The Sonic Society

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Better to Burn Out…

The Guardian has a wonderful article about the importance of radio drama in Africa. No other medium is so important for a diverse society. Television and movies still remain within the reach of the relatively wealthy. Storytellers may reign as the most fundamental speakers of tales, but only radio drama has the power to reach masses with the least amount of cost, and the greatest of impact. The theatre of the mind is the most powerful medium of messages (if you ask us) and it’s time to make certain that the word remains loud and strong across this good Earth.

From How Radio Drama is Gradually Fading Away:

For decades, radio stations adopted radio drama across the globe to promote socially-conscious messages among the people such as health issues, anti-corruption, child labour and other campaigns to educate and engage the public. This is because of radio’s capacity to reach a wider audience irrespective of the intellectual background.

The importance of radio drama in the 21st Century cannot be overemphasised, especially in countries where freedom of expression is suppressed, access to technology is expensive or illiteracy rate is high. Radio continues to play an important role in information sharing.

In radio drama, voice is the only impression listeners have of the characters, and it gives the listeners room to imagine and create mental picture of the scenes. Radio programmes often leave lasting impressions more than TV programmes or films can.

 According to a baseline survey conducted in 2010 and 2011 in such cities as Abuja, Benin, Ibadan, Ilorin, Kaduna and Zaria by Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) and Measurement, Learning & Evaluation (MLE) Project, among women, radio is an important source of family planning information. More than 57 per cent of women with knowledge of family planning at baseline received family planning messages through radio campaigns.

However, in Nigeria it appears that radio drama is gradually fading out of the airwaves, with live programming dominating most of the broadcast fare, as noted by veteran radio dramatist and broadcaster, Mr. Lindsay Barrett.


About The Author

Born to Teachers and Amateur Audio Enthusiasts in the small rural community of Belwood, Jack's first love was stories- writing, reading, telling, and singing. He developed his acting skills through High School, University, and through film and community theatre. Jack writes the lion's share of Electric Vicuna's Audio Drama scripts and has his own writing site at www.jackjward.com He's thrilled to co-host the Sonic Society with his wonderful, talented, friend David Ault!

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