I usually think of radio as just something to help pass the monotony of a long day at work,, or being stuck in traffic. But, today the 13th of February is World Radio Day, a day which has reminded me that radio is so much more than shock jockeys and annoying commercials.
Radio can save lives! Radio is the fastest way to reach people and inform them of impending emergencies or disasters, this can give people time to prepare and save their lives. Similarly, when emergencies or disasters happen radio gets information to affected people as it can continue to broadcast when other communication may be down.
Radio can also be a great medium for creating social change, or spreading information to areas where news is not easy to access. For example in Syria, pirate radio is getting information to Syrians and offering an alternative to the state controlled media. For more information on this you can listen to this Public Radio story on Pirate Radio here on NPR.
I really love NPR, i think it is what radio and all media news outlets should be; informative with great stories that promote discussion and understanding. I also love that they address any bias that may affect their reporting, for example identifying any of their donors if reporting about them.
To find out more about how awesome and important radio is check out http://www.diamundialradio.org/
Now, I am going to wrap up my Worl Radip Day by watching The Boat That Rocked (AKA Pirate Radio). A really funny film about pirate radio in the UK back in the days before our air waves were full of pop music. The movie has a really great ensemble cast including Philip Seymour Hoffman. He is really great in this, a little bit dark and so cool, Whenever I watch this (especially the “these are the best days of our lives” scene) I feel like this is just Philip Seymour Hoffman being Philip Seymour Hoffman. If you haven’t seen this I highly recommend it. It is a good laugh and will make you really appreciate all of the radio stations we have to choose from nowadays. It has a great 60’s nostalgia inducing soundtrack too.