Still mak­ing waves: Ra­dio is here to stay say young, old

Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE - Our Cor­re­spon­dent

February 13 is World Ra­dio Day, a day pro­claimed in 2011 by the mem­ber states of Unesco and adopted by the United Na­tions Gen­eral Assem­bly in 2012.

The day marks the cel­e­bra­tions of a pow­er­ful com­mu­ni­ca­tion plat­form that has been reach­ing out to a di­verse seg­ment. To­day, it is ac­ces­si­ble as a web­site, app and a pod­cast.

Though, con­tent over the ra­dio has un­der­gone a dis­tinc­tive evo­lu­tion over the years, many feel the por­ta­ble bat­tery-op­er­ated ra­dio has no im­me­di­ate threat from the younger con­tem­po­raries such as Net­flix, Spo­tify, An­chor and many pod­casts rul­ing the younger gen­er­a­tion to­day. Nos­tal­gia reigns among many res­i­dents of Oman, who still feel con­nected to that old por­ta­ble ra­dio that can be held in the hand.

Mus­cat Daily spoke to a few ra­dio lovers in the city who still tune in wher­ever they are.

Chris Fisher, a ra­dio jockey with Merge Ra­dio, said, “Ra­dio will never be ob­so­lete as it is one of the prime meth­ods to es­tab­lish bonds. One has to be hon­est when pre­sent­ing on a ra­dio and so the gen­uine con­nec­tion that lis­ten­ers feel. Though now ra­dio too has be­come dig­i­talised, the pri­mary core of the re­la­tion­ship will re­main the same.”

For many bach­e­lors like Shilin Poy­yara who are work­ing in places far way from home, a ra­dio is the best way to stay con­nected with home­land. “I have al­ways been a ra­dio lover. I was a news reader in Dubai for a Malay­alam ra­dio sta­tion. My love for ra­dio was kin­dled by my fa­ther. He used to be glued to the ra­dio 24 hours. The ra­dio is the best source of in­fo­tain­ment for me.”

As­lam ul Habib, a Bangladesh­i busi­ness­man from Ruwi, too ex­plains his love for ra­dio. “I find ra­dio more con­nect­ing as it is small and handy. My chil­dren lis­ten to ra­dio but it is the on­line one. Though I do not want to be judg­men­tal of their choices I some­how feel the tra­di­tional bat­tery-op­er­ated ra­dio where you strug­gle to set a sta­tion has a charm of its own. It is my source of news and old Bangla songs. I am sure ra­dio is here to stay.”

2020 theme

The theme of World Ra­dio Day 2020 is ‘Ra­dio and Di­ver­sity’. It fo­cuses on di­ver­sity and plurilin­gual­ism. Ac­cord­ing to the UN, it is an im­por­tant medium to cel­e­brate hu­man­ity in all its di­ver­sity and pro­vides a plat­form for demo­cratic dis­course.

(Mus­cat Daily)

An ex­pa­tri­ate worker lis­tens to the ra­dio at a laun­dry

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