Dr. Fakira Mohan Nahak
THE TELEVISION NEWS INDUSTRY IN ODISHA HAS GONE THROUGH A PROGRESSIVE JOURNEY IN THE PAST TWO DECADES. IN THIS SERIES DR. FAKIRA MOHAN NAHAK PRESENTS THE MEDIA HISTORY BLENDED WITH HIS CLOSE OBSERVATION ON THE FAST-CHANGING INDUSTRY.
As a researcher of Development Communication, this author did the content analysis of 184 bulletins of ETV Oriya and OTV and categorized the development communication related content into 14 different categories viz. agriculture, health, education, road-transport-and-communication, industry-and-employment, administrative reforms, communal harmony, women empowerment, children’s issues, preservation of culture, environmental protection, scientific temperament, human rights and food security. The below mentioned points clearly illustrate the basis on which these categories were selected.
- In a state like Odisha where agriculture is the mainstay of economy, development can’t be imagined without agricultural development and addressing issues that blocks the development process. That’s why agriculture was chosen as a content category.
- Healthy and educated citizens not only constitute a productive workforce but ensure speedy development. Hence it was imperative to choose health and education as one of the content categories.
- Better roads with modern transport and communication facilities boost development as they enhance mobility; facilitate trade, cultural and academic exchange and save a lot of time which is equal to money. So road-transport-and-communication was considered as a content category.
- There has been significant number of MoUs signed for new industries by the state government. The industry-induced-displacement issues also constantly make hue and cry. At the same time lack of employment opportunities for educated, unemployed youth as well as semi-skilled and unskilled rural folk portray a sorry state of affair. This situation forces development process to hit a bottleneck. So industry-and-employment was yet another content category chosen for the research work.
- The fate of a state’s development ultimately depends on the policy formulation and their implementation by government officials and administrative machinery. So without administrative reforms, the development appears to be a far-fetched dream. Hence it was considered as a content category.
- Despite a long history of peaceful co-existence of different religious communities in Odisha, the state had to face ugly scenes of communal strife in many occasions. This not only tarnished the image of the state, but also had a negative impact on the state’s development as emotionally disturbed societies can never put their best foot forward. It prompted the researcher to take communal harmony as a content category.
- Women constitute nearly half of the state’s population. Development of the state can never be visible and profound unless gender discrimination is ended and empowerment of women is encouraged. Women’s empowerment is conceived as a social process that seeks to neutralize oppression of women and achieve equity in the society. It is a state without oppression; an environment of freedom, equality and respect for individuals; a life with dignity. Realization of the full identity of women is the objective of women’s empowerment. In the wake of increasing vulnerability of women in the state and feminization of poverty and unpaid labor, women empowerment as a parameter for propelling development is highly essential. So this content category.
- Ignoring children’s issues is like digging one’s own grave. After all they are the fate and future of a state. Hence the researcher tried to find out the presentation of children’s issues in the primetime news bulletin of ETV Oriya and OTV.
- Culture is not only a set of principles or a series of inanimate structures or buildings. It is not limited to observance of certain ritualistic and religious practices either. Culture is the entire social heritage what an individual receives from the group. It is the complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.” (Edward B. Tylor, quoted in Sociology: an introduction to sociology with an introduction to social thought…CN Shankar Rao). Globalization and consumerist way of life pose a serious threat to our culture which has a retrogressive impact on development. So the researcher categorized DC stories under ‘preservation of culture’ also.
- Environment is a major source of livelihood in Odisha. It determines virtually all aspects of human existence. Hence, environmental protection must be the axis of development .The linkages between environment and poverty in India – and particularly in Odisha – are so strong that any attempt to delink them would result in devastating socio-economic consequences. So environmental protection was chosen as a content category.
- Irrespective of the status of socio-cultural and material progress of a society, lack of scientific temperament acts as a deterrent. Citizens without conscience and reason not only follow shortcuts but choose convenience over merit. A single act of superstition, blind belief or unscientific way of handling things can nullify whole lot of developmental efforts. That’s why scientific temperament was chosen as a content category.
- Continued marginalization of Dalits, tribal groups, religious minorities, sexual and gender minorities, and people with disabilities; instances of police excesses, custodial deaths continue often without redress and persistent impunity for abuses particularly in Maoist areas prompted the researcher to take human rights as a content category.
- Introduction of agricultural technology, improved irrigation facilities, heavy use of fertilizers and pesticides along with high yielding variety seeds might have increased the food grain production in India. But lack of storage facilities, hoarding by dishonest traders and pilferages in the supply chain forces thousands of people to remain unfed or ill-fed. Food is that necessity without which neither individual nor societal nor national development can be possible. The researcher chose food security as a category separate from agriculture as bumper harvests also fail to wipe out hunger.
The below table explains a comparative picture of different Development Reporting categories and the total time they received in 7pm prime time bulletin of both ETV Oriya and OTV.
|Comparison of Total DC and Airtime given to Different Categories in 7pm Bulletins of ETV Oriya and OTV
(OCT to DEC-2010) in Seconds
|Road Transport & Communication||1144||1381|
|Industry & Employment||2351||2587|
|Preservation of Culture||3193||1908|
The below table explains the ranking of different Development Reporting categories as per the time they received in two different channels. Total 5 different categories got same ranking in both the channels as far as duration is concerned. Those categories and their similar ranks in both the channels are uniformed in a single color.
|Ranking of Different DC Categories in 7pm Bulletins of ETV Oriya and OTV (OCT to DEC-2010)|
|DC||ETV Oriya Rank||OTV Rank|
|Road Transport & Communication||9||9|
|Industry & Employment||5||3|
|Preservation of Culture||3||5|
- Agriculture gets top priority in the 7pm news bulletin of both ETV Oriya and OTV during Oct-Dec 2010.
- Environmental protection gets 4th position among the 14 content categories in both the channels.
- Both bulletins accord 9th spot to road-transport-and-communication.
- 13th position goes to communal harmony in both channels.
- Both ETV Oriya and OTV gave least importance to stories on women empowerment in their primetime bulletins during the period under study.
- There is a strange coincidence as each channel gave 302s to women empowerment during these three months in their primetime bulletins.
- ETV Oriya gives 3rd spot to preservation of culture and 5th spot to industry-and-employment. The reverse is observed in OTV i.e. Preservation of culture getting 5th place and industry-and-employment getting 3rd place.
- Health gets 4253s in ETV Oriya and 1051s in OTV. Its position is second only to agriculture in the 7pm Amari Odisha bulletin in these three months but relegated to 12th position in 7pm Pratidin bulletin of OTV. Basic developmental theme like health which is not only a prerequisite for development but key to survival, is neglected by OTV during Oct-Dec 2010 in its 7pm Pratidin bulletin.
- The margin of airtime given to the 1st and 2nd spots in ETV Oriya is very small as compared to that in OTV. In ETV Oriya, agriculture with 1st spot gets 4956s and health with 2nd spot gets 4253s in 3 months. In contrast, OTV gives 5655s to agriculture which also has the top position among the 14 content categories. But Administrative Reform at 2nd spot gets 2906s which creates a huge margin.
- ETV fares well as far as airtime given to following content categories is concerned: health, Preservation of Culture, Environmental Protection and education.
- Though ETV Oriya gave more airtime to the DC stories during Oct-Dec 2010, OTV had a better coverage of as many as 9 content categories viz. agriculture, Administrative Reform, industry-and-employment, Scientific Temperament, Food Security, Road Transport Communication, Children Issues, Human Resources and Communal Harmony.
(Dr. Fakira Mohan Nahak is a writer and former media professional. He is currently working as the Head of the Department of University Institute of Media Studies, Chandigarh University at Mohali, Punjab. Views are Personal)
Tags: #agriculture #AdministrativeReform #industryandemployment #ScientificTemperament #FoodSecurity #RoadTransportCommunication #ChildrenIssues #HumanResources #CommunalHarmony