World Radio Day — Center stage #13

13th of February is the World Radio Day. UNESCO has been commemorating the radio since 2011.

 I think 2yrs back I wrote something on this titled ‘transmitting on world radio day’ then there was  there was world college radio day that mused over how a college community radio could bind students.

I remembered this story about this young man in Bihar who built a radio that could broadcast for a very closed radius. This young man actually ran an information service. Someone whose cattle wandered. Someone wanted some help would all request him to broadcast for a nominal fee. A European tourist found him interesting and ran a small capsule on him for one of the news channels in Europe. This in turn caught the I&B ministry’s attention and he was hauled up for operating an illegal radio. That small community lost a powerful resource.

This is where official community radio’s work.

Radio still remains the most widely accessed media and the most trusted one. The theme this year is ‘Radio and Trust’ this has further has 3 subthemes.

  • Trust in radio Journalism – that is the information given should be well researched, and verified and content quality should be high.
  • Trust and accessibility – so as to address the need of accessibility of information or news to different sections of the society.
  • Trust and viability of radio stations.

I’m often told that Podcasts are the in thing and they will replace the radio. So, what is a podcast. Well, it is a digital audio file that is available on the internet and can be downloaded to a computer or mobile.

As of now both radio and podcasting are alive and doing well. They are similar yet very individualistic. No doubt both produce audio content that inform, educate or entertain an audience. However, Radio is live show produced by a station or an individual that is broadcasted over an airwave.  While a Podcast is pre-recorded edited audio files pushed out to various directories via an RSS and listened to on demand.

Radios could have a pre-recorded segment but are by and large live and very little editing is done.

Podcasts allow the file download and listen can be done on demand.

Radio is more popular with the Generation X that is 1965 -1979 a generation that grew up before the era of internet.

Podcasts are more popular with the Millennials, that is 1980-1994.

Radio tends to cover trending topics, music and pop culture with script following an editorial line for themes and topics.  This renders the content relevance for a short period.

While podcasting allows the host to pick the format, length and topic. Freedom of speech is unhindered by the radio station formats. While podcasts can cover newsworthy, they are not bound by creating shows on what’s trending.

Podcasters are not limited by copyright issues. The regulations are more relaxed.

Despite all this freedom Radio still has more listeners.

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