to communities. This landmark document urged the government to create a three-tier structure of broadcasting in India by adding non-profit community radio to the already existing state-owned public radio and private commercial radio.

The spirited campaigning for communities’ right to access the airwaves and innumerable representations by organisations, academicians and individuals resulted in the MIB organising a workshop supported by the UNDP and UNESCO in May 2004 in New Delhi to design an enabling framework for community radio in India. The workshop brought together a large number of community radio enthusiasts, academics, NGOs and policy makers, who worked out a set of recommendations for a new community radio policy, one that would allow community groups to run their own radio stations. When the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued a consultation paper later that year, they arrived at largely the same formulations for community radio.

In July 2004 MIB prepared a draft policy based on the May consultations.  Subsequently, community radio groups in India launched an online petition campaign, urging the inclusion of the right of communities within the community radio policy and thereby ending the discrimination against rural and poor communities. In October 2005, the draft policy was referred to a group of ministers, who took about a year to give its approval after deliberating upon several contentious issues such as advertising, news and information, license fee, and spectrum availability.

These intense advocacy efforts and passionate debates about community radio broadcasting for the social sector finally capitulated into an inclusive community radio policy approved by the Union Cabinet in November 2006.

Community Radio Guidelines 2006

The new expanded policy permits non-governmental organisations and community-based groups, with a track record of developmental work, to set up Community Radio Stations (CRS). The CRS must have an ownership and management structure that is reflective of the community. At least 50% of content must be generated with participation of local community and the programs produced must be in the local language and dialect(s).  Advertising of a restricted nature is permitted for up to five minutes per hour of broadcast. The license is issued for five years and is non-transferable.

The license holder is expected to adhere to the provisions of the program and advertising code as prescribed for All India Radio. This relates essentially to the norms of good taste, decency and respect for religions, communities and friendly countries etc. The new policy, in its present structure, does not permit CRS to broadcast any programs, which relate to news and current affairs and are otherwise political in nature.

The application procedure for organizations other than Government recognized educational institutions, is not simple and requires clearances from several ministries before the CRS can be made operational. It is for this reason that after more than two years of the announcement of the policy only three out of the 48 functioning community radio stations in India are owned by developmental organizations. Others are all campus community radio stations.

Civil Society Initiatives in Rural India

Even as the government was dithering over legislation to facilitate the functioning of community radio in India, a few community-based organizations had initiated radio projects in rural India. Some made use of available spaces within the state sector of broadcasting while others, fearing co-optation and appropriation, steadfastly resisted the offer to use state radio. They, in the absence of an independent license, continued to creatively engage in narrowcasting i.e. playing back of programs on a tape recorder or reaching the people through television cable.

The Deccan Development Society (DDS), an NGO working with poor, rural, Dalit women in the Zaheerabad area of Medak district in Andhra Pradesh, set up a community radio station with assistance from UNESCO in 1998. In the absence of a licensing policy, programs produced by members of the community were narrowcast through tape-recorders in the village sangams (autonomous groups of women).  This CRS – Sangham Radio has finally gone on air on October 15, 2008 as India’s first rural community radio after securing a license under the new community radio policy. VOICES/MYRADA started an audio production centre, Namma Dhwani (Our Voice) in 2001 at Budhikote village in the Kolar district of Karnataka and have been cable-casting (through television cable link) programs made by rural men and women trained in basics of radio production. Going through the final stages of the licensing procedure, this initiative will soon go on air.

The Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan, (KMVS), an NGO working with rural women on their concerns in the villages of Kutch, the largest district of the Gujarat state in western India, offers a different model for community broadcasting in India. KMVS built on its long presence in the area of doing development work and started airing a 30-minute sponsored Kutchi language program on AIR’s Radio Bhuj in December 1999 by purchasing a commercial slot. They have since acquired the AIR slot for two subsequent series on AIR and call themselves Ujjas Radio. Owing to the vast geographical spread of the area in which KMVS functions, different blocks/communities have applied for separate licenses to operate their own CRS under the new policy. These stations would be seeking capacity building inputs from Ujjas. Chala Ho Gaon Mein is a community radio program supported by the National Foundation for India (NFI) and produced by community representatives of Alternative for India Development (AID), a grassroots level NGO in Jharkhand. From August 2001, the program has been broadcast from Daltongunj, a backward region in the Palamau district of the state, by using the AIR slot of the local station on terms similar to that of KMVS in Bhuj. The organization has acquired its license and is on air.

Other initiatives that merit mention here are the Henval Vaani and Mandakini ki Awaaz set up in the state of Uttarakhand by a media and development NGO, IdeoSync. Also, Bundelkhand Radio, of Development Alternatives, stared airing its programs as the second rural community radio station on October 23, 2008.

News Radio

News has two priorities: it must be current, and it must mean something to people. A story about the environment and a story about the Oscars can both be newsworthy, for different reasons. The objective of news is to inform the audience. It’s the job of all the news media to tell people what’s going on in their community – locally, nationally or globally. In this sense, the news media provide a valuable public service

‘News is something someone, somewhere doesn’t want you to print. The rest is advertising.’ – ANON

Journalism is the practice of investigation and reporting of events, issues and trends to a broad audience in a timely fashion.

‘Journalism – an ability to meet the challenge of filling the space’


A Journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist’s work is referred to as journalism.

“The essence of entertainment will not change. What has always counted is the story and the skill with which it is told.” — Michael Eisner, former CEO, The Walt Disney Company

“Storytelling is a basic part of every human culture—people have always had the need to participate emotionally in stories.” —Marlon Brando

News broadcasting is really two separate jobs. The first is covering the Big Story, an event of such magnitude that it affects the lives, well-being, or safety of your audience. The other is covering everything else.

On those “big news” days, it is not so important to worry about being creative. On those days, just gather the facts and get them on the air quickly. Give your listeners what they need to know. On those other days, the slower news days (that is most of the time), the news is like an insurance policy. Your newscast is in place, covering the day-to-day events of life, so that

people know where they can find the information and where to go on the big news day. And those big news days are often the days that journalists live for,

It’s important every day to choose stories that are interesting and affect your audience in some way. Pick items that connect listeners to what is happening in the community, what is new, interesting, or absurd. Give audiences talk able topics and entertain them with information.

Radio news can be much more exciting than many people realize. By doing what radio does best—getting on the air from a scene quickly and describing an event so listeners can visualize what is happening—we are using the most powerful tools we possess: immediacy and imagery.

An effective newsperson is a storyteller who exudes “energy,” someone who can generate enthusiasm and excitement from listeners and is interested in the topic. AIR is perfect example where the news sound like they are reading. The AIR news is very short and brief. It does not have details and so for more information one has to turn to newspaper or Television, as private FM stations do not have permission to broadcast news.

Powerful tools which a news broadcaster posses is Immediacy and imagery.

‘Yesterday’s newspaper is used to wrap fish and yesterday’s broadcast does not exist at all.’ – MARTIN MAYER

‘The strength of radio is its immediacy. Exploit that by constantly up-dating stories and keeping them fresh. We’re telling people what’s happening now.’ – MALCOLM SHAW, NEWS EDITOR, INDEPENDENT RADIO

‘Radio news is what happened five minutes ago and its impact on what is going to happen in the next five minutes.’ – RICHARD BESTIC, PARLIAMENTARY CORRESPONDENT

Powerful News Tips

  • Quality never goes out of style.
  • Don’t run with rumors.
  • Keep your views out of the news.
  • Take notes; sound recording devices can fail.
  • Accuracy; accuracy; accuracy.
  • Report fully and fairly. Omitting major facts or viewpoints is bad reporting.
  • It’s not news to barge into a disaster or crime scene and ask a victim, “How do you feel?”
  • Listen. The best questions come from answers.
  • Good reporting and good sound make good radio.
  • If it is not clear to you, it’s not clear to the listeners.
  • Words can be swords. Choose them carefully for an impact that enhances understanding of the story, not of you.
  • Read, read, read, for content and style, for emulation, and for information.
  • Understand the technical basics of sound reproduction and develop an ear for high fidelity. Then, don’t accept bad audio in your own work. Make sure you know how to use equipment and be very meticulous about maintenance.
  • Work as hard at communicating with your bosses and co-workers as you do with your audience.
  • Know your boundaries—and those of the station.
  • Practice, practice, practice ad-libbing factually so that your spontaneity with the news doesn’t tarnish your station’s reputation or your own.
  • Create your own style in writing and delivery.
  • Experience what your audience experiences so you can ask the questions that matter. Communicate the facts that are needed and tailor the emotion to the situation.
  • FEEL … and they will feel with you.
  • Don’t assume:

a) That you know more than your audience.

b) That your audience knows more than you.

c) That your opinion is welcome or important.

If a newscaster tells the truth in an interesting and, when appropriate, entertaining way, he or she can keep the attention of the listeners. A good reporter can cover a fire so descriptively that the listeners should almost be able to taste the smoke in the back of their throats. When you create “word pictures,” your news story is almost like a movie. It should be great storytelling. By making it interesting, powerful radio, you can have both credibility and interest.

Information is available everywhere: over the Internet, in the paper, and on TV. So why should a listener come to you for information? Because that listener cannot hear you, the storyteller, anywhere else. Storytelling is the power you have to make the listener experience an event or take in information in a unique way. Be creative. Put yourself into it, keep your opinion out of it, and get your facts right—but find the way to make the story yours.

The power and glory of a story often lies in its sound. Whenever possible, record and use natural sound. If you are covering a parade, festival, or demonstration, this is obvious. Use the sound of the event underneath your report to give listeners the feel of “being on the scene.” Less obvious, and less frequently heard, are the sounds of more routine events. Think creatively. Use sound to help you tell your story. Television has pictures, but in radio we have something even more powerful in our arsenal. We have imagination. By using sound and describing events and people in detail, we can stimulate imagination in a way television simply cannot.

Types Of News

News is about what is happening now – or the first inkling of something that happened earlier but was hushed up. And nowhere is news more immediate than in the electronic media. ‘You catch it live!’ used to be the catchphrase of one radio station’s sports service. It is a boast the printed word can never match. To the broadcast journalist, what happened yesterday is dead and buried. There has to be something new to say, some fresh angle. And with hourly headlines, even what went on at 11 will have to be updated for noon. To put it another way: “news is only news while it is new.”

Broadcast news is often criticized for pandering to the popular taste, but by its very nature, broadcasting caters for the mass interest, rather than that of a minority. Stories must have a wide appeal or most of the audience will change channels. The skill of the news writer comes in drawing out the relevance of a story and presenting it clearly and factually while making the most of every scrap of interest. This way the news writer can give the audience what it needs to know – as well as what it wants to know. The most interesting element in news is often people – show business personalities, celebrities, big-name politicians, royalty – elite people, who we know only from a distance and who interest us out of curiosity, envy, admiration, malice or affection; people through whom we live our lives vicariously, or whose actions and decisions influence and shape our existence.

1. Emergencies

The emergency services deal with the high points of human drama – fires, sea or mountain rescues – whenever human life is at risk there is a story.

2. Crime

Rising crime rates offer a steady source of news. The larger the area, the more crime there will be, so only more serious offences are likely to be reported. Crime stories have many phases, from the actual incident, to the police raid, arrest, and eventual appearance in court.

3. Local and National Government

Every action of government – locally or nationally – has a bearing on a potential audience, and whatever affects an audience is news. To prevent bulletins becoming swamped with items from city hall, news policy is usually to report only the stories that have the greatest effect on the largest number of people.

4. Planning and Developments

Building developments are news which is emerging before your eyes. Big plans make big news, and new projects, leisure complexes, shopping malls and housing schemes which impact on an area are certain to be given the big news treatment in any local newsroom.

Nationally, the difference is one of scale. Newsworthy developments would include major road-building schemes, new townships, dams and other large projects. But the concept of developments as news expands beyond public works to mean any form of major change that is happening or is about to happen that will affect a given audience.

5. Conflict and Controversy

‘Almost inevitably, anything that threatens people’s peace, prosperity or well-being is news and likely to make headlines.’ – ALASTAIR HETHERINGTON

News is about change – events that shape our society and alter the way we live. Conflict is the essence of drama, and the dramatic makes news.

6. Pressure Groups

Pressure groups are people who have organized themselves to stir up controversy. They either want change or are opposed to it, so their demands usually make news. Reaction to government policy, events or developments can make an effective follow-up to a story. The reporter seeks out the players in the underlying conflict, exposes the points of contention and so uncovers the news.

7. Industry

Employment is a major factor in most people’s lives, so developments in industry make big news. Be they layoffs or job recruitment – either way they will affect the workforce and prosperity of an area.

8. Health

Health makes news, from outbreaks of mad H!N1 or Bird Flu to a shortage of blood donors.

9. Human interest

A human interest story may be defined as an extraordinary thing that has happened to an ordinary person. Soft news is lightweight material which people like to gossip about, such as who’s won the pools or Mr. Dashrath Manjhi. It is the unusual, ironic, or offbeat; the sort of story that people like to swap in pubs and bars.

10. Personalities

Visiting personalities, royalty or politicians are usually good for a local news item,

especially if their visit is linked to a local event or occasion. Nationally, the bigger the name, the more likely it is to make news. The more entertainment a station mixes with its news, the more prominently personalities – especially from show business – are likely to feature.

11. Sport

Many in the audience tolerate the news only because they know if they stay tuned they will get the latest football, cricket or rugby results. Local teams and clubs often feature strongly in regional news, especially if they are doing well or badly in their leagues, and this is reflected at a national level, where news usually focuses on the promotion battles and relegation struggles that mark the changing fortunes of the top and bottom contenders.

12. Seasonal news

Seasonal news includes Christmas shopping, Festival Shopping, Festivals, the tourist season, seasonal unemployment.

13. Special local interest

No two news areas are the same. Each will throw up stories peculiar to its own geography and make-up. An area with a car factory will create news about recruitment, layoffs, new models and the fortunes of the company. A seaport with a naval base will produce stories of warships stationed there and naval exercises involving local ships and men. A mountainous region will generate items about missing climbers and mountain rescues. Distinguishing features give an area its identify. Audience loyalty is built when a station is seen to be providing a truly local news service.

14. Weather

Regular weather updates are one of the main features in the local news. TV companies spend a great deal of money providing a high-quality weather service. On the national news satellite pictures are often combined with detailed graphics and elaborate weather maps. Weather normally follows the news, but at times of extreme conditions, the weather itself will make headlines. Radio comes into its own when there are flash floods, droughts or serious snowfalls

15. Traffic

Next to the weather, the first thing many people want to know in the morning is whether the roads will be clear for getting to work. Radio is the only medium motorists can safely take in while driving. In car-orientated societies where large numbers commute to work, traffic and travel news can pick up big audiences. These periods are known as drive-time. Radio stations can give up-to-the-minute information on which roads are blocked and where there are traffic jams. Some car radios can automatically scan channels and seek out the latest traffic reports.

In Britain, the Automobile Association (AA) has its own reporters who go live into local radio drive-time programs from AA offices around the country. Some larger stations, such as Capital Radio in London, have their own aircraft scanning the roads for traffic snarl-ups, with a reporter on board who can send back live updates over a radio link.

16. Animals

Few items prompt greater reaction from the legions of pet lovers than shaggy dog stories. Men, women and babies may die in fires but fail to provoke a murmur, but if anyone tries to poison a poodle, the switchboards are likely to be jammed with calls.

17. Science & Technology

Great inventions, discoveries (discovery of new planet KEPPLER). Latest gadgets, PC to PS2 and PS 3 games. NASA missions.

18. Lifestyle & Fashion

Latest trend in news. Generally talked in reference to Personalities.

Formats of Presenting News

While taking the Interview, simply hear what your interviewee has to say, ask better questions, get much better answers, and present a better story. it is the job of the person who is taking Interview to make sure to get straightforward answers to questions. Better to admit if you don’t understand something and try again for a simple answer than to leave your audience in the dark. After all, even your expert wants to be heard and understood. If the presenter presents the news in an interesting, topical and relevant way, the audience will consider it a reason to tune in, not tune out. Listeners will feel that they can’t go a day without finding out what’s going on, as explained through your newscast.

Points to remember while taking Interview:

  • Talk to one listener at a time.
  • Use silence, it’s powerful.
  • Avoid clichés.
  • Get new ideas from calling on old story sources.
  • Localize. Know your city and use familiar terms for things.
  • Keep a tease a tease. Make them want more later.
  • REWRITE all source material and use multiple versions. Don’t use the eight o’clock copy at nine o’clock.
  • Use one thought per sentence, one thought per actuality.
  • Write to be heard. Maintain a sense of speech rhythm in writing and read it out loud before it goes on air.
  • Avoid statistics if you can. Listeners don’t usually remember them.
  • No one knows what is in your recorder but you. Only use the best and most powerful sounds.
  • Save time by listening to recorded audio on the way back to your studio. Mentally have your multi-versions ready to go before you start editing.
  • Make decisions. You will never get every detail into the story. Decide what goes in and what to leave out of each story version.

Talk Shows

A new concept in 90’s where it gave boom to AM, when many were deserting Am for FM. Talk Shows on Radio – An era News Talk Explosion. At first, a few music hosts began taking calls on air between records, particularly on AM stations with strong personalities. Soon, there were fewer records and more listener phone calls. When it drew the listeners and advertisers, a few stations allowed the talk to stay, either in selected day parts or, in rare cases, around the clock.

News Sources

  1. Reporter & their Community

The biggest source of news for any radio or TV station is its reporting staff. Journalists live in the community to which they are broadcasting. Through everyday contact with people in the area, from their observations as they shop or drive to work, will come ideas for stories. Wealthier stations are able to employ specialists – reporters who are experts in certain areas, with experience behind them and a key set of contacts. Chief fields are local government, industry, or crime. The job of the investigative journalist is to find something wrong and expose it. He or she is a positive force for change, a professional with the ability to penetrate the closed ranks of vested interests and free imprisoned information from behind enemy lines. Investigative reporters may also work in teams on projects such as documentaries. Not every station can spare the time or has the scope to permit an ordinary reporter to develop into an investigative journalist, but all reporters have to be investigators at heart.

  1. Contacts

The most valuable source of information. Contacts can be anyone (who regularly makes or comments on the news, plus national figures whose sphere of influence may include the reporter’s own ‘beat’.) The relationship between reporters and their contacts is doubled-edged. The news writer needs a story, the newsmaker needs publicity. Clearly, a line has to be drawn. After a while, reporters may find that some of their regular contacts become friends. That may be fine when there is good news involving that contact, but if the news is bad, it still has to be reported. In the end, reporters must maintain their independence. They can never afford to owe anyone favors.

  1. Newsroom Diary

Newsrooms keep a diary, which is made up each day by the news editor. It gives details of stories the newsroom will cover, the times of events and the reporters allotted to them. The diary, or a list of prospects drawn from that diary, is the first thing reporters look at when they arrive on shift. It is the day’s plan of action; the newsroom route map, and it will probably be stored on computer. The editor makes up the diary from information in the post, tips from reporters and stories that are known to be breaking. Files are usually kept on major stories containing up-to-date cuttings and background information. Bigger stations have libraries and news information services to help with more extensive research.

  1. Files

Selected news releases about events at some future date are noted in the diary and put on file( these days it is all computerized ). Court appearances of newsworthy cases are filed ahead, with copy relating to earlier hearings. An archive may be developed for any future reference.

  1. Calls made to emergency services

A story that is happening right now, such as an armed robbery, fire, or air crash, is known in Britain as breaking news and in America as a spot story. Prime sources of breaking news are emergency services – fire, police, ambulance, coastguard, etc. – which are contacted regularly.

  1. Politicians

Local politicians are a prime source of news. Every journalist should know the names of the area’s representatives in both local and national government, and should have contact numbers for them at work and at home as well as their mobile phone numbers. When politicians are not making news themselves, they are usually good for a comment or reaction to stories that affect their constituencies or wards.

  1. Pressure Groups

Big pressure groups include trades unions and employers’ organizations. Staging a news event is the pressure group’s ultimate way of winning attention.

These usually fall into one of three categories: protest; announcement and set-piece.

  • The Protest: This is the pressure group trying to give its voice as wide a public hearing as possible. Residents, environmentalists, and opposition politicians form an action group to stage a march to the Parliament House or Local Government Office. To make sure the cameras are there they make the event
  • as visual as possible, with people dressed in fancy costumes and carrying banners. To ensure radio coverage they chant and sing specially written protest songs.
  • The Announcement: All the media is invited to a conference. For the media, press packs are provided with slickly written articles the organizers hope will be published unaltered. Key speakers are available immediately after the presentation for photo calls and interviews. This can be new highway projects, announcement of new projects like – highway, metro rail, new road or fly over.
  • The Set-piece:  This is usually staged simply for publicity. The new highway has been built, and a TV personality hired to inaugurate. It can be even a celebrity guest inaugurating swimming pool, Spas or parlors or Pubs. Or Politicians cutting ribbon of new school.
  1. News / Press Release

Everyday reporters receive press release either by email or by post. Most of the material comprises public relations handouts – usually dressed-up advertising the writers hope will pass as news. Some news releases carry embargoes, which mean they are not to be used before a certain release date. Public relations people use the embargo to try to control the flow of news, and prevent stories being run in what they would regard as a haphazard fashion. On the plus side, the embargo gives the newsroom time to prepare its report by giving advanced warning of the event.

  1. Freelancers

Most newsrooms supplement their own material by buying news tip-offs and stories from freelances. Non-staff members who contribute regularly are known as stringers or correspondents; working journalists who add considerably to the eyes and ears of a station. Freelances may also be employed to fill for absent members.

  1. Tip – offs

Another source of news is the tip-off, from known contacts or members of the audience, who may phone in with what they consider to be news items. Items from tipsters cannot be given the same weight as tip-offs from bona fide stringers or correspondents: the information is not from a trained journalist, the source may be unreliable, the facts confused or even libelous.

  1. Wire and News Agencies

The major external source of news is the international news agencies. Among the largest is Reuters, with more than 70 bureau around the world, supplying news by satellite to upwards of 200 broadcasters in 85 countries.

  1. Other News Media

Every day the reporters/ news editors task is to go through the national and local papers to see if there are any stories referring to the area which need to be followed-up. Following-up a news item means checking and developing it to find a new angle.

  1. Shared Material

A growing number of BBC TV and radio newsrooms now share the same building, so there is a crossover of ideas. Joint newsrooms take this one step further. Story ideas are swapped and stringer and agency copy pooled. The BBC increasingly expects its reporters to be able to cover stories for both radio and television, and its trainee journalists are now being taught to be bimedial. On occasions, radio will use the soundtrack of TV interviews in bulletin, and TV stations may make use of radio reporters to supply phone reports on breaking stories.

  1. Fieldwork

You are sent out by your news editor to find a story. Also sometimes to cover a certain news reporter comes into contact with another piece of story.

News Writing

Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech you are used to seeing in print. Never use a long word where a short one will do. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out. Never use a passive phrase where you can use the active. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent

People do not think of radio as a visual medium. But a talented storyteller who writes with dazzling detail can tap into all of the imagery and emotion stored in the listener’s brain and make him feel that he really is “seeing” the story. While telling a story in just a few words is key in writing powerful news copy, the visual element is important to keep listeners engaged

Broadcast news writing should sound like everyday speech. Writing for news involves constructing language in a visual form (writing skills) for communication in an oral form (speaking skills)

Golden Rule: Keep the language simple (irrespective it is Regional, English, Hindi or Foreign)

  1. Words like “furthermore”, “however”, “moreover” should be avoided. Let the audience connect to the story in simple words. In English a simple sentence consists of “subject + verb”. Better to stick to this while writing news story than making the sentence “complex or compound sentence” E.g.: A compound sentence is composed of two simple sentences joined by a coordinating conjunction (“and,” “but,” “or,” “nor”). A complex sentence is composed of two simple sentences joined by a subordinating conjunction (which may be temporal, such as “when”; causal, such as “because”; or concessive, such as “although”).
  2. Words like “who”, “which”, “where” should be avoided.  They are called relative clauses.
  3. Write in the active voice. Your copy will be tighter, complete, easier to listen to, and more interesting. Do whatever you must to avoid the passive voice or past tense (examples: “He says” instead of “He said”; “tells” instead of “was told”).  Write sentences with subjects which are doing something. and not subjects that are merely receiving actions upon them.
  4. The word “Alleged” allows journalist to discuss claims that have not been proved, but it is a word easily open to abuse. The best way to use the words “allege,” “alleged” and “allegedly” is not to use them at all. Instead, have your scripts reveal who is making the claim by using phrases such as “police say” or “prosecutors say” followed by the substance of the allegation
  5. Learn the distinction between “accused” and “alleged.” When legal charges have been filed against an individual, that individual becomes accused of the behavior detailed in those charges. The individual can then be described as an “accused”. In scripts, the use of the adjective accused should be limited to one occurrence at or near the beginning of the script in order to describe a suspect quickly and efficiently
  6. The verb “charge” implies that legal actions have been filed against an individual or company. The verb should be used only to describe the process of filing the action. Pay careful attention to the specific charge. Prosecutors may say that an individual is a murderer and organized-crime boss but charge him with only tax evasion. The defendant could then be described as being “accused of tax evasion” but not as an “accused murderer and crime boss” — the murders and organized-crime connections are allegations, not charges.
  7. Repetition is the most common mistake. Do not repeat the leads. Do not repeat the whole story in different ways. Make it to the point.
  8. Write in the present or present-perfect tenses. They make your copy more immediate—and immediacy is more interesting. To keep the story fresh, tenses of the past should be avoided in leads and teases. Any past action should be described in the perfect tense — “have/has” + past participle, which often ends in “-ed.” The stative quality of the perfect tense can make it seem like the present. The use of the present progressive tense — “am/are/is” + present participle ending in “-ing” — to describe an event that has just taken place.
  9. Teases should not tell the entire story, but teases are only a sentence long. Even the most information-packed short sentence can rarely give all the necessary details to satisfy listeners. The tease whets the appetite of listeners, who will want the completeness of hearing the full script if they have an idea of what the story is about. Deliberately confusing or gimmicky teases only frustrate listeners and drive them away.
  10. Rewriting is an important aspect of radio journalism. Knowing how to adapt stories to your medium and to current situations will aid you in informing the public and gaining respect as a timely provider of news. Keep the focus on what is current. An early-morning house fire will bring stories about the blaze, the firefighters and any injuries or fatalities. By midday, the lead concerns the amount of damage to the building. In the evening, the focus shifts to the family that might be homeless that night. The shifts in focus require rewriting the story several times in the course of the day.
  11. Avoid numbers. The listener has trouble remembering them. Instead of “48 percent of a population consisting of nearly nine-hundred and eighty-seven thousand people,” try, “About half the population of nearly a million …” It is easier to “see” and remember. Ages in broadcast scripts are given as adjectival phrases placed in front of the person’s name or other identifying feature, such as “45-year-old Michelle Obama,” or “the 45-year-old First Lady.” This type of construction is not, of course, conversational. The purpose for it is to make the use of numbers in scripts as clear as possible to our listeners. Whereas in economic news related stories, two types of numbers are given – numbers which tell the growth and numbers which either will maintain growth or downfall or gives solution. Keeping track of numbers is a difficult task even for the most attentive of listeners. Purpose of journalists is to impart information in a helpful manner. Being judicious in the use of numbers should allow listeners a clearer understanding of the events affecting their lives.
  12. The six essential questions a news story should answer: Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? An in-depth story needs to pay special attention to the last two: the Why and the How…as in, Why is this politician proposing this plan? How will the plan work?, or Why is this researcher’s work important? How will the research help people? When writing your stories, ensure that your script tries to provide some answers.
  13. Story should not be very long. Remember minimum time allowed is 60 – 90 sec for a story. In this the reporter must answer all the queries which the listeners are looking for. If possible add a byte which cannot exceed more than 20 – 30 secs.
  14. Hierarchy is especially significant for the in-depth style. Length is often used by listeners to judge the importance of a story, but when many of the stories run at least half a minute, length no longer helps listeners figure out what’s important. Story placement becomes the only means. The most important stories should come at the beginning of the cast….the less important stories towards the end.
  15. Avoid pronouns. If you must use a pronoun, make sure it agrees with its antecedent.
  16. Keep your writing simple. Write one thought to a sentence. Do not search for synonyms, since repetition is not a sin. Do not search for complicated intellectual language. Give the audience a better chance to understand the story.
  17. Be creative. Stick to the rules, but develop your own style. Try to say the same old thing in a new way. Use effective writing devices that makes copy to be more interesting.
  18. Write to be heard. Maintain a sense of rhythm in your writing. All life has rhythm, and rhythmic writing is easier to hear. Be careful of confusing homonyms. Always, always test your broadcast copy by reading it aloud.
  19. Avoid interruptive. Do not force the listener to make difficult mental connections. Put modifiers next to what they modify. Do not split verb phrases
  20. Avoid commas. A comma demands a hitch in your reading and the result is a jerkiness that frustrates the listener. Avoiding commas also will eliminate awkward subordinate clauses. Such clauses kill the impact of copy, especially if they come at the top of a story or sentence. Put a comma only where you intend to pause. shows that listeners shut off news, talk, or information broadcasts for the following two reasons:
  1. “It’s too depressing.”
  2. “It’s boring.”

Using the Powerful Radio methods takes care of the problem of being boring. The other challenge is to work to keep audiences who find the news depressing, who say, “I just can’t take any more. There is nothing I can do to fix this problem.” A steady stream of stories detailing human suffering, environmental destruction, homelessness, war, and natural disasters can overwhelm people. Audiences become uneasy, then shut down or tune out.

  1. Create word pictures so the audience can “see it.” Use the medium of imagination. audiences want to hear about the world they live in, their community, and what is happening. They want “talk able topics,” weather, sports scores, and updated traffic reports.
  2. Find a Solution – You can do something to prevent the listener fatigue that results in listener tune out. Each time you report a “problem story,” try to fi nd and present some sort of solution. That will lift the audience and be more effective in keeping your listeners. One example of this was the American coverage of hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005. The first images of flooding and human suffering were followed by details of the disastrous official response. After days and weeks of watching and listening to the suffering of the newly homeless, many turned away. They simply couldn’t stand hearing any more.

Broadcast Journalism involves two jobs – journalism and broadcasting. One has to be brilliant at finding and researching stories, one must be good storyteller, who is comfortable on air  or on camera, and can find the language, sound and pictures to get your points across.

TV reporting has one very significant difference to radio reporting : pictures/visuals. To be a good TV reporter, one needs to be good  at telling stories in images as well as in language.

The emphasis on pictures has a great effect on the working life as a TV reporter. First, the news values alter from those of newspaper/radio reporter. A story supported with visuals has more value and impact compared to newspaper or radio story. Secondly, TV reporters have to work for long hours, the format of broadcast being visual then the story needs pictures/visuals for which one may have to wait for long, then editing, voice – over and finally a 90 second story is ready or a feature story is ready. Thirdly, one must be good in working in team, a camera crew is normally always with the reporter. One needs to be able to both lead them journalistically and take advice from them too. Sometimes due to budget constraints reporters are also video journalist. In such cases, the reporter has to be in constant touch with its input editor and the Guest desk of the channel.

In visual medium of broadcast journalism one must find the pictures that at best show the news first – hand, or at least illustrate the story. A reporter must also have knowledge of kinds of shots required for the story.

  • Wide Shot: Generally is used to establish location. It sets the scene for the viewer.
  • Close Up: Gives a sense of immediacy, so the viewers feel as if they are experiencing the scene.
  • Medium Shot: It has enough width to show the individual in action

To be a good TV reporter one must master these skills to build different kind of shots into a unified whole.

Pictures are nothing without context. In TV as in radio, reporter must have clear, writing skills and a good broadcasting voice, but words must work in conjunction with the images the viewer sees. Writing does has to be explicit  as in radio report, let the pictures also talk, but let the viewer guess as to what a picture is or means.

Radio News Formats

A radio format, or programming format, or programming genre refers to the overall content broadcasting over a radio station. Some stations broadcast multiple genres on set schedule. Over the years, formats have evolved and new ones have been introduced. In today’s age of radio, many radio formats are designed to reach a specifically defined segment or niche of the listening population based on such demographic criteria as age, ethnicity, background, etc. 

A radio station broadcasts programs of different types. Film songs, phone in programs, talks, discussions, news, cricket commentaries etc. These different types of programs are called formats.


Radio plays a very important role in the lives of the people of India. Though there are plenty of rich people and highly developed cities, a majority of our people are poor and a large number of them cannot read or write. So the only medium that can really reach them to inform, educate and entertain is the radio. Radio stations especially those run by the government perform a public service duty.

The requirements of listeners of radio stations are not the same. Few basic facts which we should now are:

  1. Number of people — i.e. the total population of the area.
  2. Number of men and women — Sex ratio
  3. Literate people/Illiterate people
  4. The languages spoken in the area.
  5. Schools/Colleges
  6. Children going to school
  7. Health facilities — availability of doctors, primary health centre, clinics, hospitals.
  8. Any major diseases
  9. Religions in the area-population wise
  10. Power supply
  11. Nearest radio stations/Television stations
  12. Climate of the place
  13. Main occupation of the people
  14. Income per head/people below poverty line
  15. Roads/transport facilities
  16. Irrigation facilities
  17. Number of people engaged in agriculture/other occupations.
  18. Types of crops.

The facts decide the language, the type of broadcast, timing of programs etc. Radio formats therefore are decided on the basis of the needs of the audience.

All radio stations do announcements. Announcements have been traditionally made by people who are known as announcers. The commercial radio channels may call them Radio Jockeys (RJs) or anchor persons. The main ingredients of a radio format.

A Radio format can be split into three parts: They are:-

  1. Spoken Word or Human Voice
  2. Music
  3. Sound Effects

All radio formats have the above three ingredients


1. Announcements:

As a performer, you have a responsibility to entertain, inform, or persuade your audience. Depending on the specific announcing specialty you are involved in, These are specifically written clear messages to inform. They can be of different types. For example station/ programme identification. These mention the station you are tuned into, the frequency, the time and the programme/song you are going to listen to. In today’s commercial radio channels, these announcements have become informal and resemble ordinary conversation. There can be more than one presenter in some programs like magazines.

The broadcast performer is also a communicator and must consider the audience— who they are, their likes, and their dislikes. To communicate effectively requires the announcer to understand the meaning of the message and to connect that idea with what interests the audience. This can be extremely important when delivering commercials, public service announcements, and station promotional spots. Most media outlets have a good description of their audience and it is the responsibility of the announcer to understand how to reach them. Such descriptions often include demographic information, such as age, income, and educational background. They may also contain lifestyle information, which could include the types of restaurants people frequent, how many times per week people eat out, how often people travel, and why. Most announcers need to become familiar with reading and interpreting this type of information and then using it in their performance efforts. An announcer should also feel some sense of social responsibility. Most announcer work falls within four broad areas: music announcing, news announcing, sports announcing, or specialty announcing. Since broadcast staffs are relatively small, especially in radio, it is not unusual for an announcer to work in more than one area.

Music announcing mainly refers to the radio disc jockey (DJ), but also includes the newer position of video jockey (VJ) on cable channels such as MTV or VH1, and announcers for Internet music sites and the satellite radio companies, SIRIUS and XM satellite radio. These jobs require the announcer to provide the live or ad-lib material between music selections heard during the program. Radio announcers may also present news, sports, weather, commercials, and community announcements. They often interview guests, operate the audio equipment, sell commercial time, and write commercial copy or news scripts.

News announcing includes anchors and reporters. The anchor is thought of as the lead on-camera (or on-microphone) announcer who guides the direction of the newscast by both reading stories and introducing other reports from on-the-scene reporters. The reporter is an announcing position that requires the announcer to gather, write, and read news stories. Often these stories are taped for broadcast as part of a newscast.

There are three positions usually associated with sports announcing: the sportscaster, play-by-play announcer (PBP), and play analyst. Sportscasters function similarly to the news anchor except that they’re delivering sports news. They usually select and write sports stories, interview sports personalities, and provide results of games played. While a sports broadcast usually stands alone on the radio, it is often just a segment of a newscast on television. Play-by-play and play analyst announcers work as a team to describe the action of a sports event. The PBP announcer is the lead announcer and gives the ‘‘play-by-play’’ action (even if there aren’t actual ‘‘plays’’) of the sport. The play analyst is also known as a ‘‘color’’ announcer who provides analysis of the event along with insight and background into the game or contest. In today’s broadcast climate, most play analysts are neither broadcasters nor someone who has trained for an announcing position, but rather former athletes and coaches who have played that particular sport.

Specialty announcers are those who work in other announcing positions such as commercial voice-over announcers, weather forecasters, narrators, talk show hosts, or television staff announcers (who voice station breaks and other program information). Cable television has increased the importance of specialization since most cable systems provide the subscriber with channel choices that include financial news, home shopping, cooking, gardening, and home repair Most of these areas require special knowledge and, quite possibly, special skills for the broadcast performer. For example, weathercasters gather information from satellite weather services and regional weather bureaus and then relate and forecast weather conditions for their broadcast area.

2. Radio Talk: 

The radio talk probably is the oldest format on radio. There has been a tradition in India and Britain to invite experts or prominent persons to speak for 10 or 15 minutes on a specific topic. These talks have to go through a process of being changed into radio’s spoken word style.

3. Radio Interviews: 

In the media, be it the newspaper, magazine, radio or television, journalists use this technique of asking questions to get information. There can be different types of interviews in terms of their duration, content and purpose. Firstly, there are full fledged interview programs. The duration of these may vary from 10 minutes to 30 minutes or even 60 minutes depending up on the topic, and the person being interviewed. Most of such interviews are personality based. Interviews with well known people in the field of public life, literature, science, sports, films etc. Secondly, there are interviews which are used in various radio programs like documentaries. Here the interviews are short, questions specific and not many. The purpose is to get a very brief, to the point answer. Thirdly there are a lot of interviews or interview based programs in news and current affairs programs. Like phone-in-programs becoming popular, or live interviews with listeners. These interviews have been made interactive.

There is another type of interview based programme. Here generally just one or two questions are put across to ordinary people or people with knowledge on some current topic to measure public opinion. For example when the general budget or the railway budget is presented in the parliament, people representing radio go out and ask the general public about their opinion. Their names and identity may not be asked. Such programs are called ‘vox pop’ which is a Latin phrase meaning‘ voice of people’. Remember journalist has to be very inquisitive and hard working to be a radio interviewer with good general awareness and communication skills

4. Radio Discussions:

Through a discussion we can find out a solution to problems. In any discussion there are more than 2 or 3 people and then ideas can be pooled to come to some conclusion. In radio, this technique is used to let people have different points of view on matters of public concern. Radio discussions are produced when there are social or economic issues which may be controversial. So when different experts meet and discuss such issues, people understand various points of view. Generally, these discussions on radio are of longer duration-say 15 to 30 minutes. Two or three people who are known for their views and a well informed senior person or journalist who acts as a moderator take part and discuss a particular topic for about 30 minutes. The moderator conducts the discussion, introduces the topic and the participants and ensures that every one gets enough time to speak and all issues are discussed.

5. Radio Documentaries/Features:

There are documentary films which are based on real people and issues. A lot of programs you see on television are educational and public service documentaries. Radio also has this format. Unlike documentary films, radio documentaries have only sound – i.e. the human voice, music and sound effects. So a radio documentary is a programme based on real sounds and real people and their views and experiences. Radio documentaries are based on facts presented in an attractive manner or dramatically. Radio documentaries are radio’s own creative format. The producer of a documentary needs to be very creative to use human voice, script, music and sound effects very effectively. Radio documentaries are also called radio features.

6. Radio drama:

A Radio drama or a radio play is like any other play staged in a theatre or a hall. The only difference is that while a stage play has actors, stage, sets, curtains, properties movement and live action, a radio play has only 3 components. They are the human voice, music and sound effects. Radio of course uses its greatest strength for producing radio plays and that is the

power of imagination and suggestivity. For example, if you want to have a scene in a radio play of a north Indian marriage, you don’t have all physical arrangements made. All that you have to do is to use a bright tune on the shehnai and excited voices of people to create in a listeners’ imagination, a wedding scene. The voice of the actors, music and sound effects can create any situation in a radio play.

7. Running Commentaries:

If you are travelling or outside, then you may like listen to radio for a running commentary of the match. A commentator would give you all the details of the match such as the number of players, the score, position of the players in the field etc. So by listening to the running commentary, you get a feeling of being in the stadium and watching the match. The commentator needs good communication skills, a good voice and knowledge about what is going on. Running commentaries on radio can be on various sports events or on ceremonial occasions like the Republic Day Parade or events like festivals, melas, rath yatras, swearing in ceremony of ministers, last journey (funeral procession) of national leaders etc. Today radio running commentaries especially of cricket and other sports can be heard  on your mobile phones.

8. Magazine Programs: 

Magazines are a form of print media. They are published weekly, bi-weekly, fortnightly or monthly. There are general magazines and magazines for specific readers. These magazines could be for children, women, youth or on health, sports, science or music. If you open any one of these magazines, you will find articles, reviews, features, photo features etc. Radio also has magazine programs like those in the print media. A radio magazine is broadcast at a particular time on a particular day of a week or a month. That means it has periodicity. Similarly it has plenty of variety in contents. Some or many formats of radio are included in a radio magazine. These may be talks, discussions, interviews, reviews, music etc. Likewise, the duration of each programme or item in a magazine programme also vary. Another characteristic of a radio magazine is that it has a signature tune. A signature tune is an attractive piece of music which is specific to a programme. It can be like the masthead (title) of a magazine. A magazine programme also has a name and one or two presenters or anchor persons who link the whole programme. In the beginning, the titles of the day’s programme will be given by the presenters after the signature tune. They also give continuity and link the whole magazine. Magazine programs are generally broadcast for a special or specific audience. As the name suggests, a specific audience refers to listeners with specific needs as mentioned.


News is the most popular. News bulletins and news programs are broadcast every hour by radio stations. In India, only All India Radio is allowed to broadcast news. Duration of news bulletins vary from 5 minute to 30 minutes. The longer news bulletins have interviews, features, reviews and comments from experts.

How to do news reporting??

As with any story, you must plan how you want to start your report and how you want to end it. This will keep your story heading in the right direction, and you won’t miss out any important information in the middle.

When planning your report, you will need to consider the five Ws. These are:

What – What is the story? Get the facts right before starting your report.

Why – Why is the story important to your audience? Which points do you need to focus on to get their interest?

Who – Who is involved? Think about who will be able to tell their sides of the story in an interesting way. Make sure they’re available to film when you need them. Remember, if you want to film anyone under the age of 18, you must get permission from their parent or guardian. If you are filming at school, in school time, this permission can be given by the head teacher. In radio also keep a recorded record so later there are no problems. A controversial story needs a video recording and a normal story may need only audio recording.

Where – Where is the story happening, and where is the best place to film? If you’re shooting outside of school, you may need to get permission first.

When – Has the story already happened, or is it about to happen? If there’s going to be a significant event you want to report on, make sure you get there on time!

By planning each of these points in detail, you’ll know exactly what you need to film, where and when. That way, you won’t miss out on anything when you’re on location, or waste tape by filming things you don’t need.


The first thing that comes to our mind is music, it is the main stay in radio. There is no radio without music. Music is used in different ways on radio. There are programs of music and music is also used in different programs. These include signature tunes, music used as effects in radio plays and features. India has a great heritage of music and radio in India reflects that. The different types of music.

1. Classical Music

There are 3 types of classical music in India. They are:-

  • Hindustani classical
  • Carnatic classical
  • Western classical

There are also vocal and instrumental music forms. There are also light classical

music forms like, Thumri and Dadra. Insturmental music forms include string (sitar, sarod etc.) wind (like flutes, shehnai) and percussion (drum) instruments. There are film songs in different languages, the one with a national appeal and popularity is Hindi film songs. On most radio stations, be it public service or commercial, Hindi films songs are heard everywhere. Light western and pop music are also popular among some groups of listeners and there is a large section of young people listening to western pop music.

Some more examples of kind of music:

  1. Contemporary popular music by today’s top recording artists, generally appealing to the young adult audience, or music-conscious adults.
  2. Country music, either contemporary or traditional, ranging in demographic appeal from young adults to very old. Has appeal musically, especially to the “life group” that frequently identifies with this format and associated activities.
  3. Recent hits from the past decade or so. Largely the most highly visible and identifiable songs. Programmers refer to this as “recurrent based” music.
  4. Oldies, songs at least a generation old. Now branching into various subformats as the body of available music familiar to radio listeners grows. Often represents various urban preferences. Appeals to mature adults.
  5. Ballads and soft, easy-listening music. Familiar melodies by known artists.
  6. Adult music from nonrock background. Includes MOR (usually meaning Middle-ofthe- Road, or a mixture of various styles), Pop Standards, Lite Adult Contemporary.
  7. Rock in any form, either Classic Rock from the 1970s and 1980s or Contemporary Hard-Edge Rock.
  8. Specifically ethnic or urban music targeted directly at a certain ethnic group. Often shares with category 3.
  9. Background easy listening, mostly instrumental, non foreground; can represent both newer and traditional selections. Here it’s the sound, not the song.
  10. Religious or inspirational. Possibly traditional gospel/spiritual music or contemporary artists with religious or moral message.
  11. Classical. Orchestral, chamber music, opera, choral, arts-involved, major composers.
  12. Alternative. Counterculture, whatever is not mainstream, changes frequently.


How sound can be used in radio formats.

  • Sound can play a major role in evoking interest.
  • Sound can be used for comic effects to evoke laughter
  • Sound can be used to create certain moods or enhance them

Eg. Of sound is

1. The Spot or Radio Advertisement.  In the United States, on November 2, 1920, KDKA aired the first commercial broadcast. During radio’s Golden Age, advertisers sponsored entire programs, usually with some sort of message like “We thank our sponsors for making this program possible”, airing at the beginning or end of a program. Produced spots appear to be more common. A spot is ‘produced’ if the radio station or an advertising agency creates it for the client. Produced commercial formats include: straight read with sound effects/music in the background, dialogue, voiced by two or more personalities, monologue (where the voice talent portrays a character, as opposed to an announcer), and jingles. Studies show that the quality of the commercials is as important to listeners, generally, as the number of ads they hear. 

In general, most advertisers cannot use well-known, popular music in their advertisement, unless they have prior approval from the recording artist and are willing to pay royalty and use fees to the copyright holder each time the ad airs. Radio stations and independent production companies typically have “music banks” that will sound similar to popular music, enabling an advertiser to produce a spot that sounds as though it “belongs” on a particular station.

How to make a spot? There are 7 steps evolved in producing a spot.

  1. Plan, gather information, build team
  2. Develop a creative brief, decide how many spots to create
  3. Scripting
  4. pre produce and revise concepts, messages, spot based on research
  5. Produce spot – recording, mix, edit, dub copies, packaging
  6. Look for broadcast – determine the best station to reach your target audience, decide how many spot to distribute
  7. Monitor, evaluate, revise – monitor to check whether stations are playing them, evaluate how frequently your target  audience is hearing it and on which station. Based on the results of evaluation decide to continue the commercial on that station, or on that time or there is need to change the spot.

The Objective of Spot or Jingle is to:

  1. create awareness
  2. reach to the masses or target audience
  3. to create impact of their product on people

Information & Technology Based Formats

India has taken giant leaps in the field of information technology and radio as a medium, has taken a lead in applying information technology in its broadcasts.

1. Phone in Programme – In this age of technological development, phone-in is the most important format. This is called interactive programming where the listener and the presenter talk to each other. Their talk goes on air instantly. The listener has the satisfaction that his voice is being listened to and replied immediately. Other listeners also listen to him. Such presentations need advance publicity so that the listeners get ready to air their grievances/queries or requests. They dial up the announced telephone number at a stipulated time and get their problems discussed with experts in the studio. Initially this format was introduced for playing the listeners’ request-based film songs. Now it is being used for health related programs, rural broadcasts, complaints against the government/administrative machinery etc.

2. Radio Bridge: Radio bridge means connecting different stations throughout the length and breadth of the country. In this technique, for example, an expert sitting at Chennai can interact with the common man in the studio in Delhi. This format was first used by All India Radio during elections.

3. Radio on Internet: Radio on internet is a growing phenomenon with thousands of radio stations operating through computer modems. It is altogether a new format that removes the restrictions of frequency or license. It is relatively cheap to set up. It has certain advantages as well as disadvantages. Now all the national and international radio stations like BBC, Voice of America, and All India Radio are available on internet. It is now possible to listen to the

programs from a radio station while working on the computer. All India Radio started its services on internet on 1st May 1998. With this, it was possible to extend the coverage of programs to all parts of the world including USA and Canada.

4. Radio Drama: Radio Drama depicts the reflection of life in all spheres from very vast field of India and the world. The variety of themes, such as social, historical, mythological, biographical, folk, abstract, science fictions and family melodrama; the quality of presentation and ability to create mental pictures through words, sound effects and music is called Radio Drama .

Many stations of AIR broadcast plays in Hindi and their regional languages. Radio adaptation of classics, novels, short stories and stage plays are also some of the highlights of Radio broadcast. Besides original plays, a large number of AIR stations regularly broadcast family dramas with object of eradicating deep rooted social evils and blind beliefs prevailing in the society. Serials projecting current socio-economic issues are also broadcast on a regular basis.

The National Programme of Plays is an important programmme of Radio. The first NPP “PRAFULLA” a Bangla stage play by Girish Chandra Ghosh was broadcast in July 1956. Since then, the NPP is broadcast on every 4th Thursday of every month at 9:30 P.M from all stations of AIR. The broadcast is in Hindi and its translation in all regional languages as well on the same day, date and time. Through this NPP, the national integrity, harmony and colours of unity in diversity are presented to our listeners.

Spot Radio : Spot Radio is a digital in-store radio network that offers audio branding services to a variety of clients across multiple industries including retail, hospitality, food and beverage, and fitness. It has  a vast database of music that spans across several dialects and genres, ranging from instrumental and electronic ambient music, to tracks from Indian cinema and the latest chartbusters from across the world.

Spot Radio can also be used to insert promotional messages and inform a captive in-store audience about on-going sales, events and promotions. Spot Radio will look after producing strips, creating content and producing shows.

Spot Radio gives business owners complete control, customisation and flexibility. It helps them retain consistency across businesses. “Spot Radio’s most powerful attribute is its ability to deliver the same experience in all stores, nationwide, with the capability of local ad insertions. This means that a store in Tamil Nadu could play the same music and different in-house promotions and ads from those played at a store in Punjab. Thus, while the music remains consistent, the messages can be altered,”

Spot Radio can also be leveraged to generate revenue by offering advertising space to third party advertisers. It can be used for intra-company communication, as well.

Spot Radio offers clients three models, namely the Standard Model, which includes a pre-set playlist, Branded Model, which includes a custom playlist and audio branding with promotional ads, and Hybrid Model, with all the attributes of the Branded Model, along with a revenue-generating opportunity to insert ads of non-competing, third party advertisers, which wish to target an outlet’s footfall.

Spot Radio’s service is powered by its own facilities based in USA. It is powered by Spotplayer, a proprietary player designed especially for the retail operations.

The core promoters of Spot Radio are Mr. Anil Srivatsa and Mr. Harvinderjit Bhatia. Mr. Srivatsa has been a media veteran since the past 20 years and had his own radio show called Anil Ki Awaaz, running for more than 10 years in New Jersey, USA. He has also been executive vice-president of new business and affiliate sales at ImaginAsian Entertainment Inc., a NYC-based multi-media company.

Potential of Radio

Broadcasting ranks as the most familiar and widespread use of radio. Radio broadcasts feature music, news, discussions, interviews, descriptions of sports events, and advertising.

Today, many people wake up to clock radios, drive to work listening to car radios, and also spend some of their leisure time hearing their favorite radio programs.

In addition to broadcasting, radio is also used for quick communication by pilots, police officers, firefighters, and other individuals. Scientists use radio waves to learn about the weather. Some telephone messages are carried by radio.  

In order to catalyse the distribution of information and the uptake and adoption of novel technologies it is imperative to employ efficient and cost-effective tools and methods. Radio effectively fits in the category of the most efficient means for dissemination of knowledge, information and technologies to catalyse adoption of technologies

Educational radio has been employed within a wide variety of instructional design contexts. In some cases it is supported by the use of printed materials, by local discussion groups, and by regional study centres. It is sometimes designed to permit and encourage listener reaction and comment. Indeed, in some cases, there is provision for the audience to raise questions and to receive feedback.

One of the most dominant and widespread examples of the use of educational radio, “Farm Radio Forum.” was started in Canada in 1941 as a radio discussion program and served as a model which was adopted subsequently in a number of developing countries. After 10 years, its sponsors, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA), and the Canadian Association for Adult Education (CAAE), invited UNESCO to cooperate in carrying out an evaluation of the program and its effectiveness as an instrument of adult education  

The lessons learned from Canada such as the use of forums, multimedia, printed materials, two-way communication and various production techniques (drama, interview, panel discussion) were then introduced in India early in 1956, and in Ghana in 1964, with the initiative and sponsorship of UNESCO. The radio programs for rural forums have been concerned with the problems of agriculture, rural development, rural education, innovations, self-government, and literacy. Such forums have now been introduced in many developing countries.

Radio is a superb broadcast system that easily reaches rural communities, sending out knowledge, and is also able to profit from new technologies.

Radio offers many and varied services including:

  • communicating on agriculture and public health
  • educating people about new practices
  • giving stakeholders in rural development to express themselves in their local languages
  • building social consciousness and mobilizing and accelerating change.

Radio is a superb intermediary, one that easily reaches rural communities, sending out knowledge, and is also able to profit from new technologies.

Radio is a powerful communication tool. Experience with rural radio has shown the potential for agricultural extension to benefit from both the reach and the relevance that local broadcasting can achieve by using participatory communication approaches. The web was first used to deliver agricultural content to rural US farmers almost ten tears ago, but its use remains at an early stage around the world.

Market Potential for Radio broadcasting, in Asia (US $ mln): Between 1995 – 2005 of India was 6.66% and of United Kingdom, in 1995 it was 4.05%  and in 2005 it came down to 3.83% of Globe.

IN INDIA, FM radio has gained popularity, especially with the entry of private players. A survey was conducted by Intellect (Research & technologies unit of Initiative Media, a part of Lowe group) — ‘Radio Track 2003’ in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, and Chennai with a sample size of 1,200 respondents to study the impact of radio and its penetration among four key target segments — housewives, students, business executives (car owners), and business executives (non-car owners).

The survey found that the frequency of listening to the radio as well as the number of radio listeners had increased over the previous past two years. Delhi registered the highest growth rates in terms of new listeners at 35%. The percentage of heavy listeners also increased from 11% prior to the entry of private FM players to 63% after their entry. In Kolkata, the percentage of radio listeners increased from 20% to 75%, and the percentage of heavy listener ship increased from 5% to 19%.

The nature of radio is to capture and chronicle. Much of its power comes from its immediacy. Powerful radio holds up a mirror and reflects life as it is at the moment. Broadcasting stays interesting because, just as in life, it is in a state of constant change.

Growth of Radio in today’s times depends on what kind of programming it does. Hot main topics are generally

  • Health (safety)
  • Heart (emotional stories that touch the “heart”)
  • Pocketbook (money)
  • Celebrities

These click with the masses instantly as most of our listeners have pocket radio’s or car radio listeners.

Lot of money these days goes into research & surveys and Radio is no different.

If done right, research can help you get ratings and learn the habits of your audience.

India has become the fastest growing radio marketplace in the world. Radio is still where many Indians, especially those in rural areas, get their entertainment and news.

Until 2005, the only radio in India was the government’s All India Radio. Since then, the airwaves have been completely privatized with scores of licenses and frequencies being offered for auction in every city and town.This had led to an explosion of new commercially-funded radio stations across India. Some big cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai have up to 11 radio stations and there are still more licenses  to be won for smaller cities and towns. Many stations are being launched by big groups trying to build valuable networks. The biggest groups are Radio Mirchi, owned by the Times of India newspaper group, Reliance/Adlabs, who run a group of stations called Big FM, and the Radio City group of stations.

Formats consist of music and fun phone-ins, linked together by RJ’s or Radio Jocks. Bollywood films music is enormously popular in India and most stations have this as the centerpiece of their musical offering. The biggest problem with the privatized stations is that they all sound the same. Consultants from overseas are working with local management to improve the differentiation of station sounds.

There is certain restriction on the new wave of stations. No networking is allowed at the moment, so local stations in different parts of the country cannot share programming. Also no commercial stations are allowed to broadcast news, although this is likely to change soon. The only station currently permitted to broadcast news is the government’s All India Radio; one of the largest radio networks is the world. AIR has many different services, catering to different regions and languages across India. There are general channels featuring film music, news and comedy as well as stations aimed at specific audiences such as young people.


Radio is expected to follow the growth of the Television industry, which grew rapidly following the entry of private player. Currently, FM coverage in India is restricted to just 17% of the country, compared to 89% of All India Radio (AIR). Incidentally, The future looks bright as the reach of radio is expected to raise post the increase in the number and quality of players in the industry. It is on the basis of these key drivers of growth, it is being predicted that radio’s share in the total advertising pie will see an increase. There are an estimated 150 million radio sets across the country. The Rs 1.6 billion industry is reported to be growing by 31 per cent every year and touched Rs 6.2 billion by 2007, with revenue rising at 23 per cent annually. Also, though radio has only a 2 per cent share in the Rs 6,000 crore Indian advertising markets, advertising spending is expected to amount to Rs 500 crore.

Advertising agencies conduct periodic dipstick surveys. Madison Media routinely undertakes studies on radio usage.

Key Findings from Madison Media Research –

  • Radio has a reach of 56% and there is a distinct skew towards males.
  • Radio Mirchi is the most popular station
  • People listen to FM at home (70%), while driving (32%), at public places (9%) and at the office (7%).
  • Almost 51% of the people listen to FM for an average time of one hour and another 39% listen to FM for a longer period of 1-3 hours.
  • Sunday listenership is dramatically low with only 10% of the people tuning in to FM vs. weekdays where the number of tune-ins is as high as 94%.
  • Majority of the people listen to Hindi film songs (63%), followed by Hindi pop (40%), remixes (37%) and English pop (33%).


  • The success of private FM stations, and reveals that radio listenership habits have changed considerably; not only are listeners tuning into it more often but also sticking to radio for longer hours every day.
  • The advertisers, who would depend on word-of-mouth, pamphlets, brochures or ads in local supplements of newspapers, are welcoming the opportunity.
  • Radio is considered as a background medium, because people can listen to radio anytime and anywhere they want. It is also a free medium.
  • 90% of India has access to radio which is unmatched by any other media.
  • Radio also reaches to uneducated village folk who do not read print publications. At the places where the literacy rates are low where people hardly read newspapers and radio is the only medium that they can understand. They can’t afford a TV set. Therefore, radio is more popular.
  • Radio is the least cost medium and it helps to reach mass audience with various backgrounds. Radio offers its reach frequency and selectivity at one of the lowest costs per thousand and radio production is relatively inexpensive.
  • Radio is considered as a medium where the “Proximity to purchase” is very high.
  • Radio is a complement to another media. Therefore, other media or the advertisers or agency can use this medium for brand recall.


  • One of the major weaknesses of Radio is that there is very less differentiation in the programs that are aired. Most of the stations plays much of the music that is played consist of Hindi Film songs, and therefore it is difficult to differentiate between the programs of the different channels.
  • Fragmented Audience – the large number of the audience in India is fragmented in various remote places. And therefore, the percentage of listener tuned to anyone station is likely very small.
  • No proper research available – research is very important for any advertising segment. Research is the main base to attract client and get more revenue. But, in India there is no proper research is available. Many stations are conducting their own research which can be biased.
  • Radio-only nature of radio communication is a tremendous creative compromise. An advertiser whose product depends on demonstration or visual impact is at a loss when it comes to radio. And like its radio message creates a fleeting impression that is often gone in an instant. Many advertisers think that without strong visual brand identification the medium can play little or no role in their advertising plans.
  • Increase in listenership numbers but no increase in ad revenue. This is the situation that every radio channel is facing.
  • Short commercials
  • And because increasing amounts of radio journalism goes to air live – with reporters frequently being interviewed themselves as well as asking questions of others – radio journalists need to maintain high standards of accuracy while thinking on their feet and talking without a prepared script. In this respect they need the skills which good sporting commentators have always had.’– MICHAEL DODD, EX-ABC, NOW RADIO TRAINER AND FREELANCE FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT
  • ‘New technology allows you to change the way you work and the way you spend your time. Journalists will increasingly do more graphics, editing, audio editing and video editing. The future for journalists is greater multi-skilling.’– BBC NEWS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS DIRECTORATE
  • ‘Crime is still a big one. People love crime stories, they really do, no matter where in the world you are people want to know about what is happening on the streets; the murder, the rapes, the robberies – that occupies a fairly large chunk of time.’– ANNETTE BOSWORTH, WEEI, BOSTON*
  • 200 000 news bulletins a year; 140 000 Met Office weather reports; 90 000 AA Roadwatch updates; 200 000 hours a year of programming; 10 000 000 listeners each week. – BBC LOCAL RADIO
  • Community radio is a radio station owned, run and maintained by a community.
  • “It is called popular or educational radio in Latin America, rural or local radio in Africa, public radio in Australia and free or associative radio in Europe. All these describe the same phenomenon – gaining voices and democratising communication on a community / scale. Community radio, although taking on diverse forms depending on its surroundings, remains a type of radio made to serve people; radio that encourages expression and participation and that values local culture. Its purpose is to give a voice to those without voices, to marginalised groups and to communities far from large urban centres, where the population is too small to attract commercial or large-scale State radio.”

    Michael Delorme, World Association of Community Broadcasters [AMARC]

History of Television

Television is one of the most important miracles of science. It has brought about a revolution in the field of entertainment, education and communication. Indeed mankind should be grateful to its inventor J.L.Baird who has brought the cinema and stage into the houses of the masses. One can now watch moving, talking and living pictures on the screen while sitting in one’s home.

There is controversy surrounding the invention of one of the most popular 21st century devices: the television. The difficulty in deciding who invented the television (TV) centers on the fact that there were several discoveries or inventions all of which together added up to the making of the TV.

At the dawn of television history there were two distinct paths of technology experimented with by researchers

Early inventors attempted to either build a mechanical television system based on the technology of Paul Nipkow’s rotating disks; or they attempted to build an electronic television system using a cathode ray tube developed independently in 1907 by English inventor A.A. Campbell-Swinton and Russian scientist Boris Rosing. 

“Nipkow disc”, a rotating-disc technology which was capable of transmitting pictures via cable, as long ago as 1884. Electronic television systems worked better and eventual replaced mechanical systems.German, Paul Nipkow developed a rotating-disc technology to transmit pictures over wire in 1884 called the Nipkow disk. Paul Nipkow was the first person to discover television’s scanning principle, in which the light intensities of small portions of an image are successively analyzed and transmitted.

In the 1920’s, John Logie Baird patented the idea of using arrays of transparent rods to transmit images for television. Baird’s 30 line images were the first demonstrations of television by reflected light rather than back-lit silhouettes. John Logie Baird based his technology on Paul Nipkow’s scanning disc idea and later developments in electronics. Baird transmitted the first televised pictures of moving objects in 1924, the first televised human face in 1925, and the first real-time moving object in 1926.

Charles Jenkins invented a mechanical television system called radiovision and claimed to have transmitted the earliest moving silhouette images on June 14, 1923.

Electronic television is based on the development of the cathode ray tube, which is the picture tube found in modern TV sets. German scientist, Karl Braun invented the cathode ray tube oscilloscope (CRT) in 1897.

Russian inventor, Vladimir Zworykin invented an improved cathode-ray tube called the kinescope in 1929. The kinescope tube was sorely needed for television. Zworykin was one of the first to demonstrate a television system with all the features of modern picture tubes.

In 1927, Philo Farnsworth was the first inventor to transmit a television image comprised of 60 horizontal lines. The image transmitted was a dollar sign. Farnsworth developed the dissector tube, the basis of all current electronic televisions. He filed for his first television patent in 1927 

Louis Parker invented the modern changeable television receiver. The patent was issued to Louis Parker in 1948.

Marvin Middlemark invented “rabbit ears”, the “V” shaped TV antennae. Among Middlemark’s other inventions were a water-powered potato peeler and rejuvenating tennis ball machine.

Color TV was by no means a new idea, a German patent in 1904 contained the earliest proposal, while in 1925 Zworykin filed a patent disclosure for an all-electronic color television system. A successful color television system began commercial broadcasting, first authorized by the FCC on December 17, 1953 based on a system invented by RCA.

1971 was the first year that sales of color TVs in the US exceeded B&W ones.

Few Facts

The American Broadcasting Company first aired Saturday morning TV shows for children on August 19, 1950.

By 1948, at least one million TV sets had been sold in the U.S., and by 1960 people could buy the Zenith Space Command, the first TV remote control invented by Robert Adler

This article originally appeared in the BBC Year Book, 1946 : In the summer of 1939, some 23,000 people in the south of England had their own television sets. They saw the Derby, the Theatrical Garden Party, the return of the King and Queen from Canada, Peggy Ashcroft in ‘The Tempest’, ‘Me and My Girl’ from the Victoria Palace, visiting celebrities in ‘Picture Page’.

Television in United Kingdom : The first British television broadcast was made by Baird Television’s electromechanical system over the BBC radio transmitter in September 1929. Baird provided a limited amount of programming five days a week by 1930.

On August 22, 1932, BBC launched its own regular service using Baird’s 30-line electromechanical system, continuing until September 11, 1935. 

On November 2, 1936 the BBC began broadcasting a dual-system service, alternating between Marconi-EMI’s 405-line standard and Baird’s improved 240-line standard, from Alexandra Palace in London, making the BBC Television Service (now BBC One) the world’s first regular high-definition television service.

TV broadcasts in London were on the air an average of four hours daily from 1936 to 1939. There were 12,000 to 15,000 receivers.

The outbreak of the Second World War caused the BBC service to be suspended without warning on September 1, 1939, mid-way through a Mickey Mouse cartoon. It resumed, again from Alexandra Palace, after the end of the war on June 7, 1946 showing the same cartoon. At the end of 1947 there were 54,000 licensed television receivers, compared with 44,000 television sets in the United States at that time.

The first transatlantic television signal was sent in 1928 from London to New York by the Baird Television Development Company Cinema Television, although this signal was not broadcast to the public. The first live satellite signal to Britain from the United States was broadcast via the Telstar satellite on July 23, 1962.

The first live broadcast from the European continent was made on August 27, 1950.

Television in United States : The first regularly scheduled television service in the United States began on July 2, 1928. The Federal Radio Commission authorized C.F. Jenkins to broadcast from experimental station W3XK in Wheaton Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C. For at least the first eighteen months, 48-line silhouette images from motion picture film were broadcast, although beginning in the summer of 1929 he occasionally broadcast in halftones.

By 1947, when there were 40 million radios in the U.S., there were about 44,000 television sets (with probably 30,000 in the New York area). Regular network television broadcasts began on NBC on a three-station network linking New York with the Capital District and Philadelphia in 1944; on the DuMont Television Network in 1946, and on CBS and ABC in 1948.

An estimated 19,000 electronic television sets were manufactured in Britain, and about 1,600 in Germany, before World War II. About 7,000–8,000 electronic sets were made in the U.S. before the War Production Board halted manufacture in April 1942, production resuming in August 1945.

Television usage in the United States skyrocketed after World War II with the lifting of the manufacturing freeze, war-related technological advances, the gradual expansion of the television networks westward, the drop in set prices caused by mass production, increased leisure time, and additional disposable income.

Ted Turner – the owner of an independent television station in Atlanta who pioneered the use of satellite and cable technology to expand the number of stations to which the audience had access. It was called as CNN.

CNN was the first station to provide 24 hours news coverage. It was founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. On January 28, 1986, CNN was the only network to have live coverage of the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger to the public. However, NASA TV provided the live coverage to schools nationwide. The Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated just 73 seconds after lift-off. Seven astronauts, including schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe, were killed in the disaster.

Then President Ronald Reagan postponed the State of the Union Address that evening. He addressed the nation in the time of tragedy and grief from the Oval Office. On January 31, 1986 a, two days after the tragedy, CNN had live coverage of the memorial service for the Challenger crew members. The families, friends and colleagues were there at Johnson Space Centerin HoustonTexas

The Good Things About Television

In the modern world technology is mounting very swiftly. Wonders of technological advance are still surprising people with its innovative additions. The comfort and placate we get from this technological advance had never been expected by our ancestors who had lived their lives about five thousands years ago. This advancement has also furnished us with entertainment, in which the invention of television is top of the list. TV has got a rapid popularity as it was considered as coloured box with moving pictures. The amusements and joys which TV has provided about sixty years ago were incomparable in that stereotype life. 

Television is an inescapable part of modern culture. We depend on TV for entertainment, news, education, culture, weather, sports—and even music, since the advent of music videos.

With the recent explosion in satellite and digital speciality channels, we now have access to a plethora of both good quality and inappropriate TV content. In this crowded television environment, the key for parents is to search out high quality TV programs for their kids, and whenever possible, enjoy them together as a family. 

Television offers lots of benefits

  • Because of its ability to create powerful touchstones, TV enables young people to share cultural experiences with others.
  • Shared viewing gives family members of all ages an opportunity to spend time together.
  • Parents can use TV as a catalyst to get kids reading—following up on TV programs by getting books on the same subjects or reading authors whose work was adapted for the programs.
  • Great television can teach kids important values and life lessons.
  • TV programs often explores controversial or sensitive issues, which can make it easier for parents and kids to discuss them.
  • Educational programming can develop young children’s socialization and learning skills.
  • News, current events and historical programming can help make young people more aware of other cultures and people. The television can also play a very important part in educating the people regarding the corruption, prevailing in the social and political spheres. The people can be taught not to give or take bribes. They can also be advised to help the government in curbing blackmarketing, smuggling, hoarding etc. During the time of election the results of the successful candidates can also be announced through the television. The V.I.Ps like the President, the Prime Minister, etc can also keep a direct contact with the people by addressing them on television.
  • Documentaries can help develop critical thinking about society and the world.
  • TV can help introduce your family to classic Hollywood films and foreign movies that may not be available in your local video store. It is also a good source of entertainment which is very cheap and within the access of every one.
  • Cultural programming can open up the world of music and art for young people.
  • Sitting in our homes, we can watch all kinds of programs which are televised. Many educative and informative programs can also be shown on the television which are of great help to the students and the masses. Television is especially very majority of the people are illiterate and live in the villages. The people can be imparted much information and education through the television programs. Television is a way on improvement on the radio set, because now we can see the face of the speaker, whereas on the radio we could only here the voice of the speaker and could not see his face.
  • Television can also help in removing the social and political evils from the society. It can highlight the evils of casteism dowry, drinking, gambling etc and help in their removal. Similarly the government programs like family planning, afforestation, adult education and cleanliness of the cities can also be propagated through the medium of television very successfully.
  • We can have a clear idea that what is happening in the world, we can have live information about the several events like sports and any other good or bad events happening on the globe. One can have a weather forecast and accordingly plan several things before time. It is also a good source of entertainment which is very cheap and within the access of every one. Television has shrunk the distance of the world you can watch what is happening several thousand miles away from you. So in totality it is information from all over the world, and it is fun and enjoyment with convenience.

Disadvantages or Negative aspects :

  • Watching too much of television also affects your eye and nerves. Television creates such a spell on children and in some cases it also effects the elders that they actually lose their own opinion they feel whatever is being shown on television is correct and should be practised as such. In such situation it is the responsibility of the broad caster to show what is safe to be shown on the television. But still several irresponsible television channels show content which is not be showing plan several things before time.
  • Television creates such a spell on children and in some cases it also effects the elders that they actually lose their own opinion they feel whatever is being shown on television is correct and should be practised as such. In such situation it is the responsibility of the broad caster to show what is safe to be shown on the television. But still several irresponsible television channels show content which is not be shown .

  • According to a study published in 2008, conducted by John Robinson and Steven Martin from the University of Maryland, people who are not satisfied with their lives spend 30% more time watching TV than satisfied people do. The research was conducted with 30,000 people during the period between 1975 and 2006. This contrasted with a previous study, which indicated that watching TV was the happiest time of the day for some people. Based on his study, Robinson commented that the pleasurable effects of television may be likened to addictive activity, producing “momentary pleasure but long-term misery and regret.
  • Psychological effects : There is a theory that when a person plays video games or watches TV, the basal ganglia portion of the brain becomes very active and dopamine is released. Some scientists believe that release of high amounts of dopamine reduces the amount of the neurotransmitter available for control of movement, perception of pain and pleasure and formation of feelings,although this remains a controversial conclusion. A study conducted by Herbert Krugman found that while viewers are watching television the right side of the brain is twice as active as the left which causes a state of hypnosis.

  • Physical effects : Studies in both children and adults have found an association between the number of hours of television watched and obesity. A study found that watching television decreases the metabolic rate in children to below that found in children at rest. Author John Steinbeck describes television watchers:

“I have observed the physical symptoms of television-looking on children as well as on adults. The mouth grows slack and the lips hang open; the eyes take on a hypnotized or doped look; the nose runs rather more than usual; the backbone turns to water and the fingers slowly and methodically pick the designs out of brocade furniture. Such is the appearance of semi consciousness that one wonders how much of the ‘message’ of television is getting through to the brain.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children      under two years of age should not watch any television and children two and older should watch one to two hours at most. Children who watch more than four hours of television a day are more likely to become overweight. TV watching and other sedentary activities are associated with greater risk of heart attack.

  • The advertising commercials may change your perception. The products may be exaggerated from the actuals. You may get fooled by inappropriate advertising.

Inspite of all these disadvantages, the advantages are definitely more and the disadvantages are out-weighted. In the field of education and entertainment its vast importance cannot be denied. Of course, the Government should also show purposeful and good programs on the television to increase its utility. The cost of the television sets should also be reduced so that even ordinary persons can afford to purchase them. 

Original shows on CNN

  • Moneyline

Moneyline premiered in 1980 of and was CNN’s main financial show for over 20 years. As the show moved more towards general news and economic and political commentary, it was renamed Lou Dobbs Moneyline and then Lou Dobbs Tonight.

  • Evans, Novak, Hunt & Shields

Evans and Novak was created in 1980, with Rowland Evans and conservative Robert Novak hosted their own TV news show and it became one of the cable network’s best-watched discussion programs. Only a short time after, Al Hunt and Mark Shields joined the show, being renamed Evans, Novak, Hunt & Shields.

  • Crossfire

In June 1982, a political debate, late night television show, Crossfire, was launched and was hosted by liberal Tom Braden and conservative Pat Buchanan. The idea of it was when the two of them debated on the a daily radio show in 1978. The show soon became popular and was elevated to prime time. In 1985 Buchanan left the show for a job as communications director in the Ronald Reagan White House. His replacement was conservative columnist Robert Novak, who already had a talk show on CNN and was at the time also a regular on The McLaughlin Group. In 1987, Buchanan returned to the show, replacing Novak. In 1989, Braden was replaced by Michael Kinsley, a liberal columnist for TIME, and magazine editor for The New Republic.

  • Larry King Live

In June 1985, a primetime interview TV show was launched and was hosted by Larry King. Every night on Larry King Live, King interviews one or more prominent individuals, mainly celebrities, politicians, and businesspeople. The show is currently the highest rated and longest-running TV show on CNN.[11] It was the highest rated news show on television until 2001, when the O’Reilly Factor surpassed him and maintained at the top ever since.

Unlike many interviewers, Larry King has a direct, non-confrontational approach. His interview style is characteristically frank, but with occasional bursts of irreverence and humor. His approach attracts some guests who would not otherwise appear. King, who is known for his general lack of pre-interview preparation, once bragged that he never pre-reads the books of authors who appear on his show. Critics have claimed that Larry King asks “soft” questions in comparison to other interviewers, which allows him to reach guests who would be averse to interviewing on “tough” talk shows.

On February 24, 1987, King suffered a major heart attack and then had quintuple-bypass surgery. It was a life-altering event as previously, smoking was one of his trademarks and he was unashamed of his addiction. King was a three-pack-a-day smoker and kept a lit cigarette during his interview so he would not have to take time to light up during breaks. He now encourages curbing smoking to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The Impact of Network Television

Broadcasting is an entirely different medium from print or the web, and its journalism is necessarily different. But broadcast journalists adhere to most of the basic tenets of journalism that we have discussed previously in the book.

Broadcasting is a 20th century phenomenon. The development of radio in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was one of the great inventions of mankind. It not only revolutionized our way of communicating, but it also sparked vast changes in the way we lived our personal, civic and economic lives.

The first great news event involving radio was the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Information about that event was sent by radio from ships close by, and people were astonished at how quickly the news was transmitted. From the 1920s, broadcasting — first radio and then television in the 1950s — has been at the forefront of coverage of every major news event.

The immediacy and impact of television news has continued, but television itself has changed drastically in the last half century. Three national networks dominated television for the first three decades of its popularity, but in the 1980s that dominance was challenged by the development of cable. Specialized news channels, particularly Cable News Network, delivered news all day every day, and the audience for network news has been steadily shrinking.

Local television news — that produced by local stations — varies widely in quality, but it still attracts a large audience for local stations and gives those stations an identity. Unlike newspapers, most local television stations have direct competition for audience and advertisers.

The three major networks—NBC (National Broadcasting Company), CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System), and ABC (American Broadcasting Corporation)—rose to power in the 1950s and dominated television for the next two decades. During this period they captured more than 90 percent of the total viewing audience and attracted almost the entire radio audience. Television was so popular that it became an American obsession, as many people were watching an average of twenty-five hours a week by the late 1940s. A decade later more than 50 million families owned a television, and they had little time for other recreational pursuits.

Television had a permanent impact on the radio industry. Radio network revenues were cut in half almost overnight as audiences and advertisers turned to television, and major stars of popular radio programs were seduced by the new medium. As a result, radio programmers began playing rock and roll music, which was sweeping the nation. This move was a successful gamble and saved radio from extinction partly because the content of rock and roll music was considered too racy for television.

Television also affected the film industry, as people were choosing to stay home for their entertainment. Movie makers attempted to lure audiences back into theaters with gimmicks like 3-D (three-dimensional) movies, Panavision, Cinemascope, and Circle-Vision. Hollywood abandoned its reliance on westerns and other popular types of movies in favor of big-budget blockbusters, many of which were filmed on location rather than on Hollywood lots and studios. For a short time, Hollywood studio executives tried to forbid stars from appearing on television, but they soon relented. After some adjustment the two industries found a way to work together. Studios increasingly sold old movies to the networks for broadcast and provided production experts and facilities to television.

The newspaper industry was also affected by the popularity of television. At first, programming was limited to the hours between 8:00 P.M. and 11:00 P.M., which still left time for reading the paper. As soon as television expanded its programming beyond three hours, however, newspapers felt the impact, particularly with the advent of evening news shows on CBS and NBC in 1963. Soon there were no longer any evening newspapers.

While television had no impact on the number of books being published, it did prompt a decrease in the number of fiction titles and an increase in the number of nonfiction titles. The upward trend of nonfiction titles continued as a lasting effect of television on the publishing industry.

Modern experts debate the social impact of television. Some argue that it has increased crime by accustoming audiences to violence and aggression. Others focus on the power of advertising in promoting consumption and consumerism throughout the world. Critics also maintain that television stimulates aggressive behavior, decreases social interaction, reinforces ethnic stereotypes, and leads to a decrease in creativity. Supporters of television argue that, to the contrary, viewers have an increased awareness of world events, improved verbal abilities, and greater curiosity. Regardless of conflicting opinions, it is clear that television has become one of the foremost social agents in the world.

History of Indian Television

When India became independent in 1947, AIR was made a separate Department under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. National integration and the development of a “national consciousness” were among the early objectives of All India Radio. Broadcasting, was especially expected to contribute to the process of social modernization. television was introduced in 1959. The government had been reluctant to invest in television until then because it was felt that a poor country like India could not afford the medium. Television had to prove its role in the development process. Television broadcasts started from Delhi in September 1959 as part of All India Radio’s services. Programs were broadcast twice a week for an hour a day on such topics as community health, citizens duties and rights, and traffic and road sense. In 1961 the broadcasts were expanded to include a school educational television project. In time, Indian films and programs consisting of compilation of musicals from Indian films joined as the first entertainment programs. A limited number of old U.S. and British shows were also telecast sporadically. In 1975, the government carried out the first test of the possibilities of satellite based television through the SITE program. SITE (Satellite Instructional Television Experiment) was designed to test whether satellite based television services could play a role in socio-economic development. television programs were beamed down for about 4 hours a day . The programs dealt mainly with in- and out-of-school education, agricultural issues, planning and national integration. the lessons learnt from SITE were used by the government in designing and utilizing its own domestic satellite service INSAT, launched in 1982. By 1976, the government constituted Doordarshan, the national television network. 1976 witnessed a significant event in the history of Indian television, the advent of advertising on Doordarshan. Commercialization of Doordarshan saw the development of soap operas, situation comedies, dramas, musical programs, quiz shows. 1991 saw International satellite television was introduced in India by CNN through its coverage of the Gulf War in 1991. Three months later Hong Kong based StarTV (now owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.) started broadcasting five channels into India using the ASIASAT-1 satellite. Taking advantage of the growth of the satellite television audience, a number of Indian satellite based television services were launched between 1991 and 1994, prominent among them ZeeTV, the first Hindi satellite channel. Now most of the Channels have a tie up with Foreign News Channels

  1. Content tie up – It takes the feed, important updates, interviews. It is based on editorial. UTVi Business channel earlier had tie up with ABC News Channel. The training to the anchors, Producers, Directors was provided by them. Now the Channel has tie up with Bloomberg and is known as UTV Bloomberg. CNN IBN has tie up with CNN. They get trained, sharing of news, feed and editorial and production training from CNN. Sharing of feed – Terrorist attack on Taj, Oberoi hotel in Mumbai was attacked CNN IBN provided the content to CNN International.
  2. Logo tie up – It has name of foreign channel. UTV Business channel has tie up with Bloomberg.
  3. Trainning tie ups – NDTV has tie up with BBC. Their employees are trained by BBC for anchoring, presenting news ( international and national ) and work process.


After years of falling revenues, in 1999-2000 Doordarshan (DD)1 had a revenue growth at 50%. In 1999-2000, DD earned revenues of Rs 6.1mn compared to Rs 3.99 mn in 1998-99. DD showed signs of revival with the launch of DD World (a channel for NRIs) and had relative success with some of its regional channels (Refer Table I for different DD channels).

However by the end of 2000-01, DD’s honeymoon with success seemed to be over. In 2000-01, DD’s revenues were projected to grow at 6-15% while private channels such as Zee TV, Star, Sony had projected 40-50% revenue growth2. Analyst’s felt that DD’s sagging revenues were only tip of the iceberg.

DD was plagued by multiple problems, which found their roots in the mismanagement of affairs. By the late 1990’s the private producers, advertisers and audience had deserted DD. Not even one car company advertised on DD and even two-wheeler manufacturers kept a low profile3. Ads of Pepsi and Coca-Cola were found only during sports telecasts.

Only FMCG companies stuck to DD because of its terrestrial network to reach the rural and semi-urban audience4. In spite of having over 21,000 employees5, DD outsourced 50% of its programs from the private producers. In late 1990’s DD faced number of allegations of large-scale scams and irregularities. Under utilized infrastructure, improper investments and poor financial management plagued the performance of DD. In 1992, when the Government opened airwaves to private players, DD faced the heat of competition from private satellite channels.

In the Cable & Satellite (C&S) homes it was found that there were hardly any viewers for the DD programs. The depleting Television Viewer Ratings (TVRs)6 of the DD programs was also a cause of concern as advertisers deserted due to its low viewer ratings. Analysts felt that DD would need a budgetary support of Rs 5 bn during the fiscal 2000-01 to sustain itself as its revenues would not be enough to meet its expenditure. Analysts questioned the capacity of the Government to own DD and many felt that privatization would be the only solution.

DD – Inside Story

DD was launched in 1959 as the National Television Network with a modest 21 community sets, in Delhi. The year 1982 saw the introduction of a regular satellite link between Delhi and different transmitters, which kick started the transmission of the National Programme. In the same year DD switched to colour transmission.

So widespread was its influence that it had penetrated into every nook and corner of the country cutting across demographic and geographic barriers. DD had a three-tier programme service – National, Regional and Local.

At the national level, programs were focused on the national culture and included news, current affairs, science, cultural magazines, serials, music, dance, drama and feature films.

At the regional level the programs were similar to the ones broadcast at National level, the only difference being they were broadcast in the regional language of the different states of India.

In 1984, DD added a second channel (DD 2) to provide an alternative option to the metropolitan population of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. DD 2 was targeted at urban viewers, particularly the young viewers.

In 1995, DD launched DD-India, the international channel of DD catering to the NRI population. Service covered SAARC countries7, Gulf countries, West Asia, Central Asia, North Africa and Europe. In the same year DD entered into an agreement with the Cable News Network (CNN) and launched 24-hour news and current affairs channel-DD-News.

In 1999, DD launched separate channel for sports. In the early 1990’s, about 479 mn people in Indian homes viewed DD and an additional 1.5mn watched DD on community sets. DD was ahead of the private channels in terms of viewership with a 90% reach. However, in the late 1990’s it could not maintain the lead and private channels were catching up in terms of revenue even though they lagged behind in viewership and reach.

Cable Onslaught

In 1984, cable television made its foray in India and it was considered a cost effective alternative to watching borrowed cassettes of feature films. Local entrepreneurs saw in this an opportunity, as investments required to install a cable network were low. In the early 1990’s many private channels were launched to tap the nascent cable television in India.

Launched in 1992, Zee TV was the driver of the expansion of cable television in India. During 1992-94, there was rapid increase in the number of cable connections in western and Northern India.

In southern India, the states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh saw an accelerated growth in Tamil and Telugu channels in the mid 1990s.

Though by 2000 DD had an incredible reach of 70 mn homes in comparison to C&S’s reach to only 30 mn homes, (Refer Table II for growth of cable and satellite penetration in India) it could not turn this network into an advantage.

In the urban households, DD’s presence was miniscule with hardly any viewers for its programs. Few people watched its programs in the urban areas. DD was also lagging behind the private channels in terms of ad revenues as its TVRs were very low compared to the TVRs of programs on private channel.

Sagging Revenues

During 1996-99, TV advertisement market grew by 76%, but DD’s revenue from advertisement registered a negative growth (Refer to Table III). Though DD continued to be number one in overall audience share, it lost out on viewership segments with the highest purchasing power. In 1998-99, DD channels revenues from advertisements were to the tune of Rs 4 bn (25.8% of the market). Zee TV was close at Rs 3.85 bn, Sony at Rs 2.53 bn, and Star Channels8 at Rs 2 bn.

However, in case of private channels revenues from the ads have grown significantly compared to DD. During the period 1996-99, Zee registered growth of 122% in ad revenues, Sony 299% and Star channels 206%. During the same period, DD’s ad revenues had gone down by 70.17%.

Till 1998-99, 70% of HLL’s9 ad spend went to DD. In 2000-01, because of poor TVR of DD, HLL’s share in DD’s Ad revenues had gone down to 50%. During 1999-00, producers and distributors stopped giving films to DD after it started asking for a minimum guarantee of Rs 10 mn to broadcast a film. This forced DD to repeat the same old films, and the TVRs went down further. DD’s sagging TVRs were a matter of concern for clients like Hindustan Lever – DD’s largest advertiser. Said Ashutosh Srivastava, Vice-President HTA-Fulcrum, the media-buying arm of HLL, ” Our only source of reaching 40% of this country is going down.”

Analysts felt that DD’s revenues were going down because advertisers considered it as a downmarket channel, which catered only to the lowest socio-economic classifications, where purchasing power was limited. The revenues earned by DD showed a negative growth during 1997-99. In 1999-00 DD saw its revenues grow by 52.8% but in 2000-01 it was projected to grow at 6% only

Tangle of Problems

Analysts felt that many of DD’s problems could be attributed to its loss of identity. Said Kiran Karnik, former CEO, Discovery communications India, ” The channel has lost its identity. What is Doordarshan: is it a public broadcaster or a commercial entity?” Initially DD officials felt that the National channel would play the role of public broadcaster and DD Metro would be the commercial channel. Private producers and advertisers pointed out that this attitude increased the confusion. They argued that no other network has got two channels competing against each other.

With the launch of Star News Channel10 (the first independent news channel) in 1998, DD news lost its viewers to Star news. The in depth analysis of news items by Star News caught the imagination of the viewers (Refer Table V for a comparative study of different news channels). Analysts felt that private news channels could do well because of the image of DD as propaganda machinery of Government.

Analysts also felt that political interference and corruption were another reason for DD’s poor performance. In 1997, The Indian broadcasting bill was introduced in Parliament. The bill was not passed but it was enforced through an ordinance nearly a decade when after it was enacted. DD was brought under a holding company called the ‘Prasar Bharti’.

In 1998, Government sacked Prasar Bharti CEO S.S. Gill and government made DD answerable to a parliamentary committee. Political interference at the top level worsened the matters for DD. It was also alleged that members of the Central Commissioning Unit (CCU)11 of DD were taking bribes from the producers to air their programs.

It was reported that in 1998, CBI arrested two DD officials for taking bribes from a serial producer. The incident highlighted the length at which corruption was rampant in the organization. This forced Prasar Bharti management to issue guidelines regarding acceptance of gifts and hospitality by the employees. DD’s track record in both payments to and collections from private players had been poor. Over 50 companies owed Rs 18.2 mn to DD as on July 2001.

Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited (ABCL)12 was DD’s highest debtor with outstanding dues of Rs 330 mn. DD also faced a number of allegations of large-scale scams and irregularities.

It was alleged that DD allowed International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Jagmohan Dalmiya and WorldTel’s Mark Mascarenhas to defraud DD of Rs 160 mn over the telecast of a 1998 tournament13 in Dhaka.

The poor performance of DD could also be attributed to its pricing for the advertisement slots. DD charged the producers around Rs 1 lakh for 10 seconds whereas some highest rated soaps on C&S homes charged half of that. Another major problem that plagued DD, was the lack of a marketing team, which could market the advertisement slots as a package.

Private channels like ZEE and Star had their own marketing teams, which provided the advertisers with package of advertisement slots on their programs.

But in case of DD, there were 56 different producers with 56 different half-an-hour program slots for four hours of prime time each week, who would sell their commercial time separately, to the same advertiser. But advertisers preferred package deals, which would give them airtime across the programs for whole week.

Fresh Lease of Life

After S.S.Gill was sacked in 1998, Rajeeva Ratna Shah (Shah) was appointed as the new CEO of Prasar Bharti. Shah started redoing DD1’s and DD2’s programming and also started weeding out corruption at the network. To weed out corruption Shah stopped commissioning of programs on DD1 and DD2.

He decided to auction programming hours to the private players who produced the programs for the DD and market them. Shah also announced setting up of a board comprising of eminent filmmakers, actors, poets, writers and people from different walks of life to revamp DD.

In 2000, government appointed a committee headed by Shunu Sen, CEO, Quadra Advisory, a Strategic Marketing Consultancy, N. R. Narayanmurthy, CEO, Infosys and Kiran Karnik to work out a revival package for DD.

Three options came up before the committee – first, privatization of DD, second; DD continuing as a Public service broadcaster (PSB), and third, running DD on both PSB and commercially viable lines. Of the three options, the committee recommended the third option. The committee felt that there was no need to privatize DD but recommended drastic steps for its revival.

One of the important steps suggested by the committee were:

  • to downsize 25% of DD’s 21,000 strong staff,
  • getting into new media,
  • setting up its own marketing department,
  • and developing a sharper programming focus.

One of the recommendations was to improve the quality of broadcast DD sought the help of BBC to digitise its channels. Modi Entertainment Network14 begun distributing the five DD channels (National, Metro, News, Sports and World) via satellite.

DD went in for a revenue sharing deal with B4U15 for showing movies, and auctioned 7-10 p.m. slot on DD Metro to HFCL-Nine network16, which supplied the DD with programs for the 3 hours. In addition to Rs 1.21 bn that DD got from this deal, the move helped DD to penetrate into urban homes and also C&S homes to some extent.

DD also entered into an agreement with the Direct to Home (DTH) platforms like Echostar and Astra to distribute DD-World in 79 countries. DD employed Accenture17 to advice it on how to go about revamping its financial, management and administrative systems.

The National Institute of Design was employed to redesign the logo. In 2000, DD announced that it would start its own peoplemeter18 project through a separate corporate entity in partnership with a few private channels and some advertisers.

DD felt that its programs were not getting enough viewership ratings because the viewer sample being used by the two firms doing the ratings – IMRB-Ac Neilsen and ORG-Marg were skewed towards C&S homes and hence did not accurately reflect the viewing habits of the Indian populace.

Analysts felt that while all the above steps looked attractive from the revenue point of view, the real problem was freeing DD from political interference.

Being the most attractive and effective mass media, it is an accepted fact that television can play an important role in socio-economic development of the people. Doordarshan being the sole public service television broadcaster has been playing a leading role in the socio-economic development of the country since its beginning in 1959.

At present when about 300 TV channels are beaming programs from within and outside the country and are competing for attracting more and viewers by adopting all sorts of methods, the responsibility of Doordarshan in providing healthy media support to socio-economic development of the country has gained more importance.

Presently Doordarshan has 30 channels and a DTH service. These channels include: Five national channels (DD1 National, DD News, DD Sports, DD Bharati, DD Urdu), 11 regional language satellite channels (DD Bangla, DD Oriya, DD Saptagiri, DD Podhigai, DD Chandana, DD Malayalam, DD Sahyadri, DD Gujarati, DD Punjabi, DD Kashir, DD North-East), 1111 regional service state network (Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Mizoram, Tripura), one international channel (DD India), DD Rajya Sabha, DD Gyandarshan and a DTH service (DD Direct Plus).

Two of these channels viz. DD1 National and DD News are in both terrestrial and satellite modes. Besides this, there are regional networks and regional language satellite channels which have terrestrial support. The rest three channels namely DD Sports, DD Bharati and DD India are satellite channels telecasting in satellite mode only.

 Present terrestrial coverage of Doordarshan is 79.1 per cent area and 91.4 per cent population of the country. In the bouquet of  Doordarshan DTH service (DD Direct Plus) there are 36 TV channels and 20 Radio channels and it is a free to air service.

In order to provide backup to programme production as well as telecast Doordarshan has 64 Doordarshan Kendras/Studios, 126 Maintenance Centers, 1399 Transmitters of various categories and 24 Regional News Units all over the country, besides two Central Production Centers – one at Delhi and another at Guwahati.

According to Indian Readership Survey TV Report 2006 (Round 2) there are 212.7 mn. TV homes in the country. About 56 per cent TV homes in the country have cable connections. The corresponding percentage in urban and rural areas is 70 and 42 respectively. Doordarshan is trying to reach those TV homes having no cable & satellite connection, through its DTH service ‘DD Direct Plus’

From the very beginning Doordarshan has earmarked a sizable chunk of its time for telecasting various programs to provide media support to socio-economic development activities of the country. Agriculture programme, programs for rural development,  women,  children,  family welfare, adult education,  youth,  civic sense and public awareness, science & technology, special programs during natural calamities like flood, earth quake, epidemics etc. are some of important programs for socio-economic development of the country. DD News channel provides news and current affairs programs on the development taking place in different parts of the country and in various fields.

In order to manage these development programs more efficiently Doordarshan has created two separate wings namely Development Communication Division, and Narrowcasting. Development Communication Division concentrates on health and sanitation and other development issues; while Narrowcasting deals with agriculture and allied subjects.


With a view to cater to area-specific information ‘Narrowcasting’ was started by Doordarshan in 2000 covering 12 low power transmitters where the programme of local genre was telecast once or twice a week on experimental basis. On the success of this experiment the agriculture programme on this concept funded by the Ministry of Agriculture was started in 12 PGF centers in 2004. Following the successful implementation of this project a demand was created for further spreading of this concept in narrowcasting in other parts of the country.

The programmes are formulated by the experts of Agriculture, Horticulture, Veterinary Sciences, Fisheries etc. and all aspects of Agriculture, Horticulture, Veterinary Science, Fisheries etc are covered on day-to-day basis, highlighting the different technology of each crop, various schemes, success stories of farmers, weather, market prices etc.

In addition to agriculture programme under narrowcasting, Doordarshan telecasts its own agriculture programme from its regional kendras all over the country in regional languages/dialects almost on daily basis.


The Union Government has taken a decision on 25th July, 2000 to further liberalise its Uplinking Policy and permit the Indian private companies to set up uplinking hub/teleports for licensing/hiring out to other broadcasters. The new policy also permits uplinking of any television channel from India. It also allows the Indian news agencies to have their own uplinking facilities for purposes of newsgathering and its further distribution. The salient features of eligibility criteria, basic conditions/obligations and procedure for obtaining the necessary permission for these services are briefly described below. For details, reference should be made to the relevant terms and conditions of Licences/Permission/Approval. 

· Company to be incorporated in India
· Foreign equity holding including NRI/OCB/PIO not to exceed 49%

· 10 years.


  • To uplink only those TV channels which are specifically approved or permitted by the Ministry of I&B for uplinking from India. 
  • To stop uplinking of TV channels whenever permission/approval to such a channel is withdrawn by the Ministry of I&B.
  • Can uplink both to Indian as well as foreign satellites. However, proposals envisaging use of Indian satellite will be accorded preferential treatment.
  • To keep record of materials uplinked for a period of 90 days and to produce the same before any agency of the Government as and when required. ·
  • To permit the Government agencies to inspect the facilities as and when required. 
  • To furnish such information as may be required by the Ministry of I&B from time to time. 
  • To provide the necessary monitoring facility at its own cost for monitoring of programme or content by the representative of the Ministry of I&B or any other Government agency as and when required. 
  • To comply with the terms and conditions of the licensing Agreement to be signed between the Applicant and the Ministry of I&B. 
  • To comply with the terms and conditions of the Wireless Operational license to be issued by WPC. 
  • To uplink in C-Band only. · The satellite to which uplinking is proposed should have been co-ordinated with Insat system. 
  • Failure to comply with the terms and conditions of above licenses would result in termination/cancellation of the licenses.


  • To apply to the Secretary, Ministry of I&B, in triplicate, in the prescribed proforma. 
  • On the basis of information furnished in the application form, if the applicant is found eligible for setting up uplinking hub/teleport, its application will be sent for security clearance to the Ministry of Home Affairs and for clearance of satellite use to the Department of Space (wherever proposal is made for use of satellite). 
  • As soon as these clearances are obtained, the applicant would be required to sign a licensing agreement with the Ministry of I&B as per prescribed proforma (Form-1 A). 
  • After signing the licensing agreement with the Ministry of I&B, the applicant can approach to the Wireless Planning & Coordination (WPC) Wing of the Ministry of Communications for seeking operating license for establishment, maintenance and operation of uplinking facility.The applicant will pay the license fee and royalty, as prescribed by WPC Wing from time to time, annually, for the total amount of spectrum assigned to Hub/Teleport station, as per norms & rules of the WPC Wing. 
  • The Hub/Teleport station owner will inform WPC Wing the full technical and operations details of TV channels proposed to be uplinked through his/her Hub/Teleport in prescribed format.

(In case a TV channel proposes to set up its own uplinking facility/earth station, it has to apply separately for the same after following the procedure as in case of ‘1’ above.)

· Any TV channel irrespective of its ownership, equity structure or management control which is aimed at Indian viewership.

· 10 years.


  • To undertake to comply with the Broadcasting (Programme & Advertising) Codes laid down by Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. 
  • To keep record of materials uplinked for a period of 90 days and to produce the same before any agency of the Government as and when required. 
  • To furnish such information as may be required by the Ministry of I&B from time to time.
  • To provide the necessary monitoring facility at its own cost for monitoring of programme or content by the representative of the Ministry of I&B or any other Government agency as and when required. If the applicant hires its own transponder on a satellite, the same should be in C-Band and should have been coordinated with INSAT system.
  • To comply with the terms and condition of the permission/approval of the Ministry of I&B. 
  • Failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the permission/approval would result in withdrawal of such permission approval.


  • To apply to the Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting in triplicate in the prescribed proforma (Form-2) along with an affidavit in Form 2 A. After receiving the application and the affidavit as provided above, if the applicant is found eligible, the same will be sent for security clearance to the Ministry of Home Affairs and for clearance of satellite use to the Department of Space (Only in respect of those case where the applicant proposes use of a particular satellite instead of leasing it out from the uplink service provider). 
  • As soon as these clearances are obtained, the applicant would be permitted to uplink its channel(s) through a hub/teleport as requested. 
  • After receiving the permission for uplinking from India, the applicant can approach to the uplinking hub(teleports) owner for providing the necessary uplinking facility for their channel(s).


· The Company/Agency to be incorporated in India 
· Accredited by Press Information Bureau (PIB). 
· 100% owned by Indian with Indian Management Control.

· As per WPC license.


  • To use uplinking for news-gathering and its further distribution to other news agencies/broadcasters only. 
  • Not to uplink TV programs/channels for direct reception by public.
  • To keep record of materials uplinked for a period of 90 days and to produce the same before any agency of the Government as and when required.
  • To furnish such information as may be required by the Ministry of I&B from time to time. 
  • To provide the necessary monitoring facility at its own cost for monitoring of programme or content by the representative of the Ministry of I&B or any other Government agency as and when required. 
  • Conformity with the provisions of inter-system coordination agreement between INSAT & the satellite to be used. 
  • To comply with the terms and conditions of the ‘No Objection Certificate’ to be issued by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. 
  • To comply with the terms and conditions of Wireless Operational Licence to be issued by the WPC. 
  • Failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the ‘No Objection Certificate’ or the Wireless Operational Licence would result in withdrawal or cancellation of such certificate or license.


  • To apply to the Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting in triplicate in the prescribed proforma  
  • On the basis of information furnished in the application form, if the applicant is found eligible for setting up uplinking facility, its application will be sent for security clearance to the Ministry of Home Affairs and for clearance of satellite use to the Department of Space. 
  • As soon as these clearances are obtained, the applicant would be issued No Objection Certificate for uplinking by Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. 
  • After issue of No Objection Certificate by Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, the applicant can approach the Wireless Planning & Coordination (WPC) Wing of the Ministry of Communications for seeking operating license for establishment, maintenance and operation of its own uplinking facility or approach another licensee of uplinking for hiring or leasing the hub/teleport facility.
  • The applicant will pay the license fee and royalty as prescribed by WPC Wing from time to time, annually, for use of spectrum, as per norms and rules of the WPC (in case of its own facility).

Indian Private Channels

Indian Private Channels cater to the multiplying demand for entertainment of the Indian audience. The central government realised the requirements and launched a series of economic and social reforms in 1991 under Prime Minister Narasimha Rao. Under the new policies the government allowed private and foreign broadcasters to get engage in limited operations of private channels in India. This process has been pursued consistently by all subsequent centralised administrations. 

Foreign privatised channels like CNN, Star TV and domestic channels, such as, Zee TV and Sun TV started satellite broadcasts. Starting with 41 sets in 1962 and one channel known as the Audience Research unit in 1991; presently private channels in India cater to more than 70 million homes. A large relatively unexploited market, easy accessibility of relevant technology and a variety of programs are the main reasons for rapid expansion of Television in India. It must be focused that private television entertainment in India is one of the cheapest in the world. 

India has more than 130 million homes with television sets, of which nearly 71 million have connection to cable TV. The overall Cable TV market in India is growing at a robust rate of 8-10%. The industry of private television channels exploded in India, during the early 1990s when the broadcast industry was liberalised and saw the entry of many foreign players like Rupert Murdoch`s Star TV Network in 1991, MTV, and others. The emergence and notification of the HDVSL standard as a home grown Indian digital cable standard shall open an era of interactivity on private networks. 

Presently, Indian television is on an uproar with private television channels. Sun TV (India) was launched in 1992 as the first private channel in South India. Today it has around 20 television channels in the four South Indian languages, namely Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. Channels of the Sun TV network are also available outside India. Recently Sun TV launched a DTH service. The Raj Television Network was started in 1994 and is still an important player in the South Indian cable TV provider space. The Raj Television Network operates two channels in Tamil – Raj TV and Raj Digital Plus. The content distributed by these two channels includes music videos, movies and other entertainment programs for the entire family. Through its two channels – Raj TV, Raj Digital Plus, the network presents its viewers some of the best shows in the world of South Indian entertainment today. This network has built up a library of some of Tamil and Telegu films from the nostalgic old favourites to the contemporary box office hits. Recently, Raj Television Network has capitalised on the increasing demand for news that is unbiased, timely and accurate. 

In 1992, the government liberated its entertainment markets, thus, opening them up to private television. Five new channels belonging to the Hong Kong based STAR TV brought about a fresh breath of life – MTV, STAR Plus, BBC, Prime Sports and STAR Chinese Channel were the 5 private channels. Zee TV was the first private owned Indian channel to broadcast over private television. After few years, channels like CNN, Discovery Channel and National Geographic Channel made its entry in India. Star expanded its bouquet introducing STAR World, STAR Sports, ESPN and STAR Gold. Regional channels flourished along with a large number of Hindi channels and a few English channels. By 2001 HBO and History Channel were the other international channels to enter India. By 2001-2003, other international private channels such as Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, VH1, Disney and Toon Disney entered the boundaries of India. In 2003 news channels started to boom. Music channels had a great popularity in India, since its inception. Movie based channels; and soaps started dominating Indian private channels. 

Satellite Television for the Asian Region (STAR) is an Asian TV service owned by Rupert Murdoch`s News Corporation. It is based in Hong Kong, with programming offices in India and Australia, as well as in other south Asian countries. The service of STAR is more than 300 million viewers in 54 countries and is watched by approximately 100 million viewers every day. STAR `s revenues have increased from $220 million in 2003 to $245 million in 2004. STAR has emerged as India`s second-largest media company after Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. which is the publisher of Times of India. 

Zee TV was founded by Subhash Chandra and launched in India in October 1992, becoming the first Hindi private channel. Zee TV is owned by Zee Entertainment Enterprises, and is one of the most popular Indian private channels. This network carries broadcasts in Hindi and other regional languages of India. ZEE TV is a part of the Essel Group. This channel formerly had a partnership with STAR TV. However, STAR ended their partnership with ZEE TV when Rupert Murdoch`s News Corporation acquired STAR TV. Besides the above mentioned channels many more regional private channels have been introduced in Indian television that caters to the local audience. COLORS channel was launched on 21st July 2008 and it offers an entire spectrum of emotions to the viewers; starting from fictions, daily soaps to reality shows and hit movies. Meenakshi Sagar Productions, Balaji Telefilms, Endemol India, Wizcraft Television, Deepti Bhatnagar Productions, Playtime Creations, Sphere Origins, JayPranlal Mehta are some of the production houses that operate on Indian private channels. 

For the past 21 years Television has come to every one as a forefront. There were initially two ignition points: the first in the eighties when color TV was introduced by state-owned broadcaster Doordarshan (DD) coinciding with the 1982 Asian Games which India hosted. In this period no private enterprise was allowed to set up TV stations or to transmit TV signals.

The second spark for Indian Television Industry came in the early nineties with the broadcast of satellite TV by foreign programmers like CNN followed by Star TV and a little later by domestic channels such as Zee TV and Sun TV in the Indian house-hold. Before this spark the Indian viewers had to make do with DD’s chosen fare which was dull, non-commercial in nature, directed towards only education and socio-economic development with no choice left for them. There were only few Entertainment programs. In 1984 the solitary little soap like Hum Log (1984), and mythological dramas: Ramayan (1987-88) and Mahabharat (1988-89) were televised, besides news bulletins. millions of viewers stayed glued to their sets.

When, urban Indians found that it was possible to watch the Gulf War on television, they rushed out and bought dishes for their homes. People turned entrepreneurs and started offering the signal to their neighbours by flinging cable over treetops and verandahs. From the large metros satellite TV delivered via cable moved into smaller towns, spurring the purchase of TV sets and even the upgradation from black & white to colour TVs.

Few Facts :

Indian Television Industry has been in existence for nearly since four decades. Initially for the first 17 years, it spread haltingly and transmission was mainly in black & white. The thinkers and policy makers of the country, who had just been liberated from centuries of colonial rule, frowned upon television, looking on at it as a luxury for Indians. In 1955 a Cabinet decision was taken disallowing with any foreign investments in print media which has since been followed religiously for nearly 45 years. Sales of TV sets, as reflected by licenses issued to buyers were just 676,615 until 1977

Size of the Industry : Over the years the number of private satellite TV channels has grown astronomically, from 1 TV channel in 2000 to 394 TV channels in 2009. Current size: Rs 14,800 crore, Projected size by 2010: Rs 42,700 crore and CAGR: 24%

Output per annum : Indian Film and Television industry combine revenues were over $7.7 billion (Rs 35,000 crores) in the year 2008.

Percentage in world market : Today India boasts of being the third largest television market in the world

Market Capitalization : Indian Television industry in 2009 stood at US$ 5.65 billion registering a growth of 6.8%.

Indian Television industry today is found to be one of the fastest growing entertainment industries through out Asia, and that is reachable even to the “aam aadm” given the number of new channels erupting all over the country and new shows being churned out constantly. Television Industry in India has faced a diverse change in script, screenplay, concept or themes and story telling pattern with private channels coming to the front row like Zee TV, Star Plus and Sony Entertainment television. The consumtion pattern of the people has changed due to education, knowledge and societal changes and this has been facilitated by the reach and spread of cable network from urban to rural, home to home this makes viewers vulnerable to change and they had welcomed this change. Another reason for this change is their aesthetic and cognitive diet

Total contribution to the economy/ sales : According to the report released by the Price waterhouse coopers today India’s burgeoning Film and Television Industry created nearly 1.8 million jobs and contributes an immense $6.2 billion (Rs 28,305 crores) to the Indian economy.The report also has given evidences of Economic Contribution of the Indian Film and Television Industry which shows that the sector has a total gross output of $20.4 billion (Rs 92,645 crores) and contributes more to the GDP of India than the advertising industry.

Latest developments

  • Indian Film and Television industry combined revenue was over $7.7 billion (Rs 35,000 crores) in the year 2008. This is expected to grow at a rate of 11% over the next five years, reaching a size of over $13 billion (Rs 60,000 crores).
  • Indian Television Industry is witnessing a spark in the new channels being launched every year. TV is also penetrating into the rural areas and is a promising segment. Homes with TVs are expected to grow from 112 million to 200 million in a few years. The Current size: Rs 14,800 crore, Projected size by 2010: Rs 42,700 crore and CAGR: 24%
  • Today India boasts of being the third largest television market in the world and the cable penetration (pay TV market) is expected to grow from the present 70 million to all TV homes. More than 350 channels (paid and free) are available to viewers in India today.
  • The fact that 40% households of India are still without television connectivity highlights the scope of growth in this Industry.
  • The Television Industry in India generates revenue through advertisements, followed by subscriptions. The Indian television advertisements market today is currently valued at about US$ 1,067 million and is expected to grow at a rapid rate with the increase in the number of channels and television viewers.
  • The number of pay TV homes and the increased subscription rates will increase the subscription revenues and spread among the lower- income groups and offers a wide scope for growth. The Indian television industry is currently being dominated by Star India, which is the top player in the sector at present.

Analysis: Growth of Indian Television News Channels

The 24-hour news channel in India is a broadcasting genre that has seen double-digit growth for the past three years and seems set to continue, according to the results of a survey published in September 2005. The study was conducted by TAM (Television Audience Measurement) Media Research for the website. It found that the number of news channels had risen from 11 in 2002 to 30 as of August 2005.

The majority of these (two-thirds) were Hindi-language news channels and a few were English language. The remainder were categorized as either regional news or business news channels, which are currently the two growth areas.

Audience size

In terms of the news share of the television audience, the TAM study found that during the Mumbai floods in July 2005 the news genre had a 17-per cent share of the Mumbai cable and satellite audience, as against 8 per cent four weeks before the floods.

Television in India now reaches 108 million homes. This is an increase of 32 per cent over 2002 and means that just over half of all Indian homes now have television. This was reported in the National Readership Survey of 2005, conducted by a branch of India’s Audit Bureau of Circulations. The NRS report also noted that the number of homes with access to cable or satellite television had risen from 40 million in 2002 to 61 million this year. (Only the national public broadcaster, Doordarshan, transmits terrestrially.)

Leading Hindi channels

For some years, the leading Hindi news channel has been Aaj Tak. It was launched in December 2000 and is part of the TV Today Network. TV Today is itself part of the Living Media Group, which publishes the weekly India Today and a number of other magazines.

After Aaj Tak, TV Today launched an English channel, Headlines Today, and then in August 2005 a second Hindi channel, Tez (meaning Fast). Both are aimed at the busy viewer who does not have time for long and detailed news bulletins. Headlines Today has a 30-minute news cycle and network chairman and managing director Aroon Purie, at the launch of Tez, described his newest channel’s approach as “maximum news in minimum time”. Press reports say that TV Today is planning to launch a fourth channel, specifically for the New Delhi region.

However, Aaj Tak’s domination of the Hindi market is now under serious threat from Star News, a joint venture between News Corporation’s Star TV group and the Indian ABP media group. Under India’s Foreign Direct Investment rules, Star’s participation is limited to 26 per cent. ABP, based in Kolkata, is publisher of the English-language daily The Telegraph and the leading Bengali daily, Anand Bazar Patrika.

Market shares

TAM’s weekly figures for viewing of Hindi news channels in the major metropolitan areas show that Star and Aaj Tak are running neck- and-neck. During August and September 2005 both registered a weekly market share of 25 per cent or just under.

Behind them, with shares of around 15 per cent were Zee News and NDTV India. Zee News, the first 24-hour Hindi news channel, is part of the Zee Telefilms group, which also owns the country’s largest cable distributor, Siticable, and the direct-to-home satellite service Dish TV.

NDTV (New Delhi Television) was originally a producer of news and current affairs programming. NDTV India launched in April 2003, as did an English-language news channel, NDTV 24×7. A business channel, NDTV Profit, launched in January 2005.

Other Hindi channels

The top four Hindi news channels are followed by a number of others, among them DD News (24-hour news in Hindi and English from the public broadcaster), Sahara Samay, Awaaz and Channel 7.

Channel 7, launched this year, is part of the group that publishes Dainik Jagran. This Hindi newspaper has become the country’s most widely-read daily, with a readership of over 21 million, according to the National Readership Survey 2005.

Awaaz is a business and consumer channel that is part of the TV18 stable. TV18 also operates CNBC TV18, an English-language business news channel which is a joint venture with CNBC Asia-Pacific in which TV18 has a 90-per cent stake, and the international channel South Asia World.

Sahara Samay is part of the Sahara group, which also has interests in banking, aviation and housing. In addition to its national news channel, Sahara has branched out into what it calls “city-centric” channels. In July 2005 it launched one for the Delhi region to join four channels already broadcasting to Mumbai and Hindi-speaking northern regions.

Going regional

Star TV’s tie-up with the ABP group from Kolkata (Calcutta) encouraged it to launch a Bengali channel, Star Ananda, in June 2005. It was not the first Bengali-language news channel – Tara Newz had launched in February. However TAM viewing figures for Star Ananda’s first week showed that it had captured a market share of 38 per cent amongst news channels, as against Tara’s 10 per cent.

As a report on on 11 June pointed out, that high market share could be attributed to viewer curiosity and was no guarantee of future performance.

However, the report also highlighted another interesting aspect of the TAM survey. The third to sixth places were taken by the four leading Hindi news channels, with between 10 and six per cent of the share. The share of the English-language channels was negligible, at two or three per cent, and CNN and BBC World both registered just one per cent. This was surprising, the report said, for a city that should have been more at ease with English than Hindi.

One of the smaller Hindi news channels, India TV, also has plans to branch out regionally. Chairman Rajat Sharma told that the company had applied for uplink permission for a Gujarati-language channel, which could be on air by November. He added that a Punjabi channel was also under consideration.

North, south and beyond

Away from the Hindi-speaking regions, particularly in the south, competition is not so fierce for the moment.

In the largely Telugu-speaking state of Andhra Pradesh, the first two all-news channels were ETV2 and TV9, in late 2003 and early 2004 respectively. They were followed by Teja News, part of the Sun Network.

Sun, based in Chennai in Tamil Nadu, also operates the Tamil- language Sun News and the Kannada-language Udaya News. Malayalam speakers in Kerala are served by Asianet News and IndiaVision.

ETV2 is part of the Eenadu group, which is based in Hyderabad. ETV now has 11 regional channels around the country, more than any other network except Doordarshan. Although these offer general entertainment programming, a report in The Telegraph of Kolkata on 12 March 2005 noted that ETV devoted 20 per cent of its total daily programming to news. The same report said that Sun had signed a joint venture agreement with the Malaysian pay-TV operator Astro All Asia. Part of the deal envisages a Bengali channel for which Sun would provide the news programming. Astro has also signed a provisional agreement with NDTV to set up 24-hour channels for southeast Asia.

Growth industry

Although the news TV genre is only a small part of the overall television market, it appears that there is money to be made from advertising revenue. A special report by Manisha Bhattacharjee for on 5 October said that the news broadcast industry had grown in a few years from a market worth 1 billion rupees (22.5 million dollars) to one worth five times that figure, with the possibility of further growth.

Hardly a month goes by without industry reports or speculation about planned new start-ups. Some channels will undoubtedly fall by the wayside. However, those players already in the market may find that new channels can be launched with minimal additional investment, as was the case with TV Today and Tez. Alternatively, a tie-up with a strong local media brand (see Channel 7) and/or the resources of a global operator (Star Ananda) could point the way to success.

Regional News Channels

“How news is reported and presented is governed by higher powers and personal leanings. Half-baked news stories, a foggy truth and self-promotion come together, causing disaster.

“The electronic media — particularly the English language channels — report much like local city channels do in the United States of America, where even the slightest of things makes headlines. Ironically, the quality of news on the regional language channels and the state channels is better; it is far more cohesive and centred around real and dominating socio-economic and political issues.

“On TV channels, the same boring, predictable faces spout their personal views and positions with abandon, collect their performance fees, and go home. Outside broadcast vans have been known to arrive at private dinners to get a ‘bite’ from people who are guests at another person’s house, thereby rudely disrupting the get-together for the other people present there.

“There is something utterly ugly about this kind of uncultured, uncivilized and unabashed self-promotion. On the superficial social circuit in the capital, such television appearances titillate the performers more than the audience.”

Sex scandals, false allegations, violence and the drama surrounding these news stories form the essence of today’s Indian (Telugu language) regional news channels. The new mantra for the news channels is to compete for TRP’s rather than report objectively. With over 50 regional news channels and the number growing, the competition is only getting fierce and cutthroat.

The competitive nature of these channels has made journalism very commercial. Most of the major television networks have at least one news channel in their bouquet of channels and they all produce the same dramatized and sensationalized news stories. Some channels go further in not just sensationalizing each story but have also modified their reporting style. An award winning news reporter from a very popular regional news channel reads her stories like a poem, with all the heightened expressions for the words and pauses to emphasize the gravity of the story.

Today, anything sells in the name of news. The term “breaking news” doesn’t hold any meaning anymore. The channels do not even heed to the need of being truthful. In the race for the scoop, of being the one to break the news, today’s news editors do not take the time to clarify the authenticity of their information. News verification is the least of their concerns and they need to keep the show going. Earlier news was an hourly show on a national channel. This gave the channel the time to create a credible news story, but with the current 24 hr format, the channels need to fill stories to keep the TRPs ticking up. The result is journalism at its worse. To achieve high ratings the channels are not backing down from telecasting sleazy and sordid ‘news items’

Entertainment news comes in the form of film based shows and satirical political capsules. In Andhra Pradesh, with the Producers Council putting a cap on film pre-release advertising on GEC, the news channels have now become the main channels of advertising for films. All the lead stars of the films do a mandatory round of interviews to all the News channels. News is hence presented as entertaining content with information and news channels have evolved as booming business ventures. Like many successful business ventures, most of these news channels have become the property of political leaders, who have used this powerful media tool as a vehicle to profess and campaign their political agendas. The channels often act as the voice for these leaders and telecast the party’s point of view as the right view for the audiences. This is clearly a case of manufactured content in the hands of the elite few.

Regional TV channels showing phenomenal growth – Regional channels accounted for around 27 percent of the total television viewership in 2012, said a just released Ficci-KPMG report on the Indian media and entertainment industry.

The report said that while Tamil and Telugu markets accounted for around 50 percent of the total regional viewership, Marathi and Bengali markers account for 29 percent of the regional viewership.

“Regional genres are showing phenomenal growth in terms of viewership. Advertisers are yet to tap into the large potential of the retail consumers in these markets and local advertisers would be willing to pay a premium for this audience,” Punit Goenka, MD and CEO of Zee Enterprises Entertainment Ltd, said in the report.

“Regional channels are estimated to account for approximately 30 percent of total revenues of Star and Zee networks. Regional channels command an advertising market share of 27.2 percent, which is proportionate to their viewership share,” the report said.

“Regional markets continue to outpace the national market in terms of growth. Despite a slower growth in 2012, some regional markets have shown an impressive upward trend. This is on account of the FMCG clients which account for 60 percent of total spending,” said Subramanyam K., vice president and national head, ad sales and marketing of ETV Network.

The report was released on the first day of the 14th edition of Ficci-Frames 2013, the annual convention of the media and entertainment industry here in Mumbai organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci).

amil news channel Puthiya Thalaimurai’s TV News Director S. Srinivasan said the South Indian news market is besotted with news channels with vested interests.

He bemoaned the fact that most of these so-called news channels are political mouthpieces of their political masters. The reason for Thalaimurai TV’s success in a tough market like Tamil Nadu is due to its non-partial coverage of politics and focus on civic and social issues. Unlike other regional channels who are obsessed with Entertainment and Cricket, Thalaimurai TV has a right mix of content.

Total number of news channels since 2000:

Regional news channels saw the maximum growth in numbers in the 10-year period – from just three in 2000 to 82 in 2010. Hindi News channels grew from three in 2000 to 10 in 2005 and 18 in 2010. English news channels, on the other hand, grew nominally from two in 2000 to six in 2005 to nine in 2010.

Share of news genre in the total TV viewing pie:

Regional news genre accounted for a 3.53 per cent share of the total TV viewing pie in 2010 (January-November), from a 1.49 per cent share in 2005 and a mere 0.25 per cent share in 2000. Hindi news genre followed with a share of 3.44 per cent in 2010 (January-November), down from a share of 4.17 per cent in 2005. English news genre garnered a share of 0.33 per cent in 2010 (January-November), a marginal dip from 0.34 per cent in 2005.

Advertising growth of news genre:

English news genre accounted for a 172 per cent growth in advertising in 2010 (January-November) over 2005. Hindi news followed with a 163 per cent growth in the same period.

Major Hindi news channels:

  1. AAj Tak by Indiatoday network
  2. ABP News owned by ABP Group
  3. Zee news by Zee network
  4. NDTV India by New Delhi Television Ltd
  5. India TV owned by Rajat Sharma
  6. IBN-7 by TV 18 network
  7. Others

Major English news channels

  1. NDTV 24×7
  2. Headlines Today
  3. Times Now
  4. CNN IBN


When India became independent in 1947, AIR was made a separate Department under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. National integration and the development of a “national consciousness” were among the early objectives of All India Radio. Broadcasting, was especially expected to contribute to the process of social modernization. television was introduced in 1959. The government had been reluctant to invest in television until then because it was felt that a poor country like India could not afford the medium. Television had to prove its role in the development process. Television broadcasts started from Delhi in September 1959 as part of All India Radio’s services. Programs were broadcast twice a week for an hour a day on such topics as community health, citizens duties and rights, and traffic and road sense. In 1961 the broadcasts were expanded to include a school educational television project. In time, Indian films and programs consisting of compilation of musicals from Indian films joined as the first entertainment programs. A limited number of old U.S. and British shows were also telecast sporadically. In 1975, the government carried out the first test of the possibilities of satellite based television through the SITE program. SITE (Satellite Instructional Television Experiment) was designed to test whether satellite based television services could play a role in socio-economic development. television programs were beamed down for about 4 hours a day . The programs dealt mainly with in- and out-of-school education, agricultural issues, planning and national integration. the lessons learnt from SITE were used by the government in designing and utilizing its own domestic satellite service INSAT, launched in 1982. By 1976, the government constituted Doordarshan, the national television network. 1976 witnessed a significant event in the history of Indian television, the advent of advertising on Doordarshan. Commercialization of Doordarshan saw the development of soap operas, situation comedies, dramas, musical programs, quiz shows. 1991 saw International satellite television was introduced in India by CNN through its coverage of the Gulf War in 1991. Three months later Hong Kong based StarTV (now owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.) started broadcasting five channels into India using the ASIASAT-1 satellite. Taking advantage of the growth of the satellite television audience, a number of Indian satellite based television services were launched between 1991 and 1994, prominent among them ZeeTV, the first Hindi satellite channel. Now most of the Channels have a tie up with Foreign News Channels

  1. Content tie up – It takes the feed, important updates, interviews. It is based on editorial. UTVi Business channel earlier had tie up with ABC News Channel. The training to the anchors, Producers, Directors was provided by them. Now the Channel has tie up with Bloomberg and is known as UTV Bloomberg. CNN IBN has tie up with CNN. They get trained, sharing of news, feed and editorial and production training from CNN. Sharing of feed – Terrorist attack on Taj, Oberoi hotel in Mumbai was attacked CNN IBN provided the content to CNN International.
  2. Logo tie up – It has name of foreign channel. UTV Business channel has tie up with Bloomberg.
  3. Trainning tie ups – NDTV has tie up with BBC. Their employees are trained by BBC for anchoring, presenting news ( international and national ) and work process.

TV News History of the Past 50 Years

Turn on the 6:00 newscast any time during the last 50 years and you’re likely to find coverage of house fires, court cases and political races. But beyond the headlines, TV news history is filled with many changes. Chart the evolution of television news history and decide whether all the new equipment and ways of presenting the news truly make for a better broadcast.

TV News History: The 1960s

In the old black-and-white days of television, those who worked in TV news usually had backgrounds in radio or newspapers. A television news broadcast was hampered because it didn’t have the reputation of newspaper journalism, nor was it able to complete with live, on-the-scene reporting of radio due to the lack of portable equipment.

But TV news grew up quickly with the Kennedy assassination. That event was so significant, it’s one of the 12 events that changed TV news coverageforever.

TV news executives had to figure out a way to get live video, film, still photos — any sort of image — from the scene in Dallas, Texas, to the network studios to be transmitted to the nation. The customary practice of having a newsman (there were no women) simply reading a script on camera from New York or Washington wouldn’t be enough.

That event showed people at the networks and ataffiliate stations throughout the country that TV news history would be made through pictures and video. That seems obvious today, but 50 years ago there was no easy way to produce television from the scene of news events. Stories from the Vietnam War were days old before they reached Americans’ living rooms. Live coverage of parades or other planned events took large trucks and cameras that had to be set up hours ahead of time. Satellites weren’t around to send video around the world in an instant.

TV News History: The 1970s

A new decade brought many breakthroughs to television news. Viewers were seeing people other than white men delivering their news as stations and networks added women and people of other races to their staffs. Barbara Walters made TV news history when she joined Harry Reasoner at ABC to become the first woman to co-anchor a network newscast.

For local stations, a trend began to have news “teams” presenting the news, rather than just a man behind a simple desk. In the age of color TV, a lot of money was spent on anchor desks, news music, logo design and news promotion. Show business had started having an influence on news at both the local and national levels.

Consultants were often hired to conduct market research. The focus shifted to bringing people information they wanted to see, versus what they needed to know.

That’s one reason local TV newscasts started looking the same, regardless of whether you were watching in Denver, Dallas or Detroit. Based on research, stations decided their anchor teams needed to be warm, friendly and funny, which began an era that some call “happy talk”. Banter between team members became critical in developing a relationship with the viewers, so the anchorman poking fun at the weatherman’s necktie was encouraged to lighten up the “show”.

During this decade, videotape began replacing film, which made it easier to get images on the air faster. In addition, live microwave trucks allowed local stations to “go live” from the scene at a moment’s notice. To justify the expense of purchasing this gear, some stations covered ribbon cuttings and other light news events live, just to show they could.

TV News History: The 1980s

The 1980s also reflected how TV news consulting firms changed TV news history. They convinced network and station executives that there was more to present than just typical news, weather and sports.

News organizations sought to make viewers’ lives better. That included health and consumer reporting to help people live longer and save money. No longer were newscasts dependent on the day’s events for content. These reports, called “franchises”, were usually heavily promoted as a way to differentiate a newscast from the competition.

Critics usually blast local stations for putting style over substance, but that charge can also be made at the network level. When the iconic Walter Cronkite retired from anchoring the CBS Evening News in 1981, he was replaced by Dan Rather, who was known for his hard-hitting reports on the network’s 60 Minutes newsmagazine.

 There was a period that Rather began wearing sweaters on the air under his suit jacket — some say to warm up his persona.

This decade saw the introduction of computers to many newsrooms, which made everything from finding archived stories to the mayor’s home phone number easier. Networks and some stations even added satellite newsgathering trucks, which allowed them to drive across country to beam back news reports. As with the introduction of microwave trucks in the 1970s, stations looked for any reason to use this equipment, even driving hundreds of miles to cover hurricanes that didn’t threaten their local coverage area.

TV News History: The 1990s

For the networks, the 1990s were the years of the newsmagazine. While viewers were already familiar with 60 Minutes and ABC’s 20/20, other similar shows started popping up on network schedules as a cheaper alternative to scripted entertainment programming. ABC’s Primetime Live (which actually premiered in late-1989), NBC’s Dateline NBC and CBS’s Eye to Eye with Connie Chung are just a few examples from this period.

Many of the newsmagazines fought to make names for themselves by turning to investigative reporting, which produced controversy. Dateline NBC was forced to apologize after airing an inaccurate report on alleged pickup truck fires. ABC’s Primetime Live took heat for the way it reported about a supermarket chain’s food-handling practices.

Some local stations turned away from the family-oriented heath and consumer reporting to hard-hitting, tabloid-style investigations. Logos were designed to be bigger, bolder to attract the attention of viewers, who now had dramatically more programs to watch other than newscasts thanks to cable TV.

President Bill Clinton’s sex scandal involving Monica Lewinsky was a story tailor made for this period. Still, most newscasters cringed at having to repeat the details that nearly brought down the president.

With the Internet starting to become a part of Americans’ homes, news organizations developed their first email systems and websites to communicate with the public in a new way. They didn’t know then about the computer revolution that would challenge their dominance as news providers.

TV News History: The 2000s

Market research and technology took a back seat to old-fashioned reporting during the 2000s, because of two events — the presidential election of 2000 and the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001. Suddenly, anchor set design and sex scandal coverage became trivial.

The 2000 presidential election was not a made-for-tv event like a space shuttle launch or a hurricane, yet television executives had no choice but to cover it. The mundane collection and re-counting of Florida ballots may not have made for captivating programming, but the future of the presidency was at stake.TV news helped Americans understand the Electoral College and other long-forgotten aspects of our election system.

The 9/11 terrorist attacks by themselves changed TV news in ways that could not have been predicted. Anchors found themselves having to simultaneously report bad news while trying to provide some reassurance to the viewers. Newsrooms that heard about rumors of further terrorist action had to decide whether they should report what they knew or wait to get the facts.

Website development allowed video stories to be posted easily, which presented its own dilemma. News organizations had to choose whether to put stories on the Internet immediately to beat their competitors, or hold off until after their on-air broadcasts so that their viewership didn’t suffer.

TV News History: The 2010s

This decade has brought so many technological changes that it’s hard to determine what viewers want from a TV newscast. There are so many choices in where to get information that sitting down to watch the 6:00 p.m. news is rapidly becoming a habit of generations past with little relevance to today’s news consumers.

TV newsrooms are changing their priorities to become information providers across a variety of platforms. Websites are only part of the delivery system. Face book, Twitter and other forms of social media have become important ways to reach potential viewers where they’re hanging out. Mobile devices, from cell phones to tablet computers, are forcing strategy to be developed to reach people on the go.

It’s easy to assume that traditional TV news won’t survive much longer. But the successful stations and networks can boost their odds of being around through the decades by focusing on what has gotten them to this point — solid, accurate reporting that isn’t influenced by outside sources, creative visual presentations and credible TV personalities who form long-lasting relationships with their audience.

Booming: Television News Channels in India

News programs have suddenly become hot property and are vying for attention with other popular programs telecast in different channels. All major television broadcasters are including at least one news channel to their bouquet. The biggest headache for launching a satellite channel is programme software for round the clock. In this juncture, newsgathering is a major task for the 24-hour news channels. To cater this task, the emerging electronic channels have always made an attempt to cover all the incidents irrespective of position, location and time. These channels not only revolutionized the concept of news on Indian television but also changed the news formats. Before 1990s, Doordarshan had monopolized newscast on Indian television and also turned the news programs into a dowdy exercise. Now the private channels made the news an essential commodity like food, cloth and shelter. The strong point of all today’s news bulletins is their topicality, objectivity, glossy editing and high-quality visuals. News has traveled a long way from the DD era. From Local events to International events, breaking news to news analysis, television soap to page3 news, every happening comes under purview of news. In this article, we have covered some significant changes in news broadcasting in India before and after the Gulf War.

Indian Television – Flash Back

Television in India is undergoing significant changes in the current liberalized environment. To understand these changes, one needs to have some brief idea of the road covered by the television channels so far. The journey started as an experimental basis with a financial grant from UNESCO in 15th September 1959. The makeshift studio at Akashvani Bhavan in New Delhi was chosen for location of the experiment. The experiment started with one-hour program, broadcast twice a week, on community health, citizen rights, education and traffic sense etc. As far as news is concerned, it was launched exactly six years after the inception of television broadcasting. Daily one-hour program with a news bulletin was served to the Indian viewers. But one major drawback of television was that you could not enjoy the original colour of the objects because of black and white transmission. First multi-color programme was the Prime Minister’s address to the nation from Red Fort in Delhi on India’s 35th Independence Day. In the same day, DD National channel was launched. The aim of launching the National channel is nurturing national integration, and inculcating a sense of pride in Indians. Indian viewers also enjoyed the colored version of the Asian Games hosted by New Delhi in their drawing room. The coverage of major events and different occasions lend a big hand behind the infiltration of television signals to the nook and corners of the subcontinent. Indian Government had taken all possible steps to expand the television broadcasting demographically and geographically. In 1983 television signals were available to just 28% of the population, this had doubled by the end of 1985 and by 1990 over 90% of the population had access to television signals. In 1984, DD Metro channel was added to provide an exclusive entertainment for the urban viewers. In the beginning, this channel was confined to metropolitan cities. 
As a public broadcaster, Doordarshan presented the news in naturalized manner. All controversial issues were pushed under the carpet. The ruling government had a strong hold on the television broadcasting. Doordarshan news bulletins were unable to provide the international news to the national viewers. Objectivity had been the first casualty as news was invariably slanted to suit the party in power. The news was liberated from the confines of the DD newsroom and gained in objectivity and credibility when New Delhi Television (NDTV) produced ‘The World This Week’ in 1988. Everyone was waiting for the Friday night to watch ‘The World This Week’. This was the only India-based programme, which looked out at the rest of the world. The World This Week was the best current affairs programme on the international scenario and carried good stuff of news, which the regular DD news was failed to carry out. This program is ranked as one of the country’s finest and most popular television shows. In 1989, NDTV produces India’s first live televised coverage of the country’s general elections. The critical and commercial success of the coverage sets a new standard for Indian television. After the Gulf War the media panorama has changed forever.

Golf War – The Catalyst

Post-1990 satellite television in India has become transnational in nature. It coincided with the entry of multinational companies in the Indian markets under the Government policy of privatization. International satellite television was introduced in India by CNN through its coverage of the Gulf War in 1991. In August 1991, Richard Li launched Star Plus, the first satellite channel beamed the signal to Indian subcontinent. Subhash Chandra’s Zee TV appeared in October 1992. It is India’s first privately owned Hindi channel to cater the interest of Indian viewers. This ignition followed by Sony and a little later by domestic channels such as Eenadu, Asianet and Sun TV. Entertainment programs had begun to occupy center stage in the organization’s programming strategies and advertising had come to be main source of funding. Doordarshan’s earlier mandate to aid in the process of social and economic development had clearly been diluted. Doordarshan had faced a stiff competition in news and public affairs programming with international channels like BBC and CNN. Doordarshan planned to sell some slots for news programme under sponsored category. In February 1995, NDTV becomes the country’s first private producer of the national news ‘News Tonight’, which aired on the country’s government-owned Doordarshan set a new landmark for Indian television because of its on-the-spot reporting with pertinent visuals. In the same year, TV Today Network occupied a 20 minutes slot in DD Metro channel and aired a Hindi and current affairs programme ‘Aaj Tak’. This programme became popular for its comprehensive coverage and unique style presentation by Late S. P. Singh. Still we remembered the sign-up message “Ye Thi Khabar Aaj Tak, Intizar. Kijiye Kal Tak”. Large number of viewers across India had been watching Aaj Tak as a daily habit because of its innovative style of news presentation. Besides that Nalini Singh’s five-minute fast paced, condensed daily news capsule Ankhon Dekhi, TV Today Network’s Business Aaj Tak and Newstrack was aired on the Metro channel of Doordarshan. This is the period when satellite channels concentrated on entertainment programs for their respective channels. Doordarshan was still ruled the most wanted area ‘news’.

Major Players

Doordarshan’s monopoly was broken in 1992, when private television channels infiltrated into the Indian boundaries and entertain the viewers as much as possible. In the beginning of 1990s, the private channels offered only entertainment programs. The entertainment programs include family drama, comedy serials, children programs, cartoons, movies, talk shows, recipe shows, musical concerts, non-fiction programs etc. Private entertainment channels added some infortainment programs to their Fixed Point Charts (FPC). Keeping the demand of infotainment programs in mind, the media houses started to produce news magazines, entertainment magazines and news programs for different channels. India’s premier business and consumer news broadcaster and a leading media content provider, Television Eighteen India Limited (TV18) started India’s first ever entertainment magazine ‘The India Show’ on Star Plus in 1993. This emerging media powerhouse provided prime time television content to almost all leading satellite channels in India including BBC, Star Plus, Sony Entertainment Television, Zee, MTV and Discovery. After The India Show, TV18 produced a weekly business news program India Business Report for BBC World. Indian viewers had very limited options (like public service broadcaster Doordarshan, BBC and CNN) for watching the television news. For televised news, the viewers had to watch Dordarshan and some international news channels like BBC or CNN. In this race to provide more news, more information, Zee Television jumped into the battlefield by launching the news channel Zee News in 1995. This News and current affairs channel revolutionized the way news was delivered to the viewers. Since its inception Zee News has endeavoured to be the fastest to provide news, working towards a single goal of Sabse Pahle (Always First). The other round-the-clock news channel, the Murdoch-owned Star TV beamed its exclusively 24-hour news channels, Star News in 1998. Star made a contract of five year with Prannoy Roy-owned NDTV (New Delhi Television Company) to provide news content for this news channel. 
The untiring exhaustive coverage of the Kargil war between India and Pakistan gained more publicity and attracted more viewers towards the electronic channel. This televised conflict also sets a news benchmark for wartime journalism. During the Kargil war, common citizens witnessed how their brave Jawans fought despite in hostile conditions and watched the war front live by the exclusively news channels, Star-TV and Zee-News. The live coverage of the battlefield helped to create a euphoria of patriotism among the Indian masses, which later facilitated into collecting huge funds for the welfare of the families of Kargil martyrs. Every news programme draws the attention of large number of viewers but Kargil war attracts private broadcasters to invest more money in the broadcasting business by launching a news channel. In November 1999, TV18 entered into a 49:51 joint venture with CNBC Asia to launch CNBC India. TV18 is the sole program provider to CNBC India, and produces 12 hours of local content per day on this 24-hour satellite channel. 
After the huge success of news programme ‘Aaj Tak’, TV Today group launched a 24-hour Hindi news channel with the same name ‘Aaj Tak’, in December 2000, which covers India with insight, courage and plenty of local flavour. Within 11 months of its launch, Aaj Tak emerged as India’s number one news channel and was awarded Best News Channel award from Indian Television Academy Awards. Some mega events apart from regular interesting items (such as Kandhahar hijack, September 11 attacks, Afghanistan war, attack on Parliament, Iraq war, Godhra carnage and riots) have driven up the viewership. As time passed, NDTV’s five years contract with Star group for outsourcing of news and related programming expired on March 2003. With the expiry NDTV forayed into broadcasting business by simultaneously launching two 24-hour news channels; NDTV 24X7 – English news channel and NDTV India – Hindi news channel, which targets the Indian diaspora across the world. News crazy Indians received more news at faster speed from different channels. Any unusual happening can be caught by the television camera anywhere form Rastrapati Bhawan to bedroom. The power of TV journalism was become more visible by the major sting operations like Operation West End and Shakti Kapoor Case. This style of investigative journalism has brought about a change in the way we look at news, amidst new notions of editorial freedom. The world’s largest family ‘Sahara India Parivar’ launched a 24-hour national Hindi news channel, Sahara Samay, in March 28, 2003. It is the first ever city-centric satellite news channels covering 31 cities in India with their own city news bulletins. Keeping the demand of news in mind, the Union cabinet approved the proposal to convert the DD Metro to DD news in a meeting held on 3 October 2003. Consequent to these decisions, DD-News channel was launched on 3 November 2003. You might have noticed that the news channels are language specific. But DD’s news channel contains the round the clock news bulletins in Hindi/ English are also telecast twice a day on the National Network of DD National. 
‘Aap Ki Adalat’ fame Rajat Sharma, Sohaib Ilyasi, the man behind the highly successful ‘India’s Most Wanted’ and Taun Tejpal, editor-in-chief of Tehelka roped together and launched a free-to-air Hindi news and current affairs channel India TV on May 20, 2004. Indian viewers had more expectations from this channel. The much-awaited news channel hopes to set itself apart from the existing ones by setting new benchmarks of responsible journalism. Speaking on the occasion of the launch, Rajat Sharma, chairman, India TV, said, “We aim to change the way broadcast news reporting is being conducted in the country. India TV will set new benchmarks by maintaining international standards of responsible and credible news reporting. We will stay away from graphic depictions of violence and sensationalism of news. We will uphold the viewer’s right to correct information and their right to truth and verity. India TV is not just a news channel, it is a movement.” NDTV as a pioneer in Indian television news, set to create a fresh revolution in high-quality business news with the launch of NDTV Profit. NDTV launched this 24-hour business channel on January 17th, 2005. 
There is no saturation point in launching of news channel, just booming like sky as the limit. Entertainment channel to infotainment channel, infotainment channel to news channel, news channels to business channel and Business channel to lots more. Now the satellite channels become more topicality with international standard. When we are talking about topicality, CNBC TV18, the only business channel, continues to be the medium of choice for India’s decision makers, affluent audiences across the country since 1999. It has set the pace for the growth in number of television channels by launching a 24-hour consumer channel in Hindi called ‘ Awaaz’. This news channel focusses on empowering consumers on decision-making related to investment, saving and spending. All the programs are catering to consumers across different walks of life, which included personal finance; variety of markets including commodity, stocks, savings etc.; small businesses; education & career guidance; and verticals like health, shopping etc. 
Another news channel was finally launched into the already cluttered news space in Indian television. Jagran TV Pvt Limited’s news channel, Channel 7 up-linked to the air on 27 March 2005. The channel has been set up to cater to the vast Hindi-speaking audiences, already being targeted by a slew of news channels. Channel 7 developed every programme with a bid to cater to all types of audiences and not just pre-dominantly male audiences who get attracted towards news channels.

Regional Leaders

To cater the interest among the Indians, Doordarshan televises programs in Hindi and associate Official languages. It has launched a number of Regional Language Satellite Channels (DD – 4 to DD – 11 and DD – 13) and telecast programs in Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Malayalam, Marathi, Kannada, Telugu, Kashmiri, Oriya and Tamil. The Regional channels relayed by all terrestrial transmitters in the state and additional programs in the Regional Language in prime time and non-prime time available only through cable operators. The Doordarshan regional satellite channels telecast major news programme with some entertainment programs. 
If you think about the private regional channels, they have followed the path of the Big brother (i.e Doordarshan). They are neither completely entertainment channel nor exclusively news channel. They are following the middle path and claiming themselves an infotainment channels. The private channels televise through the state dominant languages. Rising advertising revenues and increasing numbers of viewers have provided the impetus for many big players to enter into the business. Some regional media leaders like ETV, Sun TV, Asianet have a strong grip over the regional market. Some major players tried their luck in different states. Zee television has three regional channels; Zee Marathi, Zee Punjabi and Zee Bangla. Star Network entered into Tamilnadu by launching Star Vijay, one of the most popular entertainment channels in India broadcasting in Tamil. Besides that ETV Network is a part of the well-established Ramoji Group, has created 12 dedicated infotainment regional channels. ETV network is the source of rich entertainment of eight different languages. Those are: Telugu, Bangla, Marathi, Kannada, Oriya, Gujarati, Urdu; and Hindi to viewers in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. Every ETV Network channel focuses exclusively on its audience’s unique cultural identity, its aspirations and its distinct socio-political character. Let us think about the south Indian language Telugu, there are around twelve satellite channels are roaming around the sky with different taste and different flavour. These channels include three news channels, one song-based channels and rest are infotainment channels. When we confine ourselves into news, three channels (ETV2, TV 9 and Teja News) exclusively devoted to news programs. 
Sahara India Pariwar is proud to have five news channels as the bouquet of Sahara Samay. These channels are: Sahara Samay NCR, Sahara Samay Mumbai, Sahara Samay Bihar & Jharkhand, Sahara Samay Madhya Pradesh & Chattisgarh, and Sahara Samay Uttar Pradesh & Uttranchal. Sahara Samay has already managed to gain a loyal audience in India through a bouquet of National & Regional News Channels since its launch. These channels are youthful and vibrant channels targeting students and women, besides that hardcore news stuff. The regional news channels covers the entire spectrum of genre with specific programs on lifestyle, fashion, food, shopping, health and fitness, sports, education, career and city issues, besides giving user-friendly information on traffic updates, city events, train and air timings, etc. Now national news channels cannot confine its boundary to national level. They cannot ignore the regional news because of the stiff competition form the regional cannels. Regional news channels are entering into the competition with a strong will power and also with an aim to portrait regional issues in national and international level.


Now the television industry becomes more specific. In this competitive market, channels are targeting specific viewers. News channels attract more viewers beyond their target by producing interactive and interesting programs. Every channel needs to do an extensive research on different concepts and different themes to attract more viewers and in the same time more advertisers. After all, advertisements are the bread and butter for the channels. With increased consumer preference for news programs, television news channels have grown faster than other niche channels. News channels are booming just like sky as the limit. Those days are not far away, when we will get satellite news channel for every major city in India. Staying in abroad, we can update ourselves about all the happening of our hometown. Now news is not restricted to political happenings. It will be extended its limit to every unwanted and hided corners of the society. At last we can reach in the conclusion that anything, which is strange or disgusting, is news. There are no rigid rules, which define news.

TV Journalism In India: Is It Really Growing?

As remarkable as the sun shines during the day and the moon at night, things happen every second. And every second is an opportunity for news writers and reporters. News channels have come a long way in India. There were times when solitary DD news used to present news in the most blatant way possible. Only giving us the ‘who’ ‘what’ and ‘where’ of an event or occurring. The viewers were left to interpret the news piece according to their respective intellects. Nowadays there is a lot of hullabaloo in and around the news to attract the millions of consumers. As per the TAM Annual Universe Update – 2010, India now has over 134 million households (out of 223 million) with television sets, of which over 103 million have access to Cable TV or Satellite TV.

News channels today have become the apt platform to showcase anything from which the audience gets entertained and which sends their cash registers jingling. I am sure everyone of us must have had those experiences in which while watching a comedy show or a reality show, the show suddenly stops and a news anchor starts blabbering. Then we focus at the channel name and get to know that it’s a NEWS channel. This has become the present scenario of almost all news channels. Some of them rope in the most dramatic anchors to host the show and some of them present it in a more solemn manner. All of these news channels try to bring a thrill factor to the programs they present so as to maximize their viewership. Headlines such as “Chajje par chaddi billi” , which presented the story of a cat which climbed on a balcony by jumping in a peculiar fashion, presented by a eminent news channel reflects the extent to which they can droop just to grab eyeballs.

News channels should understand that they serve the nation and they have a moral duty towards it. They should be aware of the fact that news channels are not meant for recreation but to inform the masses regarding problems persisting in the society. The channels which focus somewhat on issues of the public also let it subside after a while. No one is held accountable or made to realize his/her mistake. Offenders usually dodge questions and get away with it.

Where most of the news channels remain in the same cluster and add to our woes some of them break such superficial boundaries and delve into the depth of the news relating to the public. Their weekend prime time programs address public issues; moreover they also rope in common people to speak on such issues like the Commonwealth Games and its aftermath. They also address the rural problems. One such story showed a rural village in UP where houses were burnt down due to a land feud between two families. Many people died including children. The village headman was interviewed regarding the incident and also the offenders were pinned down. The grievances of the people suffered were brought out also the lack of efficient functioning of the panchayat was put into focus by the team of correspondents covering the story.

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, NDTV came up with a novel idea of talking to two rural women who started a taxi service with women drivers only. These two women were interviewed by Shekhar Gupta in his show Walk the Talk. They talked of problems faced by women while traveling in public transports and how they feel unsafe in the capital. Such programs not only inform but also inspire women to break the patriarchal machinery and come out of their homes and find a niche for themselves in the world.

A recent syndrome that has occupied several news channels is, picking up stuff from social networking sites and presenting them as news. The quotes of various celebrities or any obscene video are shown as news. On the flip side with the advent of sophisticated technology and in the age when every other person owns a mobile phone, the news channels have started asking for feedback just like letters to the editor in newspapers. This feedback sent by millions of viewers helps the news channel to know more about people and their preferences.

Although the technology in India has taken giant leaps the thinking power still remains constrained and cluttered. The media is considered the fourth pillar of democracy and the nation expects that they live up to that image and stick to their journalistic ethics in the interest of the people.

Impact of Television on Society

Television was invented in the year 1926. It is the brainchild of John L Baired. In India Doordarshan became the first public broadcaster channel. Doordarshan inaugurated in the year 1959. At that time it was the only channel of entertainment and information for the people. But today there are hundred’s of private channels. Today private channel are specific in telecast. Some channel are news specific which telecast the current events for example Zee News, Aaj Tak, India TV etc, while few channels are sports oriented for example Ten Sports, ESPN etc. There are some channels which are entertainment specific; Zee Cinema, MTV, HBO etc. come under this category. So we can that there is something for every age group on the television.

In many ways, the new age of television has young people and old alike relying more upon the tube for their entertainment, and the nation has seen negative impact on the overall fitness level. Because televisions have become so easy to obtain and the programming is very cheap, the problem is something of a widespread epidemic in our Society today. Marshall McLuhan summed up television fairly eloquently when he said, “The medium is the message. Any understanding of social and cultural change is impossible without a knowledge of the way media work as environments” (McLuhan). This quote seems to sum up the power that a medium like a television can have on a people as a whole. Violence and sex are the most common violators of this ethical dilemma and there does not seem to be any end in sight. The television in itself would not be the problem were programming companies to display enlightening and uplifting things on their channels. Television broadcast has broad effects on the society all around the world. The strong verbal and non verbal combination and the facility to highlight different subject matters created one of the most important impressions in mass media. There are so many angles to see as to what extent TV has brought about changes in daily life of people and the nations as well. Critics blame television for everything from obesity to the murder rate. While TV is easy to criticize, and much of the criticism is justified, we also need to keep in mind that television benefits society in many important ways.

Television has had a tremendous impact on society ever since it was invented and has affected cultures throughout the world. It has been one of the biggest agents of socialization. It has been seen as representing and misrepresenting information and has been highly criticized for the latter. Many believe that television has opened up new avenues, thought patterns and processes and opinions to the masses. 

A large part of how we see and live life today is determined and affected by television in terms of traditions, values and norms. Many also argue that television has done more harm than good in terms of its portrayal of violence, its glamorizing of all the wrong things and messages, the portrayal of sexual attitudes and vulgarity among other things. It has been see as affecting the viewer’s self image negatively and largely causing a significant amount of chaos as far as cultures and their respective values are concerned.

Effect of Television on our Society:

There are advantages and disadvantages of everything and television is not the exception. It also has both positive as well as negative effect on our society. First of all we will look at the positive effect of TV on our society.

Positive effect of TV on Society:

1.Provide New Information: Today TV is the reservoir of information. It gives us information about the nation, world, science, finance and sports etc. There are channels for the kids for example CN, Pogo etc which entertain our children. Some channels are informative for example Discovery, National Geographic etc by watching these channels we can get valuable geographical knowledge, history knowledge and knowledge about plants and animals. Today we can get information about sensex and other business related information on our televisions. Some channels are only for the entertainment of the viewers where they can watch movies and songs.

2.Spreading Cognizance: TV also helps in spreading awareness among people. Due to which there is decrease in dowry system, child marriage (Bal Vivah) etc. From TV people get information that all these practices are legal offense. TV also helped in spreading the awareness about the education in the society. Nowadays people understand the importance of education to their children. 

TV disseminates information relating to health issues, which in turn helps in decrease in polio patient, TB patient and the population of the country. Today people are getting information related to diseases and there causes from the TV. Yoga also becomes popular among people through the TV. Now people can watch different yoga’s posture through their TV and can practice at home. There are some programs which gives information related to proper diet to remain healthy and fit.

3.Grooming New Talents: TV also helps in providing platform to new talents. Today there are hundred’s of reality shows on TV , where one can show his/her talent in front of millions of people. Baba Ramdev is popular in people through TV as so many people watch him through Astha channel. There are so many singing and dance reality shows, where children as well as youngsters can exhibit their talent.

4.Globalization of Culture: TV assisted in globalization of culture. Due to which people come to know the culture of other people. Now Bhangra is not only famous in Punjab but in other parts of country also. Today Yoga is not only practices in India but in other nation also. It also helped in spreading the western culture in our Indian society. All these facts facilitate in increasing tourism and in the growth of country’s economy.

Negative effects of TV:

As the television has positive effects on our society, it also has some negative effects. Some of these effects are discussed here:

1.Due to watching so much TV there is loss in children’s concentration. They watch TV for many hours, so due to emission of radiations continuously affect there eyes and mind. Nowadays children have become more aggressive by watching some television programs, due to which they sometimes indulge in illegal activities.

2.Today youths are more influenced by western culture. Fashion is increasing between them rapidly. They want to look like their favorite film actor or actress instead of their financial capabilities. Sometimes they indulge in wrong activities to fulfill their requirements. This in turn leads to increase in crime in our society.

3.TV also affected the food habits of people. They are more attractive toward junk food. Many youth prefers to take junk food and cold drinks. They watch the film actors or actresses doing cold drink, junk food ads on TV, so they think that there is not anything wrong in doing all this.

4.Due to TV there is loss in our moral values. Some channels show programs which are full of obscenity. These programs tarnished our culture and moral values.

5.People interaction with other has decreased due to TV. Now people prefer to watch TV in their free time instead of interacting with their friends or relatives.

Seeing is believing

The authenticity of news and other informative material has never been more acceptable to people through other means of communication than the one available on TV. People already informed about an event still like to see the news along with footage on TV. For instance, the winning run scored by your favorite team in an exciting match is something people would like to see again and again although they know the outcome of the match. So is about visuals on accidents and unusual events like hanging of Iraqi
leader Saddam Hussain etc.

Changes in timings

Most people have tuned their daily timings in accordance with their popular programs. Students tend to finish their homework before their favorite show. Housewives would make their cooking schedule as not to miss the soap tonight. Men would get ready for relaxing by watching programs of their interest. Much noticeable change is in bed-timings. Early to bed… dictum seems to have lost its meaning and watching TV till late night has become a norm at most households until children get a gaze from parents they tend to fight sleep only to watch a play or a show and discuss it next day with class-mates.


Working on the psyche of youth, especially young ladies, TV plays and shows have concentrated over the years in introducing new and trendy dresses, particularly in the advertisements which are integral part of TV transmissions all across the world. The new hair styles, dresses, make up and even body gestures very quickly gain currency and after any popular show or a drama serial its fashion effects are easily seen on
the people.

Household entity and change in habits

TV has become one essential household entity. You remove TV from the house and everybody starts feeling as something is missing. It is this strong feeling of TV presence that is helping change habits pertaining to talking style, eating timings, and seeing relatives etc.

Increasing general know-how

Being a strong medium TV has remarkably worked to increase general know-how on various matters of daily life. Though you are not concentrating hard on a program on health matters, the visuals shown are telling you how to clean you teeth or apply a medicine or take exercises. Watching a documentary on wild-life, even casually, makes you much more informed about so many aspects of ecological system and
the habitat.

Cultural changes and influences

Perhaps most affected of all areas due to watching TV is the cultural changes that have come about over the years. TV dramas and discussion programs have largely influenced the thought process of many on normal living to acculturation by seeing the blaze of exotic life style. That is one reason that intellectuals always campaign to show as much of a local culture on TV broadcast as possible so that cultural identity of
a particular region, tribe, nation or clan be kept in its traditional way. There have been long debates on the influence of other cultures, especially the ones from the west, on the living style of other societies through TV programs. Smelling a deliberate attempt to seduce the youth of conservative societies to the sparkling and bold images of the west, there rages a strong debate under the title of cultural imperialism. Of late, these debates are paying off as there is an element of awareness to resist such manipulations and to keep one’s culture well defended against such invasions. Nonetheless, the conflict of influencing cultures through TV showings during news, entertainment and sports is going strong.

Institutional transformation

TV has been chiefly responsible for the decline of cinema and stage. The time for gathering the family members for the matinee show is long over. The unique exercise of going to a huge cinema house braving extreme weather and other odds and watching action on large silver screen is no more with the same zeal. In most cases it is an interesting TV drama, musical show or a cricket match which is not allowing family members or friends to go out for entertainment. And how can it be if almost free of cost
high quality and at times, a real time entertainment is available at home. In many countries, and Pakistan is no exception, theaters have seen a steep decline in their business. Many a theaters have been demolished only to be rebuild as commercial plazas and their have been chaotic voices from different corners of the entertainment industry for the government to undertake some steps to save the cinema life.

An American study shows

TV and Children

81% of children ages 2-7 watch TV alone and unsupervised

70% of day care centers use TV during a typical day

54% of 4-6 year-olds who, when asked to choose between watching TV and spending time with their fathers, said they would prefer to watch television

It has been shown that children who watch TV more than 10 hours a week suffer negative academic effects

On an average children aged 2-11 watches television 20 hours a week

TV and Violence

By age 18, the average American child sees 200,000 violent acts on TV.

By age 18, children witnesses almost 20,000 murders on TV — most by handguns.

73% of the time the people in TV dramas who commit violent acts go unpunished.

47% percent of violent situations show no real harm to the victims, and 58 percent show no real pain.

Only 4 percent of violent programs show nonviolent alternatives to solve programs.

 80% of Hollywood executives think there is a link between TV violence and real-life violence.

 TV and Obesity

During Saturday morning cartoons there are typically more than 200 “junk-food” commercials.

At least 12 medical studies link excessive television watching to increasing rates of obesity.

In 1963, 4.5% of children ages 6 to 11 were seriously overweight; by 2009, this percentage had more than tripled.

TV has both positive as well as negative effects on our society. It will become the best way of entertainment and information if all its negative effects are omitted. There must be some regulatory board to keep check on the channels who affect our culture and moral values. All such channels should be banned.  Always keep in mind these words “Technology….. is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with other.” The problems with television have been well documented and well stated. Not only does the emergence of television cause a lack of fitness and exercise in America, but it is also serving to corrupt America’s youth in its choice of programming. Sex and violence are commonplace on the screen and children are constantly being put at risk by the television, which can literally be seen anywhere. Because of these reasons, one could say that the television is probably the most counter-productive creation in recent history. If America is to get back on the moral and physical track which existed before the television, a change in lifestyle must occur and the television companies must be a part of that. 

Television Violence

The Kaiser Family Foundation is an independent, national health philanthropy dedicated to providing information and analysis on health issues to policymakers, the media, and the general public.  

The Foundation is not associated with Kaiser Permanente or Kaiser Industries. Since the advent of television, the effect of TV  violence on society has been widely studied and vigorously debated. Based on the cumulative  evidence of studies conducted over several decades, the scientific and public health communities overwhelmingly conclude that viewing violence poses a harmful risk to children. Critics of the research challenge this conclusion and dispute claims that exposure to TV violence leads to real-life aggression.

As we move into the digital era with enhanced images and sound, media violence will undoubtedly continue to be a focus of public concern and scientific research.

Prevalence of Violence on TV

The National Television Violence Study is the largest content analysis undertaken to date. It analyzed programming over three consecutive TV seasons from 1994 to 1997. Among the findings:

  1. Nearly 2 out of 3 TV programs contained some violence,
  2. Averaging about 6 violent acts per hour.
  3. Fewer than 5% of these programs featured an anti-violence theme or prosocially message emphasizing alternatives to or consequences of violence.
  4. Violence was found to be more prevalent in children’s programming (69%) than in other types of programming (57%). In a typical hour of programming, children’s shows featured more than twice as many violent incidents (14) than other types of programming
  5. The average child who watches 2 hours of cartoons a day may see nearly 10,000 violent incidents each year, of which the researchers estimate that at least 500 pose a high risk for learning and imitating aggression and becoming desensitized to violence.
  6. The number of prime-time programs with violence increased over the three years of the study, from 53% to 67% on broadcast television and from  54% to 64% on basic cable. Premium cable networks have the highest percentage of shows with violence, averaging 92% since 1994.
  7. The UCLA Television Violence Monitoring Report also analyzed three years of programming from 1994 to 1997. This study relied on the qualitative judgments of a team of student monitors and staff researchers, rather than a systematic content analysis, to determine whether individual violent depictions “raised  concern” for viewers.
  8. Among the findings: Children’s Saturday morning TV shows that  feature “sinister combat violence” raised the most serious concerns for these researchers. These are fantasy live-action shows and animated cartoons in which violence is central to the storyline, the villains and superheroes use violence as an acceptable and effective way to get what they want, and the perpetrators are valued for their combat ability. Among the most popular shows for children, the number of troubling shows in this genre decreased from seven to four over the three years of the study.
  9. The number of prime time series that raised frequent concerns about violence steadily declined over the three years, from nine such series in 1994–95 to just two in 1996–97.
  10. TV specials was the only category that raised new concerns at the end of the three years. In the second year fi ve live-action reality shows featured real or re-created graphic images of animals attacking and sometimes killing people. By the third year, the number of such shows had increased again.
  11. Scientific Studies of TV Violence Effects Researchers hypothesize that viewing TV violence can lead to three potentially harmful effects: increased antisocial or aggressive behavior, desensitization to violence (becoming more accepting of violence in real  life and less caring about other people’s feelings), or increased fear of becoming a victim of violence.
  12. Many researchers believe that children age 7 and younger are particularly vulnerable to the effects of viewing violence because they tend to perceive fantasy and cartoon violence as realistic.
  13. Since the 1960s, a body of research literature has been accumulating on the effects of TV violence. Taken together, the studies conclude that TV violence is one of many factors that contribute to aggressive behavior. Following are examples of the various types of research studies that have been conducted:
  14. Laboratory experiments are conducted in a controlled setting in order to manipulate media exposure and assess the short-term effects. Participants are randomly assigned to view either a violent or nonviolent film clip and their subsequent behavior is observed. A series of classic experiments conducted in the 1960s provided the earliest evidence of a link between TV violence and aggression. In these studies, children who were exposed to a TV clip of an actor hitting an inflatable doll were more likely than children who did not see the clip to imitate the action in their play, especially if the aggressive actions in the film clip were rewarded.
  15. Other laboratory experiments have indicated that exposure to media violence increases children’s tolerance for real-life aggression. For example, when third- and fourth-graders were left in charge of two younger children they could see on a TV monitor, the ones who viewed an aggressive film were much more reluctant than those who had not seen the film to ask an adult for help when the younger children began to fight, even though the fight was becoming progressively aggressive.
  16. Field experiments are conducted in a more naturalistic setting. As with the laboratory studies, children are shown video clips and their short-term post-viewing behavior is monitored by researchers. Over the past 30 years, numerous field studies have indicated that some children behave more aggressively after viewing violence.

In one study, researchers showed children episodes of either Batman and Spiderman or Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood over several weeks and then observed their behavior for two weeks afterwards. The children who viewed violent cartoons were more likely to interact aggressively with their peers, while those children who watched Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood became more cooperative and willing to share toys.

  1. In another study, researchers exposed children to an episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and then observed their verbal and physical aggression in the classroom. Compared to children who had not seen the episode, viewers committed seven times as many aggressive acts such as hitting, kicking, shoving, and insulting a peer.
  2. Cross-sectional studies survey a large and representative sample of viewers at one point in time. Since the 1970s, a large number of these studies have concluded that viewing TV violence is related to aggressive behavior and attitudes.
  3. These studies are correlational and do not prove causality; that is, it is difficult to know whether watching violence on TV is causing the increase in aggression or whether viewers who are already aggressive prefer watching violent content.

In one study, 2,300 junior and senior high school students were asked to list their four favorite programs, which were analyzed for violent content, and to provide a self-reported checklist of activities that ranged from fighting at school to serious delinquency. Researchers found that teens whose favorite programs were violent tended to report a higher incidence in overall aggressive and delinquent behavior.

  1. A recent study demonstrated a relationship between children’s bullying and their exposure to media violence. Third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders who were identified by their peers as being the ones who spread rumors, exclude and insult peers, and behave in ways that hurt others, were more likely to view violence than non aggressive children.
  2. Longitudinal studies of offer the best way to study long-term effects of exposure to violent TV content. These studies survey the same group of individuals at several different times over many years to determine whether viewing violence is related to subsequent aggressive behavior. This method is designed to detect causal relationships and statistically control for environmental, family, and personal characteristics that might otherwise account for aggression.
  3. One study demonstrated that TV habits of children in the 1960s were a significant predictor of adult aggression, even criminal behavior, regardless of children’s initial aggressiveness, IQ, social status, or parenting style. In this study, which spans more than 20 years, boys who preferred and viewed more violent programming at age 8 were more likely to be aggressive as teenagers and have arrests and convictions as adults for interpersonal crimes such as spousal and child abuse, murder, and aggravated assault.

Television exposure during adolescence has also been linked to subsequent aggression in young adulthood. A 17-year longitudinal study concluded that teens who watched more than one hour of TV a day were almost four times as likely as other teens to commit aggressive acts in adulthood (22% versus 6%), taking into account prior aggressiveness, psychiatric disorders, family income, parental education, childhood neglect, and neighborhood violence.

  1. Meta-analyses use a statistical procedure to combine the results from many different studies. The largest meta-analysis on TV violence analyzed 217 studies conducted between 1957 and 1990, and found that viewing violence was significantly linked to aggressive and antisocial behavior, especially among the youngest viewers. The overall effect size was .31, meaning that exposure to TV violence was estimated to account for 10% of the variance in antisocial behavior.
  2. Opposing Viewpoint – A small number of critics of the scientific evidence have concluded that TV violence does not contribute to real-life aggression. For the most part, they do not base their conclusions on studies with contrary findings, but argue that the studies that have been conducted are flawed.
  3. One of the leading critics challenges the notion that young children cannot distinguish between fiction and reality. He agrees that children may learn from what they see, but contends that the main messages they see are that good will prevail over evil, and that it is the evil forces who are first to use violence.
  4. One group of researchers conducted two large scale longitudinal studies over a three-year period in the 1980s. They concluded that the results did not meet their established criteria for detecting a documented effect of media violence on behavior.
  5. Over the years, some researchers have hypothesized that watching violence on television should reduce angry feelings and aggressive actions in real life. Several studies have attempted to prove this relationship, known as the “catharsis hypothesis,” but the evidence has not been supportive.
  6. The method used to study media violence has been a main target of criticism. For example, experimental studies have been criticized for their artificial viewing situations, unrealistic measures of aggression, and short-term effects. Correlational studies have been dismissed for not proving causation, and longitudinal studies have been criticized for not demonstrating strong or consistent results.
  7. Conclusions Drawn by the Public Health Community  Over the years, major medical and public health organizations have reviewed the research and the critiques, and made their own assessments of the evidence. National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence. In a 1969 report, the Commission stated: “Violence on television encourages violent forms of behavior. . . We do not suggest that television is a principal cause of violence in society. We do suggest that it is a contributing factor.”
  8. Surgeon General’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Television and Social Behavior. In 1972, the Committee commissioned a five-volume set of research on TV’s impact on children. They concluded that the evidence supports “a preliminary and tentative indication of a causal relation between viewing violence on television and aggressive behavior” for “some children [who are predisposed to be aggressive]. . . in some environmental contexts.”
  9. National Institute of Mental Health. In 1982, the Institute concluded: “The consensus among most of the research community is that violence on television does lead to aggressive behavior by children and teenagers. . . Not all children become aggressive, of course, but the correlations between violence and aggression are positive. In magnitude, television violence is as strongly correlated with aggressive behavior as any other behavioral variable that has been measured.”
  10. American Psychological Association. In 1993, the APA Committee on Media and Society concluded: “There is absolutely no doubt that higher levels of viewing violence on television are correlated with increased acceptance of aggressive attitudes and increased aggressive behavior.”
  11. Joint Statement of the Public Health Community. In July 2000, the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, American Psychological Association, American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, and American Psychiatric Association issued a joint statement that concluded: “At this time, well over 1,000 studies point overwhelmingly to a causal connection between media violence and aggressive behavior in some children. . .”
  12. Youth Violence: A Report of the Surgeon General. In 2001, the Surgeon General’s report on youth violence concluded that “media violence increases children’s physically and verbally aggressive behavior in the short term,” but also noted that “the causal links. are more firmly established for aggressive. . .than for violent behavior.”
  13. (1) Center for Communication and Social Policy, University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), National Television Violence Study, Executive Summary, Volume 3, 1998. Commissioned by the National Cable Television Association, the study analyzed almost 10,000 hours of broadcast and cable programming randomly selected from 23 channels over the course of three TV seasons from 1994 to 1997.

(2)  Researchers defined three main types of violent depictions: credible threats, behavioral acts, and harmful consequences.

The Impact of Television Network

The three major networks—NBC (National Broadcasting Company), CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System), and ABC (American Broadcasting Corporation)—rose to power in the 1950s and dominated television for the next two decades. During this period they captured more than 90 percent of the total viewing audience and attracted almost the entire radio audience. Television was so popular that it became an American obsession, as many people were watching an average of twenty-five hours a week by the late 1940s. A decade later more than 50 million families owned a television, and they had little time for other recreational pursuits.

Television had a permanent impact on the radio industry. Radio network revenues were cut in half almost overnight as audiences and advertisers turned to television, and major stars of popular radio programs were seduced by the new medium. As a result, radio programmers began playing rock and roll music, which was sweeping the nation. This move was a successful gamble and saved radio from extinction partly because the content of rock and roll music was considered too racy for television.

Television also affected the film industry, as people were choosing to stay home for their entertainment. Movie makers attempted to lure audiences back into theaters with gimmicks like 3-D (three-dimensional) movies, Panavision, Cinemascope, and Circle-Vision. Hollywood abandoned its reliance on westerns and other popular types of movies in favor of big-budget blockbusters, many of which were filmed on location rather than on Hollywood lots and studios. For a short time, Hollywood studio executives tried to forbid stars from appearing on television, but they soon relented. After some adjustment the two industries found a way to work together. Studios increasingly sold old movies to the networks for broadcast and provided production experts and facilities to television.

The newspaper industry was also affected by the popularity of television. At first, programming was limited to the hours between 8:00 P.M. and 11:00 P.M., which still left time for reading the paper. As soon as television expanded its programming beyond three hours, however, newspapers felt the impact, particularly with the advent of evening news shows on CBS and NBC in 1963. Soon there were no longer any evening newspapers.

While television had no impact on the number of books being published, it did prompt a decrease in the number of fiction titles and an increase in the number of nonfiction titles. The upward trend of nonfiction titles continued as a lasting effect of television on the publishing industry.

Modern experts debate the social impact of television. Some argue that it has increased crime by accustoming audiences to violence and aggression. Others focus on the power of advertising in promoting consumption and consumerism throughout the world. Critics also maintain that television stimulates aggressive behavior, decreases social interaction, reinforces ethnic stereotypes, and leads to a decrease in creativity. Supporters of television argue that, to the contrary, viewers have an increased awareness of world events, improved verbal abilities, and greater curiosity. Regardless of conflicting opinions, it is clear that television has become one of the foremost social agents in the world.

Broadcasting is an entirely different medium from print or the web, and its journalism is necessarily different. But broadcast journalists adhere to most of the basic tenets of journalism that we have discussed previously in the book.

Broadcasting is a 20th century phenomenon. The development of radio in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was one of the great inventions of mankind. It not only revolutionized our way of communicating, but it also sparked vast changes in the way we lived our personal, civic and economic lives.

The first great news event involving radio was the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Information about that event was sent by radio from ships close by, and people were astonished at how quickly the news was transmitted. From the 1920s, broadcasting — first radio and then television in the 1950s — has been at the forefront of coverage of every major news event.

The immediacy and impact of television news has continued, but television itself has changed drastically in the last half century. Three national networks dominated television for the first three decades of its popularity, but in the 1980s that dominance was challenged by the development of cable. Specialized news channels, particularly Cable News Network, delivered news all day every day, and the audience for network news has been steadily shrinking.

Local television news — that produced by local stations — varies widely in quality, but it still attracts a large audience for local stations and gives those stations an identity. Unlike newspapers, most local television stations have direct competition for audience and advertisers.

Key concepts and terms

• Television is the news medium of impact and immediacy; when news of importance occurs, we are mostly likely to watch it on television first, and our impressions are formed by the words and pictures we see.

• When it was developed in the early 20th century, radio showed what impact broadcasting could have on its audience and how it had the potential to change journalism.

• Format – the general type of programming that a radio station uses to fill up its day.

• Ted Turner – the owner of an independent television station in Atlanta who pioneered the use of satellite and cable technology to expand the number of stations to which the audience had access.

• Broadcast news is criticized because it often does not deliver explanation or depth for complex stories.

• The business of broadcasting is regulated by the government, but the government and courts have been very reluctant to get involved with program content.

Television as a medium of education and entertainment

Entertainment-education television programs seem to be attracting large audiences throughout the world, especially in developing nations. Television audiences have expanded rapidly in nations like the People’s Republic of China, which has more than 800 million television viewers; in India, which has more than 400 million television viewers; and in Indonesia, which has an estimated 100 million television viewers. Millions of new television viewers are added to the world television audience each year, especially in countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America

In India, television has become very popular for the show of two famous epics such as the Ramayan and the Mahabharat. There was only the national channel for the television transmission. But now-a-days there are many channels operating for entertainment purpose.

The educative role of television cannot be denied. The UGC Programs are being shown in the national channel of the television. Thousands of students are being benefited through this programme. Now many purpose! Television programs are made to fight many social evils such as illiteracy, dowry problem, and superstition. Ill-health, and ignorance, political corruptions etc.

Very often television exercises bad influence upon the youngsters. Rape, murder and violence are adopted by those young people because of the adverse impact of television.

The Indian M&E industry was valued at US$16.3 billion in 2010. The industry is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12% to reach a value of US$25.8 billion in the next four years

Various channels like Star Plus, Zee, Colors, Sony … show daily soaps, Reality Shows. Television isn’t an insurrectionist force in India. It’s a relatively young medium struggling to adapt to a vast viewing audience that respects tradition and suspects change. Like many an Indian bride, television here occasionally tests the boundaries but mostly finds its way by following the rules and not making too many waves. The rules can seem confounding to outsiders: India is a country where female infanticide can be a soap opera plot point in prime time but scenes of casual dating are taboo. In this realm it is the mother-in-law who is the metronome of Indian family values, issuing orders, giving advice and setting the rhythm of acceptable change.

Television soap operas have promoted a wide range of educational-development goals. These programs promoted the cultural history of  India, adult education and literacy, family  planning, sex education, nationalism, women’s status and better treatment of children through various kinds of programs

Various sources of entertainment are serials, sports, music, devotional songs, Tele shopping, movies, cartoon channels.

Various Educative channels are National Geographic, Discovery, News, Science fiction based serials,

The television landscape is just as dense. There are many hundreds of channels, and regional television is booming. The most popular soaps are translated into several languages, and many regions, from Punjab to Tamil Nadu, have their own channels and programs. Television is a bigger industry now than Bollywood, and Bollywood actors are beginning to do television; the field is destined to keep growing. The Internet is not yet siphoning away the nation’s television-viewing youth.

Glossy Indian television ads for cars, motorcycles and beauty products provide some of the most modern — and westernized — images on television, and even those are careful not to offend. In an ad for “Attitude,” a skin cream, a smiling college student gets out of a car to greet her extended family, gathered for her return. Her relatives freeze when a second woman climbs out; her friend is a tough-looking young woman with Goth-style clothes and matching expression. The chill is broken when the visitor comes forward and bows respectfully at the feet of the matriarch. Everyone sighs in relief, and the family goes inside for a celebration.

Television is one of the most distinguished inventions of modern age. Just turn on the switch and the whole world is in a small room. It brings immediate and first hand information with pictures and about anything happening any time anywhere in the world. It has turned the whole into a global village.

Many people consider television as a mean of recreation. No doubt it has won the heart of millions of people by its different entertaining programs. But in the opinion of a large majority of such persons that have reason and wit, television is a very important means of education.

We know very well that the doordarshan telecasts school and college programs which students watch throughout the country. The U.G.C. programs and a lot of other programs prepared by many other reputed institutes are playing very important role in imparting education to the young generation of the country. Channels like Discovery, National Geographic and History are highly educative and informative. The give us the knowledge of different things, different people and their social and religious customs, their problems and lifestyle. The channels like Astha, Sadhana and Sanskar etc impart moral and spiritual education. They also teach us to follow the right path in life and treat other gently and politely.

History of Dumbing-Down Television News

Almost thirty-two years ago, I was aghast to watch the coverage of a shoe shop opening by a Minister on Delhi Television, now Doordarshan. In a fifteen minute Hindi News Bulletin the Minister and shoe shop was covered like an “advertisement”. Was it a dumbing-down of news? Today when fashion parade is covered in prime time news by a private satellite television channel news is it dumbing-down ? There are too many similarities between the two news coverage. However, the compulsions to cover such news could be different. Government supported television at that time toed the ministerial line whereas today the private channel would cover for a pure commercial consideration. The point being made here is that trivialisation of news is in the nature of the medium operating with the compulsions of free economy. If the editorial judgements are not ade judiciously, factual errors will continue to be a perennial problem, so also incomplete

Competition for Breaking News

In a race to outdo each other, breaking of news is considered essential for building brand image and identity. Even a smallest bit of sensational revelation becomes an important news, which is then followed by the channel over a long period of time at the cost of many important news important for a large number of loyal viewers. Sometimes in order to prolong the news coverage a whole host of individuals are interviewed; minute by minute details are given and several irrelevant but related stories are covered. Columbia shuttle midair explosion, or few recent rail accidents are eye openers as to how the dumbing-down continues.

It has been observed that these news channels are continuously looking for opportunity to “break news”. The obsession of breaking news has researched to such an extent that a given news channel continuously monitors rival channels, so as it can match the news coverage. Every “accident”, “human tragedy”, “war” or “events” are being turned into an opportunity for the newscasters today. Since they are running 24-hour news channel hunger for fresh news is an unending quest for them. It has lead to repeat of the same news bulletin several times. To some extent it has led to certain amount of dumbing-down of the news.

News Rating – Key to Success

Almost all television channels are being “dictated” by Television Audience Meter (TAM) rating. Even Doordarshan, a public service broadcaster, is continuously worried about TAM ratings, since advertisers demand and use TAM rating for media planning decisions. The same holds true for private satellite television news channels.

News as Brand and Product

A large part of time of the news editors and news reporters are being consumed by marketing professionals in the conference rooms. Firsthand observations indicated that often marketing considerations dictated the overall news bulletin format, presentation, and even sometime the news contents. Since news is being promoted as brand, there is continuous effort of brand building to sell news as “product”. It looks as if the professional identities of the marketing and media personnel are getting blurred in which MBAs are taking over the editorial role. For them dumbing-down is considered a part of marketing strategy for selling the “news as product”, the viewer as a “client” and customer satisfaction is of paramount importance.

Marketing personal of rival news channels are concerned with psychographics and profile of viewers. Self-image, inspirations and aspirations of cable television mostly urban white-collar must match content to influence the viewing choices of the news and entertainment channels. Changing expectations from the news affect viewing behaviour especially of the male viewers whose interest in news has been consistently higher than female viewers. Also the technical quality of news presentation is taken seriously by the news editors to attract viewers.

Introduction of young often-inexperienced newsreaders, revamped newsroom, moving down market and adopting a tabloid and “top ten news” are some of the new marketing strategies to attract viewers and advertisers (Snow 1997:1). Similarly the advertisers sponsor the news and current affairs programs, even if they lack meaningful content. Marketing and editorial staff must maintain separate identities for improving the quality and countering dumbing-down news.

Round the Clock News

The compulsions of operating 24×7 news channels to “feed the hungry monster” further trivialises news content. In bid to find news, channels end up ‘creating’ news. Thus “a tribal woman wedded to a dog”, “a dog sentenced to dealth”, two actors fighting over an actress all pass off as news in the name of human interest. “News at all hours” ends up competing with entertainment channels (in addition to news channels). Thus, as in entertainment television, news too aims at audience segmentation with “Health news”, “Business news”, “Bollywood news”, “Weather news” and a host of other categories. Thus, the mindless diversion that entertainment channels provide creeping into news channels, further dumbing-down content.

News Growth and Hybrid Language

At present, majority of 24-hour private satellite television news channels are entering to the Hindi-speaking viewers within and outside India. Hindi news channels seem to dumbing-down language. Occasional grammatical mistakes are made. Creating of unknown words, defective pronunciation, use of mixed languages like “Hinglish”, simplification of language at the cost of loosing meaning, introduction of pedestrian language by and large characterize some of the so called Hindi private satellite television news channels.

Growth of Mumbai Hindi has been the contribution of Hindi films. Can Hindi television channels in general and news in particular may contribute in standardizing the language. Such positive changes are yet to be seen, though some changes have been observed in moving towards use of conversational Hindi and reduction in use of English in the news. At present, there are no self-regulatory or national regulatory bodies to control language deterioration in the news. It will be desirable to do so on the patterns of NHK Japan.

News and Social Responsibility

The social responsibility of a broadcaster is ill defined in the changing context what constitute news. Incendiary coverage of Gujarat riots, showing gruesome charred bodies in disasters are all cases in point. By contrast the most advanced democratic countries show high degree of moderation in covering natural and human calamities. Today, the familiar point is being raised “why should not there be lighter stories in news bulletins?” “The news channels must cater to the interest and likes of the viewers”. It is another matter as to what extent the broadcasters are sensitive or aware of the needs and interest of the news viewers. In the process, the fraternity of communicators and journalists are often ignoring their social responsibility.

Some broadcasters firmly believe that “the concept of TV journalism has changed now. It is easy to say that the media should not dumbing-down, but the concept of ‘what is news’ has changed drastically over the years”. (Chandra 2003 as quoted by Alexander and Chunduri 2003:1).

The question of social responsibility is a good pointer for self-retrospection and re-examination of some of the existing beliefs and practices of news broadcasters who due to business and other considerations are willing to dumbing-down news.

Lack of Professional Human Power

In just about a decade, India saw an unprecedented expansion of television. The entertainment television has film support for the production having a large bank of talented artists and skilled technical human power. However, such resources do not exist in television news having very small radio newsreaders and reporters. Initially a large number of print media professionals migrated to television news. But that has not solved the problem. Broadcasting journalism training is still very limited and to some extent lacking. Few talented self-taught broadcast journalists have been frequently switching their jobs from one television channel to another. The shortage of trained human power has led to hike in salaries of the editors, newsreaders, reporters and other technical staff. At the same time, the demand to keep the news channel around the clock has taken serious toll on the physical, intellectual and emotional health of the entire news production staff. The first of the overworked production staff has been quality and depth of the news reporting.

Personal interviews of several chief reporters and reporters indicated that they are under pressure to file specified number of news, soft or human interest stories and cultural, political and social events on regular basis. In order to meet the “quota” and deadlines they work overtime and file the news stories with little in-depth, serious thinking and analysis. The outcome is poor quality of reporting and often not fully verified stories. Lack of appropriate technical and infrastructure facilities further adversely affect the quality of visuals presentation. The sum total of such news “Round the clock merely extents the absurdity”. (C. John Sommerville as reported by Andrews 1991:1). Such news makes the viewer dumb according to Sommerville.

There has been sudden proliferation of several news channels both at the national and state levels having international satellite reach worldwide. Now state specific news is telecast in several states of the country. These developments may further lead to dumbing-down of news for a large number of news viewers across the country. The worst aspect of dumbing-down of news is that many reporters often mix personal opinions and news stories. Factual errors often creep in the news stories. Even political speeches are covered as controversy instead of mere report. Inexperience, lack of integrity and honesty in reporting has further aggravated the dumbing-down effects on the viewers

News Values – Now a days most of the news channels especially Indian news channels covers news about more controversies and magnifying a small issue and presenting it as a big problem. No doubt that today almost all TV channels are commercial and their main agenda is to get popularity and so they gain popularity through news relating to sex and molestation, private life of actors and actresses whom they are going out with, if salman khan got 6 pack or 8 pack abs. 
A wife killed husband. A daughter in law slammed father in-law in public. 

The duty of the media is to maintain certain values and maintain standards and take active part in the social reformation. 

TELEVISION NEWS media is one of the most important catalysts that has an invariably important role to play in shaping up public opinions, sentiments, and dogmas by promulgating accurate and desirable information and knowledge. Due to its vast intrusion in public life, it has the power of creating an enduring impact on society and culture of a region. Today, TV news channels in India are facing a qualitative crisis pertaining to disseminated content in the package of news.

It seems as if the news channels in India have charted out their own respective doctrines and present anything as news and serve it to their audience, which leads to a shift from ethical issues of journalism. The orthodox news contents find themselves in trash and a stinking combination of sex, stings, gossips, super naturals, crime and reality show reports hold the centre stage. Stories of real life, and real heroes of national interest are relegated to the lower ranks.

Business Point – .the aim of every channel is to get new customers and retain
the existing as far as financial cost for maintaining a channel is concerned
,its huge so it is a do or die situation for them..a channel has to target all.

After electronic media came into existence it has captured the market, increasing its reach to almost every household. Now with over 50 news channels launched, it fails to follow the basic rules of respect and social behaviour to increase TRP.

IT IS an established and accepted fact that several news channels especially the ’Hindi’ ones on the electronic media, adopt all sorts of marketing gimmicks to sell their news stories. They not only cross the ’Laxman rekha’ drawn by the Press Council and guidelines laid down by the ministry of information and broadcasting, but also give no thought while assassinating the character of an individual without any corroborative evidence. These news channels are in a hurry to be the first to break news and beat their nearest competitor. Hence, they go on to violate several norms and ethics, which are being taught in the classes of journalism.

It is also no secret that every Tom, Dick and Harry wants to be a journalist. Many of the youngsters get star-struck by its reach and recognition, while a few see this profession as an opportunity to liason with the bureaucracy and political leaders to get undue privilege. Sting operations, which came in vogue and increased the Television Rating Point (TRP) of such news channels also came out to be bogus and made without any planning and proper enactment (remember the sting operation done on a teacher of Delhi forcing girls into a sex racket by India Live, a Hindi news channel with a reputed TV journalist like Sudhir Chaudhry as its chief, was stopped from going on air by the ministry of information and broadcasting for a month).

In India, the electronic channel came into existence in the form of Doordarshan and slowly from 1969 onwards it picked up its market and started increasing its reach to several households. After the ninth Asian Games held in New Delhi in 1982, its popularity increased and the charm of watching news on TV with visuals attracted millions of viewers to it. Then came the sad day for India, when on October 31, 1984, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhiwas assassinated by her own bodyguards. Her ’Live Funeral’ sparked nationwide anti-Sikh riots and thus, electronic media established its power.

Then again this nation witnessed some horrible scenes of bloodbath when the disputed structure came down in Ayodhya in 1992. After the PV Narasimha Rao government began its economic liberalisation programme and opened the doors of Indian economy, the government allowed private satellite channels to beam their programs, the Zee group was the first to start a 24-hour Hindi news channel and then others followed in his footsteps.

Now with almost over 50 news channel, the race to be on the top has been getting tough with each passing day. The spurt in the number of Hindi news channels, has forced their marketing heads to pressurise journalists to bring sensational news, for which money is no constraint.

In a bid to be the first, these journalists are neither interested in investigating the authenticity of the contents nor keen in finding the truth behind the story. Many of the journalists feel they are working overtime and have no time to examine facts critically as that would result in someone else breaking that news. They want to be the first whatever be the quality of their content.

Most of these news channels also do not have any sense of presenting the news. They keep on repeating the same story for almost all the day. The latest being the Aarushi murder case of Noida. The CBI is now interrogating the case and all these channel journalists are playing the role of detectives. They suddenly found themselves in the shoes of Sherlock Holmes and every journalist came out with a theory of his/her own.

News story for any news channel is not just a story, but it is a bowl to beg TRPs. They flash stories with different figures and facts remoulding the truth and changing the reality. Nowadays news channels have become news vendors

PRESS IS stated to be the fourth pillar of the society. Nowadays, news channels are becoming the pillar breakers. In order to grab the best of TRP ranking, they are ready to dig their heads in sand and say this is what we have reported, showing no responsibility towards viewers’ psychology.

The repeated telecast of violence that took place in some village by XYZ channel (name withheld), may act as pouring oil to fire and thus, may increase the rate of violence. Again, the channels’ repeated telecast showing how their reporters took pain to cover the mishappenings has nothing to do with the truth of a particular news. We all agree that the work of a reporter was remarkable, but repeated telecast will only sow the seeds of violence in the psychology of viewers. But for news channel it is a mere TRP race.

Pakistan bomb blast news flashes had different stories to reveal. All the Indian news channels were sourcing the footage of bomb blast near Mariot Hotel from GeoTV (Pakistan). But, the Aston bands had different figures of people injured. Zee News had flashed 30 injured and IBN7 had reported 36. Who is correct and who is not? This was undecided by that evening to the viewers like me.

Many channels have started a new strategy to pull the TRP by giving sensational news like, “The earth will blow up tomorrow, we have few days left”.

Spicing and sensationalism has long been an issue with the media. In journalism classes, it is taught that we should avoid sensationalism but the media does not believe in such ethics. Is the knowledge imparted in Indian media institutes worthless? Do viewers have to be in dark and debate with each other for correct news. Media has the responsibility to portray the true picture to the masses. TRP ranking should either be banned or strict legal action should be taken against channels involved in this race.

The content of news channels is not new but it can be categorised broadly into Crime, Cricket, Cinema and Comedy.

OVER THE last five years, a number of news channels have come up. Some from the existing players like TV Today, and NDTV and some from the new ones such as B.A.G. Films. The need for round the clock news has arisen many times and it’s more of scrubbing the old stains on the gas stove. An 18-hour news channel would have solved the purpose for the better.

The content of news channels is not new, but it can be categorised broadly into Crime, Cricket, Cinema and Comedy.

Forget the sansani style of crime reporting. The crime graph in Delhi and NCR is rising more than inflation. Every other minute you come across a rape, an accident or a tragedy. If any of these is not there, then the news channels present them in dramatic sequence which keeps the viewers glued to the couch, which is a take from the Western media.

It is much of a compulsion rather than expulsion for the Indian news media. With the round the year cricketing calendar, sports based programs have increased. Special programs are screened on upcoming or ongoing series.

what else sells in media than the showbiz industry with all the scandals, gossips and the news on upcoming projects? It has something new to offer every time and anytime.

After the unprecedented success of laughter challenge, it has been a rock on for stand up comedians. From television to outdoor events they are needed everywhere

Dumbing Down of News

The ‘dumbing down’ of news has been an issue within media studies for some time.  For many years tabloid newspapers have remained the best selling in the market, but concerns have been raised over the spill of tabloid style journalism into ‘quality’ newspapers (i.e. broadsheets) and broadcast news in the UK. This assignment aims to identify and discuss dumbing down as a concept and the implications it may have on news as a media product.

Steven Donn (2003) describes dumbing down as a process where “complex issues are simplified to excess, with it all boiling down to an issue or event being portrayed as either wrong or right and very little in the way of analysis being offered.” It also refers to the focus on ‘soft news’ where more importance is placed on celebrities, human interest stories, entertainment news and crime than previously seen within the mass media, which Matt Nisbet (2001) describes as “the media industry’s reaction to a nearly two decade decline in its readership and viewership base.” Kristen Sparre referred to tabloidization as “a process of decline in the standards of news media.” Whether called dumbing down, trivialization or tabloidization, the terms all refer to the simplification of important issues and a new focus on issues considered by some to be of little worth culturally or socially.

News as a product

News is a commodity. Although it is seen by many as ‘the truth’, news is a carefully constructed media product, going through a series of production processes before broadcast or publication. News agencies were the first multi-national corporations,trading stories with local journalists and other agencies across the world and, as Herman and McChesney (1997) state, “acquiring significant holdings in film, music, publishing, and broadcasting.” However, until the late 20th century agencies tended to trade almost entirely in hard news; politics,international affairs, scientific breakthroughs and other ‘high brow’ topics (although sports coverage has been a constant for some time). The conglomerations of the 1990s led to a reduction of the number of media corporations, leading to a system where six corporations control almost all of the world’s media. With the rise in the global capitalism as the driving force behind media expansion, the corporations began to apply capitalist principles to the production of news products, which Jackie Harrison (2000: 186) describes as “a market orientated rush towards providing niche news products.”

In terms of the tabloidization debate, these ‘niche news products’ have already appeared in the form of magazines such as Heat and Now , and newspaper sections such as the Daily Mirror’ s ‘3am’ and the Sun ’s ‘Bizarre’, all devoted to the pursuit of celebrity gossip as their core news value. The Daily Star goes a step further, with ‘The Goss’ for general celebrities and ‘Hot’ for music celebrities. Hello, which used to report mainly on celebrities within high society, royalty and film stars, has expanded to include the likes of Big Brothercontestant Jade Goody in the face of competition from other gossip magazines.

But while many in the media seek to condemn this obsession with the trivial, some choose to embrace it and find a positive way of viewing it. Obviously many people enjoy this form of news, as Now ’s sales figures will attest to: 570,279 copies on average per week in August 2002 (Byrne, C., 2002). Madeleine Bunting called the entire trivialisation debate “bankrupt”, claiming that it is nothing more than “snobbish elitism” against a “feminisation” of news. She argues:

“The purpose of culture and the dominant mode of communication have been feminised. Its overriding preoccupation is establishing personal connection – a task which historically has mainly fallen to women. Contemporary culture is dominated by the ethos of over-the-backfence-gossip writ large. The Hello! Style fascination with the lives of celebrities, addiction to soap opera and football has been the nationalisation of gossip.” (Bunting, M., 2000)

She adds that “rationality has been downgraded, emotion rules.” Jamie Doward, writing for the Observer about these trends, noted “We may not know much about the Holy Roman Empire, but, boy, do we know how to accessorise and get the best mortgage.” But this only serves to devalue areas of interest such as history, and as the cliché goes, “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. Postmodernist ideas such as ‘history is dead’ only serve to further reinforce impressions, especially among youth, that anything that isn’t happening now isn’t worth knowing. But as American historian Frederick Jackson Turner said “The aim of the historian, then, is to know the elements of the present by understanding what came into the present from the past, for the present is simply the developing past. . . . The goal of the historian is the living present” (date unknown). The study of history tells us how we got to where we are and what the implications are for the future, while the study of celebrity culture tells us what hairstyle David Beckham has this week and what the implications are for his scalp and bank balance.

Some of the blame for this shift can be put on journalists. Traditional news subjects, such as politics, are harder to report on in an interesting or controversial way than they once were. As John Wilson states:

“If journalism is to make society face its ills wherever they are, it will have no friends. In particular, it will be disliked by people in power because it expects them to answer issues decided by the media, not solely those agreed on the political agenda.” (Wilson, 1996: 28)

Now politicians are fully equipped to deal with the press with soundbites, and keep their scandals somewhat quieter, journalists go for the easy targets, those who want publicity more. Celebrity news is easy to find, as PR agents will send press releases detailing any story which might be newsworthy. Photographers can earn big money for a photograph of a celebrity without make-up on, they need not be doing anything controversial other than ‘looking a bit rough’.

Slowly more and more celebrity stories are appearing on broadcast news bulletins in the UK. David Beckham was a regular fixture on the news during summer 2003 as he changed his haircut, football club and image a number of times. At the same time the situation in Iraq continued to escalate, but broadcasters still found time for the most trivial detail of Beckham’s life, and even a search of the Guardian Unlimited website reveals much about Beckham in addition to the war.


If the trivialisation of news is about commerce over information, are more people actually watching the news? Matt Nisbet found “that infotainment has actually accelerated the decline in news audiences, while serving to impair the public’s interest in and knowledge of public affairs” (2001). Perhaps the purchasing of other media firms by news agencies, discussed earlier, means that multinational corporations are using even the news-based parts of their empires to promote products above all else. Even ITV is guilty of promoting programs through its news programs, such as highlighting theCoronation Streetbigamy storyline through Tonight with Trevor McDonald.

It is a combination of factors which has led to the perception of ‘dumbing down’ in print and broadcast media. Lazy journalism, global free market capitalism, growing celebrity culture and simple public disinterest have all created an image of the consumer as fashion victim, a passive space to fill with dreams of showbiz parties and sponsorship deals. Active audience theory suggests that this is wrong, that “people around the world adapt global media fare to their own environment and use it creatively” (Herman and McChesney, 1997: 194), and the global market economy which allows us to understand this has caused “an expansion of formal democracy, but a weakening of it’s substance and growing sense of political powerlessness” (ibid.). Maybe the feeling of powerlessness is the cause of the shift away from politics as the main focus of the news media.

But if the media really is dumbing down, the backlash has begun. As Doward (2003) informs us, “visits to museums soared by 70% between 2001 and 2002” in reaction to the “horror of being seen to be like Jade Goody”, a woman famed for her lack of intellect [note: now deceased, and celebrated as a national hero during her cancer]. Perhaps reality TV and the exposure of celebrity failings have woken some people up to the lack of culture in their lives. And perhaps this is just as well, because, as Neil Postman writes in his ‘Huxleyan Warning’:

“When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility.” (Postman, 1985: 161)

Dumbing Down of news

As Brian McNair (2003) has recognized, the term ‘dumbing down’ is offensive.  Dumbing down is usually applied as a derogatory term that refers to the simplifying of a subject towards the lowest common denominator; for example, news is simplified in order to make it more understandable to a larger number of people. Those who argue the necessity for an aware public might ask, ‘what’s the problem with that’? Supporters of the dumbing down thesis, which has arguably become the ‘dominant critical orthodoxy’, maintain that:

“entertainment has superseded the provision of information; human interest has supplanted the public interest; measured judgement has succumbed to sensationalism; the trivial has triumphed over the weighty; the intimate relationships of celebrities, from soap operas, the world of sport or the royal family are judged more ‘newsworthy’ than the reporting of significant issues and events of international consequence. Traditional news values have been undermined by new values; ‘infotainment’ is rampant (Franklin, 1997,)”

It is not only news  documentary, mainstream TV, magazines, have all dumbed down. For critics, the impact on democratic debate has been considerable, ensuring that structures of power, authority and wealth have been made less visible by the huge growth in lifestyle journalism. This is because news and information have become ‘commodified’  market criteria dominate. The proliferation of media outlets has meant (despite conglomeration) an increasingly competitive market as outlets struggle to capture an increasingly fickle audience. Journalists and correspondents complain of pressure to emphasize the sensational, even in mainstream political reporting, hence the huge rise in political reporting that emphasizes ‘scandal, corruption and sleaze’.

The implication behind such criticisms is that there was a golden age when the media fearlessly stripped back the façade to reveal the underlying structures of dominance in society. Historically, the structures of power and authority have never been more than ‘partially visible’, if that, but their visibility is now arguably higher than it has ever been in the mainstream media. Radical groups know how to get their agenda into the mainstream and coverage of G8 summit protests and political-environmental activism (from Greenpeace to Michael Moore’s Bowling For Columbine) has ensured more attention is paid by our media to the activities and underlying patterns of dominance of capitalist organizations and governments than at any previous time. Importantly, it is dumbing down by environmental bodies, journalists and film-makers  that is, delivering an entertaining and newsworthy approach to the topic  which has ensured greater airtime for critical approaches to the dominant capitalist hegemony.

 It is important to note that ‘sensationalism’ is not a euphemism for shoddy journalism. Silvester Boham, editor of the Mirror from 1948 to 1953, argued that sensationalism did not mean distorting the truth but rather:

the vivid and dramatic presentation of events so as to give them a forceful impact on the mind of the reader. It means big headlines, vigorous writing, simplification  Every great problem facing us will only be understood by the ordinary man busy with his daily tasks if he is hit hard and often with the facts. Sensational treatment is the answer, whatever the sober and ‘superior’ readers of other journals may prefer 

Dumbing down is a pejorative term for a perceived trend to lower the intellectual content of literatureeducationnews, and other aspects of culture. According to John Algeo, former editor of American Speech, the neologism dumb down meaning “revise so as to appeal to those of little education or intelligence” was first recorded in 1933 as movie slang.[1]

Dumbing down can point to a variety of different situations, but the concept always involves a claim about the simplification of culture, education and thought; a decline in creativity and innovation; a degradation of artistic, cultural and intellectual standards, or the undermining of the very idea of a standard; and the trivialization of cultural, artistic and academic creations.

The term is often subjective since what is labeled as dumbed down often depends upon the values of individuals of specific groups. Pierre Bourdieu discusses how the practices of dominant groups in society are legitimized to the disadvantage of subordinate groups. However, there is also evidence that knowledge of areas outside that defined by popular culture diminished progressively starting in the late twentieth century.

The Convergence Bill

 The much awaited and debated Bill, The Communication Convergence Bill, is on the verge of being enacted and changing the Indian communication machinery in an unprecedented fashion. The Bill primarily intends to promote and develop the entire communications sector, in the scenario of increasing convergence of technologies. Thus India hopes to become the second country in the globe to have a legislation regarding convergence

The Bill will replace five existing laws namely -The Indian Telegraph Act-1885, Cable TV Networks Act 1995, Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act-1933, The Telegraph Wires (Unlawful Possession) Act 1950 and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act 1997.

The Bill seeks to achieve 4 main purposes-

  • The development of national infrastructure for an information based society, and to enable access thereto;
  • To provide a choice of services to the people with a view to promoting plurality of news, views and information;
  • To establish a regulatory framework for carriage and content of communication
  • To establish of a single regulatory and licensing authority with defined powers, procedures and functions and and an Appellate Tribunal

To put it in a nutshell, the Bill facilitates multi-operations and a service provider may provide a consolidated service in basic telecom, cellular telecom, internet and satellite television without procuring different licenses. Presently, the absence of a single window clearance for these services, make it cumbersome for companies advent into and provide all these services simultaneously.  The manner in which the Convergence Bill seeks to remedy these difficulties is captured in this article.

Shortcomings – In zeal of becoming the second country in the world to have a Communication Convergence Law the Indian Government, introduced the Convergence Bill in very hasty manner. The Bill provides for the setting up of a super-regulator, the CCI, which is supposed to be an autonomous body and claims to be a truly independent body in every sense. But a mere perusal of the Bill would belie this claim. Right from the process of appointing the CCI members, the government would hold its control. If one reads the Bill carefully he can discover that at the end of each and every clause the government has retained the right to interfere. The government is even having the power to exempt anybody from licensing and going by the earlier instances in similar situations one can assume that the government will sideline the CCI. Undoubtedly this will make a mockery of CCI’s autonomy.

The Bill states that the CCI has to follow all the policy directives of the government. Whether a directive is a policy irective is to be solely determined by the Government. This will amply prove that the government is not at all sincere to grant any real autonomy to the CCI. Under the pretext of giving policy directives the government can run its writ and thereby effectively bulldoze the CCI.

Problems regarding Spectrum management – The Government is vested with wide powers relating to Spectrum Management. The Government is the supervening and absolute power for determining the Spectrum it needs for defence / other essential needs. But once this is determined the rest should be allocated to the industry in a fair manner. The Cabinet Secretary will head the Spectrum Management Committee envisaged under the Bill, and the CCI will only have a secondary role to play here. This dual authority on spectrum can be problematic and make CCI submissive to the Spectrum Management Committee. Many experts contend that the CCI is better equipped to balance the spectrum requirements of the industry and government. It is of paramount importance that the allocation of spectrum is efficiently managed as this allocation is linked to the development of the Industry.

The appointment of the Secretary General of the CCI should be from an open pool of competent persons as against from a panel of government secretaries proposed by the Bill. This will certainly bring a sense of professionalism and competitiveness. The Bill is also unclear on jurisdictional aspects of the CCI and the adjudicating officer.

Fact File Of Television Broadcasting

The Role of the Media in Peace Building, Conflict Management, and Prevention

Information is power and insight can impact on public discourse. This way, perceptions can be changed by access to media. Different types of media are utilised globally to distribute knowledge and idealistically, free mass media is a tool of and signpost for democracy. Freedom of expression is not only the core of a healthy media but also a fundamental human right and vital for a democratic structure. It stands for freedom of speech, the right to information and the representation of different opinions in a heterogeneous society. In any culture of prevention, effective and democratic media are an essential part and indispensable for societies trying to make a transition towards peace and democracy. Harry S. Truman once said “You can never get all the facts from just one newspaper, and unless you have all the facts, you cannot make proper judgements about what is going on”– this statement reflects the need for free access to unbiased information. Not giving people the possibility of political participation and not allowing them to express themselves freely is a significant cause of conflict. On the one hand free, independent and pluralistic media provide a platform for debate and different opinions. On the other hand, media can be misused for propaganda purposes, to incite hatred and spread rumours and therefore artificially create tensions. The transmission of ideas is also not limited to conventional media such as newspapers, TV or radio. Arguably, the traditional media takes primacy in this, however, new technologies, the internet and digital content should also be considered in this context.

Lack of information can, at any stage of a conflict, make people desperate, restless and easy to manipulate. The ability to make informed decisions strengthens societies and fosters economic growth, democratic structures and the positive outlook on the future. For this very reason, the United Nations Millennium Declaration stressed the need “to ensure the freedom of the media to perform their essential role and the right of the public to have access to information”.

Journalism does not need justification for its existence. Its service to society is justification in itself. Journalism can not only help to distribute information but also counter hate-speech and create an environment of balanced opinions, an information equilibrium. For the media it can be problematic to find a balance between preventing harm caused by speech and protecting individual expression. Being able to find this balance, however is important especially in conflict situations. Responsible journalism does not just re-publish press releases but is truly concerned with a truthful, balanced and fair account of events. In order to achieve this journalists have to stay clear of judgemental representations and describe reality without embellishment. If democracy is to work properly, society needs access to news and information; analysis of the status quo, debate, practical information and exchange as well as entertainment are needed and provided by the media. The definition of conflict and defining conflict areas is not easy and no two places are alike. Journalists need to know what they can expect on sight in order to define the objectives of their project.

In case of a crisis or a conflict, the international media can attract worldwide attention. The mass media is a pervasive part of daily life especially in industrialised countries and thus able to shine a light on conflicts anywhere in the world. Since most armed conflicts these days have governmental and not territorial reasons; the parties are often concerned with making sure that the majority of people are on “their” side, which bears a lot of potential for misrepresenting facts and trying to seize control over the distribution of information. For this very reason the intervention of unbiased and free global media is important not only for the world public but also for the people directly affected. The number of conflicts, however, that gets international attention is small; therefore local media is vital in this context.

Broadcasting news by using community radios can help reach people in different areas, even with different languages more easily. This way people can be addressed directly and their own personal experiences and lives can be incorporated much better, than with foreign media. The danger of manipulation and inflammation of ethnic tensions, however, cannot be ignored. Another advantage of local media, especially radio is that in border areas it is possible to convey peace messages to passing fighters and refugees alike. Democratic media structures need more than this; it is vital that the use of information within a society is not solemnly passive but that the population gets actively involved in creating content and broadcasting it.

Internal conflicts do not occur spontaneously but tend to have a history. Local media usually have a deeper understanding of the existing political structures, the participants of the conflict as well as the changes preceding the outbreak of violence.  The media can therefore not only influence society before the conflict by recognising and properly addressing the issue but also afterwards. Unlike international media covering conflicts, local media are a recognized part of society with the ability to accelerate and magnify fears or reduce them. One should not forget that journalism can play a role in escalating conflicts, which also demonstrates the potential for positive purposes. The media have the power to defuse tensions before they even reach a critical point and keep a critical eye on government, opposition and society. By supplying credible information and reaching a large audience, the media help in managing conflicts and promote democratic principles. In the aftermath of a conflict, reconciliation and societal development can be encouraged as well.

A measure of peace-building can be enhanced peace journalism. Peace journalists try to uncover the causes behind a conflict and true goals of all participants while making sure to humanise all victims of the conflict. The journalists don’t try to exploit the loss and suffering but make sure that the reporting is balanced and also demonstrate how easily news can be manipulated. Part of the ethical guidelines for this kind of reporting is to bring out people that use peaceful measures and speak out against war and violence and document the suffering and loss on all sides. Possible solutions and trying to prevent further escalation of the conflict are at the centre of peace journalism as well. 

A suggested framework used by peace-building media can employ different strategies such as (1) Conflict-sensitive and peace journalism; (2) Peace-promoting entertainment media; (3) Media regulation to prevent incitement of violence, but also (4) Peace-promoting citizen media.

Journalists do not shy away from difficult, sensitive or uncomfortable topics such as human rights abuses. In this context, journalists can be considered the helpers of all human rights defenders for they have committed themselves to ethical and moral standards in reporting as well as to addressing important topics in way that can be productive for everyone involved.  Assistance from public opinion is and always has to be the goal of any reporting since without reaching a broad audience that can take action, the effect of the media is limited at best. Therefore non-democratic governments try to harass and persecute journalists in order to keep them in line and prevent them from exposing misconduct and abuse of power. Increasingly this practice can be observed in democratic countries as well and is being heavily criticised. It is noteworthy that despite the fact of democracy being the rule of a majority, a truly democratic framework also demands and ensures that those elected must be accountable. This includes protecting against gender discrimination, protecting the rights of minorities, protecting freedom of speech, and more importantly they do not have the right to justify any transgressions by endorsing new laws.

Media and journalism can be a great assistance in conflict management and peace building. However, the power they have is also limited, as they will never be able to eliminate armed conflicts altogether. The media can be a good tool in a healthy and functioning environment but more is needed than ethical and responsible reporting to ensure lasting peace and safety. The role of the media is twofold: on the one hand, the media report and reflect on pressing issues and can help to question established concepts and ideas. On the other hand, they can be used for propaganda purposes and instead of revealing truths, try to cover things up and by this curtail people’s freedom and right to information. Regardless, the potential of the media in conflict and post-conflict situations remains a net positive, and has been sadly underutilized to this point in time.

Peace Journalism

Virtually all of us must rely on media to build our view of the world. The mass media convey images from around the world, and when put together they become world images in our minds.

The question is: How reliable are the media? What are we told and what not? How? Are all parties to a conflict given fair attention? What are the words and the accompanying images conveying ex- and im-plicitly? Why is the conflict perspective so often on individual leaders and not on processes, history, structures and cultures – leading to the mistaken assumption that if only they can be deposed, or killed, everything will be much better?

And why is there such a conspicuous fascination throughout our media with violence and war? It’s not that ‘negative’ news should not be there; it’s part of reality of course. But what’s missing to quite a large extent is any serious coverage of facts, events and trends that make us feel more hopeful or encourage us to take positive action. After all, this ‘positive’ news is also a manifested aspect of reality. 

Mass media ought to tell us more about possible peaceful ways to handle conflicts, rather than letting military expertise propound, more or less without counter arguments, in favour of military solutions.

The alternative approach is sometimes called peace journalism. Peace journalism is not the greatest label – unless you’re familiar with the correct definition of the term – because it’s not implying that media shall advocate only for peace and never for war. Journalism should contribute to neither, one may argue.

Peace journalism is professional journalism that seeks to cover not only violence (like war reporting does) but also the existing forces for peace. It does this by digging deeper into underlying, less conspicuous aspects: Who are the far majority of people who work for normal human relations in any war zone? Who are the peace ‘ladies’ and not just the war ‘lords’? 

Moreover, in peace journalism the focus is not only on the immediate “theatre” of war but also on the much larger framework and the oftentimes less visible external factors such as parties with vested interest that are indirectly involved in the conflict. 

In this way, peace journalism puts the conflict, not the violence, in focus by providing a larger perspective rather than simply looking at who is right and wrong and who should be punished.

Peace journalism reports on the types of solutions the various parties see as desirable and how these could be achieved with less violence, including which civilian, international mechanisms could be employed in conflict-management before any resort to violence (bombings and other violence-based interventions).

In short, peace journalism is about finding new angles on a conflict and highlighting issues that mainstream media does not. It’s about being constructively different; cherishing diversity and avoiding the homogeneity that characterizes mainstream newspapers’ foreign policy page: they all look the same, don’t they?

War Journalism

A war correspondent is a journalist who covers stories firsthand from a war zone. They were also called special correspondents in the 19th century. Their jobs require war correspondents to deliberately go to the most conflict-ridden parts of the world. Once there, they attempt to get close enough to the action to provide written accounts, photos, or film footage. Thus, being a war correspondent is often considered the most dangerous form of journalism. On the other hand, war coverage is also one of the most successful branches of journalism. Newspaper sales increase greatly in wartime and television news ratings go up. News organizations have sometimes been accused of militarism because of the advantages they gather from conflict. William Randolph Hearst is often said to have encouraged the Spanish–American War for this reason.

Fact File on Journalist killed and Missing while covering war

At least 70 journalists were killed around the world in 2013, including 29 who died covering the civil war in Syria and 10 in Iraq, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The dead in Syria included a number of citizen journalists working to document combat in their home cities, broadcasters who worked with media outlets affiliated with either the government or the opposition, and a handful of correspondents for the foreign press, including an al-Jazeera reporter, Mohamed al-Mesalma, who was shot by a sniper.

Six journalists died in Egypt. Half of those reporters were killed while reporting a 14 August crackdown by Egyptian security forces on demonstrators protesting the ousting of Mohamed Morsi.

“The Middle East has become a killing field for journalists. While the number of journalists killed for their work has declined in some places, the civil war in Syria and a renewal of sectarian attacks in Iraq have taken an agonising toll,” the committee’s deputy director, Robert Mahoney, said in a statement.

“The international community must prevail on all governments and armed groups to respect the civilian status of reporters and to prosecute the killers of journalists.”

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists has been tracking deaths among reporters and broadcasters since 1992.

Most of the killings it has documented over the years involve people covering the news in the places where they live. That was the case, as well, in 2013.

Many of the deaths occurred during combat, or among reporters covering conflict zones, but journalists in several countries were also murdered after reporting on sensitive subjects.

Reporters and commentators who covered police misconduct, political corruption or drug trafficking and other sensitive topics were slain in separate incidents in Brazil, Colombia, the Philippines, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Russia.

A pair of Radio France Internationale journalists were abducted and killed after meeting a leader of ethnic Tuareg separatists in Kidal, Mali. Militants in Iraq killed five members of the news staff of Salaheddin TV in a suicide attack this month on the channel’s offices in Tikrit, Iraq.

For the first time in a decade, no journalists were known to have been killed for their work in Mexico.

The CPJ is still looking into the deaths of an additional 25 journalists in 2013, not included in the tally of 70, to determine whether their deaths had anything to do with their work.

To date, at least 63 journalists have been killed covering the conflict in Syria, the CPJ’s report said – and that tally may understate the problem. Sixty journalists have been abducted in Syria this year alone. Thirty are still missing.

Few Journalist we lost in 2014

James Foley reported from conflict zones in Syria, Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan, working primarily for GlobalPost and Agence-France Press. His striking, intimate video dispatches from conflict zones, such as this unflinching look at an ambush on a 101st Airborne company in Afghanistan, demonstrated his dedication to foreign reporting. He was captured while reporting in Libya in 2011 but eventually released. As the country’s civil war escalated, Foley reported for AFP and GlobalPost from Syria; he was captured in 2012 and killed by ISIS in 2014.—Jared T. Miller

Anja Niedringhaus, a former chief photographer for the European Pressphoto Agency, was part of the Associated Press team that won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography for their work in Iraq. She reported from Frankfurt, Germany; Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; and Moscow, and the former Yugoslavia, as well as Afghanistan, Pakistan and throughout the Middle East. Colleagues praised her fearlessness and leadership. Niedringhaus was killed on April 4, covering the presidential election in Afghanistan. She was 48. An Afghan police commander opened fire on the car she and her friend, fellow reporter Kathy Gannon, were waiting in at a checkpoint. The commander was later sentenced to death. —Tzirel Kaminetzky

By all accounts Luke Somers was the boy next door, driven by a passion to expose views of the “other” and challenge assumptions. He was also kind hearted and picked up his camera for the right reasons. “He never called with demands that his pictures weren’t being used enough, he just wanted to show people that Yemen was more than car bombs and terror,” said Ossie Ikeogu, one of the photo editors at his agency Demotix, who got to know Somers over the years. Ikeogu remembers first meeting the young man and thinking he was a teacher with a hobby, but a look at his portfolio revealed Somers was more than the unassuming translator for hire in Yemen. “He was always looking to paint a picture that wasn’t what we always see in the Western media,” said Ikeogu. He started with protests, but realized he preferred documenting the people in the market, the aftermaths of terrorism for citizens and clashes of culture, what Ikeogu calls the “winds of change” in the country, “anything that captured a flavor and sense of daily life.” He was aware of the danger, but not afraid, and felt comfortable in Yemen according to Ikeogu. At first he wasn’t worried when Somers didn’t return his phone calls, but a few days later that changed. For months Ikeogu called his phone with no answer, finally he sent a last email with the subject line “Hope you’re ok.” Somers had been kidnapped in Sana’a, Yemen, in September 2013. In December 2014 he appeared with militants demanding the U.S. give in to their demands in exchange for him. Somers was killed by Al-Qaeda militants during a rescue attempt by U.S. commandos in Yemen. He was 33. —Shaminder Dulai

Aung Kyaw Naing, also known as Par Gyi, was a Burmese freelance journalist and political activist from Rangoon working along the Burma-Thai border. His work appeared in many local Burmese media outlets such as The Voice,Eleven Media and Yangon Times. He was detained and killed by Burmese military while covering armed clashes between the Burmese army and Karen ethnic rebels. Activists and supporters protested the killing of Naing and called for an inquiry into his death, his wife saying she believed he was tortured while in military custody. The Myanmar National Human Rights Commission reported multiple injuries to his body, including several gunshot wounds, discovered after after his body was exhumed in November. —Tzirel Kaminetzky

Andrei Stenin, 33, was a Russian photojournalist who contributed to news organizations such as Reuters, Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and RIA Novosti. Stenin covered conflicts in Egypt, Syria, Libya and Gaza before covering the war in eastern Ukraine. It is thought that he was embedded with Russian-backed combatants when he went missing. His death was confirmed on September 3. —Michael Ip

The Ethics of Conflict coverage

How much truth-telling do you do in times of conflict? Do you tell it like it is, or weigh the consequences of doing so? Ethics in conflict situations is seldom black or white; it has to be shaped by changing contexts.

Shortly after the Kargil war began and journalists had begun covering some sectors of it firsthand, an Indian editor went to see the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He told him that he was holding back reports filed by his reporter which described how Indian soldiers were becoming canon fodder at the hands of those fighting for Pakistan. He was telling the prime minister, he said, in case he was not getting the full   picture from his army officers. And he had decided not to use those stories   because he thought they would affect the morale of the army and the country.   But, he told Vajpayee, it would be difficult to keep up the censoring; the   obligation to tell the country the truth would come in at some point. Perhaps the most fundamental ethical   issue in conflict coverage is how much truth-telling do you do in times of war. Do you tell it like it is, or weigh the consequences of doing so?

This dilemma was echoed in November 2008 in Mumbai. Does a reporter blabber into his mike everything he learns about the unfolding situation? Or is he expected to exercise discretion, keeping in mind   what the terrorists might learn from television and use to their advantage? Ethics in conflict situations is seldom black or white; it has to be shaped by changing contexts.

On the other hand, censorship, or self-censorship, has consequences. Censoring ghastly footage makes war easier to support. In the case of Kargil, when the body bags began to come home and the TV cameras showed them day after day, some of the euphoria about a “just war” (then Minister Arun Jaitley’s phrase) began to evaporate. Should the media then be a   party to helping the government gloss over the true cost of a war?

The ethical dimensions of conflict   coverage are many, as is the range of conflicts that has to be covered. In addition to border wars there are internal conflicts that a State wages with disaffected sections of its own people. There are terror strikes. There are communal riots.

So what sorts of issues arise in   reporting on these?

There is the ethics of letting your nationalism overwhelm your coverage. Arnab Goswami, the Times Now anchor, is a   classic example of someone who has decided to adopt a calculated editorial stance when the issue is India versus Pakistan, or India versus the separatists in Kashmir. The channel tilts towards a nationalist stance, and that goes out on TV day after day and influences the gullible.

In the case of internal conflicts such as  areas where Naxalites operate, the question is not one of nationalism but of  ideology. Those journalists who cover it sometimes have problems keeping their personal ideologies out of their reading of the conflict between these extremists and the State. Again in the case of Nandigram and Singur, a conflict between a car company allocated land by a Marxist state government and some   segments of the local people backed by a different political party, the ideology of a publication like The Hindu affected its coverage.

How a conflict is framed by the publication or journalist reporting it is another issue. In the above instance,   is it framed as a capitalist versus labour issue? Or Marxist versus Trinamul? Or as a conflict arising from conflicting land use demands? Is this framing done in  good faith after ascertaining the facts as far as possible, or is it coloured by  one’s own ideological bias? Is the attempt to create understanding, or   provocation? Television framing is often done in a way that heightens conflict,   because it helps the channel ‘sensationalise’ the issue and thereby gain viewers.

How do you source stories on conflict? From the government, army, terrorists, victims, or the police?  In the case of a conflict within the country’s borders, do you carry the versions of both the  government/army/police and the militants? Are you giving the latter the oxygen of publicity by doing so? There was considerable indignation when, during the   Mumbai attacks, Rajat Sharma on India TV interviewed one of the terrorists in Nariman House. Are you lending your platform to the government’s propaganda machine by taking your version only from it? When there is a war and you are nowhere near the front, do you have the option of choosing not to take your   story from what the official spokesperson is saying?

One of the trickiest issues is the use of language in a conflict situation. Should you mince words to suit one side of the conflict? A few years ago, Robert Fisk wrote about   the “semantic iceberg that has crashed into American journalism in the Middle   East”. He described how pressure from readers of the Boston Globe led the   editors to pressure their correspondent to stop using the term ‘right-wing’ to   describe the Likud Party. And how Jewish settlements for Jews only on Arab land   used to be called ‘colonies’ by foreign correspondents, but this was softened to   become ‘settlements’ first, and then ‘Jewish neighbourhoods’. Similarly   ‘occupied’ Palestinian land became ‘disputed’ Palestinian land after the state   department instructed US embassies in the Middle East to refer to the West Bank   as disputed rather than occupied territory.

Post-Iraq, the BBC has also wrestled with   semantics. In 2006, it published an abbreviated version of its journalists’   guide to facts and terminology. It dealt with the description of occupied   territories thus:

The general phrase “occupied   territories” refers to East Jerusalem, the West Bank and strictly speaking the   Golan Heights. However, it is not usually understood to refer to the Golan   Heights (unless it is in a story specifically on the 1967 war or Syrian-Israeli   relations). It is advisable to avoid trying to find another formula, although   the phrase “occupied West Bank” can also be used. Under international law,   Israel is still the occupying power in Gaza, although it no longer has a   permanent military presence there.

On the use of the word ‘terrorist’, the   BBC’s producer guidelines state:

The word “terrorist” itself can be a barrier rather than an aid to understanding. We should try to avoid the term, without attribution. It is also usually inappropriate to use words like “liberate”, “court martial” or “execute” in the absence of a clear judicial   process. We should let other people characterise while we report the facts as we   know them. We should convey to our audience the full consequences of the act by   describing what happened. We should use words which specifically describe the   perpetrator such as “bomber”, “attacker”, “gunmen”, “kidnapper”, “insurgent” or   “militant”.

In India we have no such hang-ups; the   word ‘terrorist’ is freely used. We have added recently to the lexicon, with the   terms ‘Hindu terror’ and ‘Muslim terror’. How ethical is it to give terror a   religious tag? Are we falling into the trap of associating terrorism with   religion when its causes are multiple?

The relatively new concept of peace journalism complicates the ethical issues involved in reporting conflict or   running a radio station in a conflict zone. There is talk of harnessing the media for conflict management. The US Institute of Peace in Washington DC, set up to be answerable to the US Congress, does conflict-sensitive journalism   training. It also believes in seeding ideas of peace-building initiatives, and   in educating journalists about the media’s potential in helping countries out of   conflict situations. For instance, it will promote the capacity of a radio station to produce conflict-reducing programming through training. Where there are radio stations broadcasting conflict-generating programming, training is   imparted to neutralise them.

But is it the media’s job to be a   peacemaker? I attended a workshop run by this institute where the director   strove to outline the values conflict-oriented journalism comprised: accuracy, impartiality, responsibility, sensibility, conflict analysis. Nobody can really quarrel with those. And what does peace journalism consist of? An approach to  reporting which is people-oriented, peace-oriented, solution-oriented,   truth-oriented.

But here is the rub: peace journalism   according to its proponents would also mean holding back on the reality on the   ground to reduce tensions, or “putting a brake on the truth,” in the language of   this workshop. Would a war correspondent consider it part of his or her brief to   do that? Or would the ethics of telling the truth wherever possible, militate   against that?

There are no absolutes in the ethics of   conflict coverage. But being accurate, responsible, non-inflammatory, using   language that does not pander to the objectives of any party, obtaining facts from more than one source, and framing the conflict in a way that promotes   understanding is a good set of objectives to reach for.


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