Jamia Nagar airwaves are set to crackle with a different sound next year.
Come January, Radio Jamia on 90.4 FM — run by Jamia Millia Islamia University — will become the first campus community radio station in the Capital to air commercials.
And this is exclusively meant for the benefit of local products and commercial ventures.
“Our radio reaches out to people within 10 km. This new feature will provide a platform for the local tea stall, the nondescript beauty parlour, eating joint or even a small-time soap manufacturer within the area to popularise their product or service,” said GR Syed, Reader and in-charge of Radio Jamia. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting allows community radio stations to have a five-minute commercial spot every hour.
There are five operational community radio stations managed by educational institutions in Delhi, including those run by Delhi University (DU) and Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC).
DU and IIMC don’t plan to introduce commercial spots in the near future. This will make Radio Jamia the first among them to generate revenue through advertisements. The station currently airs programmes for six hours every day.
Private institutions, namely Jagan Institute of Management and Jagannath International Management School, run the other two stations.
“The commercial length will be anywhere between 10 and 30 seconds and we’ve decided on a tentative charge of Rs 50 for the same. Currently, our volunteers and radio jockeys work without pay. We would like to start paying them a token amount with the money earned through advertisements,” said Syed.
If needed, students of the Mass Communication and Research Centre will also help produce the commercials.
“They will, however, have to pay the rent for the using the university studio,” said Syed.