World Radio Day London
Monday, February 13, 2012 from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM (GMT)
Since the first broadcast over 100 years ago, radio has proved to be a powerful information source for mobilising social change and a focal point for community life. In recognition, UNESCO have announced 13th February as World Radio Day and to celebrate, a variety of practitioners, academics and tools providers are coming together at School of Oriental and African Studies in London to explore ways in which this traditional platform reaches even the most remote and vulnerable communities.
We will hear from Guy Berger (Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development at UNESCO) Dr Chege Githiora (Chairman of the Centre of African Studies at SOAS) Birgitte Jallov (Empowerhouse/ Panos London) Amy O’Donnell (FrontlineSMS:Radio) Carlos Chirinos (SOAS Radio) and Linje Manyozo (LSE). The panel will be moderated by Lucy Duran (SOAS, BBC Radio 3, Human Planet). This event has been organised by SOAS Radio, Lifeline Energy, FrontlineSMS and Empowerhouse.
Significant attention has been given to revolutions in information communications, including social media, yet it is important to remember that radio is still the world’s most active, localized broadcast technology. UNESCO has noted that radio is a “low cost medium, specifically suited to reach remote communities and vulnerable people”. Because radio is a free and accessible platform, it plays a crucial role in promoting development, improving livelihoods and supporting access to education. Put it simply, you don’t need an app or the Internet to access the radio!
Themes to cover will be the challenge of how different technologies - whether a solar powered radio or a mobile phone for audience interaction - can serve to change the way in which radio is used as a platform for engagement. When communities take ownership into their own hands, radio represents a powerful tool for development and empowerment. Discussion will cover entrepreneurship in radio stations’ business models and obstacles of politicisation of the airwaves and the challenges in staying financially sustainable, as well as access to radio broadcasts.
Radio serves as a platform to support communication in a plethora of sectors, in education agriculture and governance and it has a specific role in emergency communication and disaster relief. We want this to be a diverse and interactive event so invite anyone with an interest in community radio to come along and take part!
Places are limited so please register your interest to assure your place.
When & Where
SOAS Radio, FrontlineSMS:Radio, Lifeline Energy, Empowerhouse
SOAS Radio is an online station and social media enterprise based at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London and works with students, academics and professionals to produce radio programmes, sharing the research and interests of SOAS with a world-wide audience. The station also acts as consultants and trainers in communication for development projects around the world.
Lifeline Energy improves the quality of life of vulnerable populations by providing renewable energy alternatives to those most in need. This includes solar and wind-up Prime radios and Lifeplayer MP3s which are designed for large group listening. Since 1999 more than 500,000 self-powered radios have been distributed reaching more than 20 million listeners mainly in Africa.
FrontlineSMS:Radio is a tailored version of FrontlineSMS– a free, open source software which assists with the management of text messages. It uses a laptop or computer connected to a mobile or GSM modem without the need for Internet access. FrontlineSMS:Radio is a tailored version optimized for the needs of radio DJs and station managers.
Empowerhouse assists communities, non-profits, governments and funders with finding integrated solutions to create and strengthen community radio. With 30 years experience, EMPOWERHOUSE offers online training and coaching of CRs and networks for sustainable, participatory CRs, and carries out evaluation and impact assessment.