Sunday, July 10, 2011

Why Are Radios Important In An Internet World?

Recently there seems to be a growing apprehension about The End of Shortwave!

Reason? Major international broadcasters are either opting for a change of medium (read from on air to online) or dropping their programs, as well as closing down different language broadcasts entirely (without even caring to ask their longtime listeners about their opinion), with authorities giving explanations like - shortage of fund allotment from the respective government bodies, lack of listener participation and above all - ‘To Change With The Changing Times’ (read shift to internet-only format which will save costs).

“Change Is a Way of Life, If Nothing Ever Changed, There’d Be No Butterflies”

True! But practically speaking, is there any justification to close doors for radio just because WE have advanced technologies available? Has radio lost its relevancy in an internet world? Certainly NOT!
It’s More Important than it was ever before!

(Courtesy: Ears To Our World)
[The following is an excerpt from Ears To Our World’s webpage]

"In many countries, access to the Information Economy, the networking technology which instantaneously connects people across the planet with information, media, and each other, is now often seen as a basic human right. Unfortunately, much of the world does not have the communications infrastructure to support access to the World Wide Web and other dynamic media sources such as digital television, wireless networks or even the telephone. Political instability, meanwhile, can undermine even the written word. For many people living in poverty or in war-torn regions, radio is still the best and the most effective way to receive life-supporting information.

Ears To Our World is a grass-root, humanitarian organization that specializes in the distribution of medium and shortwave radios to individuals, primarily children and teachers, in the developing world. Our mission is to enable children and their support networks in the most remote, impoverished parts of the world to receive educational programming, local and international news, emergency and health information as well as music and arts programming through the use of shortwave radio receivers."

Work such as this, which rarely hits headlines, actually matters!

No doubt, its a beacon of hope to radio enthusiasts as well! It’s reassuring to know that amid all the internet-craze, still there are people working silently for the spread of shortwave literacy among children of the future!


  1. I am tired of hearing people fighting for radio and trying to make decision makers realize that they are not right in their thinking. We do not comprehend how small nations who are basket cases, so to say can be on SW or for that matter Greece can when it is supposed to be Bankrupt while the BBC and DWRadio are cutting down or closing. When I was small it was rarely that we heard any item about our country and being an ex British Colony all considered the BBC Gospel truth. Now people have lost that faith and credibility in the BBC and most western Media. The UN and the West brand people War criminals according to their own laws suited with double standards. It is a Joke that George Bush is not a war-criminal, neither Ramstein for killing thousands when they bombed Baghdad and many cities at the start of the Iraqi war. What about Hiroshima and Nagasaki? No War criminals there?? Some say to hell with the BBC and its one sided biassed propaganda. The world would be a better place without it. The sun has set on the Empire, actually it did decades ago. Use SW radio for more meaningful things like what Ears to the World are doing!

  2. I can understand how hurt you are! If you have had ever been a radio listener or loved this medium you wouldn’t have said “I’m tired of hearing people fighting for radio” even in this internet age!
    I must remind you that there’s never a popular rush for anything without a popular (read: collective) interest. Same with radio! I suppose you don’t consider those thousands of people who are voicing their protest for the revival of BBC or DW naive! The reason they’re trying to save these heritage stations is because “they love this medium” not because every one of them couldn’t afford an internet connection. Only someone who’s attached to radio (as a listener or earns his/her daily bread through it) will understand the sentiments involved. It is but natural!
    And talking about biased news and propaganda – can you name one news organization that’s never been biased even to the smallest captions, if I say? Actually this whole point of being biased or not-biased is relative from one’s point of understanding. If you’re “for it” its clean, if you’re against it “it’s biased”. Tell you something what I heard recently from my colleague, who’s a media veteran; he said “we make news not for the people but to please our owners & their beneficiaries.” That’s the Hard Truth!