An ode to radio on ‘World Radio Day’

13 February 2016 12:49 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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A passive medium allowing consumers to multi-task and enjoy in any state in today’s world.

When did you last listen to a radio? Not a complicated question, considering the FM station blaring out every nook and corner of our daily life.

oday is ‘World Radio Day’ - a day to cherish the distinctive quality of radio to touch lives and bring people together across every corner of the globe.
Radio is ubiquitous, reaching listeners on-air, online, on site and on demand - whether at home or work, or elsewhere. It is a passive medium allowing consumers to multi-task and enjoy in any state in today’s world. Let me talk about the wooden box with a speaker, particularly known as “wireless” in the contemporary context. The wooden box with bells and whistles which many of us used for various purposes like enjoying scintillating melodies and news broadcasts, and very importantly, the live commentaries of cricket matches. For straight five days the radio at home goes whining through which the commentary came through. 
I decided to key this as many youngsters do not know what a radio is; Sadly, many don’t even understand…it is out of their vocab. 


As with any mass media of communication since the introduction of Broadcast Radio to this date, it is still alive-in one form or another. When the radio came into the scene, debates raged as if it would kill the newspapers - but interestingly, a new trend was observed, both started co-existing. Instead of competing, they were complementing each other.
Along with it came the television. The growth of technology was steadily destroying human imagination and personal bonds - pushing each individual in his or her own personal space. That is a whole subject for another debate.
And lo and behold, the mighty internet sat in its position… and know all three forms (Newspaper, Radio, TV, and the combined media Internet, all are still active, but in their own realms). Now we are talking.
FM is for people younger than us…hi-fi stereo sound…music…Shortwave taking over the internet. A blogger says that 70 per cent of the African population belongs to cultures of oral tradition. So, he says radios would have a tremendous influence there than a newspaper.
And now, our stations give handouts to listen to them. ‘A question of ethics’?.
The technology is making a break through- engineers can now send some internet like info via Digital SW. Net is a mixture of many things. 

 


Unlike the TV and the internet, the good thing about radio is it never demands you to work on it. Like a cat it just lies on a side. Pick it, tune and listen. And it is FREE too.
I give an excerpt from the message on the World Radio Day by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
“In times of crisis and emergency, radio can be a lifeline. For people in shattered societies, or caught in catastrophe, or desperately seeking news, radio brings lifesaving information. Radio can help in emergency response operations – and it can assist with rebuilding. Through community radio, local people can raise their voices and be heard. 
This year, as we start carrying out the Sustainable Development Goals, let us resolve to use radio for human progress. In the lead-up to the World Humanitarian Summit this May, let us find ways for radio to do even more to help people in emergencies. On this World Radio Day, let us resolve to prove that radio saves lives.” Paradoxically, the debate on the death of radio is still raging in the internet fora, alike the debates on newspapers vs the internet.  

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