Friday, 24 March 2017

Broadcasting of Radio and TV: Strengths and Weaknesses

What is the difference between radio and TV
Broadcasting: AIR v/s Doordarshan


Radio and Television have their own characteristics. UNESCO has enumerated the following strengths and weaknesses of radio and television


It has imaginative potential to listener to add his/her own visual interpretation
  It requires a fully developed radio network.
Receivers are relatively cheap and portable
It is a non-visual medium
It is relatively inexpensive in production terms
Trained personnel are required.
As an entertainment medium, it is psychologically acceptable
Knowledge of local languages is essential
As a major news source it is widely heard and accepted. It has massive, immediate distribution.

it is a visual medium which allows for a creative production approach
It requires a fully developed TV network and electric supply
As an entertainment medium, it is very acceptable psychologically.
TV Receivers are expensive
As a major news source, it is widely seen and accepted.
It is expensive, both in production and utilization, unless used extensively.
It has immediate distribution which can be massive.
It requires highly trained production and operational personal.
Historically speaking, Marconi started radio broadcasting in 1896 with the invention of first wireless telegraph link. It took ten years since then for the first demonstration of radio broadcasting to establish but it was hard to distinguish words from music.
Another successful demonstration took place from the Eiffel Tower in Paris in 1908. A New York Station transmitted the first radio news bulletin in 1916 on the occasion of the election of US President. By 1927, broadcasting services were started as a major medium of information.
Radio broadcasting in India began as a private venture in 1923 and 1924, when three radio clubs were established in Bombay, Calcutta and Madras (now Chennai). The Radio Club broadcast the first radio programme in India in June 1923. The daily broadcasts of 2 to 3 hours consisted mainly of music and talks. These stations had to close down in 1927 for lack of sufficient financial support.
It was followed by the setting up a Broadcasting Service that began broadcasting in India in July 1927 on an experimental basis at Bombay and a month later at Calcutta under an agreement between the Government of India and a private company called the Indian Broadcasting Company Ltd. Faced with a widespread public outcry against the closure of the IBC, the Government acquired its assets and constituted the Indian Broadcasting Service under the Department of Labour and Industries. Since then, broadcasting in India has remained under Government control.
In 1936, a radio station was commissioned in Delhi. In the same year, the Indian Broadcasting Service was renamed All India Radio (AIR) and a new signature tune was added. The Delhi station became the nucleus of broadcasting at the national level.
All India Radio has come a long way since June 1936. When India became Independent, the AIR network had only six stations at Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Lucknow and Tiruchirapalli with 18 transmitters six on the medium wave and the remaining on short wave, Radio listening on medium wave was confined to the urban elite of these cities.
Radio broadcasting assumed considerable importance with the outbreak of World War II. By 1939, the entire country was covered by a short-wave service and the programme structure underwent a change to meet wartime contingencies. During this period, news and political commentaries were introduced and special broadcasts were made for the people on the strategic northeastern and northwestern borders.
After independence, the broadcast scenario has dramatically changed with 198 broadcasting centers, including 74 local radio stations, covering more than 97.3 per cent of the country‘s population. Presently, it broadcasts programmes in a number of languages throughout the day. The function in of All India Radio is unparalleled in sense that it is perhaps the only news organizations, which remain active, round-the-clock and never sleeps.
Mostly the broadcasting centers are full-fledged stations with a network of medium wave, short wave and FM transmission. Besides, the external services Division of AIR are a link with different regions of world through its programmes in as many as 24 languages for about 72 hours a day.


Television began in India way back in 1959 as a part of All India Radio when it was formally commissioned on September 15 as an experimental service. Its aim was to promote social education and general awareness. It was not until Mrs. Indira Gandhi was in charge of the information and Broadcasting Ministry that television was commissioned as a regular daily service from 15th August 1965. Now television transmitters carry Doordarshan signals to almost three fourth of the country's population.
On August 1, 1975 a Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) was launched with the help of an American Satellite for a period of one year when 2400 villages in six states – Orissa. Bihar Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka were exposed to area specific programmes beamed with the help of the satellite.
The experiment was successful and was universally lauded. The programme content had the three necessary ingredients of entertainment, education and information. There was no denying that Doordarshan had become a catalyst to social change.
One of the most popular programmes of Doordarshan has been the rural programme called "Krishi Darshan" which was launched on 26 January 1967. Doordarshan also caters to many schools and universities in the country through its Educational TV and Open University programmes. In 1982, Doordarshan went into colour and created its own national network through the help of INSAT-1 A. Now with the help of INSAT-1B and Microwave facilities, Doordarshan is able to cater to a very wide area of the country in terms of imparting information and entertainment.
Some of the significant presentations have been the IX Asian Games, the NAM summit, the CHOGUM conference, Republic Day Parades, Independence Day Celebrations, etc.
Television went commercial from January 1, 1976 and now good numbers of sponsored programmes are telecast on Doordarshan, increasing its revenue.
On March 22, 2000, INSAT- 3 B was launched under the INSAT series. It has three Ku-band transponders with 12 extended C-band transponders and S-band mobile Satellite service payloads. This will double the capacity, which was earlier, provided by seven transponders of INSAT-2B and INSAT-2C.
INSAT-3B, besides providing business communication, development communication and mobile communication, will also provide set of transponders for the Swarna Jayanthi Vidya Vikas Upagraha Yojana for Vidya Vahini, an exclusive educational channel


Presently, AIR is utilizing satellite services for transmission of its programmes throughout the country with a radio networking. With the introduction of Radio Paging Service, FM transmitter has become the landmark of AIR.
Today, All India Radio counts among the few largest broadcasting networks in the world to serve the mass communication needs of the pluralistic population of India. The network has expanded gradually, imbibing new technologies and programme production techniques.

3- TIER BROADCASTING: All India Radio has evolved a three-tier system of broadcasting, namely, national regional and local. It caters to the information, education and entertainment needs of the people through its various stations spread over the length and breadth of the country. They provide news, music, talks and other programmes in 24 languages and 146 dialects to almost the entire population of the country.
The regional and sub-regional stations located in different states form the middle tier of broadcasting. Local radio and community radio is a comparatively new concept of broadcasting in India. Each of the stations serving a small area provides utility services and reaches right into the heart of the community, which uses the radio to reflect and enrich its life.

NEW SERVICES: “This is all India Radio. The News, read by.........." These words ring all over the country every hour, day and night, broadcasting news bulletins in Hindi, English and 17 regional languages.
The bulk of AIR news comes from its own correspondents spread all over the country It has 90 regulan correspondents in India and has seven special correspondents/reporters and two hundred and forty six part-time correspondents stationed in different countries.

ROLE OF ELECTRONIC MEDIA: In a democracy, the role of electronic media is not confined to provide information, education and entertainment. It has to play a greater role. It has to promote citizens right to information. Further to secure the Citizen's civil, political and social rights. It also has also to act as a public watchdog to reveal state abuses.
Public Communication System has been recognized as a public sphere, where widespread debate and discussion can take place. This will provide people information necessary to make informed decisions, and facilitate the formation of public opinion and can thus enable the citizens to shape the conduct of government by articulating their views.
Role of electronic media, both radio and television is to be conceived in terms of representing adequately different social interests also. They have to give adequate expression to the full range of cultural-political values in society.
A UNESCO study has also highlighted the role of the media in socialization, cultural promotion and national integration for creating better understanding and appreciation of others viewpoints and aspirations. Media can help to democratize the relationship between government and governed.


REACH OF RADIO: All India Radio and Doordarshan are now part of the Fraser Bharati the autonomous broadcasting corporation of India through an Act of Parliament in 1990. The Prasar Bharati Board took charge of the administration of All India Radio and Doordarshan with effect from 23rd November 1997.
All India Radio presently has more than 200 Radio Stations including 183 full-fledged stations and nine relay centers and three exclusive Vivldh Bharati Commercial Centers.
In all AIR has 310 transmitters and provides radio coverage to a population of 97.3 per cent spread over 90 per cent area of the country.
The External Services Division of All India Radio is a vital link between India and rest of the world, broadcasting in 25 languages. Of these 16 are foreign and 9 are Indian languages.
The National Channel of All India Radio came on air on 18th May 1998. This Channel works as a night service from 6.50 pm to 6.10 a.m everyday, covering 64% area and almost 76% population.

REACH OF DOORDARSHAN: Compared to Radio, Doordarshan's network expansion is impressive in shortest time possible. In March 1999, Doordarshan - 1 had 1000 transmitters and DD-2 (the Metro channel) had 57 covering about 87.9 per cent of population and about 74.8 per cent of area
 As on March 2006
1. Transmitters for DD-1 1050 (High. Low and very Low Poker transmitters)
2. Transmitters for DD-2 67 (High. Low and very Low power transmitters).
3. Other Transmitters 3 (2 at the Parliament & one at Srinagar)


In a developing country like ours, a special function of broadcasting should be the coverage of development its significance, achievements and problems. People‘s participation in development activities should be highlighted as also significant work being done by voluntary agencies. The style and methods of news reporting should reinforce the fundamental principles on which national policies are based.
The primary purpose of the current affairs péogrammes should be to enlighten the people on various aspects of political, economic, social and cultural developments.

FM and Privatization of Radio: In recent years two very important developments have taken place in the field of radio and television broadcasting in India. With the advent of television it appeared that the importance of radio had gradually diminished. This actually happened for some years and radio ownership and radio listenership decreased considerably.
But it seems that radio is reappearing once again in the form of FM transmission. The FM transmission stations are working as local stations catering to the local needs of the listeners: The partial privatization of FM broadcasting has also made the radio an important medium of mass communication.
The programmes broadcast on FM are becoming very popular with the urban youth as the programmes cater specifically to them. Moreover, FM broadcasts are also becoming popular in cars and other vehicles. They provide necessary information regarding the roadblocks, traffic, and weather etc. to the motorists. FM broadcasting has gained a lot of popularity in last few years.

Private television channels:
The second but perhaps the most important development that has revolutionized not only the media system in India but the entire society has undergone a dramatic change is the availability of multiple channels on television - either direct, through satellite or through cable TV.
Doordarshan itself is a multi channel system having a separate a sports channel and a separate educational channel (Vidya Vahini) on the anvil.
But the sea change has occurred because of what is called "sky invasion". This term refers to the invasion of the households by private channels both Indian and foreign. The speed with which the private channels have expanded in India is an example in itself. The important point here is that this expansion has occurred in spite of and despite the government. The Indian government never wanted to provide up-linking facilities perhaps being afraid of the cultural invasion. But channels, including Indian channels, started up-linking from foreign soils like Kathmandu and Hong Kong and no technology available today can afford to block the down linking.
This "sky invasion" coupled with rapid expansion of cable network has actually converted the entire urban and semi urban India into a big global village. The number of television owing household has also increased tremendously and it is estimated that about 70% of the urban households and 50% of the rural households today own at least one television set.
This has to be noted and appreciated and also critically examined as this has happened in a record time unlike the Western countries where it took about 20 years. The Indian society has in fact leap-forged at least in the field of television usage.