Tag Archives: The Hindu

The Hindu: “AIR may have to power off short wave transmissions”

(Source: The Hindu)

If Prasar Bharati has its way, All India Radio will have to stop all global short wave transmissions — eighty years after it began international broadcasting in 1939. AIR is resisting the move arguing that it will curtail its global reach.

There are about 46 short wave transmitters that run both domestic and external services. Out of these, 28 are used for the external services alone. Barring three transmitters that were recently installed, all the others will have to be shut down over the next six-months. The external services are broadcast to 150 countries in 13 Indian languages and 15 foreign languages.

Prasar Bharati had written to the AIR in May third week asking it to come up with a proposal to phase out the short wave transmitters.[…]

Read the full article at The Hindu.

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All India Radio: Prasar Bharati seeks proposal to phase out shortwave broadcasting

All India Radio (AIR) Headquarters in Dehli, India. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

(Source: The Hindu)

by Sobhana K. Nair

Prasar Bharati has asked it to come up with a proposal to phase out SW transmitters

If Prasar Bharati [India’s largest public broadcasting agency] has its way, All India Radio will have to stop all global short wave transmissions — eighty years after it began international broadcasting in 1939. AIR is resisting the move arguing that it will curtail its global reach.

There are about 46 short wave transmitters that run both domestic and external services. Out of these, 28 are used for the external services alone. Barring three transmitters that were recently installed, all the others will have to be shut down over the next six-months. The external services are broadcast to 150 countries in 13 Indian languages and 15 foreign languages.

Prasar Bharati had written to the AIR in May third week asking it to come up with a proposal to phase out the short wave transmitters.

‘Whimsical’

A high-ranking AIR official called it a whimsical decision. “There will be a huge implication on external services. The short wave is the only effective way to reach to any part of the world. FM and other modes don’t work. Even live streaming on web can’t be complete substitute to this due to varied penetration of internet connectivity. Any country that wants to scuttle Indian radio can just shut down our web channel.”

Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati denied that discontinuing short wave will impact global outreach. He said there would be fresh investments in expanding in DD India, AIR World Service and Prasar Bharati’s Gobal Digital Platform. “Going forward, AIR world service will be primarily a digital service which will leverage FM and Medium Wave capabilities where available and short wave in a limited way for strategic purposes. We will also explore hiring airtime in transmitters outside India on a need basis where feasible,” he told The Hindu.

China has recently started buying air time on Nepalese radio channels for its programmes. India too may soon follow suit.

Limited audience

A study on short wave transmitters conducted by the Prasar Bharati had revealed that shutting down these transmitters would save the AIR nearly ?60-70 crore. The majority of the transmitters were nearly 25 years old and obsolete. “Short Wave, as a mode of transmission, has very limited audience, which is further dwindling with time. The short wave network will be rationalised so we are able to invest more in content and in newer ways of broadcasting, like Internet streaming, digital radio and in future satellite radio. We will, however, preserve a limited set of short wave for strategic purposes and national interest,” Mr. Vempati added.[…]

Click here to read the full article at The Hindu.

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Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority plans shortwave weather broadcasts

(Source: The Hundu via Mike Hansgen)

After facing criticism for its failure to warn fishermen at sea during Cyclone Ockhi, the State government plans to use shortwave radio broadcasts to provide vital information.

The Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority (TNSDMA) will soon hold a meeting with the Regional Meteorological Centre and All India Radio to discuss the possibility of starting a dedicated radio station to disseminate weather forecasts to fishermen at deep sea. Shortwave radio, which has a frequency band extending up to 30 Mhz, can be used for long-distance communication, officials said.[…]

Click here to read the full article at The Hundu online.

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CRI’s growing Tamil audience

(Source: The Hindu)

S. Pandiyarajan was fiddling around with his shortwave radio set one hot summer evening at Villupuram, Tamil Nadu, when he stumbled upon a strange station.

At first listen, it was a language he couldn’t identify. It sounded like Tamil, but spoken in an accent he could not recognise. He listened on, straining his ears. To his surprise, he discovered that the voices were coming from faraway China.

“I could hear two Chinese people speaking in perfect Tamil!” he said. “And this was Sentamizh [classical Tamil], which you never hear anywhere, anymore, even in Tamil Nadu.”

That evening, Mr. Pandiyarajan became the latest member of China Radio International’s fast-growing overseas fan base. The station, run by the Chinese government, has, for more than six decades, been tasked with carrying news from China — from politics to arts and culture — to boost the country’s image overseas.

[…]Remarkably, CRI’s Tamil station enjoys the widest reach of all its channels. Its popularity underscores the quiet success China’s “soft power” push is having in unlikely locations. The Tamil station, which broadcasts every day from a modest 12th floor office, has more than 25,000 registered listeners — besides thousands of others who tune in casually every day — in Tamil Nadu and the rest of India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Germany, the United States and Japan.

The Tamil station started broadcasting in 1963. Since then, it has continued to beam its shows uninterrupted, building up an almost cult following overseas, with its fans even organising themselves into a network of listeners’ clubs.

[…]This month, the station invited the heads of some of its listeners’ clubs in Tamil Nadu to visit its Beijing headquarters, part of an effort to engage more with listeners.

S. Selvam, head of the All-India Listeners’ Club, said the station’s popularity was driven by its novelty. “The first thing that strikes you is, why are these Chinese people learning Tamil, and speaking perfect Sentamizh?” he said. “You think, if they are making such an effort, we have to reach out to them.”

Mr. Pandiyarajan agreed. “This is something completely new,” he said. “We have Villupuram Tamil, Chennai Tamil, Puducherry Tamil. But I never thought I would discover that there would also be a Cheena [Chinese] Tamil.”

Read the full article at The Hindu. Also, read about CRI’s broadcasts in the local US radio market.

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