Chapter 7 Mass Media and Communications
1.Trace out the changes that have been occurring in the newspaper industry? What is your opinion on these changes?
Ans. It is often believed that with the growth of the Television and the internet the print media would be sidelined. However, in India we have seen the circulation of newspapers grow. New technologies have helped boost the production and circulation of newspapers. A large number of glossy magazines have also made their entry into the market.
The reasons for the growth in Indian newspapers are many.
1.There is a rise in the number of literate people who are migrating to cities. The Hindi daily ‘Hindustan’ in 2003 printed 64,000 copies of their Delhi’s edition, which jumped drastically in 2005, to 425,000. The reason was that of Delhi’s population of one crore and fprty seven lakh, 52% had come from the Hindi belt of the two states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Of this, 47% have come from a rural background and 60% of them were less than 40 years of age.
2. The need of the readers in the small towns and villages are different from that of the cities and the Indian language newspapers cater to those needs. Dominant Indian language newspapers such as Malayala Manorama and the Eenadu launched the concept of local news in a significant manner by introducing district and whenever necessary, block editions. Dina Thanthi-, another leading Tamil newspaper, had always used simplified and colloquial language.
3.The Indian language newspapers have adopted advanced printing technologies and also attempted supplements, pull outs, and literary and nice booklets.
4.Marketing strategies have also marked the Dainik Bhaskar group’s growth as they carry out consumer contact programmes, door- to-door surveys, and research. Thus, modem mass media has to have a formal structural organisaiton.
•While English newspapers, often called National Dailies’, circulate across regions, vernacular newspapers have vastly increased their circulation in the states and the mral interland. In order to compete with the electronic media, newspapers, especially English language newspapers have on the one hand reduced prices and on the other hand brought out editions from multiple centres.
•Change in the role of newspaper production-role of technology.
•Many feared that the rise in electronic media would lead to a decline in the circulation of print media. This has not happened. Indeed it has expanded. This process has often involved cuts in prices and increasing dependence on the sponsors of advertisements who in turn have a larger say in the content of newspapers.
•Newspapers have become a consumer product and as long as numbers are big, everything is up for sale.
2.Is radio as a medium of mass communication dying out? Discuss the potential that FM stations have in post-liberalisation India?
Ans. 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.
3.Trace the changes that have been happening in the medium of television. Discuss.
Ans. •TV programming was introduced experimentally in India to promote rural development as early as 1959. Later, the Satellite Instructional Television
Experiment (SITE) broadcasted directly to community viewers in the rural areas of 6 states between August 1975 and July 1976.
•These instructional broadcasts were broadcasted to 2400 TV sets directiy for 4 hours daily.
•In 1991, there was one state controlled TV channel Doordarshan in India. By 1998, there were almost 70 channels. Privately run satellite channels have multiplied rapidly since mid-1990s, while Doordarshan broadcasts over 20 channels there were some 40 private television networks broadcasting in 2000. The staggering growth of private satellite television has been one of the defining developments of contemporary India.
•The Gulf War of 1991 (which popularized CNN), and the launching of star-TV in the same year by the Whampoa Hutchinson Group signalled the arrival of satellite channels in India. In 1992, Zee TV, a Hindi based satellite entertainment channel, also began beaming programs to cable TV viewers in India. By 2000, 40 private cable and satellite channels were available including several that focused exclusively on regional-language broadcasting like Sun-TV, Udaya-TV, Raj-TV, and Asianet.
•While Doordarshan was expanding rapidly in the 1980s, the cable television industry was mushrooming in major Indian cities. The VCR greatly multiplied entertainmentoptions for Indian audiences, providing alternatives to Doordarshan’s single channel programming. Video viewing at home and in community-based parlours increased rapidly. The video fare consisted mostly of film-based entertainment, both domestic begun wiring apartment buildings to transmit several films a day. The number of cable operators also increased significantly.
•The coming in of transnational television companies like Star TV, MTV, Channel V, Sony and others, worried some people on the likely impact on Indian youth and on the Indian cultural identity. But most transnational television channels have through research realized that the use of the familiar is more effective in procuring the diverse groups that constitute Indian audience. The early strategy of Sony .International was to broadcast 10 Hindi films a week, gradually decreasing the number as the station produced its own Hindi language content. The majority of foreign networks have now introduced either a segment of Hindi language programming (MTV India) or an entire new Hindi language channel (Star Plus). Star Sports and ESPN have dual commentary or an audio soundtrack in Hindi. The larger players have launched specific regional channels in languages such as Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi and Gujarati.
•Localisation of STAR TV- in October 1996, STAR Plus initially an all English general entertainment channel originating from Hong Kong, began producing a Hindi language belt of programming between 7 and 9 PM. By February 1999, the channel was converted to a solely Hindi channel and all English serials shifted to STAR World, the network’s English language international channel. Advertising to promote the Hindi channel included the Hindi slogan: ‘Aapki Boli, Aapka Plus Point).
•Both STAR and Sony continued to dub US programming for younger audience as children appeared to be able to adjust to the peculiarities that arise when the language is one and the setting another.