Monday, 29 December 2008

[creative-radio] Digest Number 2531

There are 8 messages in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

1a. INDIA: Experts ask media to boost Community Radio Movement
From: George Lessard
1b. Re: INDIA: Experts ask media to boost Community Radio Movement
From: George Lessard

2. Community Radio, one of the development tools for the voiceless.
From: George Lessard

3. Kathmandu, Nepal: Alliance for press freedom to continue its protest
From: George Lessard

4. Dear friends, we need news from Palestine!
From: George Lessard

5. Creativeradio traffic report for Saturday, December 27, 2008
From: George Lessard

6. AMARC AsiaPac interview
From: Vickram Crishna

7. ZURICH (Reuters) - MP3 player guides rescuers to lost tourists
From: George Lessard


Messages
________________________________________________________________________
1a. INDIA: Experts ask media to boost Community Radio Movement
Posted by: "George Lessard" media@web.net themediamentor
Date: Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:07 am ((PST))

December 28, 2008
Experts ask media to boost Community Radio Movement

http://studyinindiainfo.com/2008/12/experts-ask-media-to-boost-community.html

[excerpt]

.
Have you ever heard anybody calling radio an 'Idiot Box'? Never. Yet Radio
experience in India has mostly been from gigantic broadcasting house, All
India Radio. The recently emerged FM radios are only cosmetic boredom,
like TVs, to the concept of development of grassroots of population. The
conference on 'Community Radio : Practices and Possibilities' at Indira
Gandhi National Open University recently discussed a plethora of issues
dogging the grassroots and lamented the current state of Indian community
radio (CR) movement started way back in 1951 during India's initial Plan
years.

Indian Media drew most flak for ignoring a movement very core in the
concept of democracy and development of a nation. They should have
prioritized the CR movement and its processes of how to create awareness
among umpteen communities about their rights, opportunities, vocational
expertise, knowledge and the need to avail themselves of these. They
should have concertedly raised region and issue-specific CRs addressing
target communities, with a view to improving their living condition.
Instead, what the post-Independent Indian media did was far removed from
the necessity of development journalism, was what ired the speakers in the
conference.

The Government Policy of Community Radio, 2002 promised to set up over
4,000 CRs, but till date India only set up 45, that too mostly in public
sector. Compare this with its 35-year-old neighbour – Bangladesh' feat. It
already charted 140 CRs to boast of. The Bangladesh Government officially
adopted a CR policy only in 2008, in response to the World bank vision for
"a world free of poverty".

Former Information Commissioner Dr OP Kejariwal stressed, "Though our
generation speaks of globalization, we rather need more focus on
glocalisation. So along with broadcasting, we need narrowcasting. If we
adapt modern broadcast technologies for local broadcasts, we have
community radio, where we have communities participating not only as
broadcasters but as listeners too."

Lauding the efforts of the School, Vice Chancellor Professor V N
Rajasekharan Pillai said, "Community Radio programme is a new tool for
information dissemination at the grassroots level. It fits well in the
IGNOU's larger aim of improving the quality of life of the masses. It's
probable that Community Radios go on to revolusionise not only developing
countries, but also the developed nations where underprivileged and
marginalized communities still exist."

Former director of IGNOU's nerve centre Electronic Media Production Centre
(EMPC), Dr R Sreedhar, who currently is Director of Commonwealth
Educational Media Centre in Asia (CEMCA), identified the basic problems in
development of CRs in India. He said, "The lack of media literacy,
training and professionalism have been basic hurdles in disseminating
awareness programmes of the Community Radio." Dr Sreedhar also explained
how easy is it to generate fund for making the CRs self-sufficient, even
without any outside funding.

Suman Basnet, South Asian regional director of World Association of
Community Radio Broadcasters or Associacion Mundial De Radio Comunitarias
(AMARC) narrated highlights of evolution of CR and said, "India is the
first country in South Asia to have an independent CR policy. Miracles of
community radio broadcasting are just waiting to happen." A conglomerate
of over 4,000 community radios in 115 countries, AMARC is only eager to
hand-hold genuine Indian efforts to solidify the CR movement in South
Asia.

Messages in this topic (2)
________________________________________________________________________
1b. Re: INDIA: Experts ask media to boost Community Radio Movement
Posted by: "George Lessard" media@web.net themediamentor
Date: Sun Dec 28, 2008 11:05 pm ((PST))

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: Re: [cr-india] INDIA: Experts ask media to boost Community Radio
Movement
From: "periyapatna satheesh" <satheeshperiyapatna@yahoo.com>
Date: Sun, December 28, 2008 22:46
To: creative-radio@yahoogroups.com
media@web.net
Cc: "sajan venniyoor" <venniyoor@gmail.com>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

As usual "experts" sit down and tell how Community Radio should function.
Particularly interesting is the VC's statement

"Lauding the efforts of the School, Vice Chancellor Professor V N
Rajasekharan Pillai said, "Community Radio programme is a new tool for
information _dissemination_ at the grassroots level. It fits well in the
IGNOU's larger aim of improving the quality of life of the masses. It's
probable that Community Radios go on to revolusionise not only developing
countries, but also the developed nations where underprivileged and
marginalized communities still exist."

The poor "experts" still do not understand that CR is hacking at their
hegemonious control of media and it is grassroots democracy at action. If
at all any dissemination is needed it should be into the monolotthic
corporate media of the country. And the disseminator this time has to be
the grassroots. The dissemination has to be ground up so that the
"experts" understand what is happening in the country and what are the
visions of development that the farmers, women and the excluded bring to
media debate. Otherwise all the "experts" will become irrelevant for thie
country. It is this kind of expertise that created never-ending media
maatam on Taj attack while the same media did not have the elementary
decency to report the gravity of the situation behind the suicide of 1.5
lakh farmers in ten years.

The CR movement, when it really fructifies might also want a separation of
the Virtual India that lives in the university campuses and media houses
fom the Real Bharat that lives in the farms and homes or very small rural
people: farmers, women and artisans.

satheesh

--- On Sun, 28/12/08, George Lessard <media@web.net> wrote:
From: George Lessard <media@web.net>
Subject: [cr-india] INDIA: Experts ask media to boost Community Radio
Movement
To: creative-radio@yahoogroups.com
Date: Sunday, 28 December, 2008, 9:08 AM

December 28, 2008
Experts ask media to boost Community Radio Movement

http://studyinindiainfo.com/2008/12/experts-ask-media-to-boost-community.html

[excerpt]

.
Have you ever heard anybody calling radio an 'Idiot Box'? Never. Yet
Radio
experience in India has mostly been from gigantic broadcasting house, All
India Radio. The recently emerged FM radios are only cosmetic boredom,
like TVs, to the concept of development of grassroots of population. The
conference on 'Community Radio : Practices and Possibilities' at Indira
Gandhi National Open University recently discussed a plethora of issues
dogging the grassroots and lamented the current state of Indian community
radio (CR) movement started way back in 1951 during India's initial Plan
years.

Indian Media drew most flak for ignoring a movement very core in the
concept of democracy and development of a nation. They should have
prioritized the CR movement and its processes of how to create awareness
among umpteen communities about their rights, opportunities, vocational
expertise, knowledge and the need to avail themselves of these. They
should have concertedly raised region and issue-specific CRs addressing
target communities, with a view to improving their living condition.
Instead, what the post-Independent Indian media did was far removed from
the necessity of development journalism, was what ired the speakers in the
conference.

The Government Policy of Community Radio, 2002 promised to set up over
4,000 CRs, but till date India only set up 45, that too mostly in public
sector. Compare this with its 35-year-old neighbour Bangladesh' feat. It
already charted 140 CRs to boast of. The Bangladesh Government officially
adopted a CR policy only in 2008, in response to the World bank vision for
"a world free of poverty".

Former Information Commissioner Dr OP Kejariwal stressed, "Though our
generation speaks of globalization, we rather need more focus on
glocalisation. So along with broadcasting, we need narrowcasting. If we
adapt modern broadcast technologies for local broadcasts, we have
community radio, where we have communities participating not only as
broadcasters but as listeners too."

Lauding the efforts of the School, Vice Chancellor Professor V N
Rajasekharan Pillai said, "Community Radio programme is a new tool for
information dissemination at the grassroots level. It fits well in the
IGNOU's larger aim of improving the quality of life of the masses. It's
probable that Community Radios go on to revolusionise not only developing
countries, but also the developed nations where underprivileged and
marginalized communities still exist."

Former director of IGNOU's nerve centre Electronic Media Production Centre
(EMPC), Dr R Sreedhar, who currently is Director of Commonwealth
Educational Media Centre in Asia (CEMCA), identified the basic problems in
development of CRs in India. He said, "The lack of media literacy,
training and professionalism have been basic hurdles in disseminating
awareness programmes of the Community Radio." Dr Sreedhar also explained
how easy is it to generate fund for making the CRs self-sufficient, even
without any outside funding.

Suman Basnet, South Asian regional director of World Association of
Community Radio Broadcasters or Associacion Mundial De Radio Comunitarias
(AMARC) narrated highlights of evolution of CR and said, "India is the
first country in South Asia to have an independent CR policy. Miracles of
community radio broadcasting are just waiting to happen." A conglomerate
of over 4,000 community radios in 115 countries, AMARC is only eager to
hand-hold genuine Indian efforts to solidify the CR movement in South
Asia.

_______________________________________________
cr-india mailing list
cr-india@sarai.net
https://mail.sarai.net/mailman/listinfo/cr-india

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Messages in this topic (2)
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
2. Community Radio, one of the development tools for the voiceless.
Posted by: "George Lessard" media@web.net themediamentor
Date: Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:09 am ((PST))

Be Community Radio one of the development tools for the voiceless.
Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC).is promoting
the advocacy with the government in relation to community radio with other
organizations since its emergence. Community Radio is playing very
significant role in the countries of South Asia responding to other
regions of the world. Recently Information Ministry of the People's
Republic of Bangladesh formulated Community Radio Installation, Broadcast
and Operation Policy 2008 and we would thank the Government for this
policy.

State is still a sweeping entity to the poor people in Bangladesh, where
to reach is tiresome and dialogue is beyond imagination. At the same time,
even their own community neglects the voice of the poor people. In this
circumstance, promoting, empowering and extension of community radio can
play significant role in alleviating poverty through creating easy access
of the poor to the information highway.


more

http://bnnrc.blogspot.com/2008/12/be-community-radio-one-of-development.html

Messages in this topic (1)
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
3. Kathmandu, Nepal: Alliance for press freedom to continue its protest
Posted by: "George Lessard" media@web.net themediamentor
Date: Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:19 am ((PST))

Alliance for press freedom to continue its protests
Nepalnews.com - Kathmandu,Nepal
Alliance for press freedom to continue its protests

The Alliance for press freedom, which was formed in the wake of assault
against Himalmedia by pro-Maoist workers, has decided to continue its
protest programmes.

It has stated that all its member newspapers, TV stations, radio stations
would relay similar messages to champion the cause of press freedom. For
the time being, they have fixed 'Our struggle for press freedom continues'
as the slogan, which will be highlighted consistently.

The alliance has said that its protest campaign will continue until and
unless the authorities detain two pro-Maoist trade union leaders Ramesh
Babu Panta and Ramesh KC – who were identified as being directly involved
in attacking Himalmedia.

Likewise, they have also demanded that the government tender apology and
provide reliable commitment to protect press freedom.

The alliance has added that it supports the trade union rights and the
rights to collective bargaining of workers but would not stand violation
of press freedom under any pretext.

The Alliance was formed on Tuesday and includes Media Society, Association
of Community Radio Broadcasters, Broadcasting Association of Nepal and
Kathmandu Valley FM Broadcasters. nepalnews.com Dec 24 08
<http://www.nepalnews.com/archive/2008/dec/dec24/news12.php>

Journalists take out rally protesting attack on free press

Media persons took out a rally and staged sit-in demonstration at the
prohibited area in the capital city Tuesday protesting the recent violent
attacks against free press.

They also condemned Monday's police intervention on their peaceful rally
which left about a dozen journalists injured.
Journalists organising sit-in programme at the Southern entrance of Singha
Durbar, protesting the attack on Himalmedia by pro-Maoist workers,
Tuesday, Dec 23 08. Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) organised the
protest. nepalnews.com/ANA

The rally taken out from Babarmahal gathered at the southern gate of Singh
Durbar, a prohibited area, and assembly and demonstration were organized.
Civil Society leaders, senior journalists, political party leaders and
professionals from various field participated in the rally organized by
Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ).

Speaking at the gathering, senior journalists flayed growing intervention
in free press and demanded independent probe into the attack on
Himalmedia. They also demanded that the perpetrators of the assualt should
be brought to book.

Meanwhile, reports say that district branches of FNJ organized similar
demonstration programmes in various districts across the country against
the attack since early this morning.

The journalists' umbrella organisation has called for a nation-wide
protest starting Tuesday against the attack on the media houses and the
journalists by Maoist affiliated trade unions. nepalnews.com Dec 23 08

http://www.nepalnews.com/archive/2008/dec/dec23/news09.php

Watch the video..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsrNnQRHksU


Messages in this topic (1)
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
4. Dear friends, we need news from Palestine!
Posted by: "George Lessard" media@web.net themediamentor
Date: Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:31 am ((PST))

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: MENA Dear friends, we need news from Palestine!
From: "Fouad Roueiha" <fouad.roueiha@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, December 28, 2008 09:57
To: mena@lists.amarc.org
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

In Italy there is an extreme lack of information about what is happening in
Gaza. There isn't any voice of Palestinian people in Italian main stream
media, and there is very few in independent media.
So please, let me know if you did any special radio show about this events,
if you have any contact with Gaza's hospitalsor journalists inside the
strip, anything that could help us to spread informations about what is
really happening on the ground and the voices of Palestinian people and
civil society organization.
I'm going to try to have as more English interview as possible, in English
in order to share the audio files with AMARC Europe members, and I'll do my
best to do some in Arabic and to translate to Italian and English. I'll try
even to spread the voice of Isareli pacifists (Peace Now, Betselem,
Refusnick, combatants for peace ecc...) please help me: European people
must know, in order to put pressure on their government and to help
directly the peace cause.

Fouad <fouad.roueiha@gmail.com>

--
http://amisnet.org - http://medinforadio.net
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Phone: +39 06 86328312
Fax: +39 06 8638 3967
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Messages in this topic (1)
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
5. Creativeradio traffic report for Saturday, December 27, 2008
Posted by: "George Lessard" media@web.net themediamentor
Date: Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:37 am ((PST))

Creative-Radio -- Site Summary ---
Visits
Total ....................... 10,228
Average per Day .................. 1
Average Visit Length .......... 0:00
This Week ........................ 8
Page Views
Total ....................... 11,983
Average per Day .................. 1
Average per Visit .............. 1.0
This Week ........................ 8

More stats at:
http://s10.sitemeter.com/stats.asp?site=s10creativeradio


Messages in this topic (1)
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
6. AMARC AsiaPac interview
Posted by: "Vickram Crishna" v1clist@yahoo.co.uk
Date: Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:02 am ((PST))

Ashish Sen, AsiaPac head of AMARC, is interviewed in the current issue of RadioandMusic by Aparna Joshi, following the recent meeting in Bihar, supported by Action Aid.

It is an interesting interview, lengthy enough to cover several important matters. I have excerpted a few, with my comments inline.

Technology: "There needs to be more information disseminated about the availability
of appropriate and low cost technology in setting up community radio
stations. For instance, very few are aware of NOMAD technology that is
authorized manufactures of low cost transmitters. Most of us are aware
only of BEL and WEBEL (also authorized dealers) whose costs are far
steeper and beyond the reach of the aam aadmi. If community radio is to
assert itself as a "voice for and of the voiceless" there needs to be
greater impetus given towards providing and accessing low cost
technology.
"

Comment: It is a pity that Ashish does not mention the possibility of DIY construction, something that actually helped his own VOICES aided community media station, Namma Dhwani, to come up, using cable radio, at a time when the government, sans policy, proscribed community broadcasting. While there are places in India where cable radio is not an option, because of the local population's geo-spatial, economic and gender distribution, it is still a viable and relatively inexpensive solution for many. In addition, self-made TXs are far cheaper than any manufactured set, and also encourage entrepreneurship (what Nehru called self-reliance) in construction and maintenance.

Sure, the Nomad sets are 'authorised' (and represent an international effort to promote CR), but why has the government imposed the need for authorising particular manufacturers, instead of simply publishing standards and allowing Indians to help themselves? This is particularly poignant considering the interview talks about the meeting in Bihar, which is where the use of a DIY Tx led to an international outcry against Indian government policy on CR, leading to the amendments that finally kicked off true grassroots stations. Later in this interview, Sen talks about the need for strengthening the CR Forum, and I wish he had spelt out how this would help bring about self-reliance.

C for campus or community?: "...the single window clearance should be applicable for ngo/cbo applicants alike and not just for campus radio applicants.
There needs to be more inclusiveness - both in spirit and practice -
within the sector. While respecting differences between campus
community and grass roots community stations, we need to build bridges
between both to ensure a vibrant community radio climate in the
country.
"

Comment: In fact, the attitude of the government (both the Wireless Adviser office and the I&B ministry) has been directed in exacerbating differences between these two forms of public radio, perhaps in order to prevent them from chipping away at PB's remaining domain. Or maybe they are just ornery, eh?

Rural/Urban divide: "The relevance of community radio in rural and remote areas is not
disputed. But we also need to ensure that we do not lose sight of the
wood for the trees. Community Radio has a vital role to play in
addressing urban poverty and providing the urban poor and less
privileged communities with a powerful voice."

Comment: As has been pointed out on this list by others, some cities have as many as 3 campus stations jostling around each other, with no space yet given for any other form of grassroots 'voices'. Apparently the vision of a community-driven media service has not yet penetrated our worthy (and unelected, do I need to point out?) panjandrum's consciousness, despite so many years of desperate advocacy.

Frequency allocation: "The paucity of frequencies for community radio stations, as articulated
by official quarters, is worrying and needs to be reviewed."

Comment: In fact, The Wireless Adviser openly allots only three discrete frequencies for CR, and completely ignores the paucity of actual usage of this band across the country. I recall someone (was it Sajan?) had advocated using this list to monitor FM usage across the country, and I think that is a very practical idea. Publishing such usage in the format of a distribution map will go a long way in making up the gap in information dissemination (unfortunately still a defining characteristic of the government). Without such action, it is fairly obvious that the office of the Wireless Adviser has absolutely no intention of taking proactive action to promote CR in India (be it in the form of community and/or campus radio stations.

Commercial is another story, since we witness pains taken to enable nationally owned or promoted stations to maintain the same frequency across the country, presumably as a moneysaving branding exercise. Incidentally, in other countries such as the US, I believe such stations have a four letter callsign, not a frequency. When the move to digital broadcasting takes place, this question - or should I say opportunity? as in golden goose - will no longer be relevant).

In late 1871, one of Bombay University's first engineering graduates, Samuel Nagavkar, joined the PWD in the erstwhile Mysore State. An upright man, he is quoted as later advising a son-in-law, who was about to take up a government post, that 'dishonesty did not consist only in being corrupt, but that a man who did not put forth his best effort in the discharge of his duties was "guilty of gross dishonesty." ' I fear that till today, this is observed more in the breach.

News: "The ban on news. This contradicts and inhibits some of the key
objectives of community radio which seeks to provide local/community
information for local/community needs. Further, it is not clear what
constitutes news."

Comment: I mentioned in an earlier post what the government view on this is, as stated at the Ahmedabad consultation: acceptable news on non-government stations (including commercial, I assume, since they also languish in a grey area) consists of announcements, unlike on the government-owned channels. I suppose 'my sister's wedding' announcement will be allowed, but no comments on what the guests wore, or who showed up. Announcing the tsunami about to hit will be ok, but nothing about the hoarding of stocks by the unscrupulous, or sale by them of donated relief supplies, once said tsunami has passed, and decimated the listening audience.

Monitoring of news: Ashish does not make any suggestions. However, several of us in this list have suggested this activity be devolved down to the local level, especially given the vibrancy of the local language and culture, without knowing which it is impossible to assess the value of the content. Needless to say, this is pretty well anathema to the Centre, which remains adamant about surrendering any effective power to the States. I see no reason why the States need be involved, actually, since the Centre can directly appoint local luminaries for this vocation. In any case, such monitoring is only meaningful in case of complaints, and even as it stands, recorded content (up to 3 months old) need only be sent to the Centre (in transcribed and translated form, mind you) in such an eventuality. This is not my opinion, I am repeating what I heard at the consultation.

Quality of the CR Policy: "The need to review and extend the transmitter range especially in
hilly terrain. (The current policy does take cognizance of this to the
extent that it indicates that exceptions to the current 100 watt range
can be made depending on the terrain). There is need to also reconsider
the validity of mobile broadcasting especially in the context of
emergencies and disaster situations.
Another constraint is linked to the age of the NGO applicant.
Currently, the policy permits NGOs that have been in existence for
three years to be eligible for licenses. However, in areas vulnerable
to floods and famines, there are credible and community based NGOs that
have come up in the recent past."

Comment: Again, Ashish seems focused on transmitter power (which is, incidentally, irrevocably linked to costs), rather than effective range. Multi-modal broadcasting (combining data and voice in modules) is cheaper and more robust for such situations, and promotes a variety of entrepreneurial talents in addition to the valuable skills involved in content management that typify the traditional CR deployment. Mainstream media provides precious few opportunities for serious comment on community radio, unsurprisingly, and each opportunity ought to be maximised.

Revenue generation: "Sponsored programmes that are relevant to the community and development
or educational could be other sources of revenue generation."

Comment: Actually, sponsored programmes are specifically disallowed on CR. I think we need to focus on total cost of operations and total community earnings rather than looking at blinkered revenue models that derive from 'organised' revenue stream visions. By its very nature, a community is not organised, and any effort to organising it leads to internal politics. Failure to recognise this seminal fact will doom any grassroots community initiative, whether or not encouraged (and these are not) by the government.

Looking ahead: "A core group has been formed to take the (Bihar consultation) endorsement forward."

Well, that is good news. Will this group be aligned directly with the CR Forum?

Vickram
http://communicall.wordpress.com
http://vvcrishna.wordpress.com


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Messages in this topic (1)
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
7. ZURICH (Reuters) - MP3 player guides rescuers to lost tourists
Posted by: "George Lessard" media@web.net themediamentor
Date: Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:57 am ((PST))

MP3 player guides rescuers to lost tourists

ZURICH (Reuters) - The light from an MP3 player saved two lost tourists
from a chilly night stuck out in the snowy Swiss mountains, rescue
authorities said Saturday.

[...]

They were able to alert authorities using a mobile phone, but it then ran
out of battery power, Baumann said.

"The two winter sports enthusiasts were found by the crew of the Rega
helicopter shortly after midnight -- thanks to the faint light of their
MP3 player," he said.

The two men had only mild hypothermia.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/081229/tecnology/ctech_us_swiss_rescue


Messages in this topic (1)

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