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I imagine local radio stations could be popular. I have the idea of using a radio program as answering lots of questions from people, will have big benefit and largest spread in a region where there is large distances to travel.

Photo of Johan Löfström

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Let listeners phone or send text sms questions to a panel of some experts from different fields.

Topics it can cover:
Food : Farming, Nutrition, Vitamins, Cooking, Buying, Storing safely (curing, salted, smoked).
Health: general advice on how to prevent getting sick (as linked with food and with domestic and workplace conditions.) (and the panel will recommend seeing a local nurse or doctor if it is something more serious questions)
Business: Startup-advice, discussion about current opportunities on different business areas, basic contract issues, buying/selling equipment, Economics, micro-credits, Banks, Marketing, Advertising, Managing staff and co-workers, Employees legal rights against their boss...
Education: advice around "evening-school" for adults, how to find info online.
Social : issues with local government, how to interact in a small community, how to keep good relations with family members if you are in a small-business together...
Sustainability : of business, farming, of electricity, of waste management...
and lots more related that is of common interest for many in similar situation...

If the experts in the studio panel do not have answer, they could know exactly who to call and ask. That can be done live on the air, to add the angle of demonstrating to listeners about research and fact-finding, and that it is possible to find good answers to any question.

Also important to do short bits of fun-facts and trivia, to make entertaining pieces in pauses of the show.

The program can do case-studies as a regular spot, they can ask listeners to send in tips of interesting and succesful start-ups to go visit and do reportage and interview onsite. If the radio show goes to different villages they can have live venue where visitors can come and ask questions to the panel live on the show, similar to the sample video above.

Letting listeners advertise on the air if they want to buy/sell/rent/lease a company or factory/farming equipment.

Radio show could make a weekly lottery to share out some of the income from the incoming fees, to one or two lucky listeners each week? as a starting sum for their start-ups. they must send in a short description of their business plan as the lottery ticket.

This whole concept removes all issues regarding not be able to reach illiterate persons and those without computer or smartphone. Almost all homes and workplaces have got a radio on, am I right?

Combining the potential with this radio show with some other related concepts will cause additional benefits, see the list on the right from other Ideators.
and please add ideas and details that will improve upon this concept, if it is related to radio show and what content it could hold.

How do you envision this idea making money?

Selling advertising time on the radio program, the panel members could be made to pay similar because they are able to make publicity for their businesses. Taking a small fee on the text messages into the program could be done (but i do not recommend it). Licencing rights to re-selling the programs as CD, mp3 or cassette tapes on a second hand market. Possibly also sell text transcripts of them on printed paper as articles for newspapers?

How does this idea create social impact, particularly around improving health?

Potential to spread info and advice to large audience quickly and regularly. Simple communication in live two-way-discussions and Q&A-sessions.

How does this idea add social value at every step of the process?

creates interest and discussions on regional and local level. Can help both individuals and small businesses with many general issues.

What are the short term steps we could take to implement this idea tomorrow?

contact all radio stations in the region. finding interesting experts in universities or social business sector.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Meena Kadri

Loving it, Johan! And maybe there could be a show that is created by children, for children around these topics? Along the lines of what was discussed here:

Photo of Johan Löfström

letting children create special reportage and stories for local radio is very interesting, the content can be focused on different topics that adult did not realize the radio needed to talk about. and can be good education for participating teams on how media and technology works for democracy grass-root-work.

Photo of Anne Kjaer Riechert

The idea about youth reporters is super interesting, Meena!

In Denmark, in the early 90s, making school radio programs (by students, for students) was very popular, and a highly educational extra curricular activity. I wonder what happened to all that equipment (-would it be worth it, sending it to Caldas?), or how something similar could be produced in Caldas today, using modern technology. The prospect of 'micro community radio' / 'super local radio' stations is quite potent for information sharing. During the earthquake in Japan, the local radio stations were the ones that all the effected people listened to, in order to get accurate and crucial local information. There was a very interesting article in WSJ on that topic:

On a different topic, but still related to the radio idea:

A friend of mine in Cape Town, who is a psychologist, is running a weekly radio program in Wesbank squatter camp, which educates parents about how to raise their children in a good manner. It has become very popular, and the idea is in the process of being exported to other squatter camp areas in and around Durban now.

Photo of Meena Kadri

Great insights, Anne – especially around radio as a community connector during disasters in such a current example as Japan. Illustrates our challenge theme of Community Connections well (which Johan has sited here) which asks "What role can social business play in improving emergency response during crises (for instance: natural disasters, complications during pregnancy, accidents etc)" And also "How might we develop ways to encourage peer-to-peer support and partnership?" – which I really like how Johan has considered in his concept.

Photo of Anne Kjaer Riechert

One major challenge in Japan now and for the past 3 months has been to co-ordinate and prioritize the needs of the affected people - as well as co-ordinate and distribute the resources (people, money and material) in an effective and fair manner. At the moment the Japanese Red Cross (-who were supposed to be doing a lot of the need assesments!) have apparently only used 30% of the funds donated. Which is a shockingly low number.
I am thus wondering how Community Radio might be able to connect people in need with people willing to help.

Photo of Johan Löfström

one extremely potent option to make a "radio program" specific to a location on a map, and to make it live longer after the actual broadcast is to place a recorded interview, reportage, instruction or discussion as sound - mp3 is to tag it with GPS-coordinates and a time stamp on any of the location specific internet portals : or How do you feel this new technology could be used by my concept?

Photo of Anne Kjaer Riechert

I can definitely see the potential in using GPS-tagged mp3 recordings to help co-ordinate relief work. I imagine an interviewer traveling around in an evacuation zone (e.g. to all the evacuation centers in an area of Tohoku, Japan) doing qualitative interviews with users (=people living in the evacuation center). A question manual could be created to make he interviews comparable. The manual would ensure that all the needs are covered (not just feed and shelter, but also to track sexual abuses etc. Which we unfortunately know occurs in the shelters, but is never reported).
I guess, this is not really a public radio idea though.

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