GUWAHATI, June 30 - The All India Radio (AIR), Guwahati, which is all set to celebrate its 72nd�foundation day tomorrow, continues to hold its own in spite of stiff challenges from an explosion in the news and entertainment media.�
To meet the growing challenges, AIR Guwahati has also innovated and expanded itself, including its forays into social media to catch the smart tech-savvy generation.
�Many of our programmes, including the weekly live talk shows, are very popular. Our website, where news and talk shows are uploaded, too, records substantial footfalls,� Manas Pratim Sarma, News Editor, AIR Guwahati, said.
He added that the just-concluded general elections saw AIR Guwahati connect consistently with a large audience across the State due to the innovative programmes it aired ahead of and during the polls. �The election coverage apart, we were holding a series of awareness generation programmes including those under SVEEP. This also resulted in boosting voter turnout, especially in remote places where the television has still not quite penetrated,� he said.
Sarma said the live talk shows were particularly popular with the audience because these programmes enabled them to interact directly with important people. �Similarly, our music programmes such as Geetimalika, Kalpataru and Rupali Lahar have had an enduring appeal with the listeners as have the morning and evening news bulletins,� he added.
According to the Radio Audience Survey 2016, the 7.05 am Assamese news had 17.7 per cent audience (one per cent is equal to 42,000), while the 9.25 pm news had 10.5 per cent audience.
The AIR Guwahati has also started outdoor broadcasting of news as another innovation.
Many development and offbeat stories, including those from Assam, have found place in AIR News� Twitter handle. Moreover, as it is interactive, it ensures viewers� participation at the same time.
The Regional News Unit of AIR Guwahati was established in 1957, and it has since been among the most popular components of AIR Guwahati. News apart, it is the interactive programmes hosted by AIR Guwahati that have secured a steady audience base over the years. Interactive and question-answer programmes on issues ranging from health and agriculture to special-occasion broadcasts have been quite popular and have widened the radio audience base. As many rural areas still struggle to get reliable power supply, that has also made the radio an indispensable gadget for those masses.
According to Nalbari DC Bharat Bhusan Dev Choudhury, radio did a great job disseminating unbiased information during polls. Stressing the radio�s power to reach out to masses, MS Manivannan, ex-Director, Agriculture Dept, said it played a key role in disseminating information on government schemes.