Friday, February 24, 2012

New Prasar Bharati CEO for improving DD, AIR presentation

Improving the presentation qualities of Doordarshan and All India Radio and filling up of key vacancies are the top priorities of the new Prasar Bharati CEO, Mr Jawhar Sircar, who assumed office today.

Mr Sircar, who was Secretary, Ministry of Culture, before joining the Prasar Bharati, spoke about his priorities while interacting with presspersons here.
He said though the news content and reach of Doordarshan and AIR were remarkable, the presentation standards were not up to the mark.
"Presentation is an area where we need to give attention ....," he said, adding, "We are high on content and could improve upon presentation of content."
Mr Sircar said he needed time to understand why presentation was not up to competitive standards.
Another area he would pay attention to was staff-related issues, he said, and asked his colleagues to move ahead in a positive direction
"My only appeal to my colleagues is that we have gone through a tough phase and now it is time to look positively," he said.
Referring to unfilled posts, he said, "I have been told that there are nearly 14,000 vacancies if you take the original sanction" and added that a task force had re-evaluated the number of critical posts to be filled up immediately.
Mr Sircar succeeds Mr B. S. Lalli, whose tenure ended in the wake of allegations of irregularities. In the interim period, Mr Rajiv Takru, Additional Secretary in the I and B Ministry, was holding additional charge. (Business Line 22/02)
Jaisakthivel, ADXC, India

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

National Conference on Community Radio: Prospects and Challenges


National Conference on Community Radio: Prospects and Challenges,  16 & 17 March, 2012 
Department of Communication, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli– 12, Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu  Development communication generally refers to the planned use of strategies and process of communications aimed at achieving development. Community media are media to which members of the community has access, for information, education and entertainment, when they need access. They are media in which the community participates, as planners, producers and performers. They are the means of expression of the community, rather than for the community. Since the inception of the community radio, it has gained momentum in Indian scenario. The interventions of civil societies have invigorated the use of community media as an effective medium to foster the development progress. Community, alternative, citizens' and civil society-based communication practices challenge one-way top-down communication models. The success of any development initiative is assessed with participation of the community as its key factor. Community media initiatives are aimed at making the community people participate from the conception of the project. Hence these community media initiatives had carved anew space after the air waves was made free for the civil societies. Still the challenges of the community media lie in the participation of the community which has its own impact on the sustainability of the project.  At this juncture it would be meaningful to discuss about empowerment, participation, locality and development in community and alternative media, and how should such concepts be reviewed and re-thought. Papers should provide the best practices in community media across India and new concepts and approaches, offering innovative proposals on how to assess and evaluate these practices. The conference will cover issues related to the theme. But papers can be on the following themes:
Community radio: Voice to the voiceless
Community video: Videos that empower 
Community newspaper 
Social media: a new horizon to unite the community
Participatory approaches in community media
Community networking 
Important dates:
Submission of abstracts: on or before 24.02.2012
Notification of acceptance: 29. 02.2012
Final paper submission and registration of authors: 10.03.2012
Conference dates: 16 & 17March, 2012

Abstract Submission:
An abstract of about 300 words together with an academic bio including the name of the institution, contact information (telephone/ e-mail)should be submitted on or before 24.02.2012 to

Full paper Submission: 
Between 4000 - 5000 words to be submitted on or before 10.03.2012
The abstract and full paper should be sent in English only, but the presentation may be made in English or Tamil.

Registration Process
Rs.500/- for full-time research scholars and Rs. 750 for teachers and other participants, to be paid in DD drawn in favour of The Registrar, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli. This includes the cost of attending the conference, tea-breaks and working lunch during the conference. Arrangements for stay will be made on prior request before 12. 03. 2012and payment. No TA/DA will be paid for the participants. A participation/ paper presentation certificate will be issued to those who register and attend the Conference personally.

The abstracts will be brought out in the form of peer reviewed conference proceedings and the contents will be uploaded in the department website. 

Contact Information:   
Dr.P. Govindaraju
Professor & Head Department of Communication, Dean - Faculty of Arts
Manonmaniam Sundaranar University
Tirunelveli - 627 012 Tamil Nadu
Mobile: 9443126300, 9487999607     Phone: 9487999703
Looking forward!Regards,
Prof. P. Govindaraju
Organizing Secretary


Monday, February 20, 2012

India: National Community Radio Awards winner

The National Community Radio Awards in the identified categories have been given to the following for their remarkable efforts and performance : 

A)    Thematic Award Category
1.       Radio Namaskar, Konark
2.      CMS CR, Gomati Nagar
3.      Radio Active CR, Bangalore

B)     Community engagement award category  
1.      Radio Namaskar, Konark
2.      CR Benzigar, Kollam
3.      Kalpakam CR, Kalpakam

C)     Promoting Local Culture Award category  
1.      Radio 7, Jaipur
2.      Radio Sarang, Mangalore 
3.      Gurgoan Awaaz, Gurgaon

D)    Most Creative /Innovative  Programme content award
1.      PGP CR, Namakkal
2.      Rudino CR, Ahmedabad
3.      Radio JU, Kolkata

E)     Sustainability model award 
1.      Radio Mewat  
(Via Arti Jaiman, Vickram Crishna, CR-India)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Deja vu at Prasar Bharati

Deja vu at Prasar Bharati

The new CEO, Jawhar Sircar, picked on Thursday by the vice-president and others, is currently secretary, culture, in the government of India

The stewardship of the country's largest broadcasting network and its only terrestrial TV broadcaster has just been handed over to yet another retiring bureaucrat, largely unnoticed. After all it is an unbroken record, dating back to 1997 when a non-Congress government appointed a former secretary of the ministry of information and broadcasting as the first CEO of the newly notified Prasar Bharati. Several IAS officers followed him in the job, with the most recent incumbent B.S. Lalli, being in the home ministry when he was appointed. He was suspended roughly a year ago.

So why not uphold an illustrious tradition? The new CEO, Jawhar Sircar, picked on Thursday by the vice-president and others, is currently secretary, culture, in the government of India. The more broadcasting flourishes as an industry in this country, the more the government strives to retain public service broadcasting, something that any democracy needs, as a government preserve.

The selection committee which chose the newest CEO included a representative of the ministry of information and broadcasting along with the chairman of the Press Council and the vice-president of India. The Prasar Bharati Act provides for a nominee of the President of India to be on the selection committee along with the eminences mentioned above. Did the President pick the secretary of the ministry of information and broadcasting to represent her on the selection of an autonomous broadcaster's CEO? How charming.
And unsurprisingly in the final pick the other leading contender was a recently retired secretary of the same ministry of information and broadcasting. This is because the CEO's job was not advertised, though another senior post on the Prasar Bharati board, that of member, personnel, was. The autonomous Prasar Bharati board, with which the CEO is expected to work, figured not at all in choosing the next CEO, nor did it even know, officially, who the candidates were. Yet, it is the board the CEO reports to, not the ministry.

Prasar Bharati exists on a low-visibility, low-accountability plane. Its daily news bulletins do not offend as much as those of private sector new channels do even if you get an overdose of what government leaders are doing. That can seem positively constructive when compared with the daily verbal assaults of performing news anchors on the other channels. Doordarshan occupies so little mindspace that even the opposition parties lose no sleep over it.

Broadcasting is to be judged by its output, not by how well the organization is run, except when the taxpayer is footing the bill, and the government resources are involved. Prasar Bharati, therefore, deserves greater scrutiny. It costs us upwards of Rs. 4 crore a day. The losses incurred by private channels pale in comparison with the figures Prasar Bharati has run up: the revenue projections for 2010-11 were Rs. 1,562 crore against which the revenue receipts were Rs. 969 crore and the expenditure was Rs. 2,506 crore. It manages to lose money even when it telecasts cricket, with the Public Accounts Committee pulling up Prasar Bharati and the information and broadcasting ministry last December on this account.

The Prasar Bharati Act was passed in 1990 ostensibly to give autonomy to the state broadcaster, and was notified in 1997. However, till 2012, the government of India has not been able to bring itself to either transfer financial powers to the corporation it created, nor have the personnel been transferred. On the contrary, employees lobbied for and won in 2010 the right to be treated as government employees with all benefits. In fact, financial powers for the Prasar Bharati board, of up to 50% of its annual budget, have only recently been conceded.

Over the years, the broadcaster's programming capabilities have been decimated rather than nurtured—there are 1,000-plus vacancies, several hundred programming personnel have not been promoted for two decades or more, ad hoc appointments abound. When there is a vacancy at the top of either Doordarshan or All India Radio, chances are it will go to an IAS officer.

Why such blatant self-serving matters is because at a time of Doordarshan's digital roll-out on the technological front, one would imagine the government owes it to the country to look for the best in the business to head the behemoth that has a monopoly over all terrestrial spectrum. Recently, the Prasar Bharati board brought on deck the former head of Tata Sky Ltd and the current head of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. But as recent experience with Lalli showed, under the current law, the corporation's CEO does not have to listen to the board he is accountable to.

You could argue, as the government does, that an autonomous broadcaster is no longer desperately needed given how much private sector broadcasting media we are surrounded by. But the current record of commercial broadcasters only underscores the need for public service broadcasting to meet non-commercial communication needs. And should public service equal the government of India, and should the latter's monopoly over terrestrial broadcasting remain unquestioned despite a Supreme Court judgement (1995) to the contrary?

If the past few years have shown how highly spectrum is valued, does the terrestrial spectrum that Doordarshan and All India Radio have a complete monopoly over not require better stewardship and more accountability? Should recruitment to the top job be so cosy even if it was made by a committee headed by the vice-president of India? And more to the point, if the problems of Prasar Bharati stem from a bad law passed 22 years ago, should that situation be allowed to continue?

Sevanti Ninan is a media critic, author and editor of the media watch website
Jaisaktivel, ADXC, India.

Phase III FM auctions: Appointing auctioneer is first priority, says I&B Secy

Phase III FM auctions: Appointing auctioneer is first priority, says I&B Secy

Expressing confidence that auctions for FM Phase III for Radio would be conducted on time, the Information and Broadcasting Secretary, Mr Uday Kumar Varma, has said that the search for a dependable auctioneer was the priority at the moment. "The Cabinet has given us a three-year time period to carry out the auctions and has asked us to conduct it on the lines of the 3G auctions," Mr Varma, Secretary in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, told PTI.

"We will have to appoint an auctioneer first, so we have formalised an RFP (Request for Proposal). An inter-ministerial committee has discussed that RFP and has come up with some suggestions," he said. Mr Varma said that the Cabinet had directed that the Radio Phase III auctions be carried out on the auction of 3G spectrum for telecom, his ministry still had to adapt those guidelines for the Radio auction.

Big number

"There are some differences between these auctions and the 3G auctions. One the number is very big as over 800 radio stations have to be auctioned," he said. "Second, the auctioneer who will conduct the bids, for his fee, the formula will be different from what was employed during the 3G,"he added. Mr Varma also added that his ministry was trying to check the suitability of applying certain clauses.

Experience clause?

"Third, we are trying to judge whether we should set an experience clause for whoever conducts the bid, because we may have difficulty in finding someone as we don't know where in the world such auctions have been carried out through e-auctions," he said. Mr Varma said that his Ministry had prepared a timetable and will be able to conduct the auctions much before the three-year deadline set up by the Cabinet.

Keywords: radio auctions, FM auctions, radio stations, Phase II radio auctions"There are some differences between these auctions and the 3G auctions. One the number is very big as over 800 radio stations have to be auctioned," he said. "Second, the auctioneer who will conduct the bids, for his fee, the formula will be different from what was employed during the 3G,"he added. Mr Varma also added that his ministry was trying to check the suitability of applying certain clauses.

Experience clause?

"Third, we are trying to judge whether we should set an experience clause for whoever conducts the bid, because we may have difficulty in finding someone as we don't know where in the world such auctions have been carried out through e-auctions," he said. Mr Varma said that his Ministry had prepared a timetable and will be able to conduct the auctions much before the three-year deadline set up by the Cabinet.
Keywords: radio auctions, FM auctions, radio stations, Phase II radio auctions
( 20/02)
Jaisaktivel, ADXC, India.

I&B ministry to set up fund for Community Radio

The Union Ministry for Information and Broadcasting is planning to set up a fund to strengthen the community radio movement in the country. Speaking at the Second National Community Radio Sammelan being held in New Delhi on February 18, 2012, Union Minister Ambika Soni said that the ministry has already sent a proposal for such a fund to be incorporated under the 12th Five Year Plan.
Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Ambika Soni said on Saturday that the ministry is planning to set up a fund to strengthen the community radio movement in the country. Speaking at the Second National Community Radio Sammelan being held in New Delhi on February 18, 2012, she said that the ministry has already sent a proposal for such a fund to be incorporated under the 12th Five Year Plan.

She added that till the time the fund is actually set up, the ministry may be able to help sustain community radio stations by providing them advertising for the Bharat Nirman campaign through DAVP. The government is also planning to increase the advertising rate for community radio stations from the current Rs two per second. Soni said that the DAVP, the Union Government agency that releases advertising to the media, has increased the rates of advertisements by around 25 per cent in just one-and-a-half-years.

The minister has pledged support to the community radio stations saying that it is a flagship programme of the ministry. She said: "Community radio is the best medium and an interactive medium that reaches out to rural communities where the stations can actually take the government's programmes and policies to the farmers. These stations help in providing new and latest information to the people."

An important feature of the Second National Community Radio Sammelan is the award ceremony in which, for the first time, nearly 15 community radio stations will be honoured for their pioneering efforts in taking information and communication to the people at the grassroots. The three-day event will have the community radio stations placing their challenges and problems before the government, including that of problems in getting advertisements from the government due to certain policy reasons.
(Rahul Kumar/OneWorld South Asia)
Jaisakthivel, ADXC, India

Community Radio has bridged digital divide: Jagatarakshkan

Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting S Jagathrakshakan said today that community radio stations had empowered the masses and gave them a sense of belonging by effectively facilitating the growth of peoples' empowerment in the far and remote corners of the country.

He said CRS had bridged the digital divide as the aim was to connect the aspirations of the people to the information highway. CRS provides a platform to people to create their individual and collective identities.

He was speaking at the inauguration of the Second National Community Radio Sammelan, which commenced today with the objective of carving out a new roadmap for mainstreaming community radio as an effective outreach tool for community empowerment.

The three day event, organised by the I&B Ministry in association with Commonwealth Educational Media centre for Asia (CEMCA), also saw the presentation of the first National CRS awards.

I&B Secretary Uday Kumar Varma outlined the roadmap for the growth of the community radio movement in the 12th Five Year plan. It was necessary to target the uncovered areas in the country with a cost effective and operational business model, he said.

The Secretary called upon the participants to avoid delays in operationalising the licences in view of the scarcity and squatting over spectrum. For the movement to reach a sizeable target it was critical to be innovative, encourage out of the box thinking and learn from the best practices. A critical factor determining the growth of the movement was the need to focus on cost effective technology and research.
Varma said the Ministry had submitted a proposal to the planning Commission regarding state funding in the next five year plan. For being an effective dissemination tool it was necessary to position the relevance of the medium in disaster management.

The awards were given in five categories: Thematic, Community Engagement, Promoting Local Culture, Most Creative/Innovative Programme Content, and Sustainability Model Award.

The Ministry has so far issued 363 permissions to set up Community Radio Stations in the country. Out of this, 126 stations have become operational while others are in the pipeline.

The Sammelan has brought together more than 150 stakeholders including Community Radio operators, UN partners, activists, Government departments and experts from various countries like USA, UK, Australia and South Africa.

In the last two years, Ministry has taken several initiatives to strengthen the community radio movement in India. Permission process for the CR applications has been fast tracked through better coordination with stakeholder Ministries. People can also now apply online and track the status of their applications at This has brought about transparency and accountability in the system. A Facilitation Centre has also been opened up in the Ministry with a toll-free phone number where people can call up for any information relating to community radio. Due to these initiatives the number of permissions issued by the Ministry for setting up community radio stations has increased from 186 to 363 and number of operational CRS has increased from 64 to 126 in the last two years.

The Ministry has been organising awareness and capacity building Workshops all over the country from 2007 onwards to create awareness about Community Radio Policy. Around 32 Workshops have been organised so far. These Workshops have proved to be useful not only to spread awareness but also build capacities of the NGOs and other organizations to operate Community Radio Stations in an effective manner.

The Ministry has partnered with Ek Duniya Anek Aaawaz (EDAA) which is an audio content exchange platform for community radio stations, to have a separate micro-site on EDAA for the coverage of the 2nd National Community Radio Sammelan on new media platforms.

EDAA is a web based open content exchange platform for community radio broadcasters. The platform enables the CR stations and other content producers to share their audio content and other resources, thus facilitating meaningful utilisation of resources breaking geographical boundaries. This site is operated by OneWorld Asia, an NGO.
( 19/2)
Jaisakthivel, ADXC, India.

Gadget of this week

Friday, February 17, 2012

Jawhar Sircar to take charge as Prasar Bharati CEO

Jawhar Sircar, until now secretary in the culture ministry, is to be the new chief executive officer of Prasar Bharati.

Sircar's name was cleared after a three-member selection panel headed by Vice-President Hamid Ansari with Press Council of India chairman Justice Markanday Katju and Information and Broadcasting secretary Uday Kumar Varma as members recommended his name for the position. The appointment of the CEO is done by the President on the recommendation of the selection panel. had earlier reported that Sircar was tipped to be the CEO.

Sircar is due to retire from his present job next month, and will take over from acting CEO Rajiv Takru, the Additional Secretary in I&B ministry and its representative on the Prasar Bharati board.

Takru had been asked to hold additional charge of CEO in January last year after the suspension of then CEO B S Lalli, following a series of corruption charges established by the Central Vigilance Commission.

However, the search for a successor could begin only after Lalli retired in December. It is learnt that a panel of 11 members was sent to the three-member committee.

Sircar belongs to the 1975 batch of Indian Administrative Service from West Bengal. After the retirement of I&B secretary Raghu Menon in September last year, Sircar had been asked to hold additional charge of this ministry in addition to the culture ministry, until the appointment of Uday Kumar Varma.

Sircar holds two post-graduate degrees in Ancient Indian History and Culture and in Sociology with Social Anthropology. He has served as additional (later special secretary) secretary and development commissioner for micro, small and medium enterprises in the centre, prior to which he held the posts of higher education secretary and principal secretary of commerce and industries in West Bengal.

Sircar has been actively associated with several cultural and academic bodies like the Asiatic Society, the Victoria Memorial, the Centre for Archaeological Studies, the Kolkata Museum of Modern Art and the Indian Anthropological Society. He took the lead in establishing the annual Kolkata Film Festival as an international event. He has published several articles and research papers on history, culture and society. In the last decade, he has focussed his research on specific aspects of popular culture, folk religion and on the development of socio-religious identities.

"NAction was taken against Lalli after the Shunglu committee report indicted him for irregularities in the broadcast contract of the Commonwealth Games. A Central Bureau of Investigation probe is underway in this connection. Meanwhile, a Supreme Court has been asked to probe the four charges of corruption established by the CVC. 

The five allegations established by Central Vigilance Commission relate to contracts for management of advertisement revenue arising from the telecast of cricket matches on Doordarshan during 2007; the non-telecast by Doordarshan of T-20 cricket World Cup matches held in South Africa in September 2007; engagement of legal entities to represent Prasar Bharati; purchase of radio broadcasting rights for 13 cricket series held during 2007-09; and hiring of transport and accommodation for the conduct of the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune in 2008. ( 17/2)

BBC World Service to celebrate 80th birthday

BBC has announced that its global audience will get behind the scenes access as part of a special day of live programming on 29 February, to mark the BBC World Service's 80th birthday.
Highlights from the day will include a special global audience with Sir David Attenborough and The Strand - the WS global arts programme - will be edited by guest artist and music producer William Orbit.
Audiences will be able to join a special debate about what they want from the World Service, both on air, online and across social media forums.
The day will give audiences around the world a unique insight into production of their favourite programmes and multilingual videos will be produced of all the broadcasts throughout the day online at
For the first time audiences will be invited to watch and participate in over 12 hours of programmes in English and across more than 12 different languages. The day will be hosted by BBC Persian's Pooneh Ghoddoosi and BBC World Service presenter Ros Atkins.
BBC World Service's daily morning editorial meeting, which normally takes place behind the doors of Bush House, will be opened up and broadcast live for the first time. In this meeting - a daily part of life in the building - the newsroom's editors discuss and agree the big stories and developments and decide on which stories will shape the day's news agenda.
The open courtyard of Bush House will host many of the programmes that day. Flagship programmes such as Newshour and World Have Your Say will invite audiences to join a conversation about international broadcasting and the future priorities of the BBC World Service.
Listeners around the world - and the audience at Bush House - will have the chance to shape the news agenda and debate by making suggestions from the floor, or through Twitter, Facebook and Skype.
BBC Global News director Peter Horrocks said, "The 80th birthday and departure from Bush House means these are historic and changing times for the BBC World Service. We want our audiences to be at the heart of both the commemoration of the past and conversation about the future."
BBC World Service commissioning editor Steve Titherington said, "We are turning Bush House inside out showing who we are and what we do to our audiences and asking what the world wants next from the BBC World Service."
On 29 February, BBC World Service is also launching a new series of programmes on the human body. Linked to the Olympics, The Human Race will invite the public to take part in a 'healthcheck special' featuring leading international scientists and sportspeople.
Not only celebrating 80 years of broadcasting, this special day of programming marks the start of the BBC World Service's move from Bush House, its iconic London home for over 70 years, to a new state of the
art broadcasting centre in Oxford Circus.
The move will see all of the BBC's news services - UK and international - based together for the first time. The aim is to create 'the world's newsroom' - enhancing the BBC's global newsgathering and creating a forum for the best journalism in the world. ( 17/2)

Dxers Guide Jan - March 2012

Dxers Guide Jan - March 2012 send to all the subscribers by post on 16 Feb 2012. 
This issue contains 

AIR DRM Future Plans

 All India Radio DRM Future Plans :

1) Replacement of two 1000 kW MW transmitters by new DRM compatible
transmitters (expected by 31st March 2012)
2) Replacement of 34 old MW transmitters by new DRM transmitters.
3) Replacement of 6, 10 kW mobile transmitters by mobile DRM transmitters
(Already installed at various places, TX # 2 was used for recent MW DRM
test during BES Expo 2012)

4) Conversion of 36 compatible MW transmitters into DRM transmitters.
5) Replacement of five SW transmitters by DRM transmitters.
6) Implementation of pilot project of DRM+ txers at major cities.
7) New DRM+ transmittesr at 24 places ( DRM compatible FM txers)
8) Setting up 100 watt FM DRM+ compatible transmitters at 100 locations.
9) Replacement of existing MW/FM transmitters by high power DRM+ FM

Alokesh Gupta
New Delhi

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Phase III e-auction to start in June: Uday Varma

NEW DELHI: E-auction for the third phase of FM radio channels will commence in June, Information and Broadcasting secretary Uday Kumar Varma said.
The Union Cabinet had approved auctions for the third phase almost a year back on 7 July 2011, but no date had been fixed.
Private FM radio broadcasters are eagerly waiting for the date announcement as they have to ready capital before that. The bidding could turn aggressive, particularly in the metros where more frequencies will open up.
The government expects to earn Rs 17.33 billion from auctioning the radio licences.

FM Phase-III policy extends FM radio services to about 227 new cities, in addition to the present 86 cities, with a total of 839 new FM radio stations.

The government has hiked the cap on foreign holding from 20 per cent to 26 per cent. The private radio operators are also allowed to carry news, but only from bulletins of All India Radio (AIR). FM radio broadcasters are struggling with the slow pace of revenue growth and many of them are in losses. The revenue market for FM radio is estimated at Rs 12 billion. ( 15/02)

BBC to apologise for airing paid-for Malaysia news

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal

February 11, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11 — The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has pledged to apologise for airing paid-for programmes that were favourable to some countries including Malaysia.
UK daily The Independent reported today the BBC will apologise to an estimated 74 million people around the world for a news-fixing scandal in which it aired as documentaries programmes that had been paid for in a deal with a London-based publicity firm.
According to The Independent, the global apology by BBC is expected to read: "A small number of programmes broadcast on BBC World News between February 2009 and July 2011 broke BBC rules aimed at protecting our editorial integrity.
"These rules ensure that programmes are free, and are seen to be free, from commercial or other outside pressures."
Making a direct reference to the FBC documentaries, it will say: "In the case of eight other programmes, all of which featured Malaysia, we found that the production company which made the programmes appeared to have a financial relationship with the Malaysian government.
"This meant there was a potential conflict of interest, though the BBC was not aware of it when the programmes were broadcast."
The apology will be broadcast worldwide on the BBC's World News channel to an estimated 295 million homes, 1.7 million hotel rooms, 81 cruise ships, 46 airlines and on 35 mobile phone platforms at four different times, staged in order to reach audiences in different time zones, the paper reported.
The BBC Trust's Editorial Standards Committee carried out an investigation into BBC World News in November and uncovered 15 breaches of editorial guidelines.
Eight of the breaches were in respect of FBC programmes made about Malaysia- due to an apparent "financial relationship" between the government and FBC Media, the TV production company.
The BBC was reported to have paid nominal fees of as little as £1 (RM5) for programmes made by FBC Media (UK), whose PR client list included Malaysia and other foreign governments.
The Independent pointed out that FBC Media made eight pieces for the BBC about Malaysia while failing to declare it was paid £17million by the Malaysian government for "global strategic communications" which included positive coverage of Malaysia's controversial palm oil industry.
The BBC also used FBC to make a documentary about the spring uprising in Egypt without knowing the firm was paid to do PR work for the regime of former dictator Hosni Mubarak.
TV company FBC Media has been found to be at the centre of the Malaysia news-fixing scandal facing BBC and CNBC, and is facing collapse.
The London-based firm and its parent company FBC Group went into administration last year — a legal term that allows a company facing bankruptcy to carry on business — following reports it accepted £17million from Putrajaya to burnish the Najib administration's image on global broadcast networks.
FBC was set up in 1998 by award-winning US journalist Alan Friedman and other prominent media individuals who built a network of blue-chip clients that included the governments of Greece, Italy and Zambia, with contracts to promote tourism in Malaysia, Indonesia and Hungary.
FBC has been exposed to have also doubled up as a publicity firm for the Najib government and was paid millions of pounds to conduct a "Global Strategic Communications Campaign".
But Putrajaya has ended its RM96 million contract with FBC, which started in 2009, after it was revealed Malaysian government leaders regularly appeared in paid-for-TV programmes.
The Malaysian Insider has reported of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak contracting a series of public relations strategists, including APCO Worldwide, to polish his personal image and his government's locally and worldwide.
APCO's time in Malaysia was marked by controversy after the opposition alleged the public relations firm was linked to Israel.
The most recent hire are members of the team behind former British PM Tony Blair's "New Labour" campaign, who were reported to have started work to reinvent Najib as a moderate reformist.
Jaisakthivel, ADXC, India

World radio day: an opportunity to celebrate an unsung hero

World radio day: an opportunity to celebrate an unsung hero

The Guardian
By Amy O'Donnell
13 February, 2012

In a world of increasing opportunities to participate in public debate online via social media, the blogosphere and comments on news sites, the first World Radio Day on 13 February, organised by Unesco, reminds us to celebrate the radio as an unsung hero that is steadily empowering people to access information and – crucially – to respond to what they hear.

Radio is the predominant source of information in areas of the world that are sometimes too remote to get a newspaper delivered, let alone access the internet. This is why Unesco has noted that radio is a "low-cost medium, specifically suited to reach remote communities and vulnerable people".

Attention given to technology for information communications has recently been captivated by web-based applications, especially "new" or "social media". But about 65% of the world's 7 billion people do not use the internet. In addition to those who are offline due to lack of access, there are also those who are unaware, unable or simply do not want to use social media.

People listen to the radio in their cars, on the move and at work. Radios don't require large amounts of electricity, and wind-up radios don't need an electrical source at all. Moreover, radio reaches large groups of people, being easily shared among families or listener groups. It is a medium often used as a focal point for community discussion on subjects including politics, elections and service provision. Radio efficiently reaches large audiences in real time. But can radio – a one-way broadcast platform – ever replicate the participatory impact of Twitter, Facebook or Google+?

Different technologies are changing the ways in which radio is used as a platform for engagement. At the end of last year, the ITU 2011 report revealed that there are almost 6 billion active mobile phone subscriptions. The ubiquity of mobile technology presents an exciting opportunity even for those in "last mile communities" to interact with radio shows using a tool they already have.

Take "The Organic Farmer" in Kenya, for example. The radio show gathers questions from its listener community of agriculturalists. On one occasion, reports surged in via text message about a disease affecting chickens in the area. In response, the radio show invited an expert to analyse the crowd-sourced evidence, diagnosed the cause as "Newcastle disease" and helped to organise vaccinations.
Similar to social media, the most important aspect of successful radio programming is participation. Seeking feedback from listeners helps to generate and guide content, which in turn increases local relevance and stimulates dialogue. Radio stations are increasingly reliant on audiences to be their eyes and ears, as they seek new tips to mobilise journalists who report from the field. More importantly, this enables more people to have a voice in the discussions that affect them. Mobile interaction "closes the loop", enabling audiences to listen to a discussion, contribute insight, and then hear their views encourage additional participation.
This may include challenging decision makers or service providers, which can be particularly powerful when feedback is democratically obtained. Pamoja FM has used listener input to challenge water cartels in Kibera, Kenya; Breeze FM in Zambia has held discussion on its "Issue of the Day" programme about upcoming elections; and Malawi's Mudzi Wathu FM has taken health questions from listeners to ministers, and relayed the answers on air.
Calls are a powerful way of getting opinions across – but there's only so much airtime. For those who can't get through, SMS is a digital and asynchronous way for listeners to express themselves, and this increases engagement. For example, DJs can ask listeners to respond to SMS polls, enabling them to get many points of view without requiring significant airtime. When using software such as FrontlineSMS, this can be automated and visualised, making these real-time interactions easy to understand and rebroadcast. Over time, radio stations can use this kind of digital data to analyse audience behaviour and the popularity of different shows.
In a "Twitter like" way, radio, combined with the ubiquity of mobile, can be a platform for community discussions that change people's lives. Radio stations are being called upon to embrace new technology, but it is fundamentally important to make use of tools that are available locally, engaging people on the platforms they already use. As radio stations and tool providers all over the world are discovering, it is possible to do smart things with dumb phones.
(DXLD Via Amy O'Donnell is radio project manager at FrontlineSMS).

All India Raido's Digitization prorgramme disscussed at BES conference in New Delhi

 All India Raido's Digitization prorgramme disscussed at BES conference in
New Delhi


The 18th Annual Broadcast Engineering Society of India (BES) international
conference and exhibition concluded in New Delhi today (11-13th Feb 2012).
All India Radio's (AIR) current digitalization programme was discussed, by
speakers during the conference and by visitors at the exhibition. According
to AIR's Additional Director General Mr Yogendra Pal, two 1000 KW MW
transmitters at Rajkot and Kolkata are likely to be operational by March
2012, and the rest of the 72 DRM transmitters would be commissioned between
June 2012 to March 2013.  The ongoing roll-out by AIR spurred  the interest
of receiver manufacturers who were present at the event with their
products. DRM's Alexander Zink and Ludo Maes made presentations about DRM
technology and receivers respectively, which enhanced a very interactive
session on Success of Digital Radio broadcasting today. DRM member
companies Nautel, RFmondial, Digidia, Fraunhofer, Harris and Thomson
attended the BES conference this year.

(Source : Via Alokesh Gupta DRM Consortium)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

71-year-old cheers the radio on

Prof. V. Balasubramanian, an ardent listener of foreign radio stations tunes his valve radio. 	— DC
Prof. V. Balasubramanian, an ardent listener of foreign radio stations tunes his valve radio. — DC
When John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Texas, Prof. V. Balasubramanian knew about it in a few minutes sitting in Chennai thanks to his Murphy valve radio to which he has been glued for the last six decades.
Prof. Balasubramanian has been an avid radio listener who has a collection of over 5,000 cassettes with recordings for over three decades.
DC spoke to Prof. Balasubramanian on the occasion of World Radio Day (February 13). It was his hobby that helped the 71-year-old Mr Balasubramanian get his first pen-friend abroad. "I befriended Mr Ronald James from New Zealand through Radio Australia's mailbag programme," said Balu Sir as he is fondly called in the radio listeners' circle.
Attributing his desire to develop an English vocabulary as his main reason behind tuning into stations like British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Voice of America (VOA), Prof. Balasubramanian said that during 1950s, it was not possible to get an English magazine in Chennai so with no other option left, he had tuned into foreign radios.
"We use to listen to the West Indies-Australia match commentary on BBC during 1960s at our college hostel and note down the scores for debating about it in our free time," Prof. Balasubramanian, a 1959 batch Mechanical Engineering student of the prestigious College of Engineering, Guindy.
Reminiscing incidents like the murder of Mahatma Gandhi, John F. Kennedy and man's first landing on the moon as the most memorable events he has heard on the radio, he said that there were many such incidents, which he could associate with radio.
"When my mother fell sick I could not listen to my favourite shows on air so I started recording programmes on my tape recorder. This habit continues even today," added Prof. Balasubramanian, who was the head of the department in a private polytechnic college in the city.
"With the advent of satellite radios and difficulty in maintenance of short wave transmitters combined with lack of funding for radio stations the hobby is slowing dying," he complained.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012



IIH will be conducting practical workshop on SOFTWARE DEFINED RADIO (SDR).
It is 7 Mhz  receiver (Amateur Radio Band).  Any  member interested to assemble
can enroll for this unique workshop.  Workshop will be conducted by Mr Ramprabhu , VU2DEV
Trustee & Technical Adviser-IIH.
Date and Timings:   SATURDAY, 18th February 2012 between 1500 hrs – 1900 hrs.
                              SUNDAY, 19th November 2012 between 1000 hrs – 1730 hrs.

Venue:   Ham Radio Station, 2nd Floor, Sree Kanteerava Outdoor Stadium, Kasturba road, Bangalore-1

Details:  or email:

(Sathyapal, VU2FI)


Sunday, February 05, 2012

DX Quiz - 2012

In 2012 the Ardic DX Club celebrates its 14th anniversary. For 14 years it has been the primary source of information for dxing enthusiasts all over the Tamil Nadu, India . In order to celebrate this event, a quiz is being organised. The quiz is open to anyone, regardless of location or club membership. The quiz does not solely deal with Tamil Dxing, but covers very different radio aspects. Answering 25 questions and you can show your radio knowledge. No quiz without prizes of course. And to make the contest interesting to everybody, a few prizes will be given anomaly to entrants. So if the questions look hard, participate anyway.

Schedule: Quiz starts from 6 February 2012, Last date for the entry 31 March 2012.

Quiz Questions published in the official website

Send your answers to



Radio World / Gyanvani FM,

Assistant Professor,

Department of Communication,

MS University, Abishekapatti,

Tirunelveli – 627 012,

Tamil Nadu , India .


Every entry will get the special pennant in the memory of the third anniversary of Gyanvani FM 105.6 – Tiruneveli. Every entry must send one reception report of any frequency of All India Radio for the 72nd anniversary special QSL. Indian listeners must send Rs.25/- mint stamp for postage and International listeners must send 2 IRC or 2 US $. Those who are send US dollars; kindly send it only by register post. Otherwise it will be theft and the ADXC were not take the responsibility of your US $.

(Jaisakthivel, ADXC, India )

Radio Media Village inaguration

 The  new Community radio station 'Radio Media Village 90.8 Mhz - inauguration function scheduled on Feb 10 th at St Joseph College, Changanassery. Sri Vayalar Ravi to attend the function.

Station to give importance to programs concentrating on Agriculture, Women empowerment, Education, Tourism and Industrial development (Source Malayala Manorama)

Their website is :

(DX India Via Anoop C, Kerala)

Saturday, February 04, 2012

World Radio Day Observation, February 13

Sajan Venniyoor via cr-india list :

[From Prof. Vinod Pavarala, President, Communty Radio Forum & UNESCO Chair
on Community Media]

Dear all:

13 February is a date proclaimed by UNESCO to celebrate radio broadcasting,
improve international cooperation among radio broadcasters and encourage
decision-makers to create and provide access to information through radio,
including community radios. It's an occasion to draw attention to the
unique value of radio, which remains the medium to reach the widest
UNESCO encourages all countries to celebrate this Day by undertaking
activities with diverse partners, such as national, regional and
international broadcasting associations and organizations, non-governmental
organizations, media organizations, outlets as well as the public at large.
Please see on the link given below 15 ideas from UNESCO on how to celebrate
the day.

These ideas include: broadcasting a one-minute message by the
Director-General of UNESCO, Ms. Irina Bukova; broadcasting a radio-centred
programme or public-service message; organizing debates/discussions with
key stakeholders; phone-in radio shows with audiences; interviews with
radio personalities; etc.

Do mark the occasion with something special and share the information with
others in the Community Radio Forum (CRF) and the wider CR community in the

Thank you
Prof. Vinod Pavarala
President, Communty Radio Forum &
UNESCO Chair on Community Media
University of Hyderabad

Join the Community Radio Forum. For membership details, please go to