Thursday, 4 October 2012

Community Radio

Community radio is a crucial cog in the clock of development communication .
It provides a third genre of radio broadcasting ,
 The first and second being the ...
   1) Commercial radio Broadcasting and
   2)  Public radio Broadcasting .

The basic motive behind setting up a community radio is that of social benefit instead of the business .
It caters to the rural audience , the content is tailor-made for a community seeking some knowledge
                                                        about lifestyle and well being .

In a country like India , it becomes essential as the electricity doesn't run through every household .
Radio is a cheap method , doesn't need electric current to function , works on battery and is easily affordable *PS : A rural citizen struggles hard for 3 times food a day , other mass media channels is a "luxury" for them*

Five minutes of advertising per hour is allowed on community radio. Sponsored programs are not allowed, except when the program is sponsored by the government at the local or state level .

 The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of the Government of India had received 297 applications for community radio licenses (including 141 from NGOs and other civil organizations, 105 from educational institutions and 51 for "farm radio" stations to be run by agricultural universities and agricultural extension centers, or Krishi Vigyan Kendras).

Some of the community radios famous in India are ..
-> Radio Sharda - "“a community radio for the displaced people of Kashmir” (i.e., Kashmiri Pandits).
It broadcasts in Kashmiri and Hindustani on 90.4 MHz in Jammu (Buta Nagar)
 It is licensed to Pir Panchal, a civil society organization .

-> Radio Ujjas - Licensed to Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan (Women's organization of Kutch)

Some educational institutions owning a Community Radio are ..

JIMS Radio 90.4 Mhz - The college coming under GGSIPU ( Guru Govind Singh Indraprastha University) 
                                broadcasts this radio in a area of 10 Kms around it , i.e in Vasant Kunj .
                              It was initially called JIMS Raaga but later renamed to much more literal name .

DUCR 90.4 Mhz - Established in 2007, is a Community Radio Station at School of Open Learning,
                                  University of Delhi.

Well , there is an old saying that goes ,
                    "A sword can't replace a Needle , and Vice versa"
Community radio has a reach much much less than any commercial or government run radio but it approaches a localized pattern ,  the issues that the media overlook on the bigger scale are being discussed here , the experience , the suggestions and the problems faced by people are always welcome to be a part of the radio for that community .

So , on the go lets see some of the clear cut advantages of Community radio ..

1) Reach among Rural -  The inexpensive expense of owning a radio make it a perfect medium to reach the
                                       rural i.e the target audience .

2) Portable -  The target audience can't afford to sit in their car (imaginary) and listen to the radio , they can
                    carry it to their work , now a days mobiles with radio doesn't cost a fortune either ,

3) Prominence - The fact that the issues closely related to the people are broadcasted , it glues the
                          listeners to their radio sets .

4) Social Change - Little but important messages can be spread with the sugar coating of informality and
                             affection . The language and the content suits their preferences and persuade easily .

It becomes really important in a developing country to have some medium for the equal growth of the rural regions also , presently the gap between the urban and the rural India is huge , Community radio is just another way of building the bridge to protect the complete detachment .

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