“If you give people an opportunity to tell you their story, they will. And when you put a microphone in someone’s hand it gives them the power to tell their story the way they want to.” – Naomi Grewan from Radio Workshop.
Did you know that radio is thriving in South Africa?
The Broadcast Research Council of South Africa (BRC) found that “In 2021, about 80% of South Africans had tuned into a radio station within the last week, with most people still listening on traditional radio sets. There are 40 commercial and public broadcast stations and 284 community stations in South Africa.”
World Radio Day is celebrated on 13 February 2023. According to UNESCO, “On World Radio Day 2023, UNESCO highlights independent radio as a pillar for conflict prevention and peacebuilding.”
To mark World Radio Day, we asked Naomi Grewan from Radio Workshop about the role the organisation plays in young people’s lives.
- Briefly explain what Radio Workshop ( previously known as Children’s Radio Foundation) does.
Radio Workshop trains youth across Africa to make radio and podcasts. We provide the tools and teach the skills. Youth bring us their creativity, local knowledge, and passion for tackling the issues that matter to them and their communities.
- How do you think radio impacts the lives of listeners?
Radio is the most popular and wide-reaching medium in Africa. It’s how the majority of African citizens receive their news, information and entertainment. As such, radio is often the pulse of communities across the continent. It’s the perfect means to communicate essential information – like in a health emergency – or spark dialogue that can lead to communities finding local solutions to local problems.
- Does the Radio Workshop plan to incorporate the World Radio Day theme, War and Peace? If so, how?
While not directly related to the theme War and Peace, we intend to release two new podcast episodes this month that focus on the climate crisis and access to energy. Both issues are likely to play a serious role in future conflict on the African continent and beyond if not addressed urgently.
- Why do you think World Radio Day is important?
Fueling vibrant community radio is essential for the health of democracy and the agency of communities. Audio, whether via radio or podcast, establishes a unique intimacy with the listener. Storytelling is as old as language. That’s why audio has the power to change people’s outlooks in the most deeply personal ways.
- How can someone get involved with the Radio Workshop?
Our work wouldn’t be possible without the support of radio lovers all over the world. You can ask any questions you might have via our contact form. You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To get an idea of what we’re up to, check out our social media: @radioworkshop on Instagram or search for Radio Workshop on Facebook. Our podcast episodes are available on all major podcast platforms, so tune in wherever you prefer to listen.
Radio connects us all, and Radio Workshop is giving young people a platform to be heard. As Naomi shares, “ it’s been incredible to see how youth radio allows young people to be a voice for their generation, their communities and themselves.”
Tell us: Do you listen to the radio? Why or why not? If you do, what are some of your favourite stations and why?
Read more here about a young radio host.