World Radio Day: a century of informing, entertaining, and educating

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World Radio Day is celebrated every February 13, the date on which United Nations Radio was created in 1946. The 2024 commemoration focuses on the memorable history of this medium, its powerful impact on society, its democratizing value of information, and the promotion of freedom of expression. Radio became not only the greatest tool for communicators, but it gave a voice to those who did not have the means to otherwise confront the status quo.

This marvelous invention, which retains its relevance today, emerged at the end of the 19th century as wireless telegraphy. In 1895 the Italian Guillermo Marconi invented the first Hertzian wave receiver using an electrical oscillator created by Heinrich R. Hertz. The first radio transmission over long distances was carried out by Marconi himself in 1899, between the English Channel between Dover (England) and Boulogne (France), a distance of about 48 kilometers. In Argentina, the radio came from the hand of "Los Locos de la Azotea" in 1920. Today, radio is still in use today and is still the most widely used means of communication worldwide.

Technological evolution has played a crucial role in the transformation of radio. From analog broadcasting to the migration to digital formats and online streaming, radio has embraced innovation. The emergence of podcasts and user-generated programs has further expanded the diversity of content, catering to more specific audiences. Enhanced interactivity between listeners and broadcasters, facilitated by the internet, has led to greater participation and engagement, as well as promoting independent communicators.

Those who do radio feel a magical adrenaline rush every time the "LIVE" sign lights up. They know that they have the power to activate the imagination and, through words, to excite in every story or song; the power of radio has no limits.

Radio is also the medium that informs, entertains and educates. The importance of preserving freedom of expression and the right to information in radio is paramount, especially in challenging times such as these. Radio, as a medium of communication, plays a crucial role in building knowledge and promoting a free world.

Proclaimed as UN International Day, February 13 has become an opportunity to give greater visibility to the public and the media about the importance of radio. The celebration recognizes radio's continuing efforts to communicate ideas effectively and contribute to global development.

World Radio Day is a reminder of the medium's extraordinary history, its adaptability over time and its lasting impact on society worldwide.

Radio in Argentina

In our country, the Radio Broadcasting Day is celebrated every August 27th as a tribute to the first radio transmission made by the "Locos de la Azotea" in 1920. The "locos" were Enrique Telémaco Susini, Miguel Mujica, César Guerrico and Luis Romero Carranza, all fascinated by the latest discoveries and inventions on the Hertzian waves. They aired Richard Wagne's "Parsifal", marking a milestone in the history of world radio broadcasting that would forever change the daily lives of Argentines.

Radio Argentina (Sociedad Argentina de Broadcasting) was the first regular broadcasting radio station in our country and the first Spanish-speaking radio station in the world. Later came Radio Sudamericana, Radio Cultura, Radio Brusa (later Radio Excelsior), Radio Splendid, Radio Nacional - Estación Flores, Radio Municipal, Radio Fénix (later Radio Antártida), among others.

In the 40's radio theater took over the airwaves; some outstanding artists were: Oscar Casco, Hilda Bernard, Rosa Rosen, Jorge Salcedo, among others. In the 50's "Las Dos Carátulas", an emblematic program of Radio Nacional, began to be broadcasted; and sports began to be included in the programming with the soccer broadcasts of the time.

In 1960 Cacho Fontana revolutionized everything with "Fontana Show" and Héctor Larrea, in "Rapidísimo", recognized, for years, as the great morning program. Other programs remembered throughout the years were: "Argentinísima", "Imaginate Flecha Juventud", "Magdalena Tempranísimo", "Modart en la noche", "La noche con amigos", "Matinata", "Soldán Esquina Tango", "La vida y el canto", "La venganza será terrible", among others.

Music programs emerged with the appearance of FMs in the 70s. In the 80s, more opinion programs appeared, a trend that continues to this day even with streaming.

Nowadays, through the Internet, it is possible to watch the transmissions of radio programs through the cameras installed in the studios, and there are even radio stations that broadcast duplex transmissions with TV channels at certain times. Today, radio programs can also be listened to online, in streaming applications and in podcast format, but in short, all this is also radio.

Radio is undoubtedly a source of information and entertainment for many people and continues to be one of the most popular and accessible media worldwide.


World Radio Day: a century of informing, entertaining, and educating
World Radio Day: a century of informing, entertaining, and educating