In the present age of information explosion, and satellite communication it seems anomalous to talk of folk media.
Folk media have always played a notable role in our country in providing entertainment, fostering sense of values and conveying specific messages and even information with the coming of modern media, the traditional forms have been under pressure.
The novelty of modern media had greater appeal than the appeal of familiarity of the traditional forms. In this conflict, some forms have disappeared, whereas, some have shown vitality, adaptability and powers of assimilation.
There has been a new realization in recent years that the traditional media and art forms must be conserved for two reasons. One is because of their own intrinsic aesthetic appeal and second, for fostering regional personality.
The reach of the ‘modern media’ is still being limited in our vast country inspite of 220 years of press, 95 years of the cinema and 70 years of the radio. The traditional and modern media might be regarded as playing complementary roles in communication.
This assumes crucial importance in a country with more than 50% of illiteracy and very limited access of other mass media.
In practice, however, the modern mass media of the press, radio, film and TV received much more attention than folk media of communication. These latter were looked upon as a supplement to the mass media, rather than as central to the communication effort among the 80 percent of India’s population who lives in villages.
The folk media as means of development and educational communication have been discovered about 45 years ago in India.
Till then, the source and treatment of themes of messages through folk media were mainly based on epics, puranas, legends, folk-tales, regional and foreign romances, history etc. They all had ultimate triumph of good over evil.
In the developing countries, where more than 70 per cent of the population resides in the rural areas, the folk media are the living symbols of the grass-root culture of the masses.
This also means that mass communication in the developing countries is largely through non-mass media. They are also known as traditional media, which expressed the whole body of people’s performing arts handed down the ages. Basically, they represent the natural art of a people.