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Radio industry leaders gather for RadioAsia2014

Radio industry leaders from the Asia-Pacific and around the world have gathered in Sri Lanka for the region’s premier radio content forum, the ABU’s RadioAsia 2014.

More than 150 delegates were welcomed to Colombo by the country’s Secretary to the Ministry of Mass Media and Information, Mr Charitha Herath, who said Sri Lanka had an illustrious history in radio broadcasting, being home to one of the oldest radio stations in Asia. He hoped it would continue to grow with further investment.

ABU Secretary-General thanked delegates, the Sri Lanka government and conference partners and said this year’s theme, “It’s All About Content: Positioning New Radio in the Knowledge Society”, was very appropriate.

“We are working in a competitive media environment where audiences decide what to watch or listen and when and on which platform,” he said. “While new ways of accessing radio are growing, at the end of the day quality content remains the key to further development of this medium.

“Our obligation as broadcasters is to offer innovative, creative content and to be the voice of people and act as a meeting place for the audience to express themselves.”

This year’s RadioAsia2014 conference and associated events from 22-24 May 2014 is hosted by MBC Radio Networks. Mr Sashi Rajamahendran, Chief Operating Officer and Nedra Weerasinghe, Group Director, Electronic Media Business of Capital Maharaja Organization, addressed the gathering and the Industry Keynote was delivered by Ms Joan Warner of Commercial Radio Australia, saying that radio was here to stay despite competition.

In his opening speech, Mr Ovidiu Miculescu, Director General of Radio Romania, spoke of the development of radio in the cultural, economic and social life of his country.

“Culture is metaphorical lifeblood as important as health and wealth,” he said. “Radio’s role in promoting the arts, culture and creative industries is even more important as it is defining national identity and leading cultural diplomacy.

“Without culture, and the relative freedom it implies, society, even when perfect, is but a jungle.” 

The first session of the conference explored the power of music in radio broadcasting and four industry experts outlined several aspects of music to keep audiences and to enhance the cultural aspects of music. 

Prior to the formal opening, two Radio Workshops had been conducted on ‘The power of words – best storytelling in radio’ and ‘Generating New Revenues through New Radio’.

Delegates were then scheduled to discuss issues including storytelling, radio as an ICT role model for innovation and strategies for radio, with a panel discussion exploring how radio enhances the knowledge-based society.