NAB hosts inspiring Youth Month webinar

30 June 2023 | Ofentse Mboweni

On Thursday 29 June 2023, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) hosted a webinar focusing on the critical role played by young people in radio broadcasting.

Titled “Powering radio through youth engagement”, the online discussion featured a panel of radio personalities including Dan Corder of 5FM and Nia Brown of YFM, as well as Bush Radio’s Programme Integrator, Adrian Louw. The trio spoke about a range of challenges facing young people in broadcasting and the opportunities that await them in the space.


Podcasting and radio

When asked about the growth of podcasts (which have enjoyed a positive uptake by the youth) and what this means for radio broadcasting, Brown said that the two mediums should be seen as complementary.

“I think that podcasts are an extension of radio. Radio is live and happening right now. It is instant and there is absolutely nothing that can replace that. Radio gives listeners an opportunity to be part of the fabric of the station. It gives listeners an opportunity to feel as though they are part of the ‘why’,” said the YFM presenter. 

“A three-minute radio conversation can be turned into a podcast that can live digitally, allowing the same conversation to be extended. I think that radio and podcasts can absolutely co-exist.”

Corder echoed Brown’s sentiments, adding that radio remains relevant. “Every single key audience measure of radio in the whole world confirms that it is competitive. Radio penetration in the United States is 96%. You can look at the South African radio listenership too, and go: ‘everybody get over yourselves, [radio] is not just still alive, it is thriving!’”


Empowering Youth

Louw discussed how community radio provides young people with room to express their creativity and how that has helped Bush radio remain relevant.

“The people involved in this station are generally quite young. In many ways, a community radio station like Bush Radio is really a test bed and an incubator for their talent. The reason Bush Radio is considered innovative and dynamic is not because of the old people involved at this stage; it's because of the under thirty-fives,” he said.

The radio sector is to be commended for the training and development opportunities provided to young people.



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