Sunday, September 13, 2009

Significance of Mass Media Research

Mass media are defind as media which have their proper program and constitute their own audience. Mass media research, accordingly, deals with the production of programs and the consumption of the audience.( Heiner Meulemann and Jörg Hagenah).Mass media research is a part of the communication research. It does scientific study of mass communication media and how people interact with it as individual and as a group. There are some research experts who prefer to term the study as ‘mass communication research’ rather than ‘mass media research’. Research is scientific therefore it is verifiable, objective, empirical, systematic, cumulative and logical. Every area of the mass media uses research. Every time we raise a “who, what, when, where, why, how” question when dealing the mass media, we have developed an investigative question. Research helps provide answer to these questions. Media professionals have to take instant decisions which should be informed ones and therefore, they need to be involved in research. The mass media research may seek answer to such question as to Which types of advertising are most effective in selling products and services? What are the elements of a successful magazine cover page? What type of format a radio news and current affairs should adopt? Why a current TV serial is not performing as well as expected? why do viewers select one television program over another? Which sections of newspaper do people read most often?
And so on. All research, whether formal or informal, begins with a basic question or proposition about a specific phenomenon. These questions can be answered to some degree with well-designed research studies.
Scientific research is an organized, objective, controlled, cumulative, empirical analysis of one or more variables. Science is a particular state of human mind. We all conduct research everyday. We do this whenever we test a question about anything. Children conduct “research studies” to determine which items are hot and which are cold, how to ride a bicycle and which persuasive methods work best with parents. Teenagers “test” ideas about driving, dating, and working, and adults “test” ideas about family, finance, and survival.
C.S.Peirce, discussed four approaches to finding answers , or methods of knowing: tenacity, intuition, authority, and science.
Quality media is the result of very careful and precise research.There is no area of mass media that hasn’t been affected by research. Mass media use researches to verify or refute gut feelings or intuition for decision making. Research finding and recommendations are used to make credible media products for the audience. Research in any field including mass communication, is a collective human endeavor to discover the truth.

R.D. Wimmer and J.R. Dominick; Mass Media Research An Introduction (Seventh edition); Wadsworth, Belmont; CA 3098.
Nirmala Mani Adhikary; Understanding Mass Media Research; Prashanti Pustak Bhandar, Kathmandu; 2006.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mandev, not the founder of Changu Narayan

Changu Narayan is a pagoda-style Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnuin his incarnation as Narayan. Changu Narayan Temple, one of the most beautiful World Heritage Sites, stands on a hilltop at the eastern end of the valley, about 6km north of Bhaktapur and 22km from Kathmandu. It came in existence in 4th century. In the book “Environment and Population” its written that king Mandev had established the Changu Narayan temple. But people are not aware of the fact that it was not Mandev, it was King Haridutta Burma who actually built the Changu Narayan according to the priest of the temple Chakradharananda Raj Upadhya. Mandev isn’t the one to established the Changu Narayan temple because King Mandev is after the 9th generation of king Haridutta Burma. King Mandev in his manifesto had talked about the land he’s going to give for the establishment of the Changu Narayan temple. Nowhere has he mentioned about the temple been established by him.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Radio Nepal

Radio Nepal was established on 1st April 1951. Radio Nepal airs programmes on Short Wave, Medium Wave and FM frequencies. The short Wave transmission of Radio Nepal is estimated to reach listeners throughout the kingdom. Medium Wave transmission covers 70% to 80% of the population. Radio broadcasting is the cheapest and quickest means of mass communications in Nepal. Radio Nepal recognizes that its primary obligation is to serve its listeners. It has been providing various programs aimed at creating mass awareness in its attempt to reflect the views of all sections of the society. Radio Nepal broadcasts news bulletins in at regular intervals (hourly) from 06:00 hrs until the close of the transmission. In additional to the news in Nepali and English, there are bulletins in other languages at various timings. They are Magar , Gurung, Tamang, Rai Bantawa, Limbu, Newari, Bhojpuri, Hindi, Urdu, Tharu East and Tharu West, Avadhi, Sherpa, Maithili, Sanskrit, Kham Magar and Doteli. The station has designated stringer reporters in more than 50 districts for coverage of news and information.
In its effort to utilize the advances in modern technology and introduce useful changes in its broadcast environment, Radio Nepal has recently launched a project called "Newsroom Computerization Project". The overall concept of the project is to eventually make a paperless newsroom. With the support from UNESCO, Radio Nepal is proud to be among the few radio stations in Asia trying to turn the news system digital. Radio Nepal has its own studios for programme production, music recording, drama recording, talks shows and news broadcasts. A music library at its premises in Singh Durbar has a collection of about 40,000 songs.
The Broadcasting Headquarters at Singha Durbar in Kathmandu has two broadcasting houses consisting of one drama studio, two music studios, one reporting studio, three continuity studios, one news studio and seven programme production studios. One of the music studios is equipped with a 24 track recording facility. This studio is open for hiring purposes for anyone desirous of recording music digitally whether solo track or for albums after payment of studio charges which are very relatively reasonable compared to other private studios.The complex also has one open air live theatre facility for functions and musical performances.
In an attempt to reach interested listeners world wide, Radio Nepal has entered the Internet since April 1997. Radio Nepal has also commenced Online Radio Service since December 2006 .The service on internet broadcasting has continued with joint efforts of Radio Nepal, Worldlink Communication and New IT venture Corporation, Japan.
Radio Nepal faces the challenges of moving with the changing times in the light of the new innovations in broadcast technology. Most of its outdated transmission equipment needs to be replaced or refurbished. In program production, the digitization process has already been started, but a lot needs to be done.

13th Nepal Education and Book Fair

The 13th Nepal Education and Book Fair was held at Bhrikuti Mandap which was organized by Global Exposition and Management Servicing Pvt. Ltd. The event was inaugurated by poet Durga Lal Shrestha. Nepali writers Karna Shakya and Jagdish Ghimire spoke at the ceremony.
The fair started from 15th May till 23rd May, 2009. May 21st ,2009 we the students of media studies visited the 13th book fair at Bhrikuti Mandap. There were around 51 book stalls including the colleges, abroad consultancies, computer institutes etc.
Beside the Book Fair, Nepal Science and Exhibition and Competition also attracted many visitors. But in comparison to the previous book fair, this time there were very less number of visitors.
The fair had course book, novels, childrens' book, biographies, programming books and many more. The stalls had very few numbers of buyers. The stall owner even informed us that they have to think quite hard to put the stall next year.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Parachute Journalism

Parachute journalism is an often derogatory term used to describe the practice thrusting journalism into an area to report on a story in which the reporter has little knowledge or experience.
As a term, “Parachute journalism” invokes both the exciting image of the scribe coming to the rescue from the sky and the pejorative notion of the unprepared neophyte landing over his head in a big story abroad, but in fact it invokes a broad assortment of practices that share the characteristic of a reporter covering news in a place other than the ones in which he or she has experience. That defines much of journalism, from high-profile coverage of major wars and events of global significance to local reporters who drive from their usual beat to encounter regional events where little reportage normally occurs.
One advantage of this type of journalism is that parachuter is an outsider who can look at the news event from a fresh perspective and notice things or provide an angle to the story that a stringer may have missed. He or she is more likely to be able to pinpoint what a global audience will be interested in.

Journalism and Democracy

Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Gerhard Schroeder opines, “Democracy is impossible without freedom of the press, for freedom of the press is the basis of democracies. Complex controversies cannot be solved without freedom of the press, as questions must be aired. Freedom of the press is one of the major building blocks in a democracy.”
Journalism is the voice of the voiceless and plays the role of watchdog in the society. It is strong bridge between concerning authorities and the people. It handles all public issues. In fact, press is the people’s open forum. Press makes such an environment where people get information and be prepared to take part in democracy. People’s participation is the foundation of democracy. Press is the pillar of democracy.
Press freedom is mother and heart of all freedom by which democracy can be measured. But press freedom is not solution itself , it is just the means of solution. Press is a watchdog of the society. Without right to speak and publication, democracy is impossible. Without free speech people can’t express their ideas, opinion and neither can they participate in social discourses. Realizing the role of press, British politician “Edmund Burke” in the late 18th century had establish press as a fourth organ of the state.
In the democratic equation there are three types of identities: the politicians, the public and the publication. These three P’s of the democratic process which, through their correlation with each other , make modern democracy unique compared to other political philosophies. The relationship between the politician and the public, through the media and journalism particularly is distinctive in a democracy and has a very special connection with the electoral process, which separates true democracy from imitations. We can take the example of USSR which also had elections but that certainly didn’t make them a democracy. Liberated media is fundamentally crucial in genuine democratic societies because it practices the theory of including the public in governmental affairs, and commemorates the democratic idea that reality can only be relative and truth and facts are to be deemed authentic by individuals, not administrators.
Journalism is necessary because direct democracy is obsolete. People do not really have a say in modern democracy except for their vote. Journalism serves as a mirror to socio-political reality. It informs people about what really is going on and involves them in decision-making processes. In a democracy most of the times an average person is gone unnoticed and it is through journalism that average people are able to have a say and influence on things. The only real reason there is journalism in democracy is to make people aware.Had it not been for newspapers and media we wouldn’t be aware of the events taking place in the world. We wouldn’t be informed and cautious as we are now. Due to journalism we know about elections and candidates and we vote accordingly to what we hear and see through T.V, newspapers.

The main difference between a democratic and non democratic country is not determined by elections, but by how free their journalists are.Journalism fails to serve its purpose in the absence of freedom.
Journalism is an anarchist dimension where individuals can choose to relay the truth, or make their own. Governments don’t need free press, but free journalism needs democracy. Free journalism is simply impossible without one. A democracy would be unattainable without attempting to include the public into governmental affairs.
The central purpose of journalism is to provide citizens with accurate and reliable information they need to function in a free society.
Media functions in democracy as:-
• Informing the public
• Investigation
• Analysis
• Social Surveillance
• Public forum
• Mobilization
A French novelist once said, “Free press can, of course, be good or bad, but, most certainly without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad.” Journalism, for better or for worse, is the best example of the freedom of individuals and the importance of free thought in a democracy.
Media itself wants to become free therefore it always supports the democracy. On the other hand the government also needs to communicate with people. It is only possible when there is a well functioning democracy. If we look back to the history of Nepal then we find press took growth after the introduction of democracy in 1951. before it Gorkhapatra was the only medium for government to reach peoples. But later when King Mahendra took the power and declared Panchayat system the right to press freedom was violated and private sectors were restricted. In 1990 after the restoration of democracy Press got flourished and today also it is believed that it was press which took the positive change and growth. Similarly during Janaandolan-2 King Gyanendra took power and attacked Nepali press. Lots of foreign news channels were banned to broadcast in Nepal. News papers were not allowed to publish against the government and F.M. radios were not allowed to broadcast news. After Janaandolan-2 again Nepali media got its freedom and it was possible only because of democracy. If we look at the media of Myanmar then we can find less freedom for press and press working as the mouthpiece of government. It proves that democracy and journalism are both interdependent. Neither journalism nor democracy can be imagined separately. Journalism is taken as an inseparable part of any democratic system.