- For over a century, radio remains a key player in the advancement of human civilization through its role, of informing, educating and entertaining people.
- Radio is a versatile medium that comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable.
Today, we come together to celebrate a century, of radio tireless efforts, in informing, entertaining, and educating the masses.
For over a century, radio remains a key player in the advancement of human civilization through its role, of informing, educating and entertaining people.
Radio is a versatile medium that comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable.
It amplifies the voices of the unheard and ignored, disseminates crucial information to the public, mobilizes communities for action and watches over the management of public affairs by speaking truth to the power.
In our society, it has built individual careers, opened up new horizons for persons, as well as communities for action, inspired collective actions and orchestrated a massive transformation of society.
However, as we celebrate radio’s past achievements, we must, also recognize the challenges that lie ahead.
In an ever-evolving media landscape, it is crucial, that we ensure the sustainability, of this invaluable medium.
Sometimes we hear complaints that our radio stations have deviated from their noble roles are are nowadays no more than purveyors of gambling.
But one must sympathize with the difficult operating environment of radio today.
It’s no longer feasible to rely on advertising for revenue alone in the face of our current economy, stiff competition, and pervasive digital platforms.
As media owners, we understand the importance of innovation to survive, and that is not often easy.
Concerns have also been raised about the dominance of entertainers on the radio over professional journalists, denying trained journalists opportunities in the studios.
This is not often a fair criticism.
Depending on their broadcast objectives and the target audience, plus other considerations like employment capacity and available budgets, some stations seek to maximize their entertainment role over other functions like news.
Ultimately, a radio station's survival is dependent on the free choice of listeners.
You simply can’t ram content into people's ears wapende wasipende.
To young people considering careers in radio should not be scared of this alleged takeover of airwaves by entertainers.
Instead, they must pay attention to the changes now taking place in this medium.
Unlike in the past where all that was needed was a good voice for the mic, today the successful broadcast journalist must have a wide array of skills to make one a consummate content creator as an informer, educator and entertainer all rolled into one.
I call upon the Government to support radio sustainability, in Kenya.
Radio Stations, both big and small, play an important role, in providing local news, promoting cultural diversity and fostering a sense of community.
They serve as a platform for dialogue, sharing stories, and connecting people from all walks of life.
However, sustaining radio operations in Kenya today, and in this digital environment requires investment and support.
We urge the Government, to recognize the significance of radio and allocate resources towards its growth, and development.
This support can come in various forms, such as providing funding opportunities, reducing regulatory burdens, working with the industry to develop spectrum management strategies, that meet the needs of broadcasters, providing tax incentives to encourage investment in the industry, and lastly creating a favourable business environment.
Moreover, we encourage the Government to collaborate with media leadership, broadcasters and other stakeholders to address, the changing needs and challenges of the radio industry.
By working together, we can develop innovative strategies to adapt to the evolving media landscape and ensure that radio remains a vibrant and relevant medium for generations to come.
Furthermore, we must also highlight the importance of media literacy, and the role it plays in fostering an informed society.
We call upon the government to prioritize educational programs, in our radio stations, that promote critical thinking, digital skills, and media literacy, enabling our citizens to navigate the vast array of information available and make informed decisions.
As Owners and Stewards of Radio Stations, we have a responsibility, to uphold the values that radio represents.
We must continue to champion the principles of accuracy, fairness, and impartiality.
In an era of rapidly evolving technologies and media landscape, we have the responsibility of continuing this rich legacy and ensuring radio remains relevant in today’s world.
While New Medium vie for people’s attention, we must enhance our programming, and modernize our delivery to stay a vital part of the communities we serve.
We need to strengthen our local presence and showcase the diversity of voices, that make each locality unique.
On this World Radio Day, we acknowledge and express our gratitude, to the countless individuals, who have dedicated their lives to this medium.
From the passionate radio hosts to the talented technicians working behind the scenes, journalists and content creators, regulators, investors to policymakers, station managers and broadcasters your unwavering commitment has made radio what it is today. So thank you!
We also recognize the listeners, whose support has sustained radio throughout the years.
Your loyalty and engagement, have been the driving force behind the success of this medium and we are grateful for your continued support.
On this World Radio Day, as we tune in to our choice of radio stations.
Let us celebrate, the remarkable achievements of radio over the past century.
And let us unite our efforts, to secure the sustainability of radio, appealing to the Government for their support in creating an environment where radio can continue to flourish
Together, let us recognize the power of radio to inform. Entertain, and educate, and let us strive to ensure that it remains a vibrant and integral part of our media landscape.
Agnes Kalekye is the Media Owners Association chairperson and Chief Operating Officer at Radio Africa Group.