To celebrate World Radio Day (13 February) 15 Members of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) have asked celebrities from their countries and beyond what radio means to them.
The ‘My Radio’ project makes available audio clips of many internationally and nationally known personalities from music, politics, sport, film and theatre, who praise the power, importance and role of radio.
Among the celebrities taking part in the project are British musicians Robbie Williams and Ed Sheeran, Austrian actor Otto Schenk, Norwegian band A-ha, Croatian alpine skier Ivica Kostelic and Egyptian movie star Yousra.
3-time Olympic gold winning weight lifter Kakhi Kakhiashvili from Georgia, Giorgos Koumentakis the Director of the Greek National Opera and Latvian mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča are also among those who have shared their experiences of how radio has changed their lives.
The project is also enriched by three videos, to be used on social media, from bass-baritone Eric Owens and Peter Gelb from the Metropolitan Opera and Canadian conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Ed Sheeran tells listeners that “radio is a very important thing for any artist. I’d say it’s the most important, so for instance, if you haven’t got internet, tv, you still have radio.”
“It's kind of intimate, you listen to the voice and there is a lot of place for your imagination. I believe although radio is a very simple media, that's exactly the reason why it will be present in the future as well,” says Ivica Kostelic.
“We are looking to use these familiar voices to communicate to our listeners about the power of radio in people’s lives”, said EBU Head of Radio Graham Dixon.
“Radio is such an intimate medium, creating a direct relationship between the broadcaster and the listener. These vignettes show the huge influence radio has in shaping lives and careers and the power of radio in reaching audiences in all walks of life.”
The “My Radio” project was compiled in co-operation with the Arab States Broadcasting Union,
The EBU has also hosted its annual "World Radio Day" meeting outside Europe for the first time with delegates gathering in Shanghai. The brand new “.radio” top level domain name, that will be administered by the EBU, was officially launched by project manager Alain Artero and the EBU’s Head of Radio Graham Dixon who also discussed the role of radio in 2017.
“Radio is more than simply an audio product or a technology. The word ‘radio’ signifies a service with strong roots in its own community,” Dixon says.
“As a medium, the core offer is real-time content, responsive to events, trends, changing circumstances and tastes. Those who produce radio are uniquely skilled at creating this responsive medium, and this topicality and sense of connection remain central to listener expectations. Surely, this is radio.”
A special concert will also take place in China to mark World Radio Day. The performance by the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Chen Xieyang, is being made available all over Europe and beyond.
Lebanon, Radio Lebanon