International Radio

Since radio broadcasting was launched shortly after World War I, it has served two culturally different functions. On the one hand it was an effective instrument in the nation-building process, and on the other it was from its initial years distributed on a global scale. Over the past century, radio in large part shaped a national sense of shared imaginations and frames of reference, and at the same time also maintained its position as an international medium.

The early days

During the 1930s radio was perceived as one of the most powerful media to influence public opinion. The Nazis described and used it as an efficient propaganda instrument. American, British, and other European broadcasters – public, state, and private – shared the assessment of radio as an instrument of strong political influence.
Apart from the interventionist use of radio as a political instrument, you will also find services related to the export and dissemination of cultural values and commodities. From the mid 1960s, the BBC World Service, Deutsche Welle, and Radio France Internationale were mainly serving these functions.

The Digital Revolution

During the late 1990s, the digital revolution reached radio broadcasting and opened up new means of production and distribution of radio, including a new opening for the international dissemination of radio (or rather, perhaps, of audio services). Three major platforms for radio distribution were now adopted, or announced as imminently available: analog broadcast radio, where the content provider still composes the program output (the well-known “flow” radio); digital audio broadcasting, which offers specialized channel formats, where the electronic program guide offers a mixture of pull and push program deliveries, and the listener is able to compose his or her own program menu during the day and combine radio output with written, supplementary information; and radio on the Internet/web radio, where the user is able to compose different media elements from the website, often parallel “broadcasting” streaming of the analog channels, streaming audio, (music, jukebox function), and supplementary written information, video clips, downloading of programs (podcasting), etc.

Radio on the Internet – or web radio - offers new dimensions for radio production and consumption. Here the audience for any radio station is in principle global, whether its programs or content are originally produced for a local or a national audience.. Grassroots and civic organizations have also included web radio both as a supplement to community activities and as a way to connect to peer organizations or movements on a global scale.


The logo of Skylyne Radio

Skyline Radio and Soul - and Italian based web radio streaming soul, funk and jazz. Also based as local radio stations in Italy and the UK.