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Dissecting Radio Broadcasting

Sounds of Radio Broadcasting

Author: P. Kharel

Published Date: December 2005

Published by: Nepal Association of Media Educators (NAME) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES)

Price: Not mentioned

Pages: 130

By Yuba Nath Lamsal

THE book ‘Sounds of Radio Broadcasting’ is written by P. Kharel and published by Nepal Association of Media Educators in collaboration with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a German non-governmental organization that has been supporting democracy, civil society and media in Nepal for a long time. Kharel is a well-known name in the field of journalism. It needs no elaboration about the genre and caliber of the author. This scribe worked directly under him for several years. During the long association with the author, this scribe had an opportunity to widen the horizon of knowledge in various facets of journalism and public affairs. He is prolific in writing and vociferous but specific in expressing his ideas, commitments and conviction without an iota of fear and hesitation. His mantra is “work hard and do your duty without seeking favour from anyone”.

Apart from being an active media practitioner, Kharel’s contribution is equally important in creating trained journalists and promoting professionalism in the field of journalism. Many of his students are now active journalists and media professionals in the country. His latest contribution has been the new book: Sounds of Radio Broadcasting.

The post 1990 period in Nepal has seen a real surge in the media and communication sector. Following the political change of 1990, the media sector in Nepal has been professional and pluralist in both nature and practice. Many newspapers, magazines, tabloids, FM radio and television channels have come up. As the demand for trained and skilled journalists increased, several academic institutions also came up with the objective of creating skilled and trained journalists. Despite the surge in academic activities in media, there has always been an acute shortage of text books and reference materials in mass communication in general and broadcast journalism in particular. The new book has filled that void.

The book has extensively dealt with several aspects concerning communication, journalism and radio broadcasting ranging from the conceptual framework to development of broadcast journalism, its modes, constraints and achievements in the context of Nepal. The author has put together many international principles and views of renowned scholars on various issues concerning communication and journalism.

Divided into nine chapters, the author has explained in brief the concept of mass media, its correlation with democracy. The chapter elaborates ‘hot and cold’ media, how different channels of communication came into being with the motive of public good, media relationship with the people, issues and constraints concerning access to information and the role and function of media. The author has laid particular emphasis on translating the constitutional provision on right to information into practice. He is a bit critical of the lack of will on the part of those who were in the helms of affairs to bring about laws guaranteeing the right to information. He writes, “ In a country where a new constitution, following sweeping political changes that replaced an old order, was drafted, discussed and promulgated in six months, the long delay in introducing the relevant act (concerning right to information) is astounding.”

In chapter two under the headline of Pluralism and Ownership, the author highlights more on the different modes of ownership that media organizations are having in the world. Chapter three is related to public service broadcasting.

The important part begins with the chapter five onwards as the author discusses in detail the different facets of broadcast journalism, its strength and constraints. Chapters five, six and seven are related with the issues that one who is involved in radio journalism or is interested in broadcast journalism must know. The author has also tried to dissect and distinguish between the commercial and community or public service broadcasting.

As there has been a real revolution in the field of community radio particularly FM radio, these chapters enlighten the readers about what the community radio should be and what role they should play for the common cause of the society and the people. Most important part of the book is on Nepal’s experience on broadcast journalism in general and radio journalism in particular. The chapter on Nepal’s experience gives a brief outline on development of radio journalism in Nepal, laws, policies and necessary conditions concerning radio journalism.

In fact, the book is a treasure of information regarding radio journalism. The book is important and useful for all readers interested in radio journalism.

Source: The Rising Nepal, Friday Supplement (24 February 2006)

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