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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

RE-IMAGINING RADIO POWER

Humble device remains a medium for millions

World Radio Day (WRD) was celebrated on February 13. The message sent to the global community is plain and simple — it is the easiest, cheapest and the most widely accessible medium of communication ever invented by humanity. WRD, initiated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) in 2012, had the sole intention to highlight the unique power of the radio which touches lives and bring people together around the globe. But then, this day can also be interpreted as a reminder to all of us that radio is truly an egalitarian medium of communication. Amid the high-pitch penetration and popularity of television channels in an age of globalisation, radio has never lost its place in our lives. Rather, the very step taken by Unesco has bolstered the wave of radio and re-established its ‘community connect’ much better today. Originally, the idea of WRD came from two things — one, a feasibility study conducted by the UN body itself and a proposal from Spain in 2010. Later it was proclaimed on November 3, 2011, at the organisation's 36th General Conference. And, by December 2012, the UN General Assembly endorsed the proclamation of WRD. ‘February 13' was decided as WRD by the Director- General of Unesco as on the same day the UN radio was established in 1946. Since then, themes that have all been taken for WRD are none other than a recognition of the fact that radio celebrates diversity, so to say, and enormous reach. The themes for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 say it all — ‘Gender equality and women's empowerment in radio'; ‘Youth and Radio'; ‘Radio in times of emergency and disaster'; and, ‘Radio is you'.

When it comes to India, the coming of FM radio can rightly be called as one of the most recent incarnations of the radio in India. The FM channels have taken us one step further — both the public and the private radio networks brought together, a new world, where people from all sections could take part. However, the journey of the Indian radio, that began in 1920, till date tells the countrymen an entirely different story. Though it was started by the colonial Britain, after independence, the Government of India came up with its very own — the All India Radio — in 1956. It soon caught the people’s imagination and became a household name.

By 1993, the sole dominance of the AIR came to an end, with the coming of private channels. And today, as per reports, the value of the radio industry in 2016 was Rs23.4 billion and it has been projected to rise up to Rs28.4 and 32.7 billion in 2017 and in 2018 respectively. It simply proves that it is the only true mass media in the country. What Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed to the nation on this day sincerely reflects the all-powerful impact of the radio: “‘Radio is a wonderful way to interact, learn and communicate. My own Mann ki Baat experience has connected me with people across India.”


Forwarded By:Jainender Nigam,PB Newsdesk & Social Media,Alokesh Gupta ,alokeshgupta@gmail.com

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