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World Radio Day 2024 Celebrates Over 100 Years of Broadcasting

Joshua Cole, 14th February 2024

World Radio Day, held on the 13th of February, was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012, and is an acknowledgement of the power of radio as a medium to inform and entertain communities. It also acknowledges the utilitarian value of radio, with its ability to serve communities during times of crisis that may see television and internet networks fail.

This year's theme, "Radio: A century informing, entertaining and educating", acknowledged that licensed broadcasting has now been underway for over a century and looks back at the medium's history as well as toward its future as digital formats and new ways of listening challenge the status quo. In Australia the first licensed broadcast took place on November 23, 1923, and since then between community, public and commercial services there are now over 800 radio outlets.

The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) has put together a series of multimedia articles to commemmorate the 100 year anniversary of radio in Australia, and for World Radio Day 2024 celebrated community broadcasting, along with multicultural public broadcasting, with the chapter All the Voices: 1970s to now. This chapter draws on the NFSA's archives to provide audio and visual snapshots of the history of community radio, with material ranging from (but not limited to) groundbreaking 2SER LGBTQIA+ program Gaywaves to First Nations broadcasters such as CAAMA to broadcasting opportunities for women at 4ZZZ.

The NFSA is also asking broadcasters and members of the public to reflect on their positive experiences with radio by asking the question What Does Radio Mean to You? Submissions may be published as part of the Radio 100 series.

The Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) also celebrated Australian radio as a whole with the article FROM RADIO STATIONS TO COMMUNITY: CELEBRATING AUSTRALIAN RADIO, featuring interviews with AFTRS' Natalie Pozdeev and Andrea Ho, as well as an assortment of AFTRS students and alumi, that reflected on radio as a whole and individual's experience of its ability to inform, entertain and connect with communities.

Stations such as 2 HAY FM and VOX FM participated by inviting the public to their stations for open days, while others such as Tribe 91.1 aired special broadcasts to acknowledge the day. We hope to see even more stations get involved in future both to celebrate the sector and share their passion for radio as a medium with the public.

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Half a room of community broadcasters are about to celebrate a significant milestone. So how best to prepare and make the most of a station's archive and history?


Community owned and run radio stations weave a rich history throughout their years on air.


A community radio pilot scheme was run in the UK during 2002 and the pilot stations have been allowed to continue operating pending the first full licensing process, which took place in 2005 and 2006.

This paper is the first report of a study conducted in the summer of 2005. The study examined a sample of new UK community radio stations and compared these with a sample of established Australian stations, which parallels the UK group, for example urban stations, communities of interest and geographic communities. Community radio is well established in Australia and serves wide and diverse audiences. The study of these stations will help give a ‘vocabulary’ of terms with which to examine UK stations and also give indicators as to good practice and measurements of success.