(Last Updated on : 23/08/2014)
Challenges for Community Radio in India
create both technical and infrastructural obstruction in the smooth and effective operating as well as development of Community Radio. The most prominent challenges faced by Community Radio in India deal with the technology and financial sustainability. Community Radio usually has the permission to feature five minutes of advertising every hour. In case of good marketing, these advertisements are very helpful to provide the operational costs of running the Community Radio Station and in paying salaries to the staff of the setup. However, practically the scenario becomes quite infeasible for the Community Radio Stations. It becomes quite difficult for the operators, who lack in affluent resources, to seek good advertisers with excellent business skills as well as provide great quality content at the same time. In such cases it has been inferred that a central agency for assisting these radio stations by searching advertising on their behalf would be much helpful.
Community Radio Stations are considered as one of the most vibrant and dynamic means of participatory communication among the Indian communities. These radio stations have a critical role in strengthening the democratic fabric of a country by ensuring community engagement at all the levels of governance. But the Community Radio in India lacks in revenue streams and requires more options in this arena. An alternative of this can be provided by coupling radio with telephony services. Usually most of the Community Radio Stations have a basic set up comprising only a mic and a computer connected to the frequency modulation (FM) transmitter through a mixer. Such simple setups lack in interactive systems like telephones, content sharing and field reporting tools. In the absence of these tools the stations often face inability to engage the target communities more in the programs of Community Radios and to sustain their interest in the same.
Software required for running the radio stations also affect the success of the Community Radio greatly. Mostly in these stations 'Winamp' is used to play the radio programs and they need to employ various tedious techniques for live broadcast and interleave advertisements between programs. To ease the process a professional radio automation system for scaling various activities would be much more helpful. Currently Community Radio lacks a one-stop solution to playout, internet content sharing, SMS, telephony and broadcast.