Tag Archives: radio

Early in the Morning: A Radio Interview and Blogs

Blogmandu: The story of Ratnapark and the debate of men on the street. Read in Nepali.
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Thanks to the CA election I have started waking up early in the morning these days. (Be warned, waking up early is NOT my cup of tea. I rarely see morning tea actually.) It was 6:35 and I hurriedly plugged earphones into my, where else, ears to get the latest on the polls. The KFM 96.1 was reading out news from Kantipur so I quickly pressed 9 on my cell which means I am tuned into the BBC World Service. A BBC reporter was screaming from Philadelphia, he was live commenting on the Democratic presidential debate. As soon as I heard the word Obama, I threw my siraks off (yes, I still use two but one of them always goes out of the bed sometime in the midnight!) and went to the TV. I was disappointed. Since the debate was on ABC, CNN wasn’t broadcasting it. There were two options: go back to bed or open the computer (because there was electricity which has become rare again after the polls). I decided to go for the second one. Thankfully, as I was briefly updating UWB, Anderson Cooper started showing snippets of the debate on CNN. I was little bit sad to know from one of those commentators (including the BBC reporter) that Obama didn’t do very well in the debate. Still I wished him luck. (After all he is the candidate I have proudly endorsed for this election season in the US.)

My original plan was to write an article about the current state of Nepal for an Indian web site. They had requested me and I had emailed them that I would write in two days. So many things are happening so quickly that it’s difficult to focus in one particular topic.

It’s about 3:34 PM and I haven’t started writing the article. Instead, in all these past hours, I was surfing the web and going through many Nepali blogs- many of whom I had never seen before. I was basically looking at Blogspot and WordPress blogs. As I surfed and found new blogs, I became more interested in them. Many of them were Hello-I-Started-Blogging-But-I-Don’t-Think-I-Will-Update kind of blogs that with a couple of posts and then the silence on blogger’s part. Some were very interesting and I read couple of posts on them. But I know how difficult it is to maintain the blog and keep on blogging. It’s been four long years, baby, that I have been blogging (on at least two sites) and it’s freaking challenging to continue writing. Sometime you are excited, sometime you are not; sometime you are fcking tired, sometime you are away from computer. So many factors to take care of!

There is a context for my blogosphere dive. Yesterday morning I was interviewed by Radio Sagarmatha for a program called “Prabidhi” (Technology) and I talked with the host Deepak Aryal for about 10 minutes over the phone about blogging and the trend in Nepal. Though the program was live at 8:30, I had to wake up at 8 to recieve Deepak’s call so that he could be sure that I was alive and ready to talk to him.

I thought no one would listen to the program (in this election season, I thought, who would first tune in to Radio Sagarmatha or listen to a program about technology.) So I hadn’t told anyone about the program in advance. Actually there was no time even if I had wanted to tell- Deepak had called me at around 9:30 PM previous evening.

To my surprise there were listeners, at least two! A member of the interim parliament called me two hours after and started talking about how passionate he was about the technology in general and blogging in particular. He also recalled his blogging foray during the king’s rule as after he was inspired by an article about blogging in Nepal Magazine. Deepak Adhikari had written about him last year (I am not linking!) and that article on UWB, he said, had made him “famous”. Sensing his strong desire to re-start blogging, I suggested him to start with WordPress and post his experience of being a member of the parliament. It would be a nice read, I told him, a parliamentarian’s blogs. We really need some inside stories coming out, uncensored, from the parliament. Unfortunately he didn’t have much time in the parliament. He told me that he lost the election. “I couldn’t give slogans of ethnicity,” he said.

When I came to Kantipur canteen, there was another journalist with KTV who said he heard me in the radio.

There are about two dozen radio stations in Kathmandu valley and I don’t know name of all of them. You can see many radio reporters in many of the press conferences in Kathmandu. I think it’s good to have many radio stations. It’s good for a listener. But is it good for the radio themselves? What’s the population of Kathmandu? How many people listen to radio? Which radio? My guess is that one radio station gets at least around 1000 listeners at any point in time (barring from, lets say, 11 PM to 6 AM).

Immediately after the polling, many FM stations were providing us live updates on the vote counts and that was really cool. I did one story for Kantipur about that phenomenon which also included, for the first time in elections, TVs as well. Many of the reporters, anchors and RJs were inexperienced but they tried their best to provide the information as soon as possible.

Arrreee, where am I going? I started with the morning, went on taking about blogs and jumped to the radios. I just realized that I am damn hungry.

Distantly related blog Meeting Barack Obama: Nepal is a Beautiful Country!

रेडियोभरि चुनाव

दिनेश वाग्ले
वाग्ले स्ट्रिट जर्नल

Nepal Counts Votes
राजधानीको ‘हेडलाइन्स एन्ड म्युजिक एफएम’ का किरण अधिकारीले भने- ‘बिहीबार रातिदेखि आएको, यतै सुतियो अलिअलि । अर्को साथी पनि हुनुहुन्थ्यो, पालैपालो जाग्थ्यौं । बिहान (सभागृह परिसरमै) आराम गरियो, घर गइएको छैन ।’

काठमाडौं- रेकर्डिङलाई बिर्सिदिनुस् कुरा यहाँ लाइभ भइरहेको छ । हातमा मोबाइल फोन, झोलामा चाउचाउ र शरीरमा बेतोडको जोश भएका तन्नेरी संवादाताहरूले आ-आफ्ना रेडियो र टिभी स्टेसनमार्फ बिहीबार मध्यरातदेखि निरन्तर नेपाली जनतालाई चुनावी परिणाम बताइरहेका छन् ।

काठमाडौंका एकदेखि पाँच क्षेत्रको मतगणना भइरहेको राष्ट्रिय सभागृहको चौरमा उभिएर शुक्रबार दिउँसो रेडियो नेपालमार्फ निरन्तर अद्यावधिक सूचना दिइरहेका विमल ज्ञवाली बिहान ‘चाउचाउ खाएर’ खटिएका थिए । ‘फ्रुटी र बिस्कुट पनि खाइन्छ,’ रेडियो नेपालमा ११ वर्षघि काम थालेका ३० वर्षो पत्रकारले भने- ‘साथीहरू सीमित छन्, धेरै क्षेत्र समेट्नुपर्छ ।’

‘सीमित साथी’ र ‘धेरै क्षेत्र’ को मार रेडियो संवादादताहरूलाई कम्ती परेको छैन । खानको टुङ्गो हुनेलाई सुत्नेको छैन ।

‘अफिसबाट प्याक गरेर खाना ल्याइदिन्छ,’ सभागृह परिसरको एउटा पर्खालमा पछिल्लो नजिता पर्खिरहेका रेडियो कान्तिपुरका संवाददाता २५ वर्षो अनिल बोगटीले भने- ‘दुइ दिन भयो घर नगएको । बिहीबारदेखि बुथमा आजसम्म ।’ राजधानीको ‘हेडलाइन्स एन्ड म्युजिक एफएम’ का किरण अधिकारीले भने- ‘बिहीबार रातिदेखि आएको, यतै सुतियो अलिअलि । अर्को साथी पनि हुनुहुन्थ्यो, पालैपालो जाग्थ्यौं । बिहान (सभागृह परिसरमै) आराम गरियो, घर गइएको छैन ।’

Nepal Counts Votes

मोबाइल नेर्टवर्कले बेलाबेलामा धोका दिने भएकाले सिडीएमए फोन पनि बोक्नुपर्ने बताउने रेडियो कान्तिपुरका अनिलले ब्याट्रीको धोकाबाट बच्न जगेडा मोबाइल पनि राख्ने गरेको बताए । ‘हेडलाइन्स एन्ड म्युजिक’का किरणले एउटा सीडीएमए फोन पनि बोकेका थिए । ‘मेरो मोबाइलमा व्याट्री कम हुन्छ,’ २५ वर्षो रिपोर्टरले भने- ‘भीडभाडमा कहिलेकाहीं नेर्टवर्क समस्या हुन्छ, त्यसैले बोकेको ।’

सूचनासँग छिनछिनमा खेल्न पाइने तथा विद्युतीय माध्यम भएकाले आफूजस्ता युवाका लागि रेडियो प्राथमिकतामा परेको यी तन्नेरीहरू ठान्छन् । ‘सबैभन्दा पहिले आफू अपडेट हुनपर्‍यो,’ अनिलले भने- ‘बढीभन्दा बढी सूचना लिन सक्नुपर्‍यो ।’ त्यसपछि त्यो सूचनालाई अरू स्टेसनभन्दा ‘पृथक ढंगमा’ प्रस्तुत गर्नुपर्ने चुनौती उनीहरूले सामना गर्नुपर्छ । रेडियोहरूको संख्या बढेको छ, प्रतिस्पर्धा चर्को छ, त्यसैले सूचना दिएरमात्रै पुग्दैन । ‘सूचना ब्रेक गर्ने भन्दा पनि फरक प्रस्तुति आवश्यक छ,’ किरणले भने- ‘श्रोताले मेरै एफएम किन सुन्ने ?’ रेडियो संवाददाताहरूले जतिसक्दो चाँडो सूचना दिन समाचारकक्षबाट निरन्तर दबाबको पनि सामना गरेका हुन्छन् ।

रेडियो रिपोर्टरहरूले मात्रै होइन, हालैका वर्षरूमा खुलेका टिभीमा पहिलोपटक चुनाव कभर गरिहेका सम्वादाताहरूले पनि चर्को समयसीमामा आफूलाई सञ्चालन गर्नुपर्ने हुन्छ । ‘तथ्य संकलन गर्न निकै ध्यान दिनुपर्छ,’ सभागृहमा पुगेकी सगरमाथा टिभीकी २५ वर्षीया श्रुती निरौलाले भनिन्- ‘रिपुटेसन (इज्जत) को पनि कुरा हुन्छ ।’ एभीन्युज टिभीकी २७ वर्षीया आशा थपलियाले गलत सूचना प्रवाहित भए तत्कालै गुनासो आउने भएकाले होसियार हुनुपर्ने बताइन् । ‘एकछिन घुम्यो, (क्यामेराअगाडि) गयो, अपडेट गर्‍यो,’ उनले भनिन् ।

रेडियो र टिभी दुवै माध्यममा मतगणना कभरेजको अनुभव छ सोहन श्रेष्ठलाई । अहिले कान्तिपुर टिभीको चुनावी समाचार संयोजन गरिरहेका सोहनले २०५६ को चुनावलाई रेडियो कान्तिपुरमा कभर गरेका थिए । त्यतिबेला अहिलेजस्तो मोबाइल/बेतारे फोनहरू उपलब्ध थिएनन् तर साधारण फोनमार्फत पूर्व ओलाङ्चुङगोलादेखि पश्चिम दार्चुला र माओवादी प्रभावित मध्यपश्चिम पहाडसम्मका भेगका चुनावी प्रगति सुनाएको उनले सम्झिए । ‘०५६ को मतगणनाकै दिन नेपालमा मोबाइल बाँडिएको थियो र मैले एउटा पाएको थिएँ,’ उनले भने- ‘भीएचएफ टु वे रेडियो सेट प्रयोग गर्दथ्यौं, मान्छेहरू पुलिस भनेर झुक्किन्थे ।’

अहिले कान्तिपुर टिभीले राजधानीका दुइसहित देशभरिका ११ मोबाइल टोलीबाट चुनावी अभियान कभर गरिरहेको छ र त्यसका लागि संवादाता र इन्जिनियरहरूको टोलीले नसुतिकनै खटेको सोहनले बताए । ‘जेनेरेटर, कम्प्युटर आदि बोकेर हाम्रा साथी गाडीमै सुतेका छन्,’ उनले भने- ‘एफएमको तुलनामा टिभीको टिम ठूलो र प्रविधिको बढी संवेदनशील भूमिका हुने गर्छ ।’

मानिसहरूले चुनावी परिणामको तिर्खालाई रेडियोहरूमार्फ कसरी मेटाएका छन् भने बाटामा थुप्रैलाई रेडियो हातमा लिएर या कानमा मोबाइलको इयरफोन घुसाएर हिँडिरहेको देखिन्छ । ‘भ्याइनभ्याई छ,’ सभागृहअगाडि उभिएर आफ्नो नोकिया मोबाइलमा एफएम स्टेसन चहारिरहेका ३८ वर्षो मनोज थापाले भने- ‘यो ऊ स्टेशन भन्ने छैन, जुनले मतगणना बताइरहेको छ, त्यो सुन्छु । त्यसले विज्ञापन बजाउन थालेपछि अर्कोमा गइहाल्छु ।’

[यो लेख आजको कान्तपुरमा प्रकाशित हो ।]

यसै सँग सम्बन्धित अंग्रेजी ब्लग: Nepal is Glued to Radios as Results of Maoist Victory Surprise Many (And Stun Some)

What Happened to the BBC World Service in Kathmandu?

The 103 Megahertz that used to relay BBC World Service in Kathmandu valley is now starting to air the broadcast of Radio Nepal, the station that rented the 103 MHz to the BBC: समय सधै चलि राख्यो, सुई पो त घुमेनन् (Time always kept moving, just that arms -of the clock- didn’t move)! Is that because of technical problem or something other?

This afternoon, when I tuned in to FM 103 that airs BBC World Service in Kathmandu, I was kind of surprised. A song by a female singer in Maithali language talking about equality between men and women was being played. My instinctive thought was that I was listening to a BBC World Service program about world music. I told myself ‘wow, a Nepali song in the BBC!’ I gave more attention to the lyric and thought who the singer might be. As I listened to the song, I also thought ‘wow they are playing the whole song!’ Suddenly my sixth sense worked and I realized something unusual was happening. Within a second or two, I heard a Nepali voice that was announcing the next song. I soon tuned in to FM 100 Megahertz to see what the station was playing. I heard the same voice. Why I checked the 100 MHz? Because the station belonged to Radio Nepal and I knew that BBC had hired the 103 MHz from the state run radio station. After the royal coup of 2005, the government used to interrupt and censor the BBC World Service broadcast with the Radio Nepal broadcast.

Then another thought came to my mind. What happened to the BBC World Service broadcast? There is no royal government and it’s a democracy. I guessed that the station might have faced some technical problem.

It’s 10:59 PM now and FM 103 is still relaying the FM 100 broadcast. A guy was reading gajal:

आशा गर्ने हैन उब्जाउनुपर्छ आटो आफै
देशको विकाश….

Okay, his name is Tirthaman and he was among the three who won consolation prize in a Gandaki zonal wide gazal competition by Damauli, Tanahun based Gandaki Bangmaya Pratisthan. Is that a satire to me? Is he telling me not to be आशे (Aase-the one who expects)? What do I do? I can’t open a BBC World Service like station now, can I?

I love listening to the World Service as it provides me not only news from around. Since it is available on FM transmission (instead of irritating short wave), it’s easy to get the quality broadcast on the go. More than that, I tune in to the World Service for their programs on various issues and analysis. Just yesterday I heard a wonderful program about rift between two communities in Belgium. I never knew before that the country with the capital of European Union was going through heated debates about partisan. It was actually surprising to learn that people of Belgium are so much divided that splitting the country into two zones (mainly based on language spoken by the people on South and North- French and local version of German. I also get varieties of ideas from the World Service coverage for my reporting purpose. Though I hadn’t listened to the World Service for quite some time because my mobile earphone was broken, I had resumed the habit recently after I bought new earphone at the cost of Rs. 1,100. Frustratingly there is no BBC World Service on FM 103 at this point in time and a Radio Nepal report about a Gazal competition is being aired. Continue reading