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Academics and youth representatives agree that radio needs improvement to catch up with global changes.
February 1, 2015

Kids Radio and Media Association and associate network organized a seminar which addressed research results of media for children and youth and there was a talk about “Changes and New Challenges of Radio for Children and Youth” by Ms. Khemporn Wiroonraphan, director of  the Institute of Child Media. She explained that the challenge of radio programs was how to make a comeback of children’s radio programs, to initiate the policy advocacy and to attract children’s participation. In order to create a children’s radio channel, the producer had to swim upstream like a salmon – that is, old patterns should not be repeated. For instance, the program could be broadcast online via internet like a radio station in Chonburi where children were allowed to participate in the production to create something entertaining. If everyone could carry on the idea, good programs for children will come back.

“You must have hope that such programs can be revived. We must engage in the policy advocacy and make the programs more entertaining like toys. Let children participate such as organizing an event in schools and communities so that they have a chance to be a part of production. What is important is to advocate Safe and Creative Media Development Fund Bill, which is now during the consideration by the parliament. That will be another way that helps. Children in both urban and rural areas must be taken into account in developing a policy,” said the manager.

Ms. Risuan Aramcharoen, managing director of Plan For Kids Company, gave some comments that sound effects in radio programs would arouse imagination. Providing experiences was essential. Discussion among parents and children would lead to learning while radio programs were supposed to have a talk session to help the learning as well. Then, the program would survive. Furthermore, the contents had to be suitable for each age group for instance infants needed to talk with parents, children needed creativity. Parents should be role models for their children. Last but not least, organizations should collaborate to promote them.

While Saengcha Thapha, Youth representative and former host of children’s program at FM.105 said that children’s programs ought to be carried on and DJs were supposed to use correct Thai language and pronounce clearly.      

“Children’s radio program will never die. As long as the program is still available, there’ll still be audience.  I want to see such program in schools, not just a kill time activity during the commute. Nowadays there are a lot of visual media, but the radio program will urge children to think, to imagine and to have more concentration on listening,” said Saengcha.

Mr.Tham Chuesathapanasiri, academic from Academy of Public Media at Thai PBS TV station, said that radio programs was not dead because there must be some people listening to them in the car.

In the meantime, online radio becomes a hit because of low cost, easy production. However, it needs some adaptation to survive – changing its form from audio into visual media.

“Radio media must adapt itself to people’s daily life, adapt its style – both broadcast time and contents. Since the media has specific target, its location, timing and contents need to be changed partly to survive. DJs are required to have a hosting skill and know how to apply social media because people in the modern times prefer two-way communication rather than one-way,” said Mr. Tham.

(Source: Institute of Child Media + Thai PBS)