Development of Radio as Mass Communication

The 1920s witnessed the coming of radio broadcasting in many countries, including India. However, during World War I, the need of radio started taking the shape of reality. First time, during war, the need of wireless transmission is realized to communicate with allies, First time transmits set up in England and Navy took over station in England/US.

After post World War I scenario, the birth of radio was driven by following factors:

  1. Radio burst on the scene
  2. National craze
  3. Thousands of hobbyists
  4. War led to better Radio reception
  5. Business saw money in radio
  6. Leisure time

In 1915, first successful attempt was done by sending program signal from Arlington (U.S) to Paris. Pre 1920, scenario of broadcast was like a scatter seeds. But post 1920 scenario established proper dissemination of audible matter from a wireless transmitter.

In 1920s, there factors spurred growth:

  1. Birth of radio advertising
  2. Birth of radio networks
  3. Evolution of radio regulation

In 1922, regular broadcasting under ‘British Broadcasting Company’ started.


In India, journey of radio can be summed as:

Nov. 1923 – First radio club in Calcutta

16 May 1924 – Radio club in Madras

23 July 1927 – Bombay station

26 August 1927 – Calcutta radio station

15 July 1927 – First radio program journal “The India Radio’

1930 – Indian broadcasting company handover Bombay station to government. It was renamed as ISBS (Indian State Broadcasting Station).

8 July 1936 – It renamed as AIR (All India Radio)

1952 – National program of music started

2 Oct. 1957 – Vividh Bharti launched

1967 – Commercials on AIR was started

23 July 1969 – Yuv vani launched

1976 – Doordarshan delinked from AIR (Chanda Committee 1964-66)

1974 – Sky radio channel concept launched. The enable subscribers to receive 20 radio channels via satellite on FM receivers.

1977 – First FM service launched in Madras

Mid 1980s – Phone in program were experimented in Delhi, Pune and other cities

1988 – National channel launched

1990s – AIR on network of 219 centers, including 32 Vividh Bharti/ commercial station, 73 local countries, 114 regional channel. Over 6 radio sets were in rural households. AIR 300 news bulletins every day in national, regional and external services in different language.

1992 – FM broadcast started in Jalandhar

1993 – Privatization of FM

15 August 1993 – FM channel launched in Bombay by Times FM

1997 – Prasar Bharti came into existence

1998 – AIR news on telephone and AIR radio on internet. Till now AIR covers 90% of geographical area and 97% population

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