The Business of Radio
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tsunamis, earthquakes or volcanic

eruptions – radio comes into its

own. Mobile phone networks often

fail, or are switched off, leaving

radio as the only information

service. In these situations, radio

can help people survive, explaining

what is happening, how listeners

can mitigate the impacts of a

disaster, where help is available

and how to recover from the

challenges posed. In these

situations radio can help reunite

families who have become

separated – something that has

been proven invaluable time and

time again.

BENEFITINGCOMMUNITIES

Radio also has an immensely

important role to play at the most

local level – in small communities.

The relatively low cost of building a

radio station and of transmitting its

signal enables communities to fund

their own broadcasting hub, where

the local regulatory regime permits

this.

A number of community stations

receive international development

aid, such as Mustang Broadcasting

Community in one of the most

remote parts of Nepal.

such as clips, music, narration and

so on, Responsive Radio will select

the parts that enable the story to be

told in a shorter time. To many

programme makers, this idea may

sound strange. Yet the BBC’s

producers are enthused by the

prospect of enabling more people

to listen to their programmes in

more places and at more times of

the day or night.

With these initiatives the BBC,

along with other broadcasters, is

making a clear statement: radio is

no longer a single platform

proposition.

SOCIAL PURPOSE

As technological advances continue

to cement radio’s place in the

digital age, its social purpose

remains core to the medium’s

success. Radio provides a public

space for the airing of ideas,

exchanging information, sharing

knowledge. Its universal

availability on a free-to-air basis

means that no artificial filters – of

the type sometimes created by

often self-serving digital social

networks – are put in the way of the

audience discovering and sharing

issues and ideas.

National radio broadcasters help

to bring a nation together through

shared experiences. Radio can

create the water-cooler moment:

“Did you hear that new song by

Adele on the radio last night?” or “I

cried when I listened to that report

on the migrant crisis this morning.”

Often, radio journalism can

spend longer exploring a story than

television does, creating

tremendous impact and long

lasting impressions.

Radio can also serve as a call to

action. Last year, the ambitious

Radio Everyone project,

masterminded by filmmaker

Richard Curtis, brought radio

stations across the world together

for special programming to

communicate the UN’s Sustainable

Development Goals to billions of

people. The AIB worked with this

not-for-profit project to ensure that

Radio Everyone output was heard

on stations across the world, using

the AIB’s global network of contacts

in radio stations from Namibia to

Singapore to get broadcasters to

support the idea.

Lifeline broadcasting is another

of radio’s immense strengths. In

times of natural disaster – think

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Far left

Object-based

broadcasting

creates

Responsive Radio

Topmiddle

Europe1’s visual

radio

Bottommiddle

Listening in China

Far right

Chiwetel Ejiofor,

Freida Pinto and

Richard Curtis at

the launch of

Radio Everyone

CONTEXT

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THE BUSINESS OF RADIO

CELEBRATING RADIO

|

WORLD RADIO DAY 2016

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