Entry: [art] YOUTH, RADIO AND SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION. Thomas J Yesudhasan Thursday, December 09, 2004

The core of this paper is that radio remains an important communication tool for tribal
communities living in remote hill areas of South India. Some of the more salient findings
relate to media uses and preferences of people, suggesting that sophisticated negotiations
take place between audiences and media. These include suspicion of television and its
impact upon work practices and education, the organization of time and space to
accommodate radio and television into people's busy daily lives, and the recognition that
radio may be a more innovative medium than television. These conclusions have been
reached from an in – depth qualitative audience ethnographic study of three tribal
communities in Southern India. The Toda, Kota and Kannikaran are tribal communities
living in Tamil Nadu, South India. The Toda and Kota live in the Nilgiri Hills. The
Kannikaran live in Kanyakumari district, the most Southern tip of India.
This paper critically analyses how tribal audiences use the neighboring low power radio
stations, Ooty Radio Station (ORS), and Nagercoil Radio Station (NRS) of state-funded
All India Radio (AIR). It also explores how these stations ensure audience participation.
Introduced in 1993, ORS is the only radio station located near the tribal communities in
the Nilgiris hill area and serves distinctively like a community radio. ORS serves an
empowering role to the tribal communities by encouraging innovative ‘feedback’ and
audience participation. Its remit also includes cultural development and democratization
of tribal communities living in the Nilgiris.
This paper explores how remote hill audiences use radio in their everyday lives. All
communities have access to national, regional, local and international radio. The study
demonstrates that tribal people are not just passive listeners but actively engage with
radio for a variety of reasons, especially for agricultural information, news,
entertainment and cultural activities. In a changing mediascape, where television
assumes greater importance as a cultural tool, radio still remains the medium of first
choice for most tribal communities. This is especially true of women who use the radio in
quite different ways to men. Moreover, age is an increasing factor in media consumption
in these communities. The young are more familiar with their communication options
than their elders and are increasingly turning to television. Nevertheless the young still
acknowledge that radio is an important medium in tribal communities. (leer más... pdf, 464Kb)

Fuente: [ANZCA03 Conference, Brisbane, July 2003]


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