Media in Goa

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This article discusses the history and current status of media in Goa, India's smallest state (3700 square kilometres, population 1.4 million).

Background[edit]

Over the years, the media has changed dramatically from its early 20th century beginnings as a battlefield for influential lobbies within the local Catholic society (including caste-based elites, or politically divided groups) which were largely controlled by influential and educated local elites. After the end of Portuguese rule in 1961, new newspapers were set up, which were aligned to the influential local mining lobby. This too has changed in recent years, with some sections of the media becoming more politically aligned, or linked to major business houses both within Goa and its neighbourhood (particularly Maharashtra & Karnataka).[1]

Languages[edit]

The most widely read newspapers in Goa tend to be published in the English, Kannada, and Marathi languages, with the widely spoken local language of Konkani not receiving much coverage. Konkani-versus-Marathi linguistic battles have led to rivalry between these two language camps around the 1980s. There is friction between the users of the official Devanagari script and the Roman, or Romi script users of Konkani.

Newspapers and magazines[edit]

English-language newspapers in Goa comprise: O Heraldo (The Herald), Goa's oldest newspaper, formerly a Portuguese language daily owned by Raoul Fernandes (Herald Publications Pvt Ltd), a local printing enterprise that grew out of a stationery shop; The Navhind Times, published by the mining house of the Dempos since 1963; and the Gomantak Times, which changed hands from its earlier owners from the mining house of the Chowgules to the politically-linked Pawar family, based in the neighboring state of Maharashtra. In addition to these, The Times of India and The Indian Express are also distributed to urban areas from nearby Bombay and Bangalore. A Goan edition of The Times of India started publication in June 2008.

The lone English monthly is Goa Today, edited by Vinayak Naik and owned by Goa Publications, a firm controlled by the Salgaocars mining house. Other English-language publications include The Goan, Goa Messenger and the Goan Observer.

Publications in Konkani include Vauraddeancho Ixtt (Workers' Friend), a weekly magazine in Roman script. In the 1980s, a Roman script Konkani paper called Novem Goem folded in large part due to financial difficulties and alleged mismanagement in spite of being set up with enthusiasm and even a drive to collect funds for it through a 'padyatra' (foot-march) across Goa. Sunaprant is a Devanagari Konkani daily published from Panjim.[2] The Goan, which is linked to the industrial house of the Timblos, which has interests in mining and the luxury tourism sector, was started in 2013, edited by Sujay Gupta.

In the Marathi language, some of the popular newspapers are: the Tarun Bharat, which was earlier published from the neighbouring city of Belgaum but now has its presses in Porvorim; the Daily Pudhari, which was earlier published from Karaswada, Mapusa; the Gomantak, a sister publication of the Gomantak Times and much more influential in the past; and Navprabha of The Navhind Times/Dempo group. Other publications primarily publish "Goa editions" through presses and offices run from outside Goa.[1] Recent years saw the launch of the Gova Doot. A nearly three-decade old newspaper, the Marathi daily Rashtramath from the South Goa city of Margao suspended publications at the early part of this decade. A new Hindi daily paper Nitya Samay also started from Margao. As of 2013, the Lokmat, which is a newspaper based in Maharashtra, was also a growing and influential paper in the Marathi segment of the Goa newspaper market; it comes out with a local edition, edited by Raju Nayak.

Out-station dailies reaching Goa from other centres of publication include, Kesari, Maharashtra Times, Loksatta, The Asian Age, Deccan Herald, The Hindu, Hindustan Times, Navshakti and more. The two mainstream news agencies operating in the state are the Press Trust of India and the United News of India.

Other publications in the state include Vasco Watch[1] (English-language, fortnightly -- Free to reader neighbourhood newspaper), Hello Publications, Hello Travel Talk[2] (English-language, a tourism magazine), Whats On Goa[3] (English-language, fortnightly -- an event lister Of Goa), Hello City - Hello Panjim , Hello Margao (English-language), Hello Goa Yellowpages[4] (English-language,Yearly), Gulab (Konkani, monthly), Bimb (Devanagiri-script Konkani), Poddbimb (Konkani Roman-script monthly), Harbour Times, [Digital Goa], and J's House among others. Some of the smaller publications are known to change their name, form or even go out of publication temporarily or permanently.

Radio[edit]

Goa was once home to the Emisora Goa, a radio station that was popular when the region was a Portuguese colony. After the end of Portuguese rule, this station was replaced by a station from the All India Radio network.[1] Its studios are at Altinho, the hill-top state-capital Panjim – also known as Panaji, Pangim or Ponnje – and its transmitters are located at Bambolim, some 5 km away. Bambolim also houses transmitters that broadcast foreign-language programmes as part of India's international programme. Two AM channels are broadcast, the primary channel at 1287 kHz and the Vividh Bharati channel at 1539 kHz.

Besides the AM broadcasts, All India Radio has an FM, or frequency modulated, channel called Rainbow FM, broadcasting at 105.4 MHz. Since 2006, the FM channel broadcasts locally produced programs between 4.30 am and 12 midnight. These locally produced programs include mainly English, Konkani and Hindi music. At other times, the channel relays programs from AIR FM Rainbow India channel, providing variety for listeners.

In the end of January 2006, three private FM radio players - linked to the Indian media giant Times of India, the BPL electronics hardware firm, and the mega corporation Anil Ambani-linked Adlabs - won bids to set up private FM radio stations in Goa. Big FM at 92.7 MHz and Radio Mirchi at 98.3 MHz both launched in Goa in May 2007. Radio Indigo at 91.9 MHz, the country's first and only 24hr international hit music station launched in June 2007. Big FM plays only Hindi music while Radio Mirchi features mainly Hindi music with a few Konkani songs. The channels' programs are hosted in both English and features a Konkani host. The channels have featured Goan artists, tiatrist Prince Jacob and musician-singer Remo Fernandes. Radio Indigo programming is contemporary international music and international hit music. The music and hosting is in English. All three radio stations broadcast 24 hours a day.[1]

Though the new FM stations have bought life to the radio industry in Goa, signal strength and coverage remain weak in the southern part of Goa, beyond the Verna plateau. Thus, most of the people in south Goa are unable to get reception in their home.

There is also an educational channel, Gyan Vani, run by IGNOU broadcast from Panaji at 107.8 MHz.

St Xavier's College in Mapusa announced the starting of its campus community radio, named Voice of Xavier’s (VOX) on 17 December 2006 at 90.4MHz. The station had a power output of 20 watts. This was Goa's second FM station. It did not however stay in operation apart from test broadcasts. This does not currently operate (as of July 2013).

Broadcasting background[edit]

In the mid-nineties, when India first experimented with private FM broadcasts, the small tourist destination of Goa was the fifth place in the country where private broadcasters could secure FM slots. The first four centres were the major metro cities: Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.

In Phase-II of FM licensing, Goa's capital, Panjim was categorised as a 'D'-class city, i.e. having a population between 100,000 to 300,000. Goa's successful bidders were ENIL (Times group – Radio Mirchi) Rs 17.1 million; Indigo (Jupiter Capital – Rajiv Chandrasekhar) Rs 12.9 million; and Adlabs (Reliance – Anil Ambani group) Rs 12.1 million.

Indian policy stipulates that these bids are a One-Time Entry Fee (OTEF), for the license period of 10 years.

India's earlier attempts to privatise its FM channels ran into difficulty, when most private players bid heavily then could not meet their commitments to pay the governments the expected amounts.

In FM Phase-1 (year 2000), the highest bid in Goa was Rs 41.5 million. Under the policy then, this would have escalated – at 15% each year – to Rs. 146 million by the tenth year of operation. The bidder would have ended up paying Rs. 42.6 crores over 10 years, causing the major players to back off. This time, the only local company from Goa to bid for a license was Tarun Bharat Multigraphics, resulting in all of the winning players being based outside of Goa.

All the three winning bidders were to co-site their transmitting infrastructure with All India Radio's tower on the outskirts of Panaji.

AIR’s FM Rainbow has a six kW transmitter, and even this is not heard properly in some distant areas of Goa. The private FM operators are allowed only 3 kW transmitters.

Radio Mirchi (of what was the Times FM group, run by one of the biggest newspaper chains in the country) returned to Goa after many years. In the late 1980s and early 90s, Times FM used to buy air-time on AIR’s Panaji FM channel.

C and D category cities are allowed to network and share programming, but generally, channels prefer to do in-house programming.

News is not permitted on private FM. Nationally, many of the current FM players – like the Times of India, Hindustan Times, Mid-Day, BBC etc. – are essentially newspaper chains or media, and they are making a strong pitch for News on FM.

Television[edit]

Goa is served by almost all the television channels available in India. Channels are received through cable in most parts of Goa. In the interior regions, channels are received via satellite dishes.

Doordarshan (DD), the national television broadcaster, has two free terrestrial channels on air: DD National and DD News. DD National broadcasts programmes of short duration in local languages (Konkani, Marathi). Goa has all the cable TV channels generally found in India, namely: MTV, ESPN, Fox, Zee TV, ZEE Marathi, HBO, Star Plus, Star Movies, BBC, CNN, Tensports, AXN, Star World, Star News, Fashion TV, Sony, Set Max, SAB, Sahara One, Sahara News, Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel, Animal Planet, Channel X5 etc. Electronic media with DTH (Direct To Home) TV services are available from Dish TV, Tata Sky & DD Direct Plus.

Beside these Goa has five major local channels, which cover local events, including political developments, and which reach viewers through the local cable network. These include Goa365 (English /Konkani), Goa 24x7 (Marathi/English), Prudent (Konkani/English), RDXGOA TV, In Goa News, Goa Newsline, Goa Plus and HCN, among others. Goa 24x7 is the only 24-hour live Marathi channel. The earlier BJP government, at the start of the first decade of this century, officially acknowledged that it was subsidising the operations of some networks, arguing that this was needed to promote programming in the local language.

Internet media[edit]

In August 2011, a live internet news webcast was commenced by InGoa News.

Critiques of the media[edit]

Writing in the early 1980s, anthropologist Dr Robert S Newman spoke about the relationship with the media in Goa with the "big families" – mainly comprising "a handful of small-businessmen, traditional landowners, and war profiteers (who) received iron ore mining licenses, and were encouraged to dig and ship the ore to Japan (which needed it for reconstruction after World War II)."

In an essay titled Goa - The Transformation of an Indian Region, published in Pacific Affairs (August 1984) Newman wrote: "[Goa's first post-colonial chief minister Dayanand] Bandodkar and his fellow industrialists attempted to shape public opinion through their newspapers – there are almost no independent papers in Goa – and through tertiary educational institutions which they themselves had established. The Chowgules, for example, launched the newspapers Gomantak and Uzvadd, and were founders of an arts and science college at Margao; the Salgaocars founded a law college; and the Dempos own The Navhind Times and Navprabha, and are involved in Dhempe College at Miramar."

Another essay titled Popular Protest and the Free Goa Press (pp 91–113) in Norman Dantas' The Transformation of Goa (The Other India Press, Mapusa, 1999) argues: "In Goa, the daily newspapers' editorial stances on various protest movements would tend to reveal a largely unfriendly attitude towards such actions. It is not perhaps coincidental that individuals and groups involved in protest issues in Goa have often felt that they have received an unfair deal from the media." It looks at protest and the media response to it in Goa over a three decade period, from the early 1960s to the 1990s.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Noronha, Frederick. THE POST-1961 PRESS IN GOA, ITS POLITICS AND PROCESSES (Retrieved 23 Feb 2013)
  2. ^ Black and White of Goan Newspapers Retrieved 18 Feb 2013 from Shvoong.com/

External links[edit]