In terms of content and quality of information, radio and Internet is gradually taking precedence over television and print media. This seemed to be the consensus viewpoint of media experts participating at a conference on ‘Globalisation of media’ in New Delhi. Said Dr Arun Mehta of Radiophony, New Delhi, “Radio is the only telecommunication device in India that a poor man can use. Internet, however, is a very interesting medium from the viewpoint of democratisation.”
The three-day conference has been organised by Mudra Institute of Communication, Ahmedabad (MICA). The panellists included Dr Arun Mehta of Radiophony, Shohini Ghosh from AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Swati Bhattacharjee of ABP, Anurag Batra, MD, exchange4media and Paranjoy Guhathakurta, Director, School of Convergence.
Dr Mehta elaborated, “As compared to TV which is a push medium, Internet is being used extensively as a source of free flow of information, which proves beneficial to all those accessing it.”
Tracing developments affecting +the globalisation of media, Ghosh raised the issue of censorship being restricted to only television and print while Internet had no restrictions whatsoever. And Guhathakurta pointed out, “India is the only country in the world with more cable connections than phone lines. This made it imperative for greater check on content as it directly affects the psychology of the viewer.”
Day two of the conference brought out the relevance and need for community radio broadcast in India. The panelists present included Dr Arun Mehta, Sajan Venniyoor of Prasar Bharti, Prof Vinod Pavarala from University of Hyderabad, etc.
Supporting the idea, Dr Mehta said, “People take to violence when there is insufficient communication. So, I feel every community should have a voice of their own. This can be made possible through community radio.” But Venniyoor felt that it would be difficult to regulate such a large number of broadcast stations.