Yesterday I attended a presentation by a local consultant on the recently-concluded media impact study. While I wait for the final report to make my comments, there was one finding that made me extremely happy. The report says that "the three private radio stations are very popular among the youth."
Now having been a broadcaster for all my life that was the best thing I have ever heard. And that’s because over the years we have lost our youth to TV and other distractions. Whilst in BBS, my colleagues and I tried hard to get them back and we did everything - but we failed. Every media studies prior to this have shown that youth, especially in Thimphu, don’t listen to radio. And this trend was very worrying because it means they are into other unhealthy distractions.
When the final report is out, I hope decision makers and planners will take note of this. Because today we are talking about our youth going astray, into drugs and violence and lacking self-confidence, creativity and other skills required to be productive citizens. But if they are listening to radio why don’t we use the radio to re-educate and realign them? If we lose our youth, we lose everything!
Oh! There is also something I must reveal (or confess). My station, Centennial Radio, trailed last in all the categories but one! The influence (on public opinion, I guess). Now that was like coming last in the Olympic medal tally but winning the most important medal. We all, at Centennial, had a nice laugh. Honestly, I expected the results since we are the youngest among the four radio stations in the country. But we are truly honoured to be having “more influence” in the society. That is exactly one of the main mandates of a media agency. But congrats to Kuzoo and Radio Valley. Especially Kuzoo that has, in just two years, closed in to BBS Radio all over the country and is even ahead in some categories.