Thursday, October 29, 2009

Naveen launches HAM Radio

The chief minister Naveen Patnaik today launched HAM Radio Communication network in the state. This is expected to improve the preparedness to face the natural disasters. Speaking on the disaster mitigation day here, the chief minister said, the Orissa State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) will set up 220 Automated Weather Stations (AWS) in different parts of the state.

Similarly, the state government has provided land and building to IMD for setting up of Doppler radars at Paradeep, Gopalpur, Balasore and Sambalpur. This will further strengthen the capability in accurate weather prediction within a radius of 400 kilometers.

Source: Business Standard 30/10

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sri Lanka will end Analog TV and Radio transmissions, plans to go Digital

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo
Colombo, 28 October, (
Sri Lanka will end analog radio and television broadcasting system but plans to introduce digital radio and television transmission system to provide a better reception for the local listeners and Television viewers.

"These projects are initiated under the instructions of President Mahindha Rajapaksha and the Mahindha Chinthana , said Managing Director of the On Air World Ceylon Pvt Ltd and a veteran broadcaster and Content provider for local telecommunication sector Nimal Laksshapathiarachchi.

He said the President declared year 2009 as the Year of English and IT .

Mr.Laksshapathiarhchi who held a number of key positions in state and private sector has introduced Digital system to Sri Lanka's television, radio and the cinema industries and said this system will minimize cost of telecasting and broadcasting even production of cinemas in Sri Lanka.

He followed a number of global digital systems and obtained a vast experience of the industry.

Speaking to media Mr.Lakssapathiarachchi said a number of companies have shown their interest to obtain Digital Television telecasting Licenses to start their digital television transmissions .

"Sri Lanka Broadcasting Co-Operation completed its task to introduce digital radio broadcast and it has planned to install a seven channel single transmitter in Colombo to reduce transmission costs and provide a better reception for the listeners , said Mr.Lakssapathiarachchi .

Under the SLBC's digital system it will transmit daily broadcasts to its regional repeater stations through the digital satellite system. Very soon Global viewers could listen these digital broadcasts using their satellite sets.

"If the SLBC starts its digital transmission the listeners need technically developed digital radio sets, he explained .

These digital radio sets could be used with computers, motor cars or even with other technically developed equipment.

According to the entertainment industry sources , a number of local companies obtained Digital Radio and Television broadcast /Telecast Licenses from the government regulator to start this new system.

Commenting local situation here , he said after the thirty year long war a number of companies who highly involved with the entertainment business have planned to start their business activities in Sri Lanka.

"I have personal overseas contacts who wish to invest millions of dollars in this industry. One of leading local investor who planned to produce a film in Sri Lanka has turn down his proposal but agreed to invest in local cinema industry. The company is now working with the State Films Co-Operation, On Air World Company Ltd and the local Film hall owners to digitalized fifty film halls in Sri Lanka .We decided to distribute digitally made films to these film halls and the cost of cinema hall's owners and the producers will come into zero due to the digital film projection, he said.

"The company is helping local film hall owners to obtain technical know how and the needy equipment to accept digital film projection system, he said.

"We planned to start digital projection system with next month and the company plans to expand the system for other film hall owners who wish to provide higher quality film projection system to their film viewers, he explained.

"A number of shortcomings of the present film projection sector will be eased due to the newly introduced digital projection system .This will make easiest for the National Film Co-Operation and the film producers to check the sizes of their viewer ship from their respective offices , he said.

The investor plans to introduce network system through the internet to distribute films among film halls .This is the second step, he said.

Speaking on future investment for Sri Lanka he said a number of Sri Lankans in overseas need to invest their funds in Sri Lanka. Most Tamil investors have shown their willingness to invest here , said Mr.Laksshapathiarachchi.

"We have some bottlenecks to obtain these investments , he said. Due to the lack of proper data base on various industrial sectors , most of overseas investors dislike to invest in these fields, he said. He said the government must provide proper guidance to introduce various new investment avenues and amend unacceptable rules and the regulations.

"If the government loses these legal barriers the investors could enter the industry , he said.

- Asian Tribune - Via Alokesh Gupta

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Community radio, agritech portal launched at TNAU

It was a day of opening buildings and launching of new crop varieties, farm implements, an agritech portal and a community e-radio station.  The community e-radio station of the university had been sanctioned by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and World Media Foundation. The objective was to share the local agricultural information among the people in the local language.



Jaisakthivel, chennai, India

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Monday, October 26, 2009

RRI Contest results


The Enescu contest was held with the support of several sponsors and
partners whom we thank once again. The contest was sponsored by S. C.
ELECTRECORD S.A. and the Public Corporation "Monitorul Oficial", being
also supported by the "Radio House" Publishing-House.

By tuning into our broadcasts, you could get an image about this
year's Festival, which concluded in late September, about the
remarkable value of the participating orchestras, soloists and
concerts. You could get the answers to our questions from our
broadcasts and on RRI's site. Thank you for having entered this
contest run by RRI.

We have received your answers, the contest is over and we have
designated the winners. But before letting you know their names, may
we remind you the questions:

Where and when was George Enescu born?
The correct answer is: he was born in Liveni, Botosani County,
Northern Romania on August 19th 1881.

Name at least three works by Enescu.
Your answers could have been the following: "The Romanian Poem"
symphonic Suite Opus 1, the two Romanian Rhapsodies (1901-1902), the
"Vox Maris" symphonic Poem for soprano, tenor, choir and orchestra,
the Seven Songs on lyrics by Clement Marot, Suite Nr. 1 for orchestra,
Suite for orchestra Nr. 2, the opera "Oedipus"( actually his only
opera), String Quartet Nr. 2, Chamber Symphony for 12 solo
instruments, the "Village Suite" Nr. 3, Sonata Nr. 3 in Romanian folk
style for violin and piano.

What myth is the only opera of the Romanian composer based on?
The correct answer is : the myth of Oedipus.

What edition of the "George Enescu" International Festival takes place
this year?
The correct answer is: the 19th edition.

Here now are the winners.

There are 24 runners-up, among whom let us mention our listeners or
Internet users:
Ian Morrison of China
Deepa Kumari of India
Alan Holder of Great Britain
Kurt Svensson of Sweden
Agide Melloni, Giorgio Borsier, Fiorenzo Repetto of Italy
Tatjana Rubin and Ivica Smolcic of Serbia
Gaik Octembrian of Rusia
Alibek Ahmadiev of Kazahstan
Lai Xing, Fan Yurong, Wang Yang and Wang Chuntian of China
Emile Christian Duchimé of Camerun
Gloria Suciu of Romania
Olena Makovii of the Ukraine
Klaus Weinhart of Germany
Francisco Solorzano, El Salvador, Alfonso Flores Oliveira of Peru
Jorge Garcia Rangel of Venezuela
Khalid Said Dayan of Yemen
Jaroslaw Jedrzejczakof Poland

50 third prizes went to our listeners or Internet users:

Martin Galas of the USA
Shunicki Sekiya of Japan
Shankar N. and Prasenjit Bhakat of India
Mogire O. Machuki of Kenya
Safira Akter Panna of Bangladesh
Christer Brunstrom of Sweden
Brian Kendall of Great Britain
Aaron Tiu of the Philippines
Cao Fujie of Malaysia
Milentije Miljkovic of the US
Dmitri Balikin, Vladimir Yaroshik and Viaceslav Izrianov of Russia
Alina Ledroumaguet, Philippe Marsan and Jean–Pierre Bailly of France
Alessia Porreca of Italy
Olexandr Kozlenko of the Ukraine
Hans-Martin Friedrich of Switzerland
Daniel Bustos Aravena of Chile
Eduardo Ladislao Trejo Recinos, El Salvador, Gerardo Andres Groh of Argentina
Berny Solano of Costa Rica
Glauber Gleidson Peres, Brazilia, Jorge Alberto Jimenez Suarez of Columbia
Hamrani Mousa, Abdel-Hamid Djabbari of Algeria
Mohamad Ben el Bashir of Tunisia
Idriss Fitouri of Libia
Abdel-Naser Mohm Rashad Kamel of Egypt
Abdel-Karim Nadjim of Morocco
Batoul El Atas of Saudi Arabia
Rossella Buccilli and Alessandro Errichetti of Italy
Alfred Arinze of Libia
Mogire O. Machuki of Kenya
Safira Akter Panna of Bangladesh
Norbert Bonnet of France
Patrick Vong of France
Tang Jingbo, Han Shenglin, Zhou Lüjun, Li Meng, Xue Bing, Li Ming,
Yang Tietong, Luo Yinghu, Wang Jian, Zhang Shifeng, Zhang Lili şi Zhou
Fei of China.

The 5 winners of the second prize are:

Efim Arteev of Russia
Silveri Gomez of Spain
Abdel-Hamid Kharifi of Morocco
Hans Verner Lollike of Denmark
Xue Sanyang of China.

The 13 winners of the first prize are:

Valeria Matskevici of Russia
Jacques Augustin of France
Romanian-born Alina Seman of Italy
Roman Bondarevski of Ukraine
Christoph Preutenborbeck of Germany
Javier Gonzalez Balon of Ecuador
Hugo Calderon Carbajal of Mexico
Mohamad Suleiman Shokr of Egypt
Stefano Citterio of Italy
Thein Soe of Malayesia
Bezazel Ferhat Ben Rabah of Algeria
Cui Wenbai of China
He Guoliang of China.

First prize winner,
Christoph Preutenborbeck of Germany wrote:
"I'm very fond of music and I take particular interest in classical
music. Participating in the contest run by RRI, I had the opportunity
of knowing the life and work of George Enescu. RRI brought closer this
son of the Romanian people to us, foreign listeners and I'd like thank
the RRI staff for that. It was interesting to find out about the
measures taken by the communists against him and about the debates on
the date of his death. I'm also glad that I had the opportunity of
finding out that Enescu was not only a composer, but also an
exceptional violinist who took part in the training of the famous
violinist Yehudi Menuhin."

We conclude quoting the entry of first prize winner, Cui Wenbai of
China: "Every man has got his hobbies; one of my hobbies is classical
music and George Enescu's music holds pride of place in my
preferences. I've got many of his works and tired after a day's work,
I'm often delighted to listen to his music. Listening to his music, I
feel as if I were immersed in an ocean of sounds. Time seems to go
back and the energy which notes give to me provides me with a
matchless experience. You can see the influences of Enescu's music
everywhere, whether you are in Europe or in America. Enescu had his
unique perspective both in his creation and his interpretation. His
work has become a national wealth, but at the same time, it has
entered the world artistic heritage. His artistic achievements are now
a landmark in musical education and science. That is why, I have
entered this contest."

We will mail our prizes to the winners, whom we ask to confirm their
reception by mail, fax or e-mail. Thank you once again for having
participated in the "2009 George Enescu Festival" and we invite as
many of you as possible to enter our next contests.

(Source : RRI)

Alokesh Gupta
New Delhi

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China dominates Asia-Pacific AM radio dial in latest PAL Radio Guide

China has almost a third of all AM radio stations currently
broadcasting in the entire Asia-Pacific region today says the Radio
Heritage Foundation.

In the latest PAL AM Radio Log at, there are
almost 1,400 AM stations listed as on the air in China, out of some
4,800 stations across the entire region.

In fact, just five countries account for 70% of all AM broadcasters
in the region, with China follwed by Japan, Indonesia, Australia and
the Philippines.

These are in addition to the many thousands of FM radio stations that
are generally more popular with younger listeners today.

Despite contemporary digital radio and decades of FM, the fact that
so many
AM stations remain on the air is clear evidence that life remains in
the almost century old AM technology, even in modern technology mad

However, the outlook is bleak for 13 of the 55 countries in the
latest PAL Radio Guide, where only one AM radio station now remains
on the air.

In the Pacific there is just one AM radio station left in the Cook
Islands, French Polynesia, Kiribati, the Marianas, Marshall Islands,
Norfolk Island, Palau and Tonga, whilst American Samoa's only AM
station has
been 'temporarily' off the air for some time.

In addition, Micronesia, New Caledonia, Samoa and Vanuatu each have
only two AM stations left so it's become a very fragile world of AM
radio across most of the Pacific where strong AM signals are needed
in emergencies such as recent earthquakes, tsunamis and cyclones.

Unfortunately, many of the Pacific island stations also operate on
reduced power because of high imported oil costs, have rusting towers
and old
equipment and in the outer Solomon Islands, it's a choice between
homes having power or the local radio station going on the air.

The PAL Radio Guides are available for free at
and the new PAL AM Radio Guide contains some 50,000 individual data
entries for the 4,800 listed stations. This resource is supported by
volunteer monitors across the region and updates and new monitors are
always welcome.

Radio Heritage Foundation is a registered non-profit organization
connecting popular culture, nostalgia and radio heritage across the
Pacific. For fresh features, images, audio, PAL Radio Guides and much
more, visit our global website Donations to
support our activities are gratefully welcomed.

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Waves of neglect ruin radio station

The Dibrugarh All India Radio station, fitted with the most powerful transmitter in eastern India, is a pitiably understaffed organisation, struggling to maintain normal operations.

Sixty-nine posts are lying vacant at the centre, including those of the station director and four assistant station directors.

Several posts of programme executives, assistant news editors, music composer, announcer, engineering assistant, stenographers and drivers are also unoccupied.

The station was established four decades ago to highlight the rich cultural heritage of the region — particularly Upper Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

In fact, the agenda was to counter Chinese waves through this powerful transmitter in Dibrugarh.

"Before the establishment of the AIR station here, people in Arunachal Pradesh used to hear transmissions by Chinese radio which they could receive easily. However, after the establishment of AIR, Dibrugarh, people got to hear something Indian on their radio sets," a source said.

Lately, AIR, Dibrugarh has been largely neglected by the Centre, particularly the information and broadcasting ministry.

Officials and employees from the Dibrugarh centre were transferred elsewhere without arrangements being made for their replacements.

"Akashvani, Dibrugarh, in its initial days was heard even in states like Orissa. But gradually, its transmission power got affected because of poor maintenance and lack of technical personnel. We have time and again submitted memorandums to the authorities but nothing came of them. All these pleas and applications seem to have fallen on deaf ears," the source added.

The All Assam Students Union has now decided to take up the matter with the information and broadcasting ministry.

"We will soon send memorandums to the Union government with pleas to solve AIR, Dibrugarh's problems. It is unfortunate that the Centre is neglecting a station that was established to counter Chinese waves," Rituparna Baruah, assistant general secretary of AASU, said.


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Thursday, October 22, 2009

BBC Hindi service launches BBC – India Bol

BBC Hindi audiences can now speak out on issues that affect their lives in a special weekly live programme, BBC – India Bol. Broadcast every Tuesday, the new 30-minute programme is a platform for millions of listeners and online users, who tune in to BBC Hindi radio and access the programmes via, to share their views.

BBC – India Bol is modelled on World, Have Your Say, the multimedia interactive programme on BBC World Service and now also on BBC World News television.

Amit Baruah, Head of BBC Hindi, comments: "The philosophy behind BBC – India Bol is to lend a voice to our listeners and their concerns and interests.

"We put technology available to us to optimum use to make the programme as open as possible, so our audiences can participate by phone and emails and leave their comments on the programme blog on

"It is an example of how we engage our audiences in a global conversation by offering them a platform for interactivity and real-time response."

One of BBC – India Bol's presenters, BBC Hindi's Rupa Jha, adds: "This is also an excellent platform to make the audience part of our editorial call, and we invite them to come up with the topic for discussion.

"With people across the country telling us what they want us to talk about, BBC – India Bol gives us a fantastic opportunity to feel the pulse of the country. This is what has made the programme high on demand, and the free number has made it accessible to the most remote parts of India."

To contribute their comments, listeners can either call a 24-hour free number 1800-11-7000 to record their messages – or call in to the live programme between 8.00pm and 8.30pm India Standard Time on Tuesdays.

They can also log on the special BBC – India Bol section on to share their opinion on the weekly theme.

As listeners share their views on radio, a 'live text' with transcripts of their opinions is simultaneously uploaded on the programme page on

BBC – India Bol is part of BBC Hindi's news and current affairs programming produced from London and Delhi, and is available on shortwave, medium wave and via cable television.

The BBC also offers special 'infotainment' output for India's FM market, in Hindi and Tamil, available via partner stations across India, in the UAE and in the US.

Hindi-speakers across the world can access BBC Hindi in text and in audio via the website

BBC Hindi programmes are produced from London and Delhi, set in a rolling format, with news, current affairs and features.

The interactive morning and evening programmes, Aaj Ke Din and Aaj Kal, bring news, analysis and interviews on a range of issues, from current affairs and careers to showbiz and sports.

BBC Hindi is available on shortwave, medium wave, FM and via cable television.

Hindi-speakers across the world can access BBC Hindi programmes in text and in audio at the 24/7 news site

The BBC's special output for India's FM market includes infotainment updates in Hindi and Tamil languages.


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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Jaffna Regional Service of the National Radio to be converted into a channel covering the entire island.

SLBC Chairman Hudson Samarasinghe says the Jaffna Regional Service of the National Radio will be converted into a channel covering the entire island. He stated this at a meeting at the SLBC premises today with students of the Jaffna University. The SLBC Chairman said artistes at welfare centres in Vavuniya have been given the opportunity to take part in musical programmes aired on the Tamil Service of SLBC.


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Special English is celebrating its 50th anniversary

Special English is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary next week. Mario
Ritter tells us about some of the ways we are celebrating this event.

It all started when Henry Loomis became director of the Voice of America in
nineteen fifty-eight. Mister Loomis traveled around the world. He saw that
English was becoming an important international language. He wanted to make
English easier to understand by listeners of VOA broadcasts whose native
language was not English. So Mister Loomis asked VOA program manager Barry
Zorthian to develop a way to broadcast to listeners with a limited knowledge
of English. This new method of broadcasting used a limited vocabulary. And
it was read slower than regular VOA broadcasts.

The first VOA broadcast in Special English took place on October nineteenth,
nineteen fifty-nine. Critics at the time said this new method would never
work. American embassies demanded that the program be cancelled. But Mister
Loomis supported the program. Soon, VOA began toreceive hundreds of letters
from listeners praising the program.

In nineteen sixty-one Hal Berman became the first chief of Special English.
He saved Special English from destruction by people who did not see its
value. And he showed how to change one thousand five hundred words into a
living language that informed, educated and entertained millions of people.
In the beginning, Special English had one fifteen-minute news show that was
broadcast to Africa and Asia once a day. Today, Special English broadcasts
thirty-minute programs by shortwave and medium wave sixteen times a day
around the world. We are also heard on VOA affiliate stations.

The Special English Web site is one of the most popular of all VOA Web
pages. We also have programs on satellite TV, podcasts, RSS feeds and
mobile. We have a growing number of followers on Twitter and our own popular
YouTube channel. And coming soon are videos on our Web site.

Help us celebrate our fiftieth anniversary! To thank our audience, we will
choose fifty people and send them a Special English gift. Go to
voaspecialenglish. com, and click on Contact Us on the left side. Under the
subject line, just type "50." Tell us your favorite Special English program
and suggest a new program or subject you would like to learn about. And be
sure to tell us what city and country you are from.

If you cannot access our Web site, send the information to VOA Special
English 50th Anniversary, Washington D.C., two-zero-two- three-seven USA.

http://www.voanews. com:80/specialen glish/2009- 10-15-voa5. cfm
Via mike Terry

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Radio Vlaanderen Internationaal (RVi) has officialy confirmed to drop SW

Radio Vlaanderen Internationaal (RVi) has officialy confirmed that it is
dropping its shortwave transmissions. The final shortwave broadcast will be
on Saturday 24 October. RVi has been broadcasting a limited shortwave
service to expats in southern Europe, but replies to a recent listeners'
questionnaire showed a declining audience for this service in favour of
satellite and Internet, and the costs of using shortwave can no longer be

(Source: RVi website Via Media Network by Andy Sennitt)

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Southgate ARC news site carries the following report

The website of Monitoring-Matters has announced that the first issue of the E-zine devoted to radio communications should be published on November 1.

The online magazine is for those with an interest in utility radio, either as a radio amateur or scanner user, and with an interest in civilian, military or government communications.

The Monitoring-Matters E-zine website is at
http://www.monitoring-matters. com/

MM's web site says

Over the next two months, complimentary issues will be published on 1st November and 1st December, which will show you how "Monitoring Matters" will become your most popular source for information, advice and monthly entertainment.

From January your financial support by becoming a yearly subscriber - £20 for 12 issues, will provide us with the resources to improve, increase the content and add extra contributors to join some of those you have enjoyed in the past.

Via Alan bdxc-news

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ambika Soni expects cabinet to give nod to FM radio phase III

Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni hopes the cabinet would approve phase III of FM radio that will also include first-ever broadcast of news bulletins on private radio channels. "The cabinet approval should happen before year-end," Soni said when she was asked about the timeline for rollout of FM-III radio policy.

Soni was speaking at an interactive discussion on media, organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Under the new phase of FM radio expansion, around 700 FM radio stations, mostly in districts and small towns, are likely to be rolled out.

Private FM channels can only source news from public broadcaster All India Radio and Doordarshan, Soni clarified.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

2010 will be turning point for FM radio

2010 will be turning point for FM radio, asserts Uday Chawla, General Secretary, AROI

The PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Indian Entertainment and Media Outlook 2009 report says that in the year 2008, the Indian radio industry had grown at a CAGR of 36.4 per cent over the last four years from 2004 to 2008. While music royalty is still a critical issue, in conversation with, Uday Chawla, General Secretary, AROI said, "Phase III will be rolled out shortly, the Ministry, I believe is ready to move to cabinet for approval and announce it shortly and we officially welcome phase III and the sooner it is, the better." FM phase III will see around 700 additional frequencies for private FM players and introduction of FM stations in 90 new cities.

Chawla also said that phase III would infact, be a turning point for FM radio industry in India. "Phase III rollout is also likely to see sports commentary, news and current affairs being allowed, this will certainly bring a sea change in the industry, as a result it will follow the same route as the television hence the year 2010 is expect to be the start of a big revolution in the Indian radio industry. FM radio can't be just dependent on music alone, it too like television needs mix content. Radio in India is already poised for a big leap, it has already overtaken magazine and should soon reach the level of television in the next few years."

"We have requested I&B Ministry that news on FM radio should be free and not limited but, the ministry's point of view is to let that happen in stages. So, we can expect multiple sources or free news also in few years. I believe that having no news and current affairs at all is infact, worst than having limited sources. So, news thorough limited sources is just a start, it will be in stages, no limit however as far as current affairs are concerned, however AROI will have its own code of edits. We will be very clear that there shall be no anti national, anti caste or religion or hurting any sentiments" said Chawla.

Meanwhile, AROI on November 12, 2009 will hold 'Vision 2010' in Delhi, it would be an official radio event. One of the objectives of the AROI event will be to discuss the vision 2010 for radio industry and to see how it can be made a landmark year for FM radio expansion in India. Post the conference, the Chawla observed, "FM radio still needs to evangalise the medium because while the listeners know what radio is all about, whether in metros or villages however advertisers need to know more about the medium, that its able to reach customers much faster and have deeper penetration. I believe, the radio industry in the next three years will be between Rs. 5000 and 10, 000 crores. It will become a very major player and that's why it becomes all the more important that the government makes the industry a more level playing field and announces the phase III."

Allowing news and current affair, sports commentary provides content alternative for FM radio as a result, the dependency on music reduces. "AROI is looking at evolving the industry into a major player in the Indian media market, and with regards to the music royalty issue, the matter is now subjudice" concluded Chawla.

Source: © exchange4media 2009

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Radio broadcasters targeted by Honduran government

The interim leader in Honduras has threatened to put broadcasters off the air.

New rules have been put in place to restrict broadcasters which, in the government's eyes, might "attack national security."

The restrictions follow the closure of two stations by self-proclaimed President Micheletti, who also confiscated equipment from the broadcasters.

He has said they will remain shut down until their owners front the local courts.

The two broadcasters targeted had backed the return of exiled president, Jose Zelaya.


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Doordarshan will be fully digitised by 2017: I&B official

It celebrated its golden jubilee recently and now the country's public television broadcaster Doordarshan is all set to go digital by
2017, said an Information & Broadcasting ministry official.

"Doordarshan will be fully digitised by 2017. That is the goal we have set. We are also preferring a full dialogue with the industry (technology platforms)," said Zohra Chatterji, joint secretary I&B ministry Tuesday at the fifth annual India Digital Networks Summit (IDNS 2009).

"But before that the public needs to be educated about it. Another area that has to be looked into is billing. The consumer is not satisfied with the billing (of digital services)," Chatterji added.

Co-hosted by Indian Television Dot Com and Media Partners Asia Ltd, the event is endorsed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.


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RAM faces brunt of radio broadcasters

Just as it enters the third year of its existence, the industry supported measurement system for gauging radio listenership - RAM- Radio Audience Measurement - is under the scanner.

Ironically, the radio broadcasters who campaigned for and supported RAM before and during its launch are the ones who are doubting its credibility now. What has prompted these broadcasters to question RAM are the allegedly major listenership shifts in the radio sphere.

After Big FM COO Tarun Katial voiced his opinions against the inconsistent RAM data (in an interview with, radio broadcasters with huge networks are being vocal about discrepancies in RAM data.

Radio Mirchi CEO Prashant Panday alleges, "There have been a lot of rapid movements in a station's cumes and TSL, which is uncharacteristic of radio as a medium. Changes in a station's listenership would depend on programming and marketing initiatives taken but at times the numbers change without any co-relationship with actions taken."

Enjoins Radio City EVP and national programming and marketing head Rana Barua, "We have been observing some discrepancies in the RAM data, which have been highlighted to RAM from time to time."

Barua mentions a case in point of a Delhi station which recorded an addition of 8.36 lakhs listeners (reach) in a single week. (Source: RAM, Wk 36, All 12+.) To further elaborate, he says the same station sees a 2.94 hour rise in TSL over the previous week (Source: RAM, Week 34, SEC AB 12+).

Radio One national programming director Vehrnon Ibrahim claims, "Radio is about consistency and we have seen unexplainable jumps both up and down in our data and that of other broadcasters. We have experienced dips even though no changes have been made in the quality of the show and the market was not volatile to take away listenership for that week."

Defending the allegations of inconsistency, TAM Media Research vice president Pradeep Hejmadi says, "Broadcasters have a preconceived notion that audiences should behave in a prescribed way and when that fails issues of 'inconsistency' arise. The purpose of research is defeated as the broadcasters use it to corroborate their hypothesis. We are in discussions with broadcasters and are resolving their issues. The measurement techniques, reporting cycle, validation process are absolutely consistent. Although such quantum shifts have been happening in the past as well, the radio industry


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Ambika Soni proposes via media for news on FM

Even as radio broadcasters are pressing for allowing news, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry is still unwilling to permit private FM channels to broadcast news despite recommendations by (TRAI) Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and FICCI.

However, Ministry sources said I&B Ministry Ambika Soni feels that a via media should be found where the channels can be permitted to broadcast some programmes other than just playing music.

Sources further mention that the Minister is in the process of preparing a paper in this regard and will then send it to the Cabinet for its approval.

Meanwhile, sources confirmed that the programme for phase III of FM expansion will be sent to the Union Cabinet by the end of the year and may become operation early in the New Year.

Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal is believed to have set up a mechanism to address the issues relating to royalty raised by the music industry, which was one of the reasons for postponement of Phase III of FM expansion.

The matter has gone to the HRD Ministry since it administers the Copyright Act.

It is learnt from sources in the HRD Ministry that it will sent its recommendations in this regard shortly to the I and B Ministry.

The third phase is expected to cover a total of 92 cities with a roll out of around 700 FM radio channels, according to the plan drawn up by TRAI. FM Radio broadcasting was first launched in the country in 1999. A total of around 250 private FM radio stations and 171 FM transmitters of All India Radio stations are operational in the country at present.


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Centre committed to strengthened Radio & TV reach in border areas: Soni

Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni has said that the government will soon amend the Press and Registration of Books Act (PRB) 1867 on a larger scale as the existing provisions of the Act are inadequate to cater to the phenomenal growth of the print media in view of the liberalisation of the government policies.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the All India Editors' Conference on social and infrastructure issues here today, she said that though the Act had been amended several times between 1870 and 1983, there was need to make it more contemporary.

She said her Ministry has convened a conference of state information ministers (SIMCON) early next month in New Delhi to discuss various issues relating to media.

Referring to the critical role played by the media in a democracy, Soni said while the media has to act as a watchdog, it also has a responsibility to create awareness about the positive developments that are taking place across the country, especially in the border areas and other remote and inaccessible areas. She said inspiring incidents of raw courage must be highlighted by the media. She said it is important to profile people who overcome adversities against all odds with fortitude and courage. Soni urged the media to devote just 5 per cent of news time or print to highlight such human success stories everyday.

Listing the initiatives taken by the Ministry in Jammu & Kashmir, Soni said one of the highest priorities is to improve the quality of TV and radio transmission and increase the broadcast coverage in the state. She said a provision of Rs 1000 million had been made in the current financial year for setting up High Power TV Transmitters in the border areas of the state and Lower Power FM Transmitters in uncovered areas of the state. She said under the scheme, three High Power (FM&TV) Transmitters are to be set up at Sirpath, Jasrota Top and Khalsar in Kashmir, Jammu and Leh region respectively. One FM Transmitter would be provided at Naushera and one TV Transmitter for DD-1 and DD-News at Rajouri. Low Power FM Transmitters at four locations are also to be set up. It is also proposed to open up more towns to private FM channels with special incentives for border areas under the new FM Phase III policy, which is on the anvil.

Soni said a new Doordarshan Studio at Leh is expected to be completed during 2010. She said a revamp of the programmes is under way for DD Kashir channel and new programmes produced and executed by young people of the state are expected to be available from 1 January 2010. She said Rs 146.4 million have been allocated for DD Kashir's commissioned programmes in 2009-10.

The Minister also referred to the employment generation potential in the media industry and said in States like Jammu & Kashmir, employment for the youth is of crucial importance and recognizing the need her ministry has recently offered setting up of another center of Indian Institute of Mass Communication in J&K. She said she had requested chief minister Omar Abdullah to earmark four to seven acres of land, free of cost, for this purpose.

Inaugurating the conference, Abdullah urged media to write facts about the state by visiting areas outside main cities like Srinagar to know the reality and interact with common masses to get the correct feed back.

New and Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah in his speech urged the media to give progress made by the state due prominence with facts and figures. Minority Affairs and Corporate Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Deputy Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir Tara Chand also graced the inaugural session.


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Friday, October 02, 2009

Community Radio Station to Start at Namakkal, Tamil Nadu

Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India has signed a Grant of Permission Agreement for establishing, maintaining and operating a Community Radio Station at K.S. Rangaswamy Educational Institutions, Namakkal, Tamilnadu. Letter of Intent had been issued to the Institute after recommendations of Inter Ministerial Committee and seeking requisite clearances from various Ministries. The Community Radio Station is expected to be operational within three months as per the agreement. With this, the number of CRS will increase to 56 in the country.
The Community Radio will strengthen the reach of basic education in the area in and around Tiruchengode municipal panchayat. The broad objectives of the CRS are to empower women to become independent and carve a niche in the public, to bring awareness and to reach zero level in AIDS control, and also to cater to the intellectual and technological needs of rural students. The Ministry encourages setting up the Community Radio Stations as it promises to provide an opportunity to the local communities to express themselves, share their views and particularly empower the women.

(Press Information Bureau, Govt of India)

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Thursday, October 01, 2009

SLBC starts its broadcasting via digital and satellite technology.

Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation starts its broadcasting via digital and satellite technology. It was launched this morning at the Temple Trees under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapakse. Speaking at the event, the President said that the SLBC the oldest radio network of Asia can be compared to a sleeping giant in the region. Now that the giant has awakened to thrive towards the 21st century with the implementation of modern technology in broadcasting. The President further said that the new development of the national radio will lead the country towards development and prosperity. Under the new technology, the City FM, Commercial, Thendral and English Service will have satellite broadcasting from today. It has been made possible by Dialog Telecom. It is expected that the listeners would get a clear broadcasting signal by this transmission. Meanwhile, SLBC will launch another Tamil language broadcasting service from Iratta-periya-kulam
to the benefit of the people in the north.

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