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Interactive Practices on Educational Radio

From Australia to Turkey

Fırat Tufan

The main objective of this book is to propose a new interactive educational radio model for Turkey. Thus, six educational, community and university-based radio stations in Australia were researched. In terms of representing the entire country and all educational radio broadcasting practices, samples were selected from different structures and cities of Australia. After obtaining required data in the participant observation process, in-depth interviews with radio representatives were carried out. It was questioned, what the basic factors of effective educational radio stations are, how today's broadcasting technologies affect the relationship between radio and its audience and how interpersonal communication process reflects new radio broadcasting practices.

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3 Emergence of educational radio as a distance education tool

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3 Emergence of educational radio as a distance education tool

Educational activities beginning by correspondence reached to a more massive dimension with the appearance of the radio. The enthusiasm caused by the radio broadcasting brought the distance education method via correspondence to an end. After the emergence of television, this new media, which provided both visual and auditory features, suspended the educational function of radio for a period of time, but the education with radio never came to an end. While today’s distance education practices are carried out via computers that offer multimedia technologies and unlimited possibilities of the internet, distance education activities through radio and television broadcasts are still being supported in many countries as a complementary educational medium. The radio broadcasting has a powerful usage characteristic for educational purposes because of its easy accessibility, widespread, low-cost structure compared to other broadcasting technologies.

In the early years of radio broadcasting, Psychologist Allport acknowledged the educational potential of the radio and declared that the educators were confronted with a totally new public education medium with great possibilities (Cantril and Allport, 1935: 248). One of the important disadvantages of using the radio for educational purposes in the research conducted at that time is that the interaction on the medium is inadequate. However, in today’s technological setting, we see that this problem has been eliminated.

Looking at the history of distance education, we can see that every new technique and technology suppresses the previous one and...

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