Thiruvananthapuram: When thousands of radio listeners tuned into the afternoon and evening news bulletins of All India Radio (AIR) Thiruvananthapuram station on Wednesday, they would hardly have known that they were becoming part of an epoch-making event.
They were, because the bulletins were broadcast for the first time from outside the studio, from the stage on which meetings and seminars to mark the golden jubilee of the regional news bulletins were in progress.
The afternoon bulletin was presented live even as a seminar on ‘Radio: Scopes and Challenges’ was in progress in the specially erected pandal on the AIR station premises and the evening bulletin in the presence of luminaries including Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy, the former Chief Minister K. Karunakaran, Revenue Minister K. P. Rajendran, poet O.N.V. Kurup, film maker Adoor Gopalakrishnan and P.K. Bandopadhyaya, Director-General (News), AIR.
The ‘staged’ bulletins were a treat to watch with neither any hiccup nor any last-minute rush.
The experience and professionalism of the AIR team was in full flow as Sushama read the 12.30 p.m. bulletin and veteran newscaster Ramachandran went on air after a break with his well-remembered ‘Kauthukavaarthakal.’
The AIR team also had a surprise up their sleeves: a phone-in with writer-orator Sukumar Azhikode, who was supposed to participate in the seminar, but could not do so due to other pressing engagements.
Interacting live with Forest Minister Benoy Viswom, who inaugurated the seminar, Prof. Azhikode likened All India Radio and its regional news bulletins to a river in steady flow, its presence refreshing and constant.
Inaugurating the seminar, Mr. Viswom said he was confident that AIR would be able to face the challenges posed by technology and the new culture of entrepreneurship if it could answer the question on whose side it wished to stand, on the side of the makers of the nation such as Gandhiji and Nehru and the poor and downtrodden or on the side of the rich and the affluent. He was certain that AIR would stand by the former.
M. K. Sivasankaran, former station director, AIR, Thiruvananthapuram, gave the keynote address. B. R. P. Bhaskar, veteran journalist and social critic, D. S. Malik Additional Director General (News), AIR, K. P. Mohanan, Editor, Asianet, G. Sajan, Assistant Station Director, Doordarshan, Thiruvananthapuram, R. Parvathy Devi, journalist, K. A. Muraleedharan, station director, AIR, Thiruvananthapuram, spoke.