Centre for Culture, Media & Governance, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi (CCMG, henceforth) in collaboration with Academic Staff College, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi conducts and organizes every year the University Grants Commission Refresher Course on Media Studies, Culture and Governance for the in-service faculty across the country. The first such RC was organized in February 2013.
The 2nd Refresher Course 2014 on Media Studies and Governance started on 14th January and will continue till 4th February, 2014.
Day 7/ 22 January 2014
As per the RC programme, Dr. Pradosh Nath from Centre for Knowledge Ideas and Development Studies, Kolkata, delivered a lecture on “Broad Contours of Media Economics”. Mohan Krishnan of the Peninsula Centre for Knowledge and Insights, the second speaker, spoke on “Demystifying TRPs”. Then, Dr. Ronald Jude Arceneaux, Associate Professor at San Diego State University in the USA, lectured on “Early History of Broadcasting in the United States”.
1st Lecture : Broad Contours of Media Economics
Professor Pradosh Nath said, there is a relationship and influence between media and economics. The concepts, theories and principles of economics are used in media economics to study the micro and macro aspects of mass media companies and industries. Broadly, the political economy perspective is applied in Media Economics. The Media Economics explains the influence of economic forces in shaping media contents. It basically maps market structure and the conduct of media organization influencing media.
Bibliometric Studies are methods to track the growth of a particular discipline. By applying Bibliometric Studies method on media economics it has been found that it is relatively a new field. The first article on media economics was published in 1965. The first journal, Journal of Media Economics started in 1988. Robert G. Picard is known as the father of Media Economics.
So far as the forces driving the media industry are concerned, it is the labour and technology that plays very important role. It has become more profound with the advent of telecommunication, digital communication and advertising. By tracing the emergence of media as industry, it can be said that it is technology that has helped in its growth. It has influenced the augmentation of efficiency of the workers, the conversion from analogue to digital contents. Through technology the global has become local and vice versa. The societal forces like demography, health, literacy, etc. have also impacted the media industry.
In Media Economics the theoretical foundation is based on basics of economics like supply, demand and product. Here the supplier is the provider of information and entertainment; consumers, audiences and advertisers constitute ‘the demand side’ of the media industry. The government is the regulatory body. The industry has to supply the product in form of information and entertainment complying with the wishes of consumer and market structure. The product of media is different from the other products; its product is not like a bottle of mineral water rather its product is the water which would quench the thirst. The media runs on competition: competition for ideas, scripts, photographers, producers, directors, editors, etc. There is always a demand for ‘talent’ in this industry.
2nd Lecture : Demystifying TRPs
Speaking on “Demystifying TRPs”, Mohan Krishnan of the Peninsula Centre for Knowledge and Insights said, Television Rating Point or TRP is like a question of life and death for media industry. It is an analysis of viewership of particular television channel watched by people at a particular point of time. It is difficult to prove that the person was watching TV on any particular day. TRPs are important because they decide what the people are watching or, say, enjoying. It would be like an achievement for the TV channels if more number of people watch their channel. More viewers means more revenue in form of advertisements.
The companies working on TRPs install a machine or monitoring device called ‘People Meter’ in the TV sets of the Panels. A Panel is a sample of people who are randomly chosen to volunteer for the TRP surveys. But with the advancement of technology and introduction of features like digital video recorder, internet TV, multimedia, etc., it is difficult to verify the accuracies of TRPs. Basically TRP is calculated as number of people watching a programme by amount of time spent watching a programme. The socio-economic class stratification also makes the viewership choices vary and, hence, a concern for adequate representation.
3rd Lecture : Early History of Broadcasting in the United States of America
Associate Professor at San Diego State University in the USA, Dr. Ronald Jude Arceneaux spoke on “Early History of Broadcasting in the United States”. He shared with the participants that Signor Marconi first used radio signals to transmit news on 4th of October 1899. This marked the beginning of a new era. The yachts were fitted with the devices, meant to receive radio signals, that would help pass the information of arrival of any ship on New York harbour that mattered in stock markets. Later on, many amateur operators started transmitting radio messages as hobby.
Around 1907, a departmental store in Philadelphia advertised about radio sets by making its store some sort of radio station by broadcast of music. The tragedy the RMS Titanic made the enactment of the Radio Act in 1912. As the nearest vessel was only twenty miles away from the spot of tragedy, and its radio transmitter was off, the Radio Act of 1912 made mandatory for all modes of water transportation to carry a radio transmitter. Subsequently different radio frequencies were set. During the World War I, the US government took over control of radio from the Germans. They used radios to transmit information, like the hiding of submarines.
The formation of Radio Corporation of America boosted the use of radio. Earlier the radio happens to be for everyone. Later on, this wireless communication became private in nature. If everybody has a radio receiver then this job can be done easily. The period from 1920-27 is of chaos when the broadcasting began as at that time there was no system of ‘frequency’. By 1922 there were 576 radio stations using the same frequency of 360 meter. The sale of radio receiver also started at this point of time.
So far as income of these radio stations is concerned, it was mainly from the advertisements. The radio station used to sell airtime on hourly basis to the producers of consumer products, like chocolate, soaps, cigars etc. The Federal Radio Act was enacted in 1927 to regulate radio broadcast. According to this Act, the radio stations must act in public interest, convenience and necessity. As the United States is a large country, there radio station became the voice of the country. After the World War II, the spectrum system was allocated and that marked the initiation of a new phase of broadcasting.