On World Radio Day, Fine Gael Senator Martin Conway has said the Government must continue to prioritise local and national radio in the fast-changing world of social media and fake news.
Senator Conway said: “World Radio Day is celebrated by the broadcasting industry and radio enthusiasts since 2011. It is a day in which the world acknowledges the enormous contribution radio has made in the lives of billions of people on a daily basis since its invention over a century ago.
“Radio is a broadcasting medium which has evolved at pace with technology and can now be accessed anywhere at any time. This week, research showed us that 35% of Irish people now listen to radio from mobile devices such as phones or tablets.
“For the millions of blind and visually impaired people all over the world, radio is their main source of up to date information. They can enjoy sport, the arts, entertainment and critically accurate, trustworthy current affairs.
“As someone who is visually impaired, my main source of real time news and current affairs both locally and nationally is radio and I tune in every day. I know many people with sight loss who are totally dependent on radio for news and information.
“During the Covid-19 crisis, Government has provided vital financial support to local radio which experienced an almost complete collapse of its revenue from advertising. This has assisted radio stations across Ireland to survive.
“More so than any other time in our lifetime, this pandemic has demonstrated the importance of radio in communicating accurate, reliable information on public health. It also provided a platform for public health experts to disseminate guidance and advice to concerned citizens.
“The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland is now accepting applications for funding under a special round of the Sound & Vision Scheme. The purpose of this special round is to provide support to the independent commercial radio sector to produce programming which will strengthen public awareness and understanding of COVID-19.
“The closing date for applications is Tuesday, 23rd February 2021 and I would urge all eligible stations to apply.
“Government must continue to prioritise funding for this hugely important sector,” Senator Conway concluded.
Instructions on how to apply for funding available here:
Sound & Vision 4 – Broadcast Authority of Ireland (bai.ie)