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The Radio Advantage: Informs and Educates

January 23, 2014

Radio functions as an effective medium for communication and it also plays an important role in educating the public. Radio not only helps to inform the public; it also inspires the public to want to learn more. Radio helps to shape people’s attitudes, people’s interests, and people’s opinions. Because of Radio’s ability to be with us at home, in the car, or at work, and regardless of one’s age, race, gender, the time of day, or listening location, people depend on Radio for its educational and informational content.

In times of crisis or natural disasters, people are told to stock up on the essentials, and Radio is one of the essentials that people grab, along with water and canned goods. For example, in 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and most people were extremely unprepared, even those who evacuated the area. The only communication that continued after all the loss of power, cell phone signals, and other lines of communication was Radio. One station in particular stood out – WWL-AM.  During the hurricane and afterwards, WWL-AM was, for a time, one of the few radio stations in the area still broadcasting. People trapped in the Superdome found that the only communication that informed and educated them on what was going on was radio.

Radio is a powerful medium used in education for dispersing information to the public. Radio has the ability to speak to an individual and to millions, all at one time. That means a listener can feel as though the broadcast is meant for only them and yet, when in a group, each person feels like it was meant to be heard by all. Radio is an inexpensive but very effective medium to reach people of varying ages, races, genders, etc. An example of using Radio to educate the masses … Health Poverty Action distributed radios to listener groups in remote rural communities in the Southern Provence of Rwanda to expand its audience. The radio show tackles subjects such as HIV and AIDS, family planning, domestic violence, and rape – issues that were previously considered taboo. Now the Rwandan radio show “Urunana” brings health information to an estimated audience of 10 million people each week. 74% of the country’s population regularly tune in to the twice-weekly show. And, 36% now use the radio as their main source of health information.

Since the 19th Century, Radio has been the most effective medium to educate and inform the masses. Radio has the ability to simultaneously make one person or millions of people feel like they are being spoken to personally. With all the increasing media options that are thrown at us on a daily basis, it is Radio that has proven itself as the most reliable, dependable, consistent, trustworthy medium of choice.

-Nakia Smith, Sr. Sales Research Consultant