A few radio enthusiasts nostalgic about the glorious days when their short-wave radio sets shaped their lives debated at an interactive session on myriad ways to revive the medium. "Radio programmes can be aired to listeners at Goa's bus stands, markets, parks and beaches. Educational institutions and NGOs can use radio to highlight social issues," Roland Martins, coordinator of Friday Balcao, the fortnightly discussion event said.
With Unesco asking radio stations and others to join it on World Radio Day 2017 - February 13 to celebrate the radio and how it helps to shape lives, the participants discussed at the Mapusa event how use of radio could be promoted in the state.
The radio station in the city had its window to the world before Goa's liberation, the participants at the discussion were told. But the fragmentation of audience and other factors have seen a downturn in the number of radio sets in Goan homes being used. The medium is trying to adapt to 21st century changes and challenges, especially from television.
"We grew up listening to the radio when newspapers and other entertainment was not easily available. They say audio is a poor cousin of the video, but I feel radio is a very powerful medium. In video, you get everything readymade, but in audio you have to imagine," Frederico Noronha, a journalist and radio enthusiast, said.
Radio still enjoys its position in binding the community together, but needs to evolve through new ways of boosting interaction and participation, participants said. "All India Radio has many programmes for farmers, youth, women and children, and professionals," Saish Deshpande, an AIR official said.
The radio programmes need to be publicized, participants said. Animesh Nerurkar, an AIR fan, suggested a mechanism to receive listeners feedback about various problems, especially traffic woes. Another major point of discussion was how audio recording of oral history could be done and stored.
Noronha who promotes community radio said that non-expensive equipment has 48-hour recording capacity. "It is simple to record, store and upload on archive.org. Goa is full of people with traditional knowledge and when a person dies, it is like losing a library," he said.
The information stored on the internet archive, a non- profit library can be used as free content for a community radio.