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World radio day if you missed it

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Vasiliy Strelnikov, radio and TV host

Vasiliy Strelnikov, Russian-American radio and TV host, the author of the program “From Moscow with Love” on the international radio station “Voice Of Russia”, explains why radio is especially important in such a big country as Russia. He also speaks about his experience of making radio shows “with human face” in Soviet Union and in modern Russia.
Radio is my old love, from childhood. I was born and grew up in the United States and there I felt in love with radio. I was always impressed by the process itself when on the one side there is a person in front of the microphone and on the other side, somewhere far away from him, there is a listener in front of the radio. And it keeps surprising me how one can influence another at such a great distance. In this sense, radio was always something magical for me.
When they asked us to do this program and we sit to think how to make it more interesting, my memories about the type of radio which I loved to listen when I was a kid, probably, played special role. We wanted to make a radio, as Seva Novgorodsev liked to say, “with human face”. From Russia, from Moscow… By the way, long time ago when I was working on the international radio service I also like to do that. In the Soviet period when there was only propaganda on-air I managed to make an entertainment rock-n-roll music radio show amid all this propaganda, the program was called the “Listeners’ Request Club”. This time we just wanted to make something the same. We are doing simple talk-show, life in Moscow from the point of view of two absolutely different people: mother of 4 kids from a big Christian family and me, old single man. The goal was to make it very simple, intelligible and even intimate. Sometimes we get personal, gibe at each other, me and my co-host Natasha Stepanova. I believe that we do something like the shows I loved to listen at the time. Why do I do that? We were talking about new technologies. Nowadays there are such information sources as Internet, satellite, cable and so on. So here it is, on the Moscow radio. Moscow radio is now heard not just on the short wave, but also on-line, by the satellite, also “on demand” in the Internet, and, moreover, our programs spread around the world not only with the help of short wave but also through the local broadcasters. You can listen to us in New York, in Miami, on the DAB in London. That’s why by the age of 50 I wanted to try it all again.
I think radio will never go away, I mean classical radio, FM or medium wave, but mostly FM, of course, it will never go away. Though lots of people already sign radio death warrant, they say it’s only 2-3 years left for FM…mmm… no! Because it is the most affordable and the most widespread way of communication nowadays. Now there is a lot of talk around new technologies. Because of that international broadcasters even close short wave and medium wave radios, and also broadcasting through local repeaters. Yes, there are new technologies and they are great, but it doesn’t mean that everybody has it, if we are talking about Russia. In Russia, if we take a look at the map of this big and beautiful country, we will see that the whole Internet, in general, is concentrated in a few cities. However, there are enormous areas and enormous number of people who don’t have an access to these wonderful so-called new technologies. We should not forget it.
Let’s take a look at the BBC, its local broadcasting and world service, in 70s-80s and compare it with modern BBC. It was a short wave radio, medium radio, and FM radio. Nowadays everything is the same with the single difference that there is also an Internet. One supports another or the other way around. It works in parallel. We have a product on-air and we also have Internet content. It means that, for example, we can hear the news and then search for one of it in the Internet more in details. Like British say, these technologies go “hand in hand”, “side by side”. Basically, I think it’s right, it’s normal, there is nothing special in that.
Hey everybody, this is Vasiliy Strelnikov from Moscow saying “Happy World Radio Day”. Keep listening and stay tuned! Radio rocks! Thanks to UNESCO and Happy World Radio Day!

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