Radio as a means for democratization: the use by students 1

Cláudia Lago2 Gisele Sayeg Nunes Ferreira 3 Abstract This paper is based on research carried out with students of a Radio and TV graduate course in São Paulo, Brazil, about the use of new technologies. It analyzes radio‘s potential as an instrument to democratize communications. The work tries to confront this specific use and the migration to digital support to the reality of radio in Brazil. In this country, radio can be an important tool in the process of democratization of information and communications, due to the low costs of installation, transmission, and reception when compared to other media. In a country where oral culture is privileged, radio also plays an important role in the democratization of relationships, and can serve as foundation for the development of social inclusion. This perspective has been broadly proven by projects carried out by nongovernmental organizations and governments, which have relied on radio broadcasting language to educate needy populations on how to exercise citizenship. Additionally, traditionally voiceless groups in the media have started to use radio, as evidenced by the rising number of legalized community radio stations that have surfaced in recent years, by the thousands that wait for an authorization to operate, and by many others that operate illegally. Still under the same theme, we recently observed a significant increase in the number of graduate degrees in Audiovisual techniques, the so-called Radio and TV courses, as well as the growing demand by students coming from several regions of the country and social backgrounds. Therefore, it tries to clarify how future radio professionals will position themselves to face the emancipating potential of the vehicle, starting from the use they makes of it now.

Key Words: Radio, Information, Community, Democratization
1 2

Work presented in IAMCR Paris 2007, in the Participatory Communication Section Journalist, Doctor in Sciences of Communication by the Communications and Arts School of the University of Sao Paulo (ECA-USP), professor of the Radio and TV and Journalism Courses of the Anhembi Morumbi University and the Laureate International Universities, São Paulo, Brazil. E-mail: 3 Journalist, Master in Sciences of Communication by the Communications and Arts School of the University of Sao Paulo (ECA-USP), doctorate student of Communications and Semiotics (PUC-SP), professor of the Radio and TV and Journalism Courses of the Anhembi Morumbi University and the Laureate International Universities, São Paulo, Brazil. E-mail:

1. Radio broadcasting in Brazil: context

Radio in Brazil has always been accompanied by with paradoxical situations, some of which are still exist today, albeit presenting new aspects and nuances. The origins of radio are associated with the elite, but it endured because of its popular appeal. It is a latent weapon in the battle to democratize communications in Brazil, but a considerable number of radio stations that operate under public licenses are linked, and we suppose, serve the interests, of regional and national power groups. As a vehicle, it has shown the highest rates of penetration in Brazilian homes, but it‘s one of the medium that have the smallest shares of advertising budgets, money that would permit the stations to be kept in good condition4. Radio‘s virtues are heralded by radialistas (professionals that are qualified to work in radio stations), radio-journalists and announcers, but it pays the lowest salaries of all other media, such as television and even newspapers and magazines. It is part of the curriculum of Radio and TV college courses, but doesn‘t seem to draw much interest among the students that attend these courses. And much less among students of Journalism5. These paradoxes (together with our personal involvement with Radio 6) were driving forces that provoked this research. In spite of the encumbrances that we try to understand, we continue to believe that radio is an important tool to democratize the power relationships that are produced and reaffirmed by the media. Specially nowadays, when radio transforms itself as due to the introduction of digital technologies. We also defend that radio could be a valuable tool for education. It can be, and has been, included in projects whose objective is to ―build citizenship‖ and to re-think the power relationships.


According IbopeMídia, from 2004 to 2005, 96% of Brazilian homes had radio receivers. A study done in 2003 by Marplan shows that radio‘s audience has been stable: about 90% among those who listen in at least once a week (Source: GPRádio – XLV Estudos Marplan Consolidado 2003). Despite its significant penetration, radio retains less than 5 of the advertising budget, while a clear majority is destined to television (57%). Source: Grupo Mídia. 5 In Brazil, to be a professional in Journalism, as well as in electro-electronic media (radio and TV) it is required to have specific formation at the graduate level. In order to be a journalist, therefore, it is required to attend a course named Social Communications, with Qualification in Journalism. In Radio and TV stations, in order to act as a producer, director and other functions not directly connected to journalism, it is required to attend a course named Social Communications, with Qualification in Radio and TV – which entitles the graduate to obtain the certificate as a Radio Professional by the Labor Ministry. 6 Being both of us Journalists with college degrees, we have already worked professionally on the radio, in addition to teaching about these vehicles in the Radio and TV course, and also in Journalism courses at Anhembi Morumbi University. We are also part of the Media and Sonority Research Nucleous, connected to the organ that establishes the rules applied to research ´´Nacional Council of Scientific REserach – CNPq.

We are also concerned that the apparent feeble relationship between this potential and what seems to be disseminated learned in Communications Schools, especially in the courses of Radio and TV, which will prepare professionals that will work not only on the existing radio stations, but very probably will be involved, in the near future, in the reformulation of the languages and perspectives of radio. To understand the complexity related to this issue, it is important to understand the meaning and the difficulties to implement radio throughout the country, as well as the current conjuncture. The origins of Radio in Brazil are associated with an elite. The first broadcast, in 1922, happened during the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Brazilian independency, in Rio de Janeiro, the country‘s capital at the time. It happened due to Westinghouse, who loaned the equipment and conducted the broadcast of the speech of President Epitácio Pessoa, in addition to parts of the opera O Guarani, by the Brazilian composer Carlos Gomes. According to Ferrareto (2001), while the attendees at the fair

listened to the broadcast through loudspeakers, it was heard in several other points of the city on 80 radio receivers loaned to the authorities. The first regular broadcasts were done by Rádio Sociedade do Rio de Janeiro, in 19237, founded by Edgard Roquette-Pinto, scientist and professor, member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. With the help of members of the Academy, especially Henrique Morize, president of the institution, Roquette-Pinto convinced the Brazilian government that it should purchase the broadcasting equipment that had been installed at Praia Vermelha for the celebration of the centennial. Rádio Sociedade do Rio de Janeiro was born to disseminate culture, but a type of culture considered adequate by men such as Roquette-Pinto. It was definitely culture, but not of a popular nature. The new medium, for the man that is considered the ―father‖ of Brazilian radio, was born with an educational purpose, and would serve to inform and educate those who could not read, and were the majority of the population at the time. In spite of precarious conditions, and no daily broadcasts, Rádio Sociedade do Rio de Janeiro appeared at a time when the country yearned for modernization, no longer being


A detailed history of radio in Brazil can be found in Ferrareto (2001) and Federico (1982).

supported by an agricultural economy, recently egressed from slavery, moving towards an urban and industrial economy. Radio was born at this time, tuned to this perspective. And here we have the creation of the first paradox: the ―radio societies‖ that started to proliferate in the most important state capitals between the 20‘s and 30‘s are kept, in general, by young men of the upper class – the only ones with economic means to purchase equipment or to set them up in their homes, and also to pay the membership fees to the broadcasting societies. This is the context in which radio broadcasting develops in Brazil during the 20‘s. In the 30‘s, there is the consolidation of radio broadcasting in Brazil, mainly due to the regulation, in 1932, of adverting on the medium. At this time, radio definitely starts to be seems as a player with a role in the country‘s power relationships. The government of Getúlio Vargas8 was extremely efficient in using radio to attain political objectives, including the medium in its overall project of integration of the vast national territory, and also to reach the widespread illiterate population. Similarly to the American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt—his contemporary—Vargas had the ability to build his image through the radio, while using it as a means of political-ideological propaganda.9 Eduardo Vicente (2006), reminds us that the State under Vargas‘ had the objective of forging a national culture, elevating the aesthetic levels of popular culture, while simultaneously incorporating its ideological imprint on this type of culture (among which we point out nationalism and developmentism). These premises explain the investments made in what would become the major driving force of the golden years of radio in Brazil, Rádio Nacional in Rio de Janeiro, taken over by the Vargas dictatorship in 1940, and which became the hegemonic power in broadcasting in the 40‘s and 50‘s, losing ground only with competition was definitely established in the 60‘s by the consolidation of television in the country.

The controversial figure of Getúlio Vargas is associated to crucial moments of Brazilian history. He is one of the main architects of the developmentist model that was perpetuated – although with distinct ideological forms – by the military government that established a dictatorship in the country from 1964 to the mid-80‘s. The first Vargas government lasted from 1930 to 1945 and was characterized by nationalism and populism. He established a dictatorship known as the New State, starting in 1937, and invested heavily in infrastructure, with the intention of guaranteeing the country‘s industrial development. Brought down by the military, Vargas returned to power in 1950, in democratic elections, and continued his nationalist policies centered on the development of infrastructure. He committed suicide in 1954, due to, it is presumed, the intense political pressures exerted by adversaries. 9 Nunes Ferreira, G.S.

Radio Nacional, although strategic for the Vargas‘ State, enjoyed relative autonomy and was able to re-invest advertising revenues in the production of its own programs. It was headed from 1940 to 1946 by Gilberto de Andrade, Vargas‘ henchman, but one who had great appreciation for radio. Andrade helped to transform Rádio Nacional10 into a great power, linking the four corners of the country under its influence. This was possible only due to the internal policies of Rádio Nacional, which produced programs with the highest audience levels ever seen in Brazilian radio, in what Ferraretto (2001) identified as the Radio Spectacle model, such as soap operas, the news program Repórter Esso, the comedy program PRK-30 and the famous live shows. At Radio Nacional there will be the consolidation of the live audience programs, and an attempt at an ―aesthetic improvement‖ (Vicente, 2006) of popular culture; in the case of music, by introducing large orchestras and blending them with samba. The dissemination of broadcasting equipment, in addition to programs more and more oriented towards the popular taste, transformed radio, starting in the 30‘s, in the mass media vehicle par excellence. This hegemony will be seriously affected at the end of the 50‘s with the definite arrival of television in Brazil, resulting in what Ferraretto (2001) denominates the ―decadence period.‖ ―Restructuring‖ occurs during the 70‘s, mainly due to the transistor, which imparted mobility to radio, and altered the listening experience, which moved from a family-oriented activity, as during the Radio Spectacle era, to an individual one. Additionally, in the 70‘s the radio stations started to operate with frequency modulation (FM) in Brazil, resulting in a better quality broadcast and pureness of sound. Brazilian radio then becomes fragmented, keeping news, sports and more popular appeal programs in broadcasts with Amplitude Modulation (AM), and reserving FM for musical programs, usually listened by the younger and more affluent portion of the population. Public services also start at this time, and is later consolidated. With time, this fragmentation was redefined, with a few FM radio stations, starting in the 90‘s, transmitting in the all-news system (also oriented towards the upper classes) and many radio stations carrying musical programming for a younger audience. Comedy


The history of Radio Nacional can be found in Saroldi and Moreira (2005).

shows, which were extremely important during the Radio Spectacle era returned to radio stations catering to younger audiences, with distinct characteristics and type of humor. However, radio will never be the same when compared to the golden era. A large part of the schedule is musical, but without the presence of live orchestras or even singers: Most of the programs have an announcer whose work is to introduce songs and play a preestablished playlist. The so-called interactivity with the listener is done with phone calls to the radio station or letters (less and less frequently) and e-mails requesting songs selected from a list previously provided by the station. As pointed out by Ortriwano (1998), the new technologies did not change radio‘s profile, as it continues to have interactivity limited to reduced spaces. At the same time, starting in the 80‘s, the situation of radio stations in Brazil changed, due to the pressure exerted by popular groups and other sectors that started to demand the right to broadcast, moving part of the discussion to the issues of ―community‖, ―free‖, or ―pirate‖ radio stations. Around this time, as pointed out by Nunes Ferreira (2005), ―Brazil experiences a surge of non-official radio stations, also known as pirate radio stations,‖ similar to what occurred in Europe decades earlier. At the same time that several non-official radio stations are opened by popular groups and others, a number of them is also systematically closed down. When discussing the alternative radical media, Downing points out the role of radio, due to the fact that it is a vehicle with a relatively simple technology, transportable, inexpensive, with good range, easy to be produced, even under adverse conditions (as in clandestine broadcasts, for example). Radio, seen under this light, would be a facilitator for Downing: ―Countries with high illiteracy rates, including extensive countries such as India or Brazil, radio has played, as expected, as more important role than that of the printed media.‖ (2002: 243).11 A significant part of the non-official radio broadcasting experiences that have proliferated during the 80‘s—according to the author about the radical media—―expresses an alternative point of view, to hegemonic policies, priorities and perspectives‖, as a means of expression of popular and opposition cultures. (Id. Ibid.: 24-30).

Translated into English from the Brazilian translation.

The fight for the right to broadcast intensifies in the 90‘s, resulting in the 1998 bill that regulates what becomes known as ―community communications service.‖12 In spite of the regulation, the issue continues to be controversial in Brazil. Unofficial estimates indicate that more than 15,000 clandestine radio stations, which refuse to abide to the regulatory limitations. In spite of the fact that a significant number of these stations only mimic the programming schedule of corporate radio, a good part of this contingent resists and looks for new forms, ranging from content to management, configuring what Downing (2004) characterized as ―radical media‖. Some time later, during the consolidation of the internet in the country, the relationship between radio and the web started to take place. This relationship ranges from offering in portals belonging to the radio station the content that is currently being broadcast, to the creation of radio stations on the internet (web radios) or even other experiences, such as Podcasts13. Currently, the paradoxes of radio in Brazil persist and have become deeper. On one hand, we note a number of initiatives that strengthen the possibility of uniting radio broadcasting language and the heralded plurality of opinions, a sine qua non condition to strengthen democracy and citizenship. This possibility is corroborated by the growing number of radio stations that try to qualify as community radio stations, added to the initiatives on the web. On the other hand, the public concession system, which has gone through several modifications, continues to be associated with political favors. In reality, Lima (2001) reminds us that in Brazil, starting in the 80‘s, there have been reforms to adapt the radio broadcasting concession system to the new rules of the international market. This market is characterized since the 70‘s by mergers, resulting in enormous media conglomerates, and by the deregulation of markets traditionally less open, such as the European market – increasing the international trend of concentration of

As pointed out by Nunes Ferreira (2005), although the legislation about community radio stations established clear criteria for their identification as RadCom, these are not consensual, and this is evidenced by the proliferation of names: pirate stations, free stations, community stations, etc. Additionally, researchers as well as activists of movements for the democratization of communications, note that the RadCom legislation, which was created to regulate the area, may be, in reality, a way to restrict the participation of these radio stations, by restricting power and limiting and geographical reach, in addition to almost making their existence unfeasible by applying the criteria of institutional sponsorship (and prohibiting commercial advertising) that is extremely restrictive from a financial point of view. 13 Lígia Maria Trigo-de-Souza researched, at the beginning of this decade, radio stations that had, in any way, connection with the internet, and observed that ―there is no significant information with regards to form or language‖. In Trigo-deSouza, 2002-2003.

property. The researcher points to the fact that in the Brazilian system this adaptation does not change the overall situation: the large communications vehicles are still kept by a few family groups, who intermingle with the local and/or regional political elite 14. In the case

of public concessions of radio stations, the situation is even more worrying, as they serve as exchange currency in congress. In spite of being prohibited, it is a well-known fact that a large part of the radio stations are in the hands of politicians or their figureheads. Lima (2001) alerts to the fact that, in addition to this traditional link, new ―national players‖ have started to battle in the concessions arena: the churches. Once again, the case of radio stations is emblematic. Traditional radio stations, directly controlled by the Catholic Church, are now joined by others of evangelical orientation. 15

3. The meaning of Radio for the country

Marked by trouble and paradox, Radio in Brazil still occupies a prominent position, due to its specific characteristics, among which the emphasis on orality is probably the most integrated trait to the national ethos16. Brazil is a country marked by an oral culture, as pointed out by Costa (2004), who believes that, in the country, ―since the most remote times, culture has been fundamentally supported by memory and oral transmission‖, to the point that among us there was a general language (a blend of African, indigenous and European dialects), that was spoken by the majority of the population until de 18th century, when the Portuguese started to work to make their language the official language of the country. Costa states that writing could not become the ―regular and predominant means of expression‖, originating a mixed, hybrid and oral culture‖. And even with the efforts of the educational system, we can affirm that orality is still a fundamental trait of national culture. Still today, there is a large number of illiterate Brazilians, and the number is larger when we consider those functionally illiterates. A poll taken by the Pesquisa do Indicador

The Brazilian radio broadcasting system follows the American model, being in its majority associated with private business. With the disadvantage of having a much less protective legislation, which does not have, for example, laws that prohibit crossed-ownership of media. For a more ample discussion of this subject we recommend Lima (2001). 15 Nunes Ferreira (2006) shows in her research with Community Radio Stations in the northwest region of the state of São Paulo that the distortions observed in the system of commercial concessions persist in this new standard. 16 A discussion about the uses of the ethos concept can be seen in Lago (2003).

Nacional de Analfabetismo Funcional (INF), by the Paulo Montenegro Institute, indicates that, in 2003, the country had, in the age group ranging from 15- to 64-year-olds, 8% of total illiterates. But only 25% of the literate population was considered fully literate, and 67% were in the basic and insufficient groups, i.e., more than half of the ―literate‖ population was not capable of using writing (and also mathematical calculations) for their professional development.17. Thus, it is easy to explain why governments, since the beginnings of radio, saw in it an opportunity to reach the population, be it to meet educational, political-ideological or social objectives. Currently, TV seems to have taken this role in the imagination and concern of government and pressure groups. However, there are several areas who see radio as an immeasurable possibility for education – be it strictu sensu, i.e., as an aid to formal education, or lato sensu, of radio as a tool to reflect about citizenship. As an example, we can mention projects developed by Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and by government in association with them. That‘s the case of the Educom.rádio Project– educommunication by radio waves, result of a partnership between the Nucleus of Communication and Education of the School of Communications and Arts of the São Paulo University (NCE-ECA/USP) and Education Secretariat of the São Paulo Municipal Government. The main objective of the project, which took place between 2001 and 2004, was to reduce the violence problem in public schools run the municipal administration (EMEFs), and also to allow teachers, students and members of the community to create and direct the production of a School Radio Station, playing the role of information producers. To meet this objective the proposal was to qualitatively and quantitatively improve communication between students, teachers and employees. The project‘s structure consisted of stages of discussion and analysis, as well as the production of radio broadcasts. At the onset, the intent was to discuss communications, broadcasting language, public policies and to guarantee access of educational communities to the medium. The difference with other similar projects was that the discussion of the medium was done under the perspective of the democratization of the school environment,


questioning the everyday relationships established by usual pedagogical practices, normally hierarchical and vertical. The objective of the partners involved in the project was to have a radio station created in each of the 455 participating schools, with teachers, parents, students and employees under a participative management and work practice i.e., an equalitarian participation among all components of the group, with no hierarchy established, be it regarding power or knowledge. The practical results of this project were numerous and also conflicting, as already discussed by Lago and Alves (2004) and Salvatierra, Lago and Leão (2005). It is important to present the project as an effort that simultaneously involved a large number of school, reaching the stage of a public policy whose objective was to discuss democratization through the appropriation of the radio broadcasting language by all involved, students, teachers and the community that surrounds the school. Two other aspects should be noted. In the first place, one of the unforeseen positive effects of the project: when using radio broadcasting language, which, as we already have mentioned, perfectly suits the intrinsic orality of Brazilian culture, the project directly increased the self-esteem of the students. These students were traditionally evaluated as ―presenting difficulty to write‖, and started to see themselves as capable of communicating and developing new abilities. As a result, many felt stimulated to improve their formal development, as the control of the written language also was necessary when preparing radio programs, for example. The other aspect refers to the contribution of the students of courses in the Communications are, mainly Radio and TV, who acted in the project as mediators, being responsible for the development of all activities related to the groups of students and the community.

4. Research

The sample used in the research presented in this article consisted of students of the Radio and TV course at Anhembi Morumbi University, in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, and

considered one of the largest such courses 18 in the country. With a little more than 1,000 students, 400 hours per semesters, distributed along four years, with theoretical, practical and theoretical-practical disciplines. The Radio and TV course at Anhembi was created in 199919, at a time when the reduction of the price of equipment, together with the arrival in the country of cable TV companies, allowed the formation of these courses, and stimulated it. The objective of the research was to observe how Radio and TV students use the media, and their specific relationship with the issue of democratization of access to the media vis-à-vis the advent of new technologies. A questionnaire was prepared with open and closed questions about the use of radio, TV, the web and printed media by the students, and also included questions on socio-economical data. The questionnaire was given to a sample consisting of students of the first, fifth and seventh semesters of the morning and nighttime classes – consisting of a total of 313 students from the morning course and 262 of the evening course. In total, 195 questionnaires were given and tabulated 20: Additionally, 98 students of the morning course were interviewed (48 women and 50 men), as well as 97 of the evening course (47 women and 52 men) . The option of polling students from only these three semesters was made for three reasons: 1) during the first semester, the students have just arrived at the university and are having the first contact with the course and its program; 2) during the fifth semester, Radio and TV students have already completed half of the credits, which are heavily centered, at the start of the course, on issues related to sound, such as audio capture and edition, audiovisual language, musical and sound language. Also during the 5 th semester, the student has already obtained his sequential diploma, i.e., a special college degree on the Script Creation for Radio and TV, obtained by the students when finishing the 4th semester, with the presentation of a monograph; 3) the 7th semester students were selected because they were at the final stretch of the course, on the verge of presenting their conclusion

In an interview with the authors, the course coordinator, Valdir Baptista, estimated that the University has approximately 40% more students than the second highest attended Radio and TV course in the state of São Paulo. According to him, the growth in the number of students has been constant since 2002. On average, the University receives from 200 to 250 Radio and TV students in the first semester of each year, and around 100 to 120 students in the second semester. Baptista, Valdir. Interview with Cláudia Lago and Gisele Sayeg Nunes Ferreira, São Paulo, June 2007. 19 The oldest Radio and TV course seems to be the one at the School of Communications and Arts, ECA/USP, created in the ‗70s. However, a few years ago it was incorporated into de Cinema course in the same institution, being transformed in an audiovisual course. 20 The questionnaire was prepared by the authors and the statistical analysis was formatted by Paulo Henrique de Oliveira Lopes.

monograph (TCC) and obtain the degree in Social Communication – Radio and TV, and the DRT – a professional certification provided by the Brazilian Labor Ministry, which allows them to work in all technical areas of TV or radio stations in the country, and in audio and video production companies. Students of the 8th semester (last semester) were not included due to the difficulty in gathering the group in one place. As the 8 th semester is devoted exclusively to the preparation of the TCC, the students only go to the University in previously scheduled days to meet their supervisors, dates that vary according the availability of those involved. The questionnaire consisted of 59 questions. In this paper we will discuss only the results that refer to personal data (age, sex, fundamental and middle school, if the student works in a related area, etc.) and to questions 1 to 8, 32 to 44 and 51 to 59, which refer specifically to the relationship of the students with radio and new technologies, notably the Internet. With regards to the social-economical data, it was observed that the majority of students (80%) are between 17 and 22 years old, but there is not much difference between the number of male (52%) and female students (48%)21. Most (64%) had their fundamental studies in private schools, a number that goes up to 65% when middle studies are concerned. More than half of the students (53%) work, and a significant share (39%) already work in radio or television. It is interesting to note that of the 42 students that work in the area, three are attending the first semester, 24 the 5th and 15 the 7th. This could indicate that the course is adequate for the needs of the market. On the other hand, in spite of the significant number of college students that work, the percentage that pays for their own tuition is small (21%), against a high number (71%) that depends on parents/others, in addition to 7% of students that receive a scholarship and 1% that did not answer. The data reveals students with a relatively high economic level, that were able to study in private schools and that, despite the fact that they work, continue to rely on the family to pay for their studies. This is corroborated by the data on Internet access, which occurs preferably at home (73%), using wide bandwidth (81%), every day of the week

Even with no research to confirm this fact, Baptista believes that the number of women who abandon the course is lower than that of men, resulting, according to him, in a higher number of women during the last semesters. The questionnaire here presented does not contemplates this information..

(69%), for 3 hours or more (61%). The answers indicated also that Internet access happens mostly from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. to midnight. And what would be the relationship between students and Radio as a communication vehicle? Twenty-two students say that they never listen to radio, representing 11.5% of the total, while 13% listen to the radio only in a few instances during a given month. These are significant numbers, indicating that almost one quarter of the students have little or no contact with radio. Of the rest, 30.5%, i.e., 59 students, listen to the radio everyday, 20.5% almost every day and 24.5% some days of the week. The average listening time is one hour among those that listen to the radio. The three types of schedule most sought by students/listeners on a radio station are: music (with 146 responses), comedy programs (with 108 responses) and news (95 responses). Such preferences explain that the radio stations most remembered by the students/listeners are stations heavily centered on music for young people (international pop and rock) and comedy, in large national networks such as Mix, Jovem Pan and Kiss. Although the majority of students spend daily more than 5 hours on the Internet, the number of those who look for radio stations while on the web is small: only 21% (40 students) listen to radio on the Internet. Of the remainder, 77% do not listen to the radio on the web and 2% did not answer the question. Those that do it normally seek the same type of programming found on stations transmitted by electromagnetic waves – music (25 responses), comedy (13 responses), and news (10 responses). In fact, the vast majority of them (21%) seek on the Web, above all, the same stations that they can listen to on traditional radio receivers at home or in the car. There are few responses about Web Radios. We were intrigued by the student‘s relationship with the new audio possibilities, such as the production and reception of Podcasts. Surprisingly, only 10% (20 students) accesses Podcasts, and the majority of them does it only a few times during a given month, looking mainly for music and information. 22 Radio audience on cellular phones follows the same path: only 10% of the students of the Radio and TV course of Anhembi Morumbi University, listen to the radio on a cell


The Infinite Dial 2007: Radio‘s Digital Platforms – telephone poll carried out by Arbitron and Edison Media Research from January 17 to February 18, 2007, with 1855 persons. See

phone,23 and do it only a few times during the week (42%), in spite of the growing popularity of cell phones with this feature in the country. Based on the data presented up to now, it is not surprising that the Radio and TV students studied also do not get involved in discussions about the adoption of digital radio in Brazil. 24 Only 17% of them reported to follow the discussions around this issue. However, when asked about it, do not forward any opinion, or are limited to statements such as:
―I don‘t have an opinion about this issue‖. (Female student, 7th semester, evening) ―I think it‘s cool because I‘ll watch video clips on the radio‖. (Female student, 7th semester, morning) ―Differently from TV, it didn‘t draw the attention of the public‖. (Male student, 7th semester, morning) ―Interesting. The quality of radio will improve‖. (Male student, 1 st semester, evening) ―It‘s the radio of the future‖. (Female student, 1st semester, evening) ―It‘s an area that will make a lot of money‖. (Male student, 5th semester, evening)

Few students demonstrated to have effectively reflected on the subject, evaluating its limitations and possibilities:
―It will increase the possibility of creation and propagation of the medium and increase the number of listeners‖. (Female student, 5th semester, evening) ―I believe that it will not contribute to the democratization of radio, as it will remain in the hands of the large communications groups, similarly to what happens in TV, with groups that monopolize the medium.‖. (Male student, 7th semester, evening).


It should be considered that in Brazil – similarly to other developed or emerging countries – the use of cellular phones has increase vertiginously, especially from July 1997 on, with the approval of the General Telecommunications Bill, allowing the privatization of telephone companies in Brazil, with the objective of expanding services to the entire population. Information published by Anatel (National Telecommunications Agency) in March of 2007 indicated 102,152,437 active cellular phones in Brazil, with 82,.166,.834 being pre-paid (80.44%) and 19,985,603 post-paid (19.56%), for an estimated population of 170 million. Source:ção. Last access on April/19/2007. 24 Radio‘s move towards digitalization in Brazil has been controversial, like everything that involves the telecommunications sector. Federal government is frequently accused of giving in to corporate communications interests (led by groups such as Rede Globo) and of leaving up to the broadcasters the decision about the system to be tested, as well as of refraining from regulating the industry. Civil society has been kept at bay of this decision, as corporate media keeps silent about the subject, many times, not even informing the mandatory results of the digital tests that are being carried out.

5. Initial conclusions As observed by Downing, in countries full of disparities such as Brazil, radio plays an overriding role in the process to consolidate democracy and propagate and guarantee the citizen‘s basic rights. After all, radio is easy and inexpensive to operate, to receive and to transmit. However, there is an evident lack of synchronicity between radio‘s potentialities and the way it is seen and used by future communications professionals – those that today are students, but who, shortly, will be in the frontline of content production and strategic planning of the system; future professionals that should be involved in the commercial market as well as in independent and alternative productions. This lack of synchronicity can be clearly perceived when we observe some of the results of the poll here presented. Although of an initial nature, the data shows how feeble is the relationship of Radio and TV students with the vehicle: a significant part of the students polled did not even have the habit of listening to the radio. On the other hand, those who do listen look for the same mass-produced musical programs put out by corporate communications groups. These students also do not have the habit of exploring new possibilities that have presented themselves in recent years – among them those on the web. This is very significant, considering that for most of them, the web has been incorporated into their lives. The data does not allow us to assert whether our students would become interested if they were stimulated to do so, but point to the inexistence of discussions about the context in which mediatic productions are done, the forms of appropriation by future professionals. We intend to continue to reflect about the relationship of students with the media (not only radio) and to direct out attention towards ways to stimulate and to include these issues in the academic context, which we consider fundamental.

6. Bibliography BAPTISTA, Valdir. Entrevista concedida a Cláudia Lago e Gisele Sayeg Nunes Ferreira. São Paulo, junho de 2007.

DOWNING, John D. H. Mídia radical: rebeldia nas comunicações e movimentos sociais. São Paulo: Senac, 2002. FERRARETO, Luiz Artur. Rádio. O veículo, a história e a técnica. Porto Alegre, Sagra Luzzato, 2001. FEDERICO, Maria Elvira Bonavita. História da Comunicação, Rádio e TV no Brasil. Petrópolis, Vozes, 1982. LAGO, Cláudia e ALVES, Patrícia Horta. uma política pública que pensa a mudança da prática pedagógica. Revista Científica Faculdade Montessori. São Paulo, FAAC. Ano 3, número 3, 2004 (10-18). LAGO, Cláudia. O Romantismo morreu? Viva o romantismo! Ethos romântico no jornalismo. Tese de doutorado defendida junto ao PPGCom em Ciências da Comunicação – ECA/USP. São Paulo, 2003, digital. LIMA, Venício. Mídia: Teoria e Política. São Paulo, Editora Perseu Abramo, 2001.
NUNES FERREIRA, G. S. Rádios Comunitárias e Poder Local: estudo de caso de emissoras legalizadas da Região Noroeste do Estado de São Paulo. 2006. 309 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Ciências da Comunicação). ECA, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo. 2006 NUNES FERREIRA, G. S. Sarney, FHC e Lula, São Paulo. 2006

SALVATIERRA, Eliany M., LAGO, Cláudia e LEÃO Maria Izabel. A democratização dos meios pelo projeto Educom.Rádio: um sonho possível. III Seminario Internacional Latinoamericano de Investigación de la Comunicación, 12/14 de mayo de 2005. Universidade de São Paulo (USP), SP, Brasil. xerografado. SAROLDI, Luiz Carlos e MOREIRA, Sônia Virgínia. Rádio Nacional. O Brasil em Sintonia. Rio de Janeiro, Jorge Zahar Editores, 2005. TRIGO-DE-SOUZA, Lígia Maria. Rá o radio que caiu na rede.Revista USP: Oitenta Anos de Rádio. São Paulo, USP:CCS. Dezembro-Janeiro-Fevereiro de 2002-2003, número 56. (92-99) VICENTE, Eduardo. A música popular sob o Estado Novo (1937-1945). Disponível em acesso em 01/06/2007.

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