- October 1, 2012
- Posted by: essay
- Category: Term paper writing
The development of mass media in India was dramatically affected by western mass media, which were models for Indian mass media. In such a situation, the development of public broadcasting in India proved to be vulnerable to external influences. At the same time, the history of the development of public broadcasting in India reveals the fact that it was affected not only by external, international influences, but also by internal pressure from the part of commercial broadcasting companies. On the other hand, the public broadcasting in India, which was solely attributed to the Indian broadcaster Doordarshan (DD), had a privileged position in India. Moreover, it still heavily relies on the state support. Nevertheless, in spite of all support from the part of the state, as the study conducted by E. Fursich and S. Shrikhande “Development Broadcasting in India and Beyond” shows, the public broadcasting was vulnerable to numerous failures and, at the present moment, it still faces a number of problems, among which the competition from the part of commercial broadcasting companies remains one of the major challenges.
Basically, Fursich and Shrikhande attempt to trace the evolution of the public broadcasting company of India, DD, in the course of the development of Indian television and mass media at large. The authors point out that, initially, the position of DD was quite uncertain, because, when the Indian public broadcasting company was created, India had just gained its independence. Therefore, the country was still under the impact of Great Britain, both political and economic. Naturally, the independence was a perfect chance for India to develop its own, independent state and television was apparently a powerful tool with the help of which the Indian authorities could promote the idea of national independence and prosperity of Indian nation, educate people, contribute to the development of Indian culture, etc.
However, the Indian public broadcasting company had faced serious problems since its foundation. To put it more precisely, as Fursich and Shrikhande point out, the technological level of development of Indian broadcasting was very poor. As a result, the company could not develop competitive products, which could oppose and resist to the growing impact of western television and media. In such a situation, the development of satellite television and the emergence of commercial broadcasting companies undermined the development of the public broadcasting company in India. As the matter of fact, Fursich and Shrikhande argue that the public broadcasting company proved to be unable to develop an effective marketing strategy to compete with commercial broadcasters.
On analyzing the policy of DD, the authors lay emphasis on the fact that the major error of the public broadcasting company of India was its involvement in the direct competitive struggle with commercial broadcasting companies. Commercial broadcasters were initially in an advantageous position, because they were focused on the maximization of their profits and made considerable investments to gain a larger share of the market. In contrast, DD was too rigid and limited in its financial resources. In fact, the problem was not exactly a poor or insufficient funding of the company, but it was a poor effectiveness of the use of its funds and uncompetitive products created by the company.
In fact, the company followed commercial broadcasters rather than led the development of broadcasting in India (Fursich and Shrikhande). In such a way, the public broadcasting company actually focused on the competitive struggle with commercial broadcasters using their methods and attempting to create competitive products. However, such an open competitive struggle of the public broadcasting company of India failed that naturally forced the company to search new methods and strategies to survive in a highly competitive environment.
In this respect, the authors point out that DD, to a significant extent, contributed to the strengthening of commercial broadcasting companies as it allowed them to create programs for its own channels. As a result, commercial companies created products which were interesting to the public and which they could use to promote their own channels and networks. In such a situation, even the involvement of foreign companies, which products DD attempted to broadcast, proved to be a failure, because it did not lead to the improvement of the quality of its products. In other words, DD had a network, channels and state support, but it had a poor production potential. Instead, it heavily relied on products of commercial and foreign companies.
Naturally, in such a situation, a normal and stable development of the public broadcasting in India was impossible. No wonder, Fursich and Shrikhande argue that the decision of DD to start competing with commercial broadcasting companies was erroneous. At any rate, it is obvious that DD had to develop its own products with the help of which the public broadcasting company could take its own share of the market. For instance, the development of educational programs could justify the state financial support of DD and protectionist policies, which put the company in a privileged position, but DD failed to use it properly. The strategy applied by the company was wrong, while the state support had a negative impact on the company because it supported DD artificially preventing from a more effective competitive struggle.
In this respect, the failure of DD to introduce channels, which were entirely focused on broadcasting cultural programs (Fursich and Shrikhande), is particularly noteworthy because it reveals the extent to which DD’s products were of a low quality. In such a situation, the authors naturally argue that it is necessary to find a “third way”, which could help the public broadcasting company to take its own niche in the mass media market of India. It proves beyond a doubt that the ongoing competitive struggle with commercial broadcasting companies will lead to the further dispersing of financial resources, while DD will remain under-developed compared to commercial companies.
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that the development of the public broadcasting company in India, DD, revealed the inability of public mass media to resist effectively to the growing pressure from the part of commercial broadcasting companies. At the same time, it became obvious that public broadcasting should be really public. It should be concerned with issues which are important to the public and refer to the protection of public interests. Otherwise, it will be impossible to survive in a highly competitive market environment, especially for such a company as DD, which does not have competitive products and is highly dependent on product of commercial and foreign companies.