Is radio as a medium of mass communication dying out? Discuss the potential that FM stations have in post-liberalisation India?
1. With the advent of TV, internet and other audio visual forms of entertainment, people started believing that radio will bean outdated form of mass communication but this thinking proved wrong.
2. In 2000, AIR’s programmes could be heard in two-third of Indian household in 24 languages and 146 dialects, over some 120 million radio sets. The advent of privately owned FM radio stations in 2002 provided a boost to entertainment over radio.
3. In order to attract audiences, these privately run radio stations sought to provide entertainment to its listeners.
4. As privately rim FM channels are not permitted to broadcast any political news bulletins, many of these channels specialize in ‘particular kinds’ of popular music to retain their audiences. One such FM channel claims that it broadcasts ‘All hits all day’.
5. Most FM channels which are popular among young urban professional and students often belong to media conglomerates. Like ‘Radio Mirchi’ belongs to the Times of India group, Red FM is owned by Living Media and Radio City by the Star Network. But independent radio stations engaged in public broadcasting like National Public Radio (USA) or BBC (UK) are missing from our broadcasting landscape.
6. The use of radio m movies—In the two films ‘Rang de Basanti’ and ‘Lage Raho Munna Bhai’ the radio is used as an active medium of communication although both the movies are set in the contemporary period. In ‘Rang de Basanti’ die conscientious, angry college youth, inspired by the Legend of Bhagat Singh assassinates a minister and then captures All India Radio to reach out to die people and disseminate their message.
7. The potential for using FM channels is enormous. Further privatization of radio stations and the emergence of community owned radio stations would lead to the growth of radio stations. The demand for local news is growing. The number of homes listening to FM in India has also reinforced the worldwide trend of networks getting replaced by local radio.