Radio a dying format? I beg to differ…


Radio broadcasting has been in existence for over a century now and was originally started by Guglielmo Marconi in 1901. The first public broadcast was made by the BBC in 1922 and ever since then it has been an invaluable tool for entertainment, information and during the war-times, vital intelligence.

So, what are the advantages of radio?

  • Imagination – The main one for me is that it taps into the listeners imagination. There’s no pictures so it’s up to the presenter/show to paint an image in their minds, of which everybody is going to have different ideas as we all think differently. ‘Radio Soles’ for example can describe food with lots of adjectives which makes the listener picture what it is they are talking about. The mind, a powerful and underestimated tool!
  • Scale – Another advantage is that the scalability. You can really run a radio station or show with only a couple of people, where-as something like a TV show, you need lots of different people all doing differently roles.
  • Size – The good thing about radio is that it can reach both small (regional/city) and large area’s (national) – In regards to the small stations (regional etc) they can concentrate and broadcast  all the local sports/news quickly and efficiently as they can be the first ones on the scene. They deliver new material that maybe wouldn’t be heard by a larger radio station. Take a local football team for example. If a story broke out in regards to that team, it’s unlikely the national news will pick it where-as the local one can.
  • Content – As no pictures are there to tell the story, shows can use sample sound effects to make people think it’s happening. Humour for example is cleverly portrayed on radio and the Hamlet cigars show that quite clearly especially the natural disaster one. Visually, It would have also cost so much to make, but because it was just sound effects it’s cheap and easier to make.

The unfortunate thing is with Radio now is that most of the large media organisations are making massive cuts in the area to try and save money. Personally, I don’t see why, especially after seeing the latest figures for radio listening in the UK. There has been a MASSIVE increase in listeners according to a report by Rajar;

“UK radio listening surged to its highest level for more than a decade in the three months to the end of June, with stations including BBC Radio 4, Radio 5 Live and TalkSport enjoying record audiences over a period that included the general election campaign and the football World Cup.”

“According to figures released today by the radio audience measurement body, Rajar, an average of 46.8 million adults tuned in to their favourite radio stations each week during the period. This equates to 90.6% of the UK population over the age of 15.”

“The average weekly radio audience was up by nearly 500,000 compared with the same period last year and up by nearly 300,000 on the previous three months, which was the previous record high.”

Information taken from The Guardian

I’ve been an avid fan of Radio since I was a child. I took a radio to school with me everyday and used to get in trouble for listening to it in lessons. I like it because it cheap, portable and always on with something interesting to either listen to or learn. I really hope Radio doesn’t die out for the sake or broadcasting, and mainly because my ambition was to work as a radio broadcaster/personality.


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