Evolution of the Broadcasting Media in India

India has one of the largest broadcasting media in operation with over a billion people tuning into their favorite TV channels everyday. It’s also a platform that connects the people of the country and as a mediator between the influential and the weaker section of the society. In fact, the media of India plays a crucial role in influencing government policies and in shaping public perceptions. Latest news and entertainment is now available on mobile phones because of improved technology.

Broadcast media is defined as the media which is transmitted by the help of audio or visual content through electromagnetic waves. This media comprises of radio, television, films and similar other forms. India, today, is ranked fourth worldwide as a TV broadcasting country and has one of the best infrastructure in terms of broadcasting networks. Doordarshan, the public broadcaster of the country, alone reaches over 90 percent of India’s rural and urban population. Besides Doordarshan, there are more than 20 Hindi language channels and more than four dozen news channels in various other languages. Media in India, specially the broadcast media, underwent a revolution in the early 1990s when Doordarshan was made an autonomous organization. Private companies were allowed to set up TV stations and TV entertainment became a multi-channel system.

In 1993, courtesy the economic reforms and privatization of the Indian media, cable television started mushrooming across the country. India now has over 800 television channels altogether and people cannot imagine their life without these channels.

Private radio stations also joined the race as the skies were thrown open by the government to attract private players that was so far dominated by Akashvani (All India Radio), the national player.

Radio in India was introduced in Chennai in 1927, followed by Kolkata and Mumbai. After the independence in 1947, the radio broadcasting system was converted into a separate department and came under the control of the ministry of information and broadcasting and became hugely popular.

In the late 1990s, FM (frequency modulation) broadcasting was introduced in the country and the popularity of radio that had been witnessing a reduction in interests, revived. In fact, in 1994, India already had about 85 FM stations and 73 short wave stations.

Through various subsequent government policies, acts and amendments, the broadcasting media has emerged as one of the principal sources of entertainment in the country. It also has a major place in the Indian economy with millions of dollars being invested in the sector every year. Besides, the broadcasting industry also employs thousands of people and thus contributes to towards employment generation. This is especially pertinent in a country like India that’s already overburdened with population.

The broadcasting media of India is set to expand in the next few years with the government giving final touches to the new broadcasting policy.