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Radio, a boon for mass media

Bhubaneswar: For decades radio has been playing a crucial role to disseminate information to people, and its role become more important during natural calamities. One of the long-standing mediums of expression, radio is still the most influential mass media. 

Radio has its charm and over the years one of the important modes of information and entertainment has gone through myriad avatars. 

Though radio has been struggling to attract listeners, however, post covid it has gained the trust of the listeners. Community radio has been proven a boon for people in rural areas helping them to get crucial information on time.

In Odisha, community radio has helped to create awareness of issues about the often neglected sections, thereby bringing about a positive change in society. At present, 24 community radio stations are functioning in the state.

More such stations are likely to come up in the state’s remote areas where mainstream radio is yet to reach.

Community Media specialist & Former National President, Community Radio Association of India, NA Shah Ansari, believes that community radio is the best way to spread awareness about various issues. He started ‘Radio Namaskar’ 13 years back from Konark. At present, it is broadcasted to around 800 villages across the Puri district.

Since its launch, Radio Namaskar has been covering major issues related to women, children, farmers, and the youth. Women empowerment, women in agriculture, health and, hygiene, and child marriage are some of the important issues that are highlighted through these programmes.

With radio regaining popularity in recent years, Ansari predicts that radio is the future. “Post Covid the radio is gaining popularity among listeners. The interest in radio has increased. During Covid, Community radio has cleared its stand as it shared the information on an immediate basis focusing on regional areas,” he shared.

“Radio gained the trust of the locals as it provided correct and important information. The listenership of most community radio stations in the state has increased,” he informed.

To promote radio as a media, an institute named Asia Centre for Community Media will be soon established in Konark. “We are planning to open the institute this year. The foundation stone will be laid soon. It will be an excellency center for community media in Asia,” shared Ansari.

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