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NEWS IN ALL INDIA RADIO:
INTRODUCTION
All India Radio now under Prasar Bharati has the distinction of being one of
the major broadcasting organizations in the world. The News Services
Division (NSD) of All India Radio disseminates news and comments to
listeners in India and abroad. From 27 news bulletins in 1939-40, AIR today
puts more than 510 bulletins daily around 52 hours in 82
languages/dialects in the Home, Regional and External Services.
Out of these, 89 bulletins are broadcast daily from Delhi in the Home
Service in English, Hindi and other Indian languages. The 44 Regional
News Units (RNUs) putout 355 daily news bulletins in 67 languages. This
includes news bulletins mounted exclusively on FM „Gold‟ channel from 22
AIR Stations.
In addition to the daily news bulletins, the News Services Division also
mounts everyday a number of news-based programmes on topical subjects
from Delhi and some other Regional News Units.
EARLY HISTORY
The history of news broadcasting in India is much older than that of All
India Radio. The first ever news bulletin in the country went on the air from
the Bombay Station on July 23, 1927 under a private company, the Indian
Broadcasting Company. A month later on August 26, 1927 another bulletin
in Bengali was started from the Calcutta Station. Until 1935, two bulletins,
one each in English and Hindustani were broadcast from Bombay and a
bulletin in Bengali was broadcast from Calcutta. The Indian Broadcasting
Company went into liquidation in March, 1930 following which broadcasting
came under the direct control of the Government of India. The service was
designated as the Indian State Broadcasting Service. It was renamed All
India Radio on June 8, 1936.
DEVELOPMENT
The real breakthrough in news broadcasting came after January 1936
when the first news bulletin from the Delhi Station went on the air on
January 19, 1936 coinciding with the starting of its transmission. Besides,
news bulletins in English and Hindustani, talks on current affairs were also
started from the Station in both the languages.
The Central News Organization was set up on August 1, 1937. Mr. Charles
Barns took charge as the first News Editor in September and he later
became the first Director of News. The outbreak of the Second World War
in 1939 gave an impetus to the development of the Organization. The
Monitoring Service was set up in 1939 to monitor foreign broadcasts. In
1943, the External Broadcast Unit was set up under the Director of News.
By 1945, the Central News Organization was handling news bulletins in
different Indian languages as well as in the External Services.
After Independence, news broadcasts of AIR grew both in quantity and
quality. More emphasis was laid on national and regional news bulletins.
HOME BULLETINS
The News Services Division broadcasts from Delhi 86 daily news bulletins
in English, Hindi and 17 Indian languages for a duration of 12 hours and 20
minutes. In Hindi, 21 news bulletins are broadcast for a duration of two
hours 30 minutes while 20 news bulletins are put out in English everyday
for a duration of 2 hours and 25 minutes. These include two Sports news
bulletins one each in Hindi and English. Apart from Hindi, forty-time news
bulletins in 17 Indian languages for a duration of 7 hours and 45 minutes
are broadcast everyday. The importance of language bulletins lies in the
fact that they are the main source of national, international and regional
news for the masses in small towns and villages. The evening bulletins in
Dogri, Kashmiri and Urdu also include a commentary on topical subjects.
REGIONAL BULLETINS
Regional bulletins were introduced in the early fifties. The first news
bulletins in regional languages were started in April, 1953 from Lucknow
and Nagpur Stations. In 1954-55, Regional News Units were set up at
Bombay, Madras and Calcutta. This went on steadily and at present there
are 45 Regional News Units functioning in different parts of the country.
146 news bulletins in 66 regional languages/dialects including English and
Hindi are broadcast for a duration of 19 hours and 35 minutes.
EXTERNAL BULLETINS
To start with, the External Services were part of the News Services
Division. They were de-linked from the News Services Division on
September 15, 1948. However, the responsibility of compiling the external
news bulletins remains with the News Services Division. At present, a total
of 66 news bulletins are broadcast daily in 26 languages (Indian and
Foreign) for a duration of 9 hours and 13 minutes. Fifty six of these go on
the air from Delhi while the ten bulletins of 1 hours 20 minutes duration are
put out by our 56 RNUs – Mumbai (01), Kolkata (03), Hyderabad (01) and
Chennai (2),Dharwad(11),Ahmedabad(2).
BULLETINS ON FM ‘RAINBOW’ CHANNEL
The News Services Division is putting out news headlines on FM „Rainbow‟
channel from Delhi from May 28, 1995. Twenty four news headline bulletins
on FM „Rainbow‟ are broadcast round-the-clock from Delhi. The duration of
each headline FM „Rainbow‟ bulletin from Delhi is one minute approx. At
present 22 AIR stations are broadcasting FM Headlines.
BULLETINS ON FM-Gold CHANNEL
The then Information and Broadcasting Minister launched a news and
entertainment channel called AIR FM-II (now called FM Gold) on
September 1, 2001. The Channel is on the air for about 18 hours a day
from 6 am to 10 minutes past 12 in the night. It is a composite blend of
information and entertainment with one third of its contents devoted to
news and current affairs. The Channel carries news on the hour originating
from Delhi. Composite news programmes in Hindi and English originating
from Delhi are exclusively broadcast every morning, midday and evening
for a duration of 30 minutes each. These include „Samachar Savera‟
,‟Dopahar Samachar‟ in Hindi and „Breakfast News‟ in English in the
morning and „Samachar Sandhya‟ in Hindi in the evening. The channel has
also some specialized programmes like „Market Mantra‟ (Business
Magazine) and „Sports Scan‟. Other news-based programmes mounted on
FM Gold include „Vaad Samvaad‟ and „Countrywide‟ based on interviews
with prominent personalities.
NEWS BASED PROGRAMMES
In February 1936, talks on current topics were introduced for the first time
in English. In September, talks on current topics in Hindustani were added.
On 26th October, 1962 „Topics for Today‟ and „Focus‟ on matters of current
interest were introduced. The daily „Spotlight‟ and weekly „Current Affairs‟
titles were given in place of „Topic for Today‟ and „Focus‟ in 1967.
The Current Affairs programme deals with topical issue in which various
specialists on the subject express their viewpoints. The half-an-hour
programme in English goes on the air from Delhi from 9.30 p.m. on
Sundays. The corresponding Hindi programme, “Charcha Ka Vishai Hai”
goes on the air from 9.30 p.m. on Wednesdays. „Samayiki‟ and „Spotlight‟
are also news-based programmes broadcast daily from Delhi.
Commentaries on current topics in Urdu, Kashmiri and Dogri are also put
out daily from headquarters, Delhi.
COVERAGE OF PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS
The daily and weekly reviews of the proceedings in Parliament were
introduced on February 14, 1961 in English and Hindi. The daily review
called „Today in Parliament‟ in English and „Sansad Sameeksha‟ in Hindi
has two parts, one on the proceedings in the Lok Sabha and the other on
those in the Rajya Sabha. The weekly review in English – „This week in
Parliament‟ and that in Hindi „ Is Saptah Sansad Main‟ – sums up the
important highlights of the proceedings in both Houses during the
preceding week.
The broadcast of the Daily and „Weekly Reviews‟ of the proceedings of the
State legislatures, when they are in session, were started in 1971-72 in the
respective regional languages. A review of the „Proceedings of the Delhi
Assembly‟ was started from December 14, 1993.
RADIO NEWSREEL
Radio Newsreel was started on December 10, 1955 both in English (Radio
Newsreel) and Hindi (Samachar Darshan) from Delhi. Newsreel in English
is broadcast on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday while Samachar
Darshan is broadcast on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Some Regional
News Units also put out regional Newsreels in the respective regional
languages.
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