Many homes in Africa have a radio set and some families never switch it off. On a daily basis, their radio is belting out hourly news, music, radio theatre, documentaries, and the likes.
Why are Africans still hooked on radio when smartphones are the new cool?
Well, radio brings a more personalized touch to the people. People often form imaginary friendships with the host of their favorite radio shows and do well to call in anytime the phone lines are opened.
Aside it being the most widely used mass communication device on the continent, here are some other reasons Africans are still big on its use:
It has the biggest coverage
Radio has the widest geographical reach compared to other forms of mass communication devices in Africa. It goes to the home of any individual that owns a set regardless of class or status. Whether you are literate or not, owning a radio will keep you informed.
No one needs a subscription package to own a radio or keep it running. Smartphones have come to make communication swifter for many but these devices only target elites and those in communities that their network can reach. Well, radio is free and the device itself is one of the cheapest among the tech products and costs less to power as well.
Information and education without borders
Everyone can find a radio station in their dialect in Africa, a practice that was uncommon but has now gained grounds in most African countries. These programs that air in the local dialects teach and inform the people on all the need-to-know things about their community, country, and the world at large. Such radio stations help preserve the culture of the people by running shows about their way of life and its a great way to bring the people together.
Trusted source of information
In the age of fake news, radio is a more trusted source of information outlet for most people. It reaches a far wider audience, so the regulators enforce verification of information laws on the stations. This is not to say there is no free press; these laws mainly regulate the activities of the stations. The ardent listeners of the stations do not verify what they hear, so it is the duty of the station to do so on their behalf before transmission.
Radio is a mobile device that can be carried anywhere and used at any time. It can be found in cars and even on our smartphones. The traditional radio set needn’t be plugged into the wall before it works. When you have your batteries, you are sorted. When listening to your radio, you can multitask as well, thus, you can get all the information you need while bathing, driving or having your meal or even working on your farm.