March 20, 2014

Television For Rural Viewers

Essay : [Television For Rural Viewers]

English Essay on "Television For Rural Viewers"

Television For Rural Viewers

Nearly 70 percent of Pakistan's population lives in villages. The livelihood of three-fourths of its people .is provided by agriculture and allied occupations and 50 percent of the national income comes from them. Both in terms of area and people covered, rural programs have, therefore, a great importance, especially those meant for specification viewing groups.
The basic objectives of rural T.V. programs can be summed up as: to familiarize rural viewers with latest technical developments in farming, agricultural implements, fertilizers, good-quality seeds, cottage industries, rural development and weather forecast; to provide healthy entertainment and to make the rural population aware of the importance of education, personal hygiene and health and family welfare.
Why have our rural television programs not been able to reflect a genuine "realness"? Why does one get the impression that there is no village atmosphere, no rural warmth, no fold flavour?
There are many factors contributing to this situation. First, the community viewing scheme needs to be reviewed and revised. There are at present about 13,000 community viewing sets in about 5.751ac villages in Pakistan. Radio is more popular and effective because transistor sets are portable and a farmer can take a set to wherever he may be working.
There are also problems like lack of regular power supply in rural areas, shortage of manpower and machinery to repair sets and lack of adequate space and proper viewing conditions.( Making programs for community viewing, whether bearing, information, education or entertainment, call for a different approach, attitude, methodology and technique. And this is not always possible for want to adequate facilities and right kind of staff.
Secondly, almost all the production centers of P.T.V. are located in urban areas. Most of the producers come from the city and a majority of participants too are drawn from urban areas. Naturally the cultural and social moorings and hopes arid aspirations of the rural folk are not reflected in most of the programs.
Last, the extensive relay system is highly centralized. What most of the relay centers are able to offer to the viewers in rural and tribal areas is only the programs put out by the Lahore centre. And these shows are more for the city dwellers, the urban elite, than for the rural masses. The area-specific programs produced and put out by P.T.V. stations, too, not go far enough to make up for this lacuna. These shows are telecast more according to the satellite time available after fulfilling other commitments of P.T.V. than considering the viewing time of the rural people. Besides, the staff and equipment provided at these centers are inadequate and certainly not the best suited for the job.
An important group of rural viewers has observed: "The trouble with many development programs is that they are produced with in the studio often with urban men in rural garb. It is often an urban view of rural programs or a view of problems of urbanized villages. Considering the immensity of the task of fighting poverty, we recommend that more than half the time of P.T.V. must be related to development and educational programs".
However, certain positive measures are likely to get concretized in the near future. The current five-Year Plan envisages for P.T.V. a thrust on its software. This should make up to some extent the imbalance between the hardware and software development. The present constraint in respect of equipment resources and manpower may also be overcome.
Another important step is that each state capital will have a full fledged production studio with the capability to locally generate as well as transmit its own programs.( In all different centers would have local program production facility? Then all the relay transmitters in a particular state would have the capability to relay through satellite or micro-wave links the programs originating from their respective state capital. This means that viewers would be able to watch programs at least in the language of the state, if not the local language of the dialect, instead of in Urdu or in English.
The important group of rural viewers has made two major suggestions. It has recommended that every low power transmitter should have limited facilities to record, produce and transmit its own programs at least for a short duration. But this would involve resources which perhaps may not he forthcoming. The suggestion can be implemented in phases.
Nonetheless both these suggestions deserve careful consideration if rural television is to fulfill its objective to uplift the villagers, social life and make them better informed citizens. "If implemented properly Pakistan will have a unique system of television providing for national as well as regional and local identities this system, utilizing the technological and visual potential of the medium, has perhaps no parallel, anywhere in the world". The launching and activation of the New Technology has proved a boon for P.T.V., enabling it to telecast more feature films and give greater coverage to regional programs. While telecast of late night programs was commenced long back, P.T.V. is increasing in stages the number of Dramas per week to ten.
S. T. N. is also playing a vital role in telecasting interesting programs even for rural areas. It also repeats all its programs after mid-night. The viewers who cannot watch the program early, they can enjoy the same later at night.
PTV-2 also telecast special programs for farmers, students and children. They also telecast programs in various dialects. Different people can enjoy different programs in their own languages.
At present, Punjabi, Urdu and English news bulletin are on the following times. The Urdu bulletin commences at 9:00 p.m. and English new begins at 7:00 p.m. Punjabi news is in the air at 6:00 p.m. The routine Urdu play is usually at 7:50 p.m.

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