As the world celebrates the impact of radio on World Radio Day, media workers in Antigua and Barbuda are convinced that radio will continue to be the strongest media platform.
One of those individuals is communications specialist Marcella Andre’, who, while speaking on the OBSERVER AM show yesterday, proclaimed that “radio is the great equalizer and will never go out of style . . . no matter what we have via social media and other platforms.
“Books and radio are the two things, actually, [that] I think will never go out of style. In fact, I think that radio is still driving the discussion even on those other platforms,” she said, adding, “Then you will see conversations over what was said on the radio on social media going through WhatsApp, and so it still comes back to radio being the place where the discussion starts.”
Local DJ and host Shane “EZP” Potter shared sentiments similar to Andre’s. Potter added that there should be a continued synergy between radio broadcasting and social media to provide a platform for dialogue, information sharing and democratic debate over issues.
“It’s going to take a synergy now rather than a competition in itself, because to me, out of everything, radio is the most important. When you think about radio locally, there’s no portal, there’s no site to take you to your local fix, none. So, if you feel like listening to OBSERVER for the next half hour, you get that fix, you can go back on your device, you can see what is going on, on Facebook.
“Radio’s strong point would be . . . in the automobiles on that daily basis and we could only take social media now and complement it and let it work for the betterment of the entire nation.”
Media veteran Mickel Brann, who was also featured on the show, charged the relevant bodies to come together and regulate pricing at the various radio stations, as the lack of financial backbone is a major threat to the life of radio locally.
“It is a significant threat not just to radio but to communication. We have an industry that is paid short trip in terms of what you can earn in it and what you can do, and that’s because the backbone is attracting advertisement dollars.
“There needs to probably be synergy among radio owners and managers about pricing. We have to be able to start creating products and to be able to sell it to advertisers to make them see how far their advertising dollars go,” Brann said.
World Radio Day is observed annually on February 13th to celebrate radio as a medium to raise awareness among listeners and inspire understanding for new perspectives in paving the way for positive action.
Dialogue, Tolerance and Peace is the theme for the 2019 commemoration of World Radio day.