Boom boom boom . . .


row agitation, which saw cable channels as the main medium of communication, they became the first casualty.
Under the Cable Act 1995, government put curbs on their functioning of these channels. For some time they were even banned. “Even the airing of woes of casual employees used to irritate the government and they would force us to back off such issues,” said Tajammul.

“As of now we are only allowed to broadcast 20 minutes news,” said Tajammul. “Due to these restrictions we had to wind up number of our programmes and we had to relieve 50 employees.”

According to rough estimates cable channels in Kashmir employ more than 500 people.

While the sector has grown quantitatively, its qualitative growth many believe is debatable.

“There are problems with our sector and it is primarily due to lack of proper counselling,” said Tajammul. “Even our education has been such that we don’t have people who can pronounce fluently in English, Urdu or Kashmiri.”

With media in boom how can advertising lag behind. As of now dozens of advertising agencies are operating in Kashmir.

“After 2000, the advertising sector has experienced a real boom,” says Haji Hayat Mohammed Bhat proprietor Helpline advertising agency. “It has been growing at a healthy rate.”

Helpline is the biggest success story in local advertising sector. Hayat started the advertising agency as a subsidiary of Chetna Advertisers in 1988. Later in 1992 he converted it into independent Helpline advertising agency. The agency currently employs around 100 people and has seven offices spread across Kashmir valley.

Advertising sector is also growing quality wise too.

“Advertising agencies are getting specific in their business, some concentrating on outdoor, some others on electronic media, and some on print media advertising,” said Rafique Bhatt Chief Executive Raqia Advertising. “The industry is having a turnover of about Rs 15-20 crore annually with a 25 percent share with electronic media, 50 percent with print media and rest with outdoor and other activities.”

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