Radio broadcasting: Its technologies, technicalities

Tomorrow, February 13, the world over is commemorating the 2020 World Radio Day. The day was proclaimed on 3rd November 2011 during the 36th General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

It was originally proposed by the Spanish Kingdom; the first procedure was in January 2008 by the President of the Spanish Radio Academy, Mr. Jorge Alvarez. The day, 13th February, was chosen in recognition of the day the United Nations Radio was established in 1946.

Afterwards, in December 2012 precisely, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) endorsed the Proclamation of World Radio Day, thereby enabling it to become a day to be celebrated by all the UN Member States, agencies, as well as their partners.

It’s noteworthy that various radio industry bodies around the world have been supporting the initiative by encouraging radio stations in developed countries to assist those in the developing world.

Presently, the radio set seems to be the easiest and most affordable means of telecommunication. Until the invention of the social media, it was widely regarded as the only handy medium for information dissemination.

It is the easiest, in the sense that most current electronic devices such as GSM among others have access to radio signals. Most affordable, in the sense that anyone regardless of his/her status can boast of an access to radio communication.

For instance, a portable radio set can be obtained at the rate of N2,000 in any local market in Nigeria, and the Direct Current (DC) battery, which could be used to power the said device, can be purchased at most a N150.

But a GSM, which could guarantee an access to a certain social media such as Facebook, can never be obtained at less than N5,000. In most cases, it takes only Symbian phones such as Android, Phantom, iPod, and Blackberry for one to gain access to most recent social media like BBM, Whatsapp, Twitter, Instagram, and what have you, and such phones cannot be obtained at less than N20,000 or thereabout.

The television communication system is not left out in this analysis or comparison. In an average electronics market in Nigeria, a 14-inch television set, for example, is sold at about N25,000 or above. And after purchasing the TV set, the consumer still needs to obtain an outdoor antenna to enable him boast of absolute clarity while using the device.

More so, the consumer would still need to buy a power generating set otherwise known as “Generator”, to aid power supply since there is no assurance for steady power supply anywhere in Nigeria.

This implies that another remarkable phenomenon to be considered while comparing a radio communication system with other means of telecommunication is that, due to instability of power supply in most developing nations like Nigeria, acquiring information through the communication system in question has remained the only reliable means of telecommunication in existence. 

On the other hand, considering other means of communications such as the print media, how many Nigerians can afford a N200 or N150 newspaper, as the case may be, on a daily basis, or even a N400 newsmagazine weekly?

The above is needless to say that the print media is not just expensive to an average Nigerian but no doubt an exorbitant means of communication, compare to radio broadcasting service.

As the global society celebrates the ninth edition of the annual World Radio Day, there is need for the totality of the Nigerian Radio Broadcasting industry to strictly concentrate on the needful.

Rather than dwelling on frivolities as being witnessed in most quarters, the various radio broadcasting firms must base their information dissemination on professionalism, hence need to be mindful of whatever that’s being released to the air for people’s consumption.

A situation whereby a radio broadcasting outlet is used in playing politics towards deceiving the general public is really an aberration. The core mandate of radio broadcasting must remain the watchword of these firms that are derailing on a daily basis.

In view of the above, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in collaboration with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has a key role to play. Aside their policies that are targeted to maintain professionalism and patriotism, they must be ready to implement severe sanctions on any member of the Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria (BON) that violates the extant rules.

In addition, the BON ought to in its capacity assist the government in conscientizing their members on the significance of professionalism and digitalization. Considering the fact that we are undergoing the 21st Century, every broadcasting studio should by now be thoroughly digitalized for adequate dissemination of air waves and listeners’ pleasure.

Thus, they should at all times maintain a cordial relationship with the NBC with the aim of actualizing a totally digitalized broadcasting industry in Nigeria. The generality of the civil society is as well expected to follow suit in this crusade via sensitization.

The technologies and technicalities of radio broadcasting service remain the most reliable and affordable means of communication across the globe, but it’s worth noting that its reliability or affordability is meant to be sustained by implementing strict policies in the system. Think about it!

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