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Celebrating World Radio Day on 13th February 2019

Chander Mohan
Chander Mohan

In areas where access to technology is costly, radio continues to play a significant role in sharing the information. Radio broadcasts can give information as well as entertainment broadcasted 24 hours a day providing the most recent updates about news or something entertainment related to listeners.

Radio had been recognized as having such a profound impact on the world today that the Spanish Radio Academy had put in a formal request to have February 13 be established as ‘World Radio Day’ on 20th September 2010. On 29th September 2011, the UNESCO officially proclaimed that it be established the following February. So it was that the first World Radio Day was celebrated on February 13 2012. 

Radio quickly spread to find applications in every conceivable venue, from transmitting information, to broadcasting music, and even serving as a way of transmitting stories. Long before there was TV, there was Radio Theater, (incidentally, this also brought along the creation of Foley artists, but that’s another story entirely). 

Radio waves were originally discovered by one Heinrich Hertz, following on the heels of his discovery of electromagnetic radiation. While experiments were performed in using this energy to transmit information, it wasn’t until 1890 that the word radio was first applied, when the radio-conducteur was invented by French Physicist Édouard Branly. Previous to this all forms of communication using this discovery was known as wireless communication, but eventually radio spread across the world and became the go-to term. 

Radio Day is a great opportunity to remember all those years we spent travelling with Walkman, and enjoying the best and newest music broadcast from your local radio station. Set aside your CD’s and MP3 players, and remember when you discovered new music by what they played on the radio. Dig out that old boom box and drag it down to your local beach or park to reconnect to your local radio community, and remember what the world was like before whatever music we wanted was at our fingertips. 

Maybe you’ll find we’re better for it, or maybe you’ll realize that the news broadcasts kept you in touch with your community, the voice of local celebrities accompanying you and bringing a hometown feel to your morning commute, your lunchtime break, or even your road trip. 

Radio is the mass medium reaching the widest audience in the world. It is also recognized as a powerful communication tool and a low-cost medium. Radio is specifically suited to reach remote communities and vulnerable people: the illiterate, the disabled, women, youth and the poor, while offering a platform to intervene in the public debate, irrespective of people’s educational level. Furthermore, radio has a strong and specific role in emergency communication and disaster relief. 

There is also a changing face to radio services, which in the present times of media convergence, are taking up new technological forms, such as broadband, mobiles and tablets. 

Radio is still the most dynamic, reactive and engaging medium there is, adapting to 21st-century changes and offering new ways to interact and participate. Where social media and audience fragmentation can put us in media bubbles of like-minded people, radio is uniquely positioned to bring communities together and foster positive dialogue for change. By listening to its audiences and responding to their needs, radio provides the diversity of views and voices needed to address the challenges we all face. 

Radio programming can also build tolerance and surpass the differences separating groups by uniting them under common goals and causes, like ensuring education for one’s children or addressing local health concerns. 

Join us this World Radio Day 2019 to celebrate the impact of radio in pursuit of a more peaceful and tolerant world. 

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