Reflecting on the history of
community radio in India and its growth in the state during past few years,
Journalism Professor at Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), Dhenkanal,
Dr Mrinal Chatterjee highlighted content and revenue generation as major
challenges before the CRS.
“Emphasising that CRS should not be perceived as
profit making initiatives,” Chatterjee said in his presentation that the
“organisations setting CRS must stick to the basic objectives of it and
understand the language, culture and traditions of communities they work with.”
“A common pool with free access would help CRS
getting quality content at reasonable cost,” he suggested underlining that
Odisha has highest number of CRS in eastern India.
CRS managers like N A Shah Ansari, the president
of CRA, and Biswajit Padhi highlighted financial issues as bigger challenges and
sought attention of the government for their redressal.
I&PR Secretary Mr. Padhi took
note of the requests made by CRA members for inclusion of Community Radio in the
advertising budget of the department as a measure to support the CRS.
The second day of the event focused on
sustainability of CRS and the possibilities they bear in regard to bringing
positive changes in communities.
“As Odisha is a disaster prone state, the CRS have
the bigger responsibility in building resilient communities by providing
valuable information to people,” said B. N. Durga, Programme Officer, ActionAid.
Talking about sustainability of CRS, Dr Lopamudra
Tripathy, C4D Officer of UNICEF, highlighted the possibilities with building
effective linkages with community, local administration and larger forums with
“Though each CRS deals with communities within a
limited area, together they have enormous reach in the state and this collective
reach can help generating revenue and running effective campaigns to bring
change at the grass-root level,” said Chandra Mishra, Senior Journalist and
former member of State Employment Mission.
“As the medium can play bigger role in engaging
communities in development process, all the possibilities for sustainability of
CRS should be explored,” said Alka Gupta, Communication Specialist of UNICEF,