Radio is proven to be one of the most effective tools in raising political awareness and do campaigns. It’s the most convenient mode of spreading consciousness on what’s happening in their area and around the world.
Media has been a fundamental part of political movements. Politicians have used them wisely for their benefits. Almost all people in every walks of life listen to the radio every day. It is estimated that in a week still 271 million Americans 6+ tune into the radio. Of these numbers, 67 million are millennials.
Radio is still the best platform to reach their voters, especially that News/Talk radio format is one of the most listened to with a 9.6% share of listeners with age ranging from 12 and up. Radio listenership is still of great use to the political arena and best medium to raise awareness, put on their political campaigns, and mobilize protesters. Radio has played a significant role in establishing a connection between the people and leaders of the society.
It is saddening to hear though that some mainstream radio stations are being controlled by government censorship and even self-censorship.
The first radio station was established in 1920. Still a very young industry then, the first ever widely covered US presidential election was aired in 1924. Though with still limited listenership as compared to our times today, voices of the candidates were heard by Americans right at their very homes. This 1924 election has shown the powerful role radio broadcast will play into the political arena.
From then til now, the influence of radio in political culture has significantly grown and has dramatically changed. It tackles even the most sensitive issue in politics, racial discrimination, and also the corruption and irregularities committed. It has become more radical and liberating. In some, radio has moved from being one-sided to two. Over time, radio has been used not only for exposure to get votes, but also to shed light on issues that most of the time don’t work in favor of some politicians.
The right to assemble and protest was consecrated to the Constitution giving people the freedom of speech and the press. The public can gather nonviolently to communicate their petitions and voice their grievances.
Visualize how difficult it could be to organize a rally without the use of mass media influence especially in the old times. Luckily for us, marches and demonstrations are easily arranged through radio public service announcements. People from different walks of life are easily assembled at a particular place to be heard or to listen to someone speak. They show and voice out their advocacies and support to individual figures or issues which provides opportunities to empower and inform the people.
Various people and political parties have utilized radio for their needs and purposes. Radio liberates us by serving its purpose of convenience for public awareness with clarity and honesty. Hence, radio industry should continue to be a medium not only for political figures to deliver their speeches but for the ordinary citizens to be heard, not just to advertise their civic projects and purpose but for the truth to be exposed.