Abrar Zargar, Programming Manager J&K, 92.7 BIG FM
Tracing an uphill growth pattern, radio has emerged as the most powerful medium across the subcontinent. Once Phase-III is crossed, radio will be the most powerful medium with a great reach and connect even to the small cities.
Having a great relevance and presence even in the 21st century, radio plays an important role in our society. People who have no access to television and cannot read or write keep themselves up-to-date with the information, news and latest trends with the help of radio, which is still the most trusted medium of information across India.
With its hassle-free operation and easy portability, it has become a favorite among the masses. People from all around India can search the airwaves for reliable sources of information even when phone lines are cut and the Internet is blocked. Small communities benefit from local radio stations that provide news about local issues that are left unaddressed otherwise.
Importance of News in Phase-III
The trust over the information in news broadcast is not a topic to debate over. People still rely on the broadcasts over airwaves for trustworthy information. Although the information, as in news, is not allowed, yet once radio broadcasters are allowed to broadcast news, radio will definitely emerge as the most powerful medium across the country. The entire radio industry is hopeful that the day is going to come soon.
Since India is a developing nation with its public always on-the-go, radio is an easy medium to access since it does not hamper a person's mobility. As a vehicle of information for masses, it is still the fastest. For instance, if an incident is to be reported, it would take less time for a radio news reporter to arrive on the spot with a microphone and recorder than the same for any other medium to address the issue, report, and provide an on-the-spot analysis.
In Phase-III, radio journalism is the next big thing that is going to hit India after restrictions on broadcasting news are lifted. Radio will be directly competing with leading news channels with maximum TSL guaranteed.
The new Phase-III policy will extend the FM radio services to new cities. In addition to the current 86 cities, it allows 839 new FM radio channels in 294 cities, many of which have already started. Some major players have reached out to new markets whereas others have introduced concept of second frequency in the same city. It is a complete win-win situation for listeners and broadcasters.
Phase-III marks a considerable shift from the previous two phases as the focus shifts to increasing the reach of FM coverage to Tier-II and Tier-III cities.
Expanding FM broadcasting to smaller cities in the country will usher well in creating thousands of jobs. This may serve as a new lease of life for many aspiring radio jockeys.
What Next Post Phase-III?
Once the new policies in Phase-III get properly implemented, radio is going to be widely used as a mass communication medium, as it will be having even more potentiality in dissemination of information as radio signals will cover almost the entire population ranging from small villages to big cities across India.
The effectiveness of radio is not only in broadcasting information but it also helps to raise many social issues, their addressal and creating awareness about them. It is a need for social reformation. With its power, radio will definitely impact the entire country.