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World Radio Day

Radio reaches most of the population each day. It’s available everywhere, all the time, and you can access it – hands-free! On Saturday, 13 February 2016, the world celebrates the medium that keeps communities connected. This year, the UNESCO theme for World Radio Day is “Radio in Times of Emergency and Disaster”.

Radio still remains the medium that reaches the widest audience worldwide, in the quickest possible time. Just think how different your day would be without regular updates on traffic, weather and events or without knowing valuable information like changes in legislation or health issues. OFM keeps you in know – 24/7, at the touch of a dial in your home, office, car, online at and apps like TuneIn, and on OpenViewHD.

10 Fun Radio Facts

1. World Radio Day marks the anniversary of the first broadcast by UN Radio in 1946, when it transmitted its first call sign: "This is the United Nations calling the peoples of the world."

2. Guiglielmo Marconi sent the first ever radio transmission in 1896. Despite being known as “the father of radio”, he was only able to transmit radio signals, not voice. Marconi won a Nobel Prize for “contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy” in 1909. Marconi was the great-grandson of John Jameson, founder of Jameson Irish Whiskey.

3. Nikola Tesla was the genius who should have actually received the credit for inventing the radio – As early as 1892, Nikola Tesla created a basic design for radio.

4. The radio got its voice on Christmas Eve 1906. As dozens of ship and amateur radio operators listened for the evening's traffic messages, they were amazed to hear a man's voice calling "CQ, CQ" (which means calling all stations, I have messages) instead of the customary dits and dahs of Morse code.

5. The radio came of age during World War I. Military leaders recognized its value for communicating with the infantry and ships at sea. In 1923, Edwin Armstrong invented the superhetrodyne radio, its basic principles are still used in radio today.

6. On 18 December 1923 the first experimental radio broadcast in South Africa took place in Johannesburg. The Broadcast was of a music concert and was made by the Western Electric Company.

7. According to research, there are approximately 15.4 million radio sets in South Africa, with 30 million listeners tuning in every day.

8. Most radio commercials are only 15 seconds long, yet it is considered one of the most effective ways to reach an audience.

9. AM (Amplitude Modulation) was one of the first radio waves to be used for radio broadcasting. Its wavelength is about as long as a rugby field and the antennas used to transmit them consumed up to 50,000 watts of power.

10. Early developments in radio were called ‘wireless telegraphy’, which is why the radio used to be called the wireless.

The Youth Amateur Radio Club of America offers a good explantion of how radio works. Watch the video here

Video: how does radio work:

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