Community Media/MARAA/Community Radio/Conceptual Clarity/Community Media/MARAA/Community Radio/Conceptual Clarity/Radio photoppt

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Here, we show the participants a power point presentation on the journey of radio. In our case, we start off by showing them pictures of All India Radio, the public broadcaster, and the colonial context in which it began. So public radio was mainly for disseminating government information to the public. This tradition and philosophy remained intact even after India gained independence. The structure and regulations were unchanged, in fact, even after All India gained autonomy in 1997, and came under the aegis of Prasar Bharathi, a independent broadcasting body, fashioned on the lines of BBC. Then we take the participants through the journey of economic liberalization of India in 1990, which among other things, opened up the FM radio sector as well. So in a few years, our government started auctioning frequencies, and businesses had to pay a fee over and above their purchase cost. This fee was incremented by 15% annually. Pretty soon, most commercial radio stations could not cope up with the steep cost, and many closed down citing bankruptcy. Today, the government retains the auction model, but annual fees are based on percentage of profits/revenue. We explain that this model of radio has about a 3% of market share at present, and is heavily dependent on advertising for its profits and functioning, since radio is a free technology and you can't really charge people for listening. In India, businesses like Reliance have invested heavily into radio. We then talk briefly about the content which is aired on these two kinds of radio stations and experiences of participants who have tuned into either of these radio station types.

Having made this introduction, we show them some pictures of community radio initiatives in India, like Namma Dhwani, DDS, KMVS and so on. We tell the participants that in 2004, the Indian government opened up community broadcasting but only for educational institutions. The management of these stations are with the educational institutions and the programming is mainly educational. Only in 2006, did the Indian government open up community radio for non profit institutions. Using the examples of some initiatives given above, we show demonstrations of community based programming, management and ownership, feedback, development communication and other concepts. We then go into some key concerns of community radio like management, sustainability and so on, but these are not explored in depth. We just say that these will be explored in depth later. The last part of this session is kept for interactive discussion wherein participants can ask us questions or doubts they have on this information.

Note: If you want a copy of this presentation, please mail us at info at maraa dot in, and we can mail it to you

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