Saturday, April 9, 2011

History of Radio in Nepal

Radio is the cheapest means of Media. Even in Nepal, radio has been the most widespread form of mass media.

The history of radio in Nepal starts along with the, government-owned Radio Nepal. But we can also find the history of other radio broadcasting stations before radio Nepal which was used for the revolution against the Rana Regime. It was known as Nepal Prajatantra Radio. In 1950, the Nepali Congress Party and freedom fighters begun radio transmissions called Prajatantra Nepal Radio from Biratnagar, an eastern city in Nepal. This program was used to broadcast their activities as well as other information which encouraged the general people to support their movement against the Rana rulers. When Nepali Congress' campaign succeeded, the new government shifted the radio program to Kathmandu. Later on it was renamed Nepal Radio and it ultimately became Radio Nepal.

It can be assumed that even before the establishment of Radio Nepal in 1952, the people had been possibly experiencing the taste of listening to the radio from the stations of neighboring countries. It is difficult to say the time, when the people first started listening to the radio. But it can be guessed that some rich families and foreign employers have been listening to the radio for more than 75 years since India had started its broadcasting by 1923, and hence it is assumed that Nepalese working there certainly had listened to Indian radio broadcasts.

In July 1946, the then Prime Minister Padma Shamser Rana declared that people could have personal radios. He also arranged to broadcast native radio, Nepal Broadcasting from Bijuli Adda in January 1948. But this could not last long. Padma Shamser Rana resigned from the post of the prime minister and a few months later, this transmission was also halted. This was not to last for long and in August 1948 it was revived again. Mohan Shamser, then Prime Minister, made arrangements to bring two transmitters in order to improve transmission.

Only when Radio transmitter was brought to Kathmandu in 1952, April 2, Radio Nepal became formally established. It was established as the only radio service provider. Only 250 watts was used to broadcast and was only broadcasted four and half hour on a day. Later in 1953, it started its Medium Wave and in 1956, it started Short Wave transmission too.

Until 1995 Radio Nepal was the only radio station to broadcast in Nepal. Then frequency modulation (FM) radio technology entered Nepal. Therefore this year is also remarked as the starting of FM broadcasting in Nepal.

In 1997, Nepal adopted community radio. Radio Sagarmatha 102.4 MHz is the first independent community radio station not only in Nepal but in all of South Asia. It was established by the Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (Nefej) in May 1997. It has been always in the front lines of the fight for the freedom of expression and right to information of Nepalese citizens.

Social change and social justice is the motto of community Radio stations. They have played a vital role in restoring democracy and change Nepal as the republic country from the Kingdom. Rule of law, gender equality, education, health, civic education, anti-corruption, good governance, environment and day-to-day problems and issues are being treated in a different format by the local community radio stations.

1. Radio Upatyaka -87.6mhz
19. Keeps FM -98.3mhz
2. Nabajyoti -88.2mhz
20. Radio City FM -98.8mhz
3. Nepaliko Radio -88.8mhz
21. Maitri FM -99.4mhz
4. Mirmire -89.4mhz
22. Radio Nepal FM -100mhz
5. Ujyalo -90mhz
23. Rajdhani FM -100.6mhz
6. Times -90.6mhz
24. Classic FM -101.2mhz
7. Hits -91.2mhz
25. Gopikrishna FM -101.8mhz
8. Nepal FM -91.8mhz
26. Radio Sagarmatha -102.4mhz
9. Capital FM -92.4mhz
27. BBC -103mhz
10. Gorkha -93mhz
28. ImageNews -103.6mhz
11. Mero FM -93.4mhz
29. ECR FM -104.2mhz
12. Citizen FM -94mhz
30. Bhaktapur FM -105.4mhz
13. Metro FM -94.6mhz
31. FM Adhyatma jyoti -104.8mhz
14. Star FM -95.2mhz
32. Goodnews FM -105.1mhz
15. Radio Kantipur -96.1mhz
33. CJMC FM -106mhz
16. Youth FM -96.8mhz
34. Radio Audio -106.3mhz
17. Headline & Music FM-97.2mhz
35. Newa FM -106.9mhz
18. Image FM -97.9mhz
36. TU FM -107.3mhz
 In recent years, the private sector has become actively involved in FM broadcasting. There are now 150+ licensed FM stations all over Nepal. Because of the variety and growth of broadcasting stations in recent years, the number of sets in Nepal has increased. This followed the growth of listeners as well. The radio has now become an intimate friend of many Nepalese people.

 In Nepal, there are no separate policies or laws to running community radio. The existing policy and law is for both community and commercial radio stations. Including the first community radio, Radio Sagarmatha, all community radio stations have been demanding to the government to introduce different policy and law to facilitate the community radio stations.

There are 36 FM stations broadcasting from Kathmandu. Looking at this statistics, we can determine the development of Radio in Nepal.

Nepal Press Institute (2010). Comparative study of media and journalism of Nepal.
Adhikary, N. M. (2008). A brief study of historical development of mass media in Nepal.
Communication, media and journalism an integrated study. Kathmandu: Prashanti Prakashan.
Wikipedia Encyclopedia. Media of Nepal, Radio Sagarmatha, Prajatantra Radio
Acharya, B.B (2008). Introduction to Mass Communication and Journalism.
Kathmandu Valley FM Broadcasting Union
By- Biplav Acharya

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