Monday, September 17, 2007

From Rs.50 a day to a hugely successful radio jockey

By Papri Sri Raman, Chennai, Sep 17 : From a small town into a million hearts and record books, it has been a roller coaster ride for radio jockey N. Dheenadayalan, known to his listeners as Dheena or Speed Dheena.Growing up in the 1980s in Salem in western Tamil Nadu, for young Dheena Mumbai was as distant a dream as Memphis."My schoolteacher mother knew Dheena was not really academically inclined," the young man tells IANS with a smile.Like in every ordinary Indian household, 'to do something in life' was the constant din for Dheena and his brothers. All their goals were pre-set -- be it engineers or doctors. An entertainer wasn't a profession at all.His poor results in school were not good enough to push him into engineering college. So he enrolled for a B.Sc course in mathematics and got into a college, "probably because there were no takers for a math course", he says.He tried for an engineering college again. "It was a bad patch in my life, I was not quite sure where I was going. But it was a great learning process."His life changed when he did get into the Adhiyamaan College of Engineering at Hosur.It was "my hostel warden Krishnamurthy who first tapped my hidden talent", Dheena recalls with gratitude. He would entertain his fellow students, mimicking Tamil Nadu's great stars, Sivaji Ganesan, MGR and others. Dheena can mimic anyone he wants to. His interpersonal skills too are amazing.The warden told him he had to perform at the college function. "I had never been on stage... My hands shook as I held the mike..."After a while, the encores began. I forgot to shiver. Sivaji Ganesan's and Rajnikant's lines poured forth from my lips without a tremor."That was in the early 90s."It was a journey. I still use mimicry but, today, I use it as a pickle, not the main meal," says Dheena, one of the most popular radio jockeys on Big 92.7 FM.After graduating, Dheena came to Chennai in 1996, to work as supervisor for a company that made gas cylinders, for Rs.750 a month. "I learnt all about stress tests and heat checks!"It was at a friend's sister's wedding that he got his next chance to perform."Shankar's Sadhaga Peravaigal (musician Shankar's troupe) was performing. My friends insisted that I do a mimicry show on the same platform. Shankar noticed me and offered me Rs.50 per show with his troupe."So Dheena began shuttling between checking cylinders and performing at temples, weddings - wherever Shankar performed. Every show meant Rs.50 and food every day. Soon this became Rs.100 per show."But a good job still remained the ultimate Indian dream, soon I was off to Pondicherry to work for a plastic company at Rs.5,000 a month. It was hot inside the plant, we had at times three-day shifts, if someone else was absent!"Looking for an escape, Dheena became a salesman for hi-tech dentists' chairs, going from door to door. But he neither had smart clothes, nor did he know English!It did not take him long to realize that the artiste in him cried out for a break. He bought some branded clothes, went for a speakeasy course in English, and began selling SIM cards.Dheena took up a talk show for yet another musical group for Rs.500 per show. He was soon being paid to compere at events.When the Sun Television group called for radio jockeys as they were setting up a Tamil FM station, Dheena applied. They appointed just four out of 100 applicants. Dheena was offered a three-year contract and sent to Mumbai for training.Suryan FM and Sun Music gave Dheena the chance to find his true calling. "Talking to people, chatting up, making people laugh, listening to their stories, presenting music."At the end of his term this year, Dheena moved to Adlab's 92.7 FM, going on to become one of the most popular Tamil radio jockeys.From Aug 20 to 24, for 92 hours and seven minutes, Dheena compered a marathon chat session with his listeners joining in, the longest chat on Indian radio, setting sight on a Guinness record.
--- IANS

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Radio in Argentina, 1920-1940

ARGENTINA. Book Review By Kenneth D. MacHarg: ``From Parsifal to Per󮻠Early Radio in Argentina, 1920-1940`` offers insightful, entertaining overview of the early days of radio in ArgentinaI?m not sure what first drew me to this book?a life-long love of radio and mass media or my nearly 18 years of living and working in Latin America . Whatever it was, reading it was an insightful and entertaining experience. Dr. Robert Claxton?s discourse on the early development of radio in Argentina (1920-1944) is both well-researched as you would expect from an academic and easily readable as it explores the technological and programmatic development of radio services along with the broadcast medium?s on-going relationships with government, education and the business community.There were several impulses that moved radio to an early development in Argentina, including the electrification of the country and a government that was disposed to encourage local broadcasting. Electricity reached many locations in the country in the 1880s and, by 1920, over 40 percent of South America?s telephones could be found in Argentina . Those, along with a strong scientific community and the developments of World War I led to an early interest in radio technology among the military?a development which lapsed over into the educational and commercial areas as well. An eager amateur radio community as well as the development of early spark transmitters in use by 1902 led to further developments. And, then as now, Argentina was a country with a high literacy rate and a resulting interest in other forms of communication. With his unique title, From Parsifal to Per󮬠Dr. Claxton hints at the roles that radio played in Argentinean cultural and political developments. Parsifal, an opera by Richard Wagner, was the first broadcast by a group of four amateurs who, using a five-watt transmitter and a wire strung between the Coliseo Theater and a nearby house, transmitted the three-hour performance to perhaps fifty crystal sets on August 27, 1920. Some proud Argentineans insist that the transmission was the first broadcast in the world in that it came before similar ?first? broadcasts by WWJ or KDKA in the United States. However, as Dr. Claxton says, ?Much depends on how one defines the word broadcast.? Dr. Claxton goes on to explore the necessity of marketing receivers, most of them designed and developed in Argentina, to capture the programs of the early radio pioneers and the development of such equipment from ugly boxes with wires and tubes to attractive pieces of furniture that were acceptable in living rooms throughout the country. One very interesting aspect of radio broadcasting in Argentina was that, primarily, it was home-grown. Initially radio stations developed as extensions of newspapers, educational institutions, governmental bodies and agricultural cooperatives. It took several decades for foreign radio station owners to enter the market and by then local styles and personalities had already been established. This stands in sharp contrast to other countries, such as Ecuador , where many early broadcasting initiatives came from foreign individuals and organizations. Quite a number of stations began as cultural or educational ventures that provided a cross-section of programming that could easily be compared to public radio offerings in the United States and elsewhere today. Later, as radio became more expensive to produce and entrepreneurs saw the potential to make money, a tension grew between the ideals of broadcasting in the public interest and radio as a generator of wealth or designed more for more common programming tastes. The book explores fascinating facets of radio programming, including the development of rural and small-town radio stations, the relationship of radio to the development of a national identity and the question of whether radio helped or hindered the development of democracy in Argentina. As a Latin American historian for many years at the University of West Georgia, Dr. Claxton is well-equipped to set the development of broadcasting in Argentina in its proper historical and cultural setting. And, as an aficionado of radio, he explores areas of the development of this media, such as shortwave broadcasting within Argentina and the reception of foreign broadcasts and their influence on Argentinean politics and culture.Along with extensive endnotes and a bibliography to document his research, Dr. Claxton includes a number of appendices listing, among other things, names of Buenos Aires radio dealers and brands, surveys of Argentine radio regulations and adherence to international broadcasting agreements as well as listings of Latin American pioneer radio broadcasters, commercial radio stations in Buenos Aires and in provincial cities, Argentine shortwave broadcasters, and cultural and economic information that affected the development of radio.As the author points out, a definitive history of radio broadcasting in Latin America has not been published in either English or Spanish. His book concerning radio broadcasting in Argentina is a solid and well-done contribution to developing material in this neglected field. ``From Parsifal to Per󮬠Early Radio in Argentina, 1920-1940``, by Robert Howard Claxton, University Press of Florida, Gainesville, 2007. May be ordered on-line at Kenneth D. MacHarg is the author of From Rio to the Rio Grande, Challenges and Opportunities in Latin America. He served as the director of the English Language Service at international radio station HCJB, The Voice of the Andes, in Quito, Ecuador. Most recently he was professor of Communication and Mass Media at the Evangelical University of the Americas . Now retired, he lives in Carrollton, Georgia (Ken MacHarg, 102 Comly Rich Dr., Carrollton, GA 30117, 678-796-1601, kdmacharg @ Sept 11, DX LISTENING DIGEST)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

CRI 60th Birth day Quiz

1. In which month did CRI's English Service begin?
September 11
October 1
July 1

2. Where is the head office of CRI's English Service located?
Beijing, China
Shanghai, China
Guangzhou, China

3. Who was our first announcer?
Wei Lin
Li Peichun
Qi Zhi

4. Which of the following was CRI's first overseas FM radio station?
91.9 FM in Nairobi, Kenya
103.7 FM in Darhan, Mongolia
93.0 FM in Vientiane, Laos
104.9FM in Perth, Australia

5.What is our bi-monthly newsletter called?
China Messenger
The Messenger

6. How did you come across CRI's English Service?
From radio
From the Internet
Recommended by a friend
Other sources

7.Which of the following is the official website of CRI's English Service?

8. In which year was our official website launched?

9. What is our online radio channel called?

10. What's the name of our domestic FM radio broadcast in Beijing?
Hit FM
Easy FM
News Radio

For online entry visit

Life on Air: A History of Radio Four

David Hendy
Price: £25.00 (hardback)
ISBN-13: 978-0-19-924881-0
Publication date: 27 September 2007
500 pages, 16pp plate section,
234x156 mm


First major behind-the-scenes history of a British cultural icon
The inside stories behind some of radio's best-loved programmes, from Today to The Archers
Draws on vast BBC archives and new interviews with key personnel
Full analysis of bitter disputes between the BBC and the station's fiercely protective listeners
Coincides with Radio Four's 40th anniversary in September 2007
A compelling insight into the very nature of British life and culture
Radio Four has been described as 'the greatest broadcasting channel in the world', the 'heartbeat of the BBC', a cultural icon of Britishness, and the voice of Middle England. Defined by its rich mix, encompassing everything from journalism and drama to comedy, quizzes, and short-stories, its programmes - such as Today ,The Archers, Woman's Hour, The Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy, Gardeners' Question Time, and The Shipping Forecast - have been part of British life for decades. Others, less successful, have caused offence and prompted derision. Born as it was in the Swinging Sixties, Radio Four's central challenge has been to change with the times, while trying not to lose faith with those who see it as a standard-bearer for quality, authoritativeness, or simply 'old-fashioned' BBC values.In this first major behind-the-scenes account of the station's history, David Hendy - a former producer for Radio Four - draws on privileged access to the BBC's own archives and new interviews with key personnel to illuminate the arguments and controversies behind the creation of some of its most popular programmes. He reveals the station's struggle to justify itself in a television age, favouring clear branding and tightly-targeted audiences, with bitter disputes between the BBC and its fiercely loyal listeners. The story of these struggles is about more than the survival of one radio network: Radio Four has been a lightning rod for all sorts of wider social anxieties over the past forty years. A kaleidoscopic view of the changing nature of the BBC, the book provides a gripping insight into the very nature of British life and culture in the last decades of the twentieth century. Readership: Radio Four listeners; all readers with an interest in British cultural history; scholars and students of history and media studies.

Authors, editors, and contributors
David Hendy, Reader in Media and Communication, University of Westminster
(Via BDXC - UK)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Listening to Tamil radio the China way

ERODE: Avid radio listener from Perundurai, K. Paramasivan ran out of a cinema hall in the middle of the show and came back after an hour. The reason he did that was to listen to his favourite radio programme. "The one hour programme has been my favourite for over two decades and there has been not a day when I have missed the programme," he says. "It is so wonderfully packed with world news and cultural programmes that it has become a part of parcel of my life.” There are more than 30,000 loyal listeners like Mr. Paramasivan, who religiously tune into short wave (SW) 31.04 m to listen to these voices coming from the across the Himalayas. The programme is from China Radio International’s (CRI) Tamil Division, where the Tamil Service has been on since August 1, 1963.It starts every evening at 7.30 IST with news, news snippets and includes programmes on Chinese culture, stories, music, etc."
Listeners like Mr. Paramasivan did not just stop with listening to the Service; they also mailed the broadcasters, participated in the competition and won prizes, which included a trip to China. So much has been the overwhelming response from Tamil listeners that among all the international service in CRI, Tamil Service tops the list for maximum number of listeners’ letters.
"Last year CRI received 5.2 lakh letters, of which 3.5 lakh alone where from Tamil listeners for the Tamil Service," says S. Selvam, a listener from Villupuram. These listeners got together and have formed Anaithu Inthiya Cheena Vanoli Neyar Mandram (All-India CRI listeners’ forum).
"Every district barring Nilgris has got a listeners’ club," says Mr. Selvam, who is the club’s president. The listeners’ club conducts an annual meet in the State, which is well attended. "We are like a family and use that day to meet other family members," says Mr. Paramasivan. Not only that, the CRI encourages readers to participate in competitions.
Every year it selects a winner and sponsors a trip to China. For other listeners who regularly interact with the Service, it sends gifts. Given the popularity of the programme in the State, it appears that through air waves the people of the two countries have established a link much before the Governments agreed to open the Nathu La pass in Sikkim for trade.


Monday, September 03, 2007

BES Review Apr-June 2007

BES Review is a quarterly publication of "Broadcasting Engineering Society(India)" containing articles on latest development in the field of broadcasting and related science.APRIL - JUNE 2007 issue (4.46 MB) is now availbale for download using this link :
Via Alokesh GuptaNew Delhi, India.

Digital Radio Guide

The World Broadcasting Union's Digital Radio Guide is for use by engineersand managers in the radio broadcast community worldwide. It covers a widebase of digital radio technology and services, written by the technicalexperts who work with them. Along with gaining an understanding of digitalradio, readers will also acquire insights into international digitalterrestrial and satellite transmission systems including:- Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM)- Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB - Eureka 147)- Japan's Digital Radio Broadcasting (ISDB-TSB)- iBiquity's HD Radio System (IBOC)- WorldSpace- Sirius and XM Satellite Radio- Mobile Broadcasting Corp. and TU Media Corp.- Internet RadioThe guide includes references to relevant sources and websites withtechnical descriptions of the aforementioned systems.The Digital Radio Guide has been compiled by the World Broadcasting UnionsTechnical Committee and can be downloaded by clicking on this link :

library/Docs/Public/DRG-2007.pdfThe Guide should be cited as a reference if any of its content is used in other publications.

(Source : World Broadcasting Unions Via Alokesh GuptaNew Delhi, India)