An old medium in the pocket of new media

June 9, 2016 OPINION/NEWS


Priyadarshini Kiran

I still remember the day when I first met the father of Community Radio of India, Dr.R Sreedher, my Ph.D research guide, and heard about Internet Radio and its advanced new approach in the modern era. That was the year 2014 when in India, only one Internet Radio i-radio live was broadcast, but today a number have graced the airwaves.


Technology is Best when it Brings People Together (Matt Mullenweg)


Internet Radio always justifies this quote because it is the only platform where your entertainment gets another definition to get attached to your loved ones. Internet Radio is an amazing platform that provides you with a multi convergence of all media at one single place where your horizons get more localized.


“Photography was supposed to mean the end of painting.

Film was supposed to mean the end of the novel.

Radio was supposed to mean the end of newspapers.

Television was supposed to mean the end of film and radio.”


Radio was discovered by Marconi in the 18th century and has undergone many changes particularly in the field of technology. India, which adopted this technology very early in the 20th century, has seen it change from short wave to medium wave broadcasting and then to frequency modulation. The miniaturisation of radio receivers from valve to transistors and to I.C. (Integrated Circuit) has also now become obsolete. Finding independent AM/FM radio receivers in the market is becoming more difficult. Internet Radio, which revolutionizes the coverage area of a radio station from a few km to infinity, is becoming more popular. Not only popular but it also has the ability to communicate simultaneously with millions of our fellow human beings, to furnish entertainment, instruction, widening the vision of national problems and national events.

Internet Radio, a new baby in the series of technology, combined with one of the oldest mediums and formed a new way of communication. It is also called web radio, net radio, streaming radio and most popularly it is called e- radio and online radio. Basically, Internet Radio is a radio which is broadcast via the internet. In other words, we can say that it is an audio service transmitted via the internet.

Internet Radio is an advanced medium which involves steaming media. In previous times, when we listened to an audio file we could not pause it or replay it but with new advancements, Internet Radio provides you with live streaming and also audio on demand which opens a new definition of listening. On the other hand, Internet Radio provides podcasting, which involves downloading rather than streaming.


What’s new about the Medium?

In the history of mass communication, no new medium has replaced the older one. What did happen, of course is that the new medium comes with the jacket of the older medium and makes the medium convergence or redefining itself according to its intrinsic strength. In the case of radio versus television, for example, one critical advantage of radio is that you can carry it while you are doing something else. So, the new medium always comes with their own weapon to kill the old technology. Now the time has come when technology almost hypnotizes bulky and old wirelesses to small micro chips. Now the internet is supposed to mean the end of newspapers, television and radio. But to be honest if you want to put something useful it must offer a new capacity over and above existing technology. Now the question is web radio is ‘old fashioned’ radio broadcasting? No, the answer is crystal-clear now. No one waits for any audition or a big TV show to present their talent. Anyone who has recorded a sound file onto their computer, they can broadcast it universally in a fraction of seconds.



Internet Radio presents a concept of one way broadcast to two way ‘narrow cast’.



Internet Radio introduces a new word in the world of communication. Previously, we were familiar with the terms ‘one way communication’, ‘two way communication’, ‘interpersonal communication’, ‘intra personal communication’ and now we are familiar with narrow cast it focused on a  very comparatively localized or specialist audience. Web radio has possibly been made by the process of encoding analogue sound into digital code.


Internet Radio is an ideal father of the convergence of digitalized media technologies.

The history of digitalization came when Samuel Morse figured out how to ‘encode’, as a series of electronic dots and dashes. But the basic principle of digitalization is nothing but the transformation of a complex form of information into the simplest possible signal which carries one or zero of digital binary code. As far as radio practitioners were aware with regard to the advantage of digitalization and advance technology, we are witnessing the replacement of quarter-inch tape by ‘digital audio workstations’ by digital portable recorders – first DAT, mini disc- and by computerised play out systems in their broadcast studio. The same thing happened with other forms of communication like TV and newspapers, and all three mediums can happily be contained on a single desktop computer and sent together through convergence at one platform. Internet Radio is a master of all tools of writing, graphics, sound and moving characters.




Web radio’s relationship to other radio transmission routes.

After the encoding of the simple form, radio output is now capable of being transmitted by distinct routes, of which web radio is a part. As we know web radio travels a point to point route, whereas the other competing digital systems use one-way, one to many broadcast routes. As such, they reproduce the broadcast characteristics of analogue terrestrial transmission plus some unique additions of their own.

So, the principle of technological convergence remains in force here within the medium of radio. Although, the digital transmission routes remain distinct and confer their own characteristics to the content, as far as the listener is concerned.

The journey of communication started with the hand of Gutenberg and has now almost reached its peak. The medium has definitely changed but content is still overlapped. Either we use the pigeon or telephone as the medium, and even the internet, but the concept is floating on the same plane i.e. entertainment, education and development.



“A baby first scrolls in society but technologically it is a father of all traditional mediums and makes media convergence more effective.”








Priyadarshini Kiran

Priyadarshini Kiran a Ph.D Scholar in Apeejay Stya University and works as a Teaching Associate in Teerthanker Mahaveer University. In her research she gets the opportunity to work with diamonds in the field of Broadcasting Journalism. She has some notable research papers in international and national Journals and has been opportunistic enough to participate in multilevel seminars and conferences.

Multi Linguistic Priyadarshini has associated with India’s one and only Public Broadcasting Company under Prasar Bharti, in addition to All India radio as Producer and Scriptwriter. She has also worked in various groups like TV- Today Network, ITC Sonar Bangla. Priyadarshini had also been presenter for two years at the International Film Festival, Kolkata. Her specialized area is Broadcast Journalism, Research and Communication.


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