Category Archives: Radio

It’s all happening at Doordarshan, All India Radio

So, who says government-owned radio and TV stations are boring places, where nothing happens?

Read the full article: DD Urdu in soup over pork recipe

AIR officials sacked for sexully harassing RJs


‘Bak-bak on FM radio captures spirit of new India’

Adman and columnist Santosh Desai in The Times of India:

“Perhaps no medium captures the crackling sociology of the surging new spirit of cities, particularly that of small-town India, better than FM radio…. What it does is give voice to the city in all its liquid stream-of-consciousness currency. It lives in the ever present, and does with energy and enthusiasm, an excitable running commentary on the everyday interests of the city’s residents, particularly the young.

“All over India, RJs on FM stations are evolving a unique local voice, that fuses media-fuelled aspirations with local doubt, the headiness of new opportunities with a reinforcement of an existing way of life. The tone is cheerful, electric even, and the interaction a combination of diversion, stimulation and worldly counselling….

“The conversation does not locate itself in the world of ‘happenings’, nor is in the least bit concerned with what is deemed important but in the new universe of the hyper-trivial. New malls, restaurants, shopping bargains rub shoulders with romantic problems, real and imagined.

“FM radio teases out the private into the dominion of the public, one confession at a time.

“The listener is in fact the protagonist, in the sense that radio promotes a parallel dialogue in the listener’s head as one eavesdrops into relatable situations being faced by others. The inner life of the listeners becomes part of the collective outer life, as radio symbolically helps people hold hands as they walk down unfamiliar new paths.

“Change is legitimised, made sense of and accepted as one finds oneself in the happy company of the new. The city is fed to itself morsel by engaging morsel. Packaged in the grammar of agreeable drivel, FM radio is part of the new ‘bak-bak’ economy that has sprung up in small town India, which breaks down the modern into little bits of the enjoyably trivial.”

Read the full column: The new voice of the city

Follow Santosh Desai on Twitter: @desaisantosh

What sustains our ‘free’ media is government ads


The advertising share of television, radio and digital is growing, while it is shrinking rapidly for newspapers and magazines. That is the bottomline of these graphics from The Economic Times, partially explaining why the media is in its current shape.

Stunningly, the top advertising category in 2012, both in print and on TV, is “social advertisements”, in other words government advertisements extolling the virtues of one or the other social welfare scheme. In 2005, it used to be toilet soaps and two-wheelers.


Read the full story: Trends in ad world

A happy new year to all you psychopaths!

sans serif wishes all its readers, in every media house in every part of the world, a very happy new year.

May all your hopes, dreams and prayers—and your devious plots to scam your colleagues, bosses, sources, readers and viewers—come good in 2013.

After all, we are all psychopaths, almost at the top of our game.

A new survey puts media folk from TV and radio (you know who you are) at no.3 on the totempole of psychopaths, and underachieving journalists from the print world at no. 6.

The ranking of psychopaths, contained in a book by an Oxford scientist and published by Scientific American) reads:

1. CEO
2. Lawyer
3. Media (TV, radio)
4. Salesperson
5. Surgeon
6. Journalist
7. Police officer
8. Clergyperson
9. Chef
10. Civil servant

If you didn’t know what it means to be a psychopath (which is unlikely) here’s the clinical definition:

“Psychopathy is a personality disorder that has been variously described as characterized by shallow emotions (in particular reduced fear), stress tolerance, lacking empathy, coldheartedness, lacking guilt, egocentricity, superficial character, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, impulsivity and antisocial behaviors such as parasitic lifestyle and criminality.”

If you should know, the least psychopathic professionals (i.e. the guys giving us a bad name) are: care aide, nurse, therapist, craftsperson, beautician/stylist, charity worker, teacher, creative artist, doctor and accountant.

Shame on them.

Also read: The ten worst jobs on earth

Eight reasons journalism is best profession

External reading: Ten worst jobs of 2012

What listening to the radio teaches that TV can’t

Former BBC radio disc jockey Dave Lee Travis greets Aung San Suu Kyi during her visit to the BBC studios in London in June 2012

As her four-day visit to India, the first in 25 years, winds down, Aung San Suu Kyi has a series of interviews in magazines and on TV stations.

In an interview with Pranay Sharma in Outlook* magazine, the Burmese leader whose only window to the world in the long years of house arrest was the radio, talks of her love affair with the medium.

Radio used to be your only link with the outside world during your detention. But now that you are out in the open and find other options like the internet, TV, mobile, etc, does radio still have a special place?

Yes, I think it is special. Because the thing about the radio is that you listen very carefully. And years of listening to the radio has been a good training for me. You learn to recognise nuances that otherwise you wouldn’t.

Would you recommend that to the younger generation?

I think so. Listening is a very good thing. I have found that very few people really listen.

On the first day of her visit to Britain in June 2012, Aung San Suu Kyi visited the BBC studios and met the staff of the BBC Burmese service:

“Because of the BBC I never lost touch with my people, with the movement for democracy in Burma and with the rest of the world…. I feel that the BBC World Service is not as versatile as it used to be – or perhaps I’m not listening at the right times. There used to be so many different programmes, and every time I listen to it now, it’s news and commentaries. I miss the other old programmes… Bookshelf, Just a Minute, and so many others which I don’t seem to hear now…”

Former BBC RJ Dave Lee Travis (in picture), whom Aung San Suu Kyi met, was recently arrested in the Jim Savile sexual abuse investigation .

* Disclosures apply

Also read: What Aung San Suu Kyi learnt from a ‘Hindu‘ man

Thankfully, TOI calls S.M.A Kazmi a journalist

S. M. A. Kazmi, the Urdu and Persian language journalist arrested in March this year for his alleged involvement in the attack on the car of an Israeli embassy official in New Delhi in February, has been ordered by the Supreme Court of India to be released after seven long months in custody.

Not surprisingly, there is great cheer in the Kazmi family.

His son Turab, is quoted by the Hindustan Times as saying:

“The first call I made was to my mother who started crying over the phone when I gave her the good news. We are very happy because the truth is out and justice has been finally done. We want to thank the Almighty for giving us power to fight for injustice.”

Kazmi’s wife, Jahan Ara, is quoted by the Indian Express as saying:

Ibadat mein hi time guzra hai in saat mahino mein. Humare liye aaj hi eid hai (These seven months have been spent in prayers. Today is Eid for us).”


However, behind the good news are signs of a sad and devious police plot.

Initially, many in the media merely doubted the police version of Kazmi’s alleged role in the attack. Now, it appears as if sections of the media are parroting the Delhi police version which doubts his very credentials as a journalist.

Kazmi read news for state-owned Doordarshan Urdu and did work for Radio Teheran  and covered the Gulf War. But news reports carrying the SC order, citing the Delhi police, are revealing.

Press Trust of India (PTI):

“Kazmi, who claims to have been writing for an Iranian publication, was picked up after a probe showed that he had been in touch with the suspect who is believed to have stuck the magnetic bomb on Israeli diplomat Tal Yehoshua’s car on February 13, according to the police.”

Hindustan Times correspondent:

“Kazmi, who claims to have been writing for an Iranian publication before his arrest in the case, was picked up after Delhi police investigation showed he had been in touch with the suspect who is believed to have stuck the magnetic bomb on Israeli diplomat Tal Yehoshua‘s car on February 13 this year, police said.”

The Indian Express quotes the court:

“The court said Kazmi, who claims to have been writing for an Iranian publication, has acquired his statutory right to bail on July 17.”

Thankfully, The Times of India bucks the trend:

“The Supreme Court on Friday granted bail to Syed Mohammad Ahmed Kazmi, a journalist who has been behind bars since March 6 in the Israeli diplomat car attack case.”

Image: courtesy Hindustan Times

Also read: Let the record show, Kazmi is not forgotten


External reading: Eid comes early for Kazmi family: The Indian Express

Tehelka: Is there a case against Kazmi?