Archive for September 17th, 2009

The quest for the first blogger on planet earth

17 September 2009

Was it Dave Weiner? Ranjit Bhatnagar? Montaigne?

Julius Caesar, perhaps?

Scott Rosenberg, author of say everything, says the qeust for the first blogger is, in the end, an infinite recursion; each candidate a pointer to one before. And the search is as futile as searching for the first poet, first playwright, first novelist, or even the first human being.

“Blogging evolved, just like human beings have evolved.  And the question is not who was the first blogger, but how did we get here.”

How a TV station was launched with Rs 4 lakh

17 September 2009

How The Hindu reported the birth of India’s public television broadcaster 50 years ago. The terrestrial station went on air on 15 September but the report appeared in the newspaper two days later.

Launched under the banner of All India Radio (AIR), it later attained its own brandname, Doordarshan. DD’s trademark signature, first brought to life by Ustad Ali Ahmad Hussain Khan, was later improvised upon by the sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar.

“The experimental television service of All India Radio, inaugurated by President Rajendra Prasad on September 15 at the Vigyan Bhavan is the first in South-East Asia. The TV station, equipped with four cameras, a 500-watt transmitter and other apparatus costing about rupees four lakhs, is housed in a single room on the fifth storey of Akashvani Bhavan, an annexe of the radio station, from where the programmes will be relayed twice every week within a radius of twelve miles.”

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As a broadcaster mandated to serve the public, arts and culture, especially high arts and culture, was the backbone of both AIR and DD till the arrival of satellite television.

Below is the theme music of Surabhi, Doordarshan’s weekly arts and culture show hosted by Siddharth Kak.

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Also read: On India’s TV anniversary, no monkeying around

Pratima Puri: India’s first TV news reader passes away

Tejeshwar Singh: A baritone falls silent watching the cacophony

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