On World Radio Day, 2013

I’m a Media student for the next six months, specifically studying Radio, before I return to my previous studies. This is primarily because of my podcast and because I want to develop a better understanding of mainstream media and how it works.

A while back I wrote an essay that’s included at the end of the blogpost, but there’s a number of links with information about the day that you should check out.

UNESCO – World Radio Day:

13 February is World Radio Day — a day to celebrate radio as a medium; to improve international cooperation between broadcasters; and to encourage major networks and community radio alike to promote access to information and freedom of expression over the airwaves. 

Official Website for World Radio Day - “The World Radio day seeks to raise awareness about the importance of radio, facilitate access to information through radio and enhance networking among broadcasters.”

15 Ideas on How to Celebrate World Radio Day

Why World Radio Day? 

February 13th is World Radio Day - Voice Of America

World Radio Day: Why radio still matters - Steve Ahern:

In Sydney, Australia this week, a caller to ABC local radio asked for 702’s informative broadcasts to reach younger listeners by simulcasting on FM. In Juba, the capital of the world’s newest country, South Sudan, listeners rang in to praise radio stations for the important work they are doing in rebuilding their country.  Both events show that radio is still important and relevant to people in every part of the world.

World Radio Day: Why radio still matters

Why do I study radio?

Anyone with an Internet connection and recording facilities can create a podcast. It’s really not that difficult. Since 2004, podcasters have broadcasted opinions and news; documented everything from comedy, tragedy, fiction in novels  to taking part in revolutions; have interviewed people around the world and delved into their own psyches. I’ve been a podcaster since 2006, but I’ve been a listener to the radio for much longer and I’ve seen how the medium has been revamped by the advent of the podcast and how radio broadcasting continues to be – and always will be – relevant to everyone.

I grew up with ABC720 (I used to sneak in listening to JJJ in the early mornings before going to school, and was delighted to meet Maynard F# Crabbes in 2010), and so Ted Bull, Verity James and Ian McNamara’s voices are practically “family”. These days I have eschewed fixing my broken car radio in favour of podcasts, but I still listen to local shows and Radio National while working around the house.

I listen to the BBC – now a handful of stations that I can access whenever I like –including radio plays and comedy shows. In the past I used to covet my audiotapes of “I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again”, featuring some yet-to-be-international-household names like Bill Oddie, Tim Brooke-Taylor and John Cleese. I am inspired by shows like “In Our Time” and “The Unbelievable Truth”, which I’ve used in my high-school Philosophy classes. I’ve taught radio plays and used transcripts when teaching – even skits about Macbeth to teach parody.

I listen to NPR, and have an iPod clogged up with shows from “This American Life”, “RadioLab”, “Fresh Air”, “The Moth” and “Snap Judgement”. These are the shows that have influenced my podcasting the most; I greatly envy ABC’s Richard Fidler who won a Churchill Fellowship to study public radio in the UK and USA, investigating how public radio is thriving at a time when many “traditional” forms of news media are declining (as he put it).

I’ve learnt a lot by networking with other podcasters, particularly other science and skeptical podcasts, and consider myself a member of a great online community. In addition, I’ve combined short documentaries with audio interviews and essays – after all, radio is very much a visual medium. I work with GarageBand and Audacity, but I have played with Adobe Audition and Logic Pro and I’d like to learn more about the technical side of broadcasting.

As a podcaster, I’ve not only interviewed Stephen Fry, Robin Ince of “The Infinite Monkey Cage”, Tim Minchin, and many scientists, artists and activists from around the world – I’ve also lectured on podcasting in education to philosophy teachers and scientists. I’m keen to learn more about improving shows like mine (especially the theories involved and the history of radio) – for while anyone can create a podcast, I want to know what we can achieve next.

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About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.


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