By Lory Martinez
Before coming to AUP, I worked as the news director of my college radio station. I spent my undergraduate years editing and producing radio stories and eventually interned in public radio. I had developed skills in radio production, which for many of my friends, was a useless dying medium. I was told countless times that people prefer visual media, and that maybe I should crossover to video since Youtube was taking over. While slightly true, I always felt like radio still had value.
And when my friends back home started listening to Sarah Koeing’s “Serial,” I was excited to see the resurgence in appreciation for audio production. But you see, appreciation for radio comes and goes with the changing times. Gone are the days where it is the first and only source of information in many households, at least in the United States.
However, in many developing countries, it is precisely this “dying medium” that reigns. And it is a medium with such versatility that it can be installed and broadcast just about anywhere.
Tamil Nadu is home to more community radio stations than any other state in India. And up until now there was no real protocol for radio to be used in times of disaster.
This year, the annual monsoon season caused unprecedented flooding in Chennai, Cuddalore and Pondicherry.
With the help of the government, a team of community radio organizers put together an emergency radio station to broadcast in FM to the Cuddalore district during and after the floods. They created an open helpline for people to send their information to the relief workers via the station.
I worked on a panel discussion on the success of this Emergency Radio Station for UNESCO World Radio Day 2016 featuring community members and government officials, who worked together to save lives during the floods. The theme this year is Radio in times of Emergency and Disaster, highlighting the use of radio as a lifesaving medium of communication during and after natural disasters all over the world.
You’ll find the track below.
Listen Live all day February 13 on the World Radio Day 2016 site
And for those of you who can’t wait to listen to other amazing stories about radio to be broadcast around the world, check out the Soundcloud.
Special Thanks to the Auroville Radio Team and to the good folks over at the Cuddalore Station who helped make this happen.