Is radio a dying medium?

by Nickie Wang

Back in college, we were taught that radio is the theater of the mind because tuning in a radio program involves a lot of imagination. We rely on sounds to create pictures of what we hear from it so listeners are able to think and be attentive—a good exercise for our brain cells.

Also in college, we were told that radio is in peril because of the dominance of more influential media like the television and the Internet. Whether it’s music, drama, or talk show, the aforementioned media are always on the top of mind.

Most media consumers nowadays, most especially in the Philippines are relatively young. That is why you will receive an affirmative answer if the question “Is radio broadcasting a thing of the past?” is asked. Sure, they can easily relate when you tell them about podcasting and streaming.

One of the first lessons we learned about radio is that it is very accessible. Buying a transistor radio is cheaper than buying a television set and it can still operate without electricity. Not everybody realizes that radio is still a major player in the world of communication particularly in journalism. In music, amid the presence of MTV and YouTube, radio is still leading force.

As the ever-changing face of broadcasting changes radio is able to stay relevant. One example, most mobile phone units from the low-end to the high-end ones are equipped with radio tuner. And if we think that’s the only way it is able to adapt in a fast-paced environment, radio has found platforms to reach wider audience, we have internet radio and television radio.

Marriage of audio and video

More than people expected, radio has been resilient for so many decades. Amid its predicted demise, it still hangs around by constantly adapting to the fast paced world.

Four years ago DZMM introduced a breakthrough in Philippine radio and cable TV history with DZMM TeleRadyo. It’s initial objective was to reach a much wider audience. The project, which was the brainchild of Eugenio Lopez III, didn’t stop there. The programs broadcasted both on radio and TeleRadyo became available via audio streaming in the Internet through TFC Now.

These efforts are statements that radio, once tagged by pundits and sages as a slow dying medium, can evolve into something relevant. In the first place, the idea was not to compete with television or the new media but to integrate these platforms to create a more powerful medium.

In a press conference held recently, ABS-CBN NCA head Ging Reyes said that after the launch of DZMM TeleRadyo other broadcasting network followed suit.

With that, it is safe to say that media networks recognize the dynamics of multimedia broadcasting. Indeed, radio, television and the internet can peacefully co-exist.

Another milestone

On Sept. 5, DZMM TeleRadyo (SkyCable channel 26) started airing ABS-CBN’s acclaimed current affairs programs XXX, Patrol ng Pilipino, Storyline, Krusada, and SOCO, at an earlier timeslot. It’s another first time in Philippine TV history that a channel in teleradyo format will offer current affairs programs.

ABS-CBN Manila Radio Division head Peter Musngi said this programming breakthrough is a product of a historic partnership between DZMM and ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs.

“We at DZMM believe in the brilliance and ability of NCA in producing programs that can open the minds of the people on the real condition of our society. Having these current affairs shows in our lineup will mean a lot to our viewers, not only here in the Philippines but in different parts of the world,” he said.

Viewers can still watch the programs on their original airing days on Channel 2, the DZMM TeleRadyo airing will offer something special to viewers. Every Monday, XXX takes an earlier timeslot at 9:15 p.m. after Usapang De Campanilla. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Patrol ng Pilipino and Storyline take the timeslot, respectively. Krusada and SOCO will be aired on the same timeslot on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

“The current affairs programs will have a ‘live’ feel as we will be using the DZMM TeleRadyo interface to make the shows more interactive. While a program is airing, viewers can send their thoughts and comments, which will be displayed on screen,” Ging Reyes explained.

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