Event to mark a century of radio

November 20, 2023 BY

On air: A panel of experts will be discussing the future of radio 100 years after the first transmission in Australia. Photo: FILE

To mark a century of radio in Australia, the Eureka Centre will be hosting a panel of media experts and radio practitioners.

Chaired by Jonathon Green from the ABC, the panel will include 3CR Community Radio board chair Pilar Aguilera, local ABC identity Prue Bentley, and Professor Jock Given from the Department of Media and Communication at Swinburne University.

Event organiser and member of ABC Friends, Dr Jennifer Bowen, said the idea for the panel came from wanting to discuss what the future of radio may sound like.

“There have been technological changes and podcasts and so on but that doesn’t necessarily been radio ends, it just means radio changes and that is interesting to think about,” she said.

“If there are going to be major changes, we need to think about what type of consequences there might be and how might the public be aware of what’s going on or have a say in what’s happening.”

Dr Bowen worked at the BBC for 20 years and has experience producing podcasts and being a radio journalism lecturer at Monash University.

Despite the rise of podcasts, she said radio will still find ways to continue.

“I think radio will change in that it will provide material that becomes podcasts as a lot of the top podcasts at the moment are radio shows,” she said.

“In some ways the distinction is going to be blurred.”

The live aspect of radio, however, can provide certain qualities which pre-recorded podcasts cannot.

“I still think there are occasions where radio is going to have a real hold on people and that is where something is happening at the moment and people want to be connected in live time,” said Dr Bowen.

“Also when people want to get a sense of what the rest of the community feels.

“Live radio gives that opportunity for people to really feel connected as you are sharing that moment in time.”

Dr Bowen said she hopes the event provides and opportunity for attendees to reflect on their own experiences with radio over the last 100 years.

“I hope attendees think about all the different ways in which they might have listened to radio as there may be people of different ages,” she said.

“I also hope they think about the ways radio has provided pleasure or educational information in different ways.”

The event will take place on Thursday 23 November from 6.15pm and more information can be found on the Eureka Centre website.