As we bid farewell to 2017 and look forward to another eventful year, let me convey my best wishes to all my colleagues who stood by me through thick and thin. I take this opportunity to share some thoughts with you.
As broadcast professionals, unrelenting pursuit of innovation should be our hallmark. As Woody Allen quipped: “ If you are not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you are not doing anything very innovative”. Do not hesitate to fail now and then in your pursuit of excellence.
Let us reaffirm our faith in public service broadcasting as a potent instrument to serve a New India, especially its vibrant and vocal youth who constitute bulk of the population. More than 65% of the population is below the age of 35. The younger generation, with its energy and exuberance, is vastly different from the rest of the population in terms of their media habits and tastes, concerns and aspirations, life style and fantasies. They are known to be heavy users of the smart phone and the internet, including the social media platforms. The mobile platform is becoming their primary choice today to consume content. Car Radios have also fuelled exposure to radio among those on the move. The question naturally arises : How can AIR cultivate this vital segment of the population? Unless the programme as well as the engineering professionals change their mind-set and woo the young listener, AIR will cease to stay strong and relevant. The need of the hour is to conceive and put out programmes that gel with young listeners, coupled with a perky presentation style.
I have been expressing concern about disquieting uniformity in the character and complexion of AIR’s channels. AIR has the advantage of providing variety to the public depending upon their listening habits and tastes. Primary channel, Local Radio, VividhBharati, Rainbow and Gold have a distinct character. Multi-channel stations should bear in mind that all these channels should not sound monotonously alike.
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Years of stagnation have left the creative professionals of AIR in the lurch. The year that just ended has also failed to bring any cheer. But kudos to you all for your passion for broadcasting and unflinching commitment to Akashvani. I suppose adversity does bring out the very best from creative and conscientious professionals. I am an incurable optimist and am sure the new year will bring happy tidings.
In the new year let us make a conscious attempt to function as a closely knit team of professionals, eschewing inter-disciplinary. Let us all function in a spirit of bonhomie as members of one large family and continue to serve every segment of the population imbued with a new spirit.
Over the years, we have been trying to strike the golden mean between public service broadcasting and resource mobilisation. In today’s fiercely competitive media scenario, we have to stand out in terms of reach, ratings, revenue and reputation. I am happy that all my colleagues appreciate the need for mobilising resources internally not only to stay afloat but to flourish. Keep up the good work in this direction.
I convey once again my best wishes for a fruitful and cheerful 2018.