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Sustainability remains CR challenge

Feb 11, 2013

At the 3rd national Community Radio Sammelan, B Brahma, Economic Advisor, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, talked about issues related to sustainability of community radio in India.

Sustainability remains the biggest challenge faced by community radio stations, particularly because of their limited sources of revenue. However, even these available sources are not being fully tapped, experts say.

Outlining the four sustainability factors critical to the fortunes of community radio in the country, B Brahma, Economic Advisor, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, said “Directorate of Advertising & Visual Publicity (DAVP) is happy to support with advertisements. But not many community radio stations have approached it.

He stressed on need to find out as to why many community radio stations were not approaching DAVP.

According to Brahma, it becomes difficult to encourage listenership of community radio in today's world which is dominated by Television. “Today TV has replaced radio sets. So, the big question is about sustaining the relevance of community radio,” argued Brahma. A radio needs 1-1.2 lakh per month to sustain itself, he said and raised many questions like- How to mobilise resources? How to tap Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) budget of corporates?

Brahma also talked about four different parameters for sustainability including content sustainability, human resources, technical sustainability and financial sustainability. Thinking differently, is something intrinsic to India, given the huge diversity of the country, he explained. "India is so diverse that one can design different content," he said.

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