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Happy World Radio Day

World Radio Day this week has given us a chance to reflect once again on the importance of Radio.

In Kuala Lumpur this week for the ABU Prizes Reform Working party meeting, ABU member and radio trainer Steve Ahern from Australia’s International Media & Broadcasting Academy reflects on what radio means to him.

For most of the rest of the year we don’t think much about the unsung hero of media, because Radio is always there in the background, serving our needs for information and entertainment without seeking recognition or notoriety.

More than any other medium, radio is a friend who is always there for you, lifting you up with laughter or music when you feel the need for entertainment, and informing and engaging your mind when you need to know what is going on in the world.

In Australia some years ago, rock station Triple M had a slogan that said, ‘Because your ears have brains.’

Words heard on Radio go straight through the ears to the brain, without the distraction of your eyes. The pictures are better on radio.

What… did he just say a non-visual medium has better pictures?

Yes, I did. With Radio, the listener creates the pictures in their own head. That makes the images more personal and meaningful to each listener. 

Radio is also a constant companion; it is there when you wake, when you cook, it is your passenger when you drive and your confidant when your day finishes. It tells you what’s happening and knows your taste in music.

Radio is the perfect friend, it accompanies you wherever you go, but lets you get on with your other activities without being too demanding, without making you sit in front of a screen or touch a keyboard.

Listening increases your concentration span, widens your tolerance of the opinions of others and stimulates your imagination. It is the kind of friend who can help you improve yourself, even if you can’t read.

In an emergency you can depend on the radio to help you know what to do and where to go for help.

Whether you are rich or poor, old or young, Radio is there for you.

You would still recognise an old friend even with a new hairstyle or a makeover. Radio is like that today. Radio is having a makeover. You can now hear radio through your phone, your computer, a digital radio, a TV set or just a plain old fashioned radio, but no matter how you listen, it’s still Radio.

On World Radio Day, take a moment to acknowledge your old friend Radio for the way it enriches your life.