World Radio Day: Radio is the most social medium’

Today, 13 February, is World Radio Day. The medium is a hundred years older than the internet but globally still the most widely used source of news and information. “Radio also has an important social aspect,” says media expert Martin Scott.

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Globally, five billion people have access to the radio. The medium was in 1895 invented and reaches today more and more people than the internet. Since the inception of the world wide web is slightly less than half of the world’s population is online.

In addition to a important source of information is radio in a certain sense, also a form of social media because the people the chance to live to participate.

icipatory communication

“This social aspect of radio is often overlooked”, says Martin Scott, a media expert at the university of East Anglia.”On the radio, going to talks and discussions live, which is more difficult in newspapers,” he says. “With radio it is easier for you as a listener really involved.”

“Do you want policy that is transparent, that is, different perspectives to consider, to be actively involved in the process, even if you are previously in a disadvantaged position, then, is participatory communication is essential. Radio is a medium that this lends,” says Scott.

Important medium in developing countries

The race to as many people as possible online to get the importance of radio, especially for the billions of people in developing countries, sometimes overshadowed, Scott.

In those countries, has 75 percent of the families the opportunity to listen to the radio while only 40 percent has access to the internet.

Radio is still a cheap medium, there are no running costs as is the case for the internet. But radio has many more advantages, says Scott. “Transmissions may include different dialects happen, and radio is an important source of information for the blind and visually impaired people, and for the billion people worldwide are still illiterate”. Radio also penetrates better in remote and inhospitable areas, even for mobile internet can often be a problem.

Phone with built in radio

The increase in the number of smartphone users in developing countries has not only meant that more people online, but that more and more people to the radio going to listen. Often have mobile phones in developing countries are sold in a built-in radio.

The internet has not the death of the radio ushered in because many people are listening online to the radio or to podcasts. “Both radio and the internet, of course, need as many people as possible can achieve,” says Scott, “and therefore, it is important to be good to keep an eye on how there is a policy with the media is handled.”

“The in the streets of India and Egypt show, for example, that guidance around new technologies is necessary,” says Scott. The protests went over the plan to make the internet widely accessible in developing countries but was based on access to only a limited number of websites. The plan was described as a “walled garden” and was found to be incompatible with the principles of the founders of the internet for their medium of wished that it is open to everyone.

AM/FM to digital

Historically, the amount of radio channels is limited to a number of frequencies and licenses. Digital radio has the ability to the number of radio stations to expand but, warns Scott, the transition from AM/FM to digital should be done carefully.

Radio NZ reported recently, for example, that thousands of residents of the solomon Islands at the end of January lost access to the radio after the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the AM signal is abandoned in favour of the FM signal, and online services. The fact that the powerful earthquakes off the coast of the solomon Islands in early december last year, resulting in a tsunami have led, could people in remote areas of the archipelago, however, only to hear via the radio. (IPS)

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