Radio Misty has appointed an ombudsman for its Siliguri and Gangtok stations. It has appointed GS Hora, chairperson, Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) as the ombudsman for the stations reaching out to listeners in West Bengal and Sikkim.
The concept of having an ombudsman - an independent authority acting as an intermediary between the radio station, listeners and advertisers, is relatively new considering that it was in December 2009 that another radio station, My FM, appointed the first ever ombudsman for radio media.
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Speaking to afaqs!, Nishant Mittal, chief executive officer, Radio Misty, says, "My FM's initiative to have a transparent person addressing the queries of all the stakeholders involved in the radio business encouraged us to take a similar step. Moreover, there is a need to have somebody who can be looked up to for any sort of clarification and suggestion by small town listeners, who are more closely associated and highly involved with the radio station as compared to the association of listeners in bigger places."
The radio station terms the exercise as an experiment and believes that the decision could possibly lead to suggestions from listeners as well as enhanced business enquiries and greater involvement from advertisers.
It is working towards informing and educating listeners about the new appointment through on air mentions. The queries to be addressed by the ombudsman can be mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. The radio station also plans to put up hoardings in Siliguri and Gangtok, mentioning details about the appointment of the ombudsman. It will also advertise in local newspapers circulated in West Bengal and Sikkim.
Mittal of Radio Misty adds that Hora was chosen as he is a well established and highly qualified public figure in the region and actively involved in various business, art and cultural activities. In addition to being the chairperson of CII for the North Bengal chapter, he is honorary lecturer in the law department of North Bengal University. He is also the chairperson of Gyan Jyoti College and Institute of Chartered Accountants of India at Siliguri.