Information low income viewers do not get

IN Books | 06/07/2015
While entertainment choice is wide, information content is inadequate on both public and private television.
The public broadcaster’s abdication has created this deficit says OUR REPORT on digitization.Pix: rural youth in Adilabad, Andhra Pradesh need career information.


Extract from Chapter 6 of the Report

How TV digitisation is impacting low income viewers and public broadcasting


Any government schemes they do not tell us enough about on television…in news they tell, but how we can get it from the government is not told.
Male, Rajim, Chhattisgarh. Interview 

Though there has been an explosion of television channels which reach  the rural areas,  some acutely felt needs  of viewers at the bottom of the income pyramid which both the public and private broadcasters should be addressing,  are going unmet.

If entertainment is the primary content demand from television, the other main programming demand is for information, which can be categorized as information related to health, agriculture, career, employment and training avenues, available government schemes and services. While we found women’s self help groups existed for almost every single village visited, the programming on this issue is minimal.

While the universe of entertainment choice is wide, information content is inadequate on both public and private television. The public broadcaster’s role in creating this deficit has been both the grossly inadequate programming time given to the categories of information people mention, (See chapter on Content Demand Mismatch) as well as the inadequate recognition of the  technological barriers to receiving  programming from Doordarshan’s local kendras in the states. These barriers are created by the audience having moved away from Doordarshan’sterrestrial  transmission.

Information needs as a programming gap

Health is one area where the participants almost in unison have enjoyed and awaited programmes on the public broadcaster, and the programme that they refer to most frequently in this category is a Doordarshan programme called Kalyani. Participants in both Odisha and Chhattisgarh recalled this programme, which has been discontinued by Doordarshan, as a favourite.

Programmes based on agriculture and related vocations not only have a high recall, but they were the ones that many participants wanted to be either repeated or scheduled in a way that would allow them to see the programme.

There was a general thirst and desire for educational programming, which would either help the young people in their studies or enhance their general knowledge or provide them with career guidance. Informational programmes were sought after and and, as noted, the Discovery Channel was frequently mentioned as an exceptionally good source of such informative programming.

People said they also sought out the programmes that would provide them information on government initiatives and schemes that they could avail of. It is in this category of programming that the participants mentioned Doordarshan and yet at the same time lamented the inadequacy of such programmes.

Articulated public service needs from discussions in 18 districts in Odisha, Chhattisgarh, UP, Bihar  and Andhra Pradesh, and in Delhi and four cities of Gujarat.


Employment news

There should be information about jobs. There are many unemployed educated masses, there is information coming, but we cannot get these. We only know from the newspaper. Some days back there was an advertisement published from Bhubhaneshwar and Behrampur for every district about jobs for class ten students. But that is published only in the newspaper. That should also come on TV. Then everybody will be aware. Nobody is reading newspaper and they do not have time to read.
Female FGD, Sainipada, Kandhamal, Odisha. FGD 

Berozgars should get more info from TV
Male+female FGD, Village Geedam, Dantewada, Chhattisgarh.

I think today for the youth who are studying, these channels should give information about employment, government and private jobs. We need information about central government jobs, such as in the railways. None of the channels gives such information. 
Male FGD, Bhilai, Chhatitisgarh

Career guidance for youth

Many villagers work hard, give up their land and educate their children in courses that are the trend of the day. There is no proper guidance for them. Government should give advice on TV on the trends in employment so that people can make proper choices. There is no guidance at all for village people. There are some engineering graduates, who did not get jobs and are even working for a pittance likeRs 2-3000 and people here just say that their son is working in Hyderabad. Many villages have this sad story. Government should give guidance.
Female FGD, Duggirala, West Godavari, Andhra Pradesh.

There should be programmes for those facing interviews for the first time.
Female FGD, Redhakhole, Sambalpur, Odisha.

There should be career programmes for youth. Sakshi has a career programme for half an hour everyday in the afternoon – I don’t watch regularly. HMTV also has on careers. Others are all commercial.

In this village – there are 100 students – there are no career channels to watch – no correct info – no job opportunities. ETV – no career info., ETV2 there is some, but mostly serials.
Male FGD, Rajarampally, KarimnagarTelangana

Please help organize personality development and communication skills and career guidance programmes for us.
Youth FGD, VillageKamavarapukota,WestGodavari,Andhra Pradesh

Like after Class 10th, 12th, if we want to go into engineering, how can we join. Which college to join. Also, there are lot many fields on which we don't get information,  like librarian or building planner, where to go for these, where to join, where can we go in India to do such courses.
Male+youth FGD Rajim village, Chattisgarh

The youth become unemployed even after getting education…Some have passed +2 and some passed +3…There is no resource…Out of 300 and 350 households  5 or 6 persons may be doing job…and rest around 500 people are getting livelihood by doing daily labor…Many of the households have no agricultural land…
Female FGD, Sanipada, Kandhamal.

Something like training for disabled, how to make Nirma soap so that we can also earn a living.
Youth FGD, Simga, Raipur

Yes, on TV they do tell about careers but not in practical terms like for the children studying in villages, what are the options for them.
Female FGD, Dewri, Chhattisgarh

Tutorials for students

We have to spend so much on tuition fees – in Juhapura a lot of people cannot afford tuition fees. It would be great if there areprogrammes on TV that will help us to avoid spending so much money on tuitions and simultaneously help the children to learn and score better in exams.
Female FGD, Juhapura, Ahmedabad

There should be children’s education programmes……they will watch and by watching we will also learn something…
Village Daincha, Sambalpur, Odisha

It would be beneficial to our children, if government will take interest to broadcast free coaching programmes for the students from standard 1 to standard 10th. This programme should look like IGNOU programmeme. If the news timing will be increased from 15 minutes more, like other TV channels are committed for. In addition, health security and village welfare programmes from government side should  be  broadcast.
Male FGD, village Pabingia,  Kandhamal, Orissa

For instance, I want to get into medical field after Class XII, I want information on coaching, colleges, what does the course have, there should be a separate channel for all this to give such complete information.
FGD (Male+Students) Rajim village, Chattisgarh

The information on studies for children should be shown on TV so that their learning will improve.
Female FGD, Rajarmpally, Karimnagar, Andhra Pradesh

 Farm information, including horticulture and animal husbandry

“There should be programmes on goat rearing, duck rearing, poultry farming in detail. The unemployed will be benefited by these programmes.”
Male, FGD Kanakpur, Kalahandi, Odisha.

They show very short agricultural programmes. They show maximum for half an hour. Most of the people don’t know about these information, when it is showed. If we need information related to farming we can access it on YouTube easily. We have more options now. So people go to the Internet after seeing what Doordarshan shows.
Youth FGD, Delhi

Information about cultivating potatoes.
Male, Basti, Uttar Pradesh. Interview.

Agriculture channel should have interest and dynamism. They are usually boring. Also scalability of solutions offered should be known. Example – cashew  virus – what to do? Immediate answers – response will generate interest.
Middle class farmers  FGD, Kamavarupukota, Krishna, Andhra Pradesh

We have so many government schemes for farmers, but we are not able to take benefit from that. Farmers don’t even know who their gram sewak is because he does all the formalities sitting in office. Government has so many schemes like discount on fertilizers, seeds etc which gram sewak never tells us about. If they give seeds, they don’t provide fertilizers, they don’t even come to fields to look at the crops. Recently there was an exhibition in Nagpur which had new machines which can prepare protein rich fodder in seven days. New techniques were discussed. Such a programme you don’t get to see in Chhattisgarh. Why can’t such an exhibition be organized in our state?
Male FGD, Simga, Raipur district, Chhattisgarh

There should be a channel devoted to agriculture and horticulture. After all, 75 percent of our population is dependent on agriculture.
FemaleFGD ,Talabelagaon, Kalahandi, Odisha.

Doordarshan should tell us where to keep cattle how to rear it,  they should give sabkofaida. If we see more information about likely diseases we can recognize symptoms we can call doctors in time.
Male+female FGD, Geedamvillage,Dantewada,Chhattisgarh

Much more news than is now given, through the day, and in the regional language.  More local news.

We are fishermen fishing. We should be told within 24 hours that there may be flood or cyclone and there is warning not go to sea.
Male FGD, Hamlet Moto,Bentapur,Puri, Odisha

Self-employment information

They should show programmes that enable us to be self-employed, some small work we can do from home.
Female FGD, Dewri, Chhattisgarh.

We are doing tailoring. If the programme would be on tailoring …it will be helpful to us …more information about MahilaSamiti about stitching, designing, cutting…
Female FGD, Matigudia,Puri, Odisha

Information on schemes

Any government schemes they do not tell us enough about on television…in news they tell, but how we can get it from the government is not told.
Male, Rajim, Chhattisgarh. Interview 

There are a lot of government schemes. We do not get to know of them. Only 4-5 people have jobs in my neighbourhood.
Male and youth FGD, Kurenga village, Tokepal, Bastar

Health information of various kinds

There was a programme called ‘Kalyani’. It does not come any more. Within it there was Hello Kalyani where we could call up and speak. 
Female FGD, Talabelagaon, Kalahandi, Odisha.

In the evening there should be one programme on health because that is the time we watch.  There are many good discussions on this channel  (CVO Health cable channel, Telangana) how to bring up children with the right mental attitude, how to help them deal with exam stress.
Female FGD,Rajarampallyvillage, Karimnagar,Telangana

There should beprogrammes on women’s health…on women groups…how the women groups are developing…empowerment of women…before there was a programme on DD-1 called ‘Kalyani’…that was about women, and on health it was interesting…
Female FGD,Daincha, Sambalpur, Odisha

Yes how a nursing mother will take care of the newborn…in spite of orientation they are not able to understand…then young girls are getting married before attaining the age of 18 years…then they are facing many problems…they are not able to take care of themselves and entering into motherhood and becoming weak…the children becoming weak…so there should be more programme on these.
Female FGD, Sainipada, Phulbani, Kandhamal (Orissa)

Note: In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana a cable channel called CVR Health seemedto meet the felt needs for health programming. ETV2 also shows health programmes in that state.

Social awareness programmes

How liquor can be stopped. Please make some awareness programmes on television.
Male, Kanakpur, Kalahandi, Odisha. Household survey

Today there are so many kinds of violence that is perpetrated on women (rape, molestation, etc) – we need programmes which will help us in becoming more aware and learn how to avoid being a victim.
Female FGD, Juhapura, Ahmedabad

On news channels, there is so much shown on assaults – we are scared. We want to go out and enjoy, but restricted to the house. 
Female FGD, Mylavaram, Krishna, Andhra Pradesh

There should more programmes on dowry system. People could know more about it… about different laws.”
FemaleFGD, Redhakhole, Sambalpur, Odisha.

To save the female foetus…there should be programme on women issues.
Female FGD, Sanipada, Kandhamal, Odisha

Just like channels repeat various news, they should also raise questions about poor functioning of schools, why there was no proper development of children, why teachers at government schools don’t work properly, this will lead to change.
Male FGD, Bhilai, Chhattisgarh


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