Some know of it, because they have gotten the opportunity to use it, others may have heard it in a Queen song, but almost everyone has 'heard' of the medium, that is radio.
Every year, February 13 is celebrated as World Radio Day (WRD), recognising the powerful medium that has informed, entertained, and educated people across seas and oceans for over a century. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution of World Radio Day on 14 January 2013, recognising the importance of as a source of information, entertainment, and education for all.
With the advent and meteoric advancement of digital technologies, radio is facing challenges such as low revenue, technological disruption, and censorship. Despite that, it continues to remain an essential tool for reaching thousands who lack internet access or are otherwise disconnected.
The occasion of World Radio Day, therefore is an opportunity to celebrate the medium of radio as a source of information, entertainment, and education. It is also a reminder of the importance of radio as a tool for promoting inclusivity through accommodative communication.
What is this World Radio Day all about?
This year, World Radio Day falls on Tuesday, 13 February 2024. World Radio Day 2024 comes with a theme of "Radio: A century informing, entertaining and educating." The theme highlights the history of radio and its powerful impact on news, drama, music, and sports. It also highlights the current practical value of radio as a portable public safety net during emergencies and disruptions.
The Beginning of Radio
The origin and history of this coveted machine can be traced back to the late 19th century when Guglielmo Marconi made the first radio transmission in 1895. This claim however is disputed, as Jagdish Chandra Bose, a famed Indian inventor is claimed to have formulated the primitive form of the machine. Radio broadcasting of music and talk aimed at a wider audience began around 1905-1906. The radio became commercially available in the early 1920s, and radio stations emerged almost three decades later. By the 1950s, radio and broadcasting systems had transformed into a common space around the world.
Why World Radio Day Matters?
Inventions follow each other, some enhance the existing system, others, replace the said system. Radio is that system, that left a mark of the fabric of Human communication. It is one of the oldest and most powerful mass media, and it continues to be an effective tool for reaching people who are not privileged enough to be 'connected'. It can help them stay connected with news and current events, and can also be used for educational purposes. Radio also provides a vital platform for the expression of local and indigenous cultures.