Robert Howard once said that the basic responsibility of Radio is to address the challenge of its immediate environment. For it is in the course of addressing such challenges that you solve the problems that come along with it.
And I for one think he knew what he was talking about. I have come to admit that any Radio program that refuses to solve a certain societal problem at a given time is fit to be referred to as NTBB and a judicious waste of airtime.
Meanwhile, the immediate societal problems in Lagos are different from the immediate problems in Kano. That of Kano is different from Port-Harcourt and Port-Harcourt’s is different from Ibadan.
The Lagos Example
Lagos is bedeviled with several issues including habitual traffic congestion and that’s why Sam Unwanna (now Dr. Sam Unwanna) who started the first traffic report show on FRCN then remains respected amongst his peers.
What he simply did was to use Radio as a medium to report the traffic situation in some places and proffer alternative routes for commuters to get to their destination. That simple idea went on to inspire other stations to start traffic report shows; so much that a radio station is now dedicated for such – Traffic Radio 96.1 FM. And it is thriving because it at least eased one of the problems that have clung stubbornly onto the fabric of Lagos state over time – traffic.
Myself and a couple of friends were once having a discussion on the spate of academic, religious, moral and social decadence and degeneration that has become rife in our society.
And I maintained that the Media is maybe not promoting but complicit to the rise and manifestation of these decadence.
Let’s not even talk about the constant portrayal of affluence by our movie and music stars and how they compete with each other to wantonly flaunt same on our faces on Social Media; thereby inadvertently urging the regular man to get rich quick so they can do the same.
Shall we mention the loss of moral values and what our people in Yoruba land refer to as ‘Omoluabi’ – virtues? What about the deflagration in the economy and ecology, governance and policy making, growth and infrastructural development, family values and respect for cultural difference?
Radio has the solution to these problems. These are issues that need attention paid to them; they are meant to be discussed not neglected. And it is in the course of discussion that lasting solutions can be proffered.
EVEN ENTERTAINMENT SHOWS ON RADIO
And I remember stating this postulate at a panel discussion and I was asked what about entertainment shows? Are they not fit to be on Radio as well since they seem not to be solving any societal problem?
And I answered NO! It will be wrong to say entertainment shows do not solve any problem. Stress and Tension are some of man’s greatest psycho challenge and these are the problems that entertainment shows attempt to ease. By playing music, entertainment news, celeb gist etc; it douses your tension. Even if it is momentarily, you forget your worries which has been built up over time. This is why the Beat FM brand will always sell every-time in places like Lagos, Ibadan, Port-Harcourt and Abuja where they’ve established themselves.
So as a Radio anchor, you have to look into the heart of the immediate environment of your broadcast station. You need to identify issues that are worth discussing and weave Radio shows around it. And doing this, you will warm your show into the heart of the people. This is imminent the so far they can relate with what you are discussing and benefit from it. The moment this happens, your journey to becoming the next Radio Superstar has hence started!
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