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Radio and Audio Strategies for External Cultural Relations

Art. Nr.: 7016
Verfasser:
Frank Kaspar

Radio and Audio Strategies for External Cultural Relations

Conference Report, Berlin, 24.–25. October 2013
Herausgeber:
Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen
1. Aufl. – Stuttgart , 2014. – 30 S.
– (ifa Edition Culture and Foreign Policy)
lieferbar. Download Grösse: 0.54 MB

Radio and online audio-formats are valuable instruments for international cultural work, and for education and development programmes. However, political developments following the end of the Cold War and the rise of satellite TV and online media have brought with them far-reaching cuts in the radio programming of international broadcasters, and led to fundamental changes in the way radio and audio programmes are produced and distributed. Major western broadcasters, such as BBC World Service, BBG, RFI and DW, have limited their shortwave services to a small selection of countries, mainly in Africa and parts of Asia, where the infrastructure does not offer real alternatives for addressing the respective target groups.

In these regions, radio still plays a vital role, not only for reasons related to infrastructure, but also because a great number of illiterate listeners can access information, knowledge and education best via audio. Traditional radio production and terrestrial transmission are also useful and efficient tools in media development work, as they can reach out into remote or rural areas and empower people to strengthen their community and cultural identity.

But radio’s relevance goes beyond the local needs of regions that have not kept pace with the rate of recent technological change and media innovation. Radio has been at the core of international broadcasting right from the start, and now that it has become one element in a new mix of media, it turns out that there are some attractive core qualities of radio and audio that remain. These qualities are: 1. the direct and emotional impact of the human voice, 2. radio’s well-established culture of dialogue, 3. its potential to involve listeners as coproducers, 4. the flexibility, mobility and comparatively low production costs of audio, 5. its ability to subvert censorship.

Frank Kaspar

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