Bangladesh has seen a massive boom in electronic and print media in the past decade. One of the main factors behind this boom was the liberal laws pushed by the consecutive governments. Currently there are 27 TV channels, 14 radio stations and hundreds of daily newspapers operating in Bangladesh.
Radio has become very popular as an entertainment source in the recent past. Radio Foorti started broadcasting as the first commercial radio station in 2006 and quickly gathered enormous fame, mainly among young crowd. Following the path, five other private radio stations started broadcasting within very short time. Radio has become a very popular media source for regular traffic, weather update and entertainment. Most of the radio channels are unbiased and offer good quality news round the clock.
Private TV channels
25 TV stations among the 27 are private owned. ATN Bangla was the first one that got registered as a private TV channel in 1997. Within just 16 years that number has gone up to 25. Ekushey TV (ETV) was the first private TV channel in Bangladesh that got the license for terrestrial telecast along with state run Bangladesh TV in 1998. It soon became one of the most popular television channels in Bangladesh history because of its top quality programs and excellent news reporting. In 2002, the High Court ordered it to be shut down because of faulty license process.
Among the emergence of these competitive new TV channels, NTV has kept their spot as one of the top rated news channels over the year. Even though there are several 24/7 news channels in Bangladesh now, people still tune in to NTV during their news sessions. Along with news, NTV has also excelled in other entertainment programs. Due to their widening popularity they have extended their realm to Canada, UK, USA, some European countries and the Middle East.
Just like NTV, BanglaVision also has kept its millions of viewers in this competitive industry. In its eight year journey its rating has never dropped. Their top class drama, analytical talk shows and news reporting has won millions of viewers’ hearts.
Three news channels are on at the moment – ATN News, Independent TV and Shomoy TV. All three have proved themselves efficient and created individualistic brand image.
A study conducted by BRAC University’s Institute of Governance Studies in 2008 revealed that 82% of the people now consider news on private TV reliable while state run Bangladesh Television has earned 78% people’s trust. This number drops among urban viewers where just 68% of the people consider BTV to be a reliable source of news. The study also revealed ATN Bangla and Channel-I as the most popular TV channels.
However, the recent surge of news channels in Bangladesh has shifted that data by quite a bit. Somoy TV, a round-the-clock news channel, has become a very popular channel within just three years of emergence. Same happened with Independent Television. This channel became popular and earned viewers’ trust in a quick time. Some of the reasons behind their popularity are freshly updated news events, dedicated journalism and very good presentation. In a very short time Independent Television has gained credibility as an honest and unbiased news channel. It has truly done justice to its name with some powerful journalism.
Right now, the situation of electronic and print media in Bangladesh looks to be very good. Forecast is this electronic media will keep getting stronger over the next few years.