The invention of the radio was quite a long process that took many decades. Before wireless communication, inventors believed that somehow, the need for electric wires in communication could be eliminated. They then went ahead to try and build systems that relied mostly on electric conduction and electromagnetic induction.
A Brief History
Several experiments were conducted before it was actually possible for radio waves to be transmitted and used as a medium of communication. The first public radio broadcast was made on Christmas Eve of 1906. It was not until the 1920s when commercial music and talk wireless broadcasts started in the UK. A couple of years later, in around 1932, colleges started adding radio broadcasting courses to their curricula.
By 1950, most developed countries had at least one broadcasting system, usually owned by the government. In the years that followed, most homes in Western Europe, North America, and Japan had a radio. In the ‘60s portable transistor radios were introduced. The fact that they were quite affordable greatly expanded radio ownership and usage.
Radio broadcasting generally refers to the act of transmitting audio signals through radio waves with the intention of reaching an audience.
For radio broadcasting to happen, electrical detection and amplification have to be incorporated.
In the beginning, radio broadcasting was on long-wave, medium-wave, and short-wave bands then later moved to VHF and UHF.
These are channels that are linked to specific radio networks to broadcast a common radio format. The format may either be broadcast syndication or simulcast or both while the signals may either be analog or digital and anyone can receive the broadcast as long as they have the appropriate receiving technology.
The earliest radio stations didn’t carry audio; they were radiotelegraphy systems.
The different types of radio stations are:
- AM (Amplitude Modulation) Stations
These were the earliest to be formed. AM transmission involves altering the amplitude of the carrier signal in response to the amplitude of the signal in transmission.
AM signals are prone to interference by electric signals coming from different sources such as lightning. A temporary solution to the interference was spacing the radio stations further away from each other in the radio frequency spectrum.
An advantage of AM signals is that they detectable using simple equipment. You won’t need power supply if the signal is strong enough.
AM signal transmitters can transmit frequencies of up to 15 KHz although most receivers can only reproduce frequencies of up o 5kHz.
- FM (Frequency Modulation) Stations
FM signals were developed to overcome the problem of interference that’s associated with AM signals using wide inter-channel spacing to eliminate adjacent channel interference.
The signals occur on VHF airwaves within a range of 88-108 MHz.
- Pirate Radio
This refers to an illegal form of AM or FM radio transmission that is not regulated and is mostly used for political or entertainment purposes. The name came about due to the use of sea vessels as broadcasting bases.
Pirate radio, also known as clandestine or bootleg stations, may also be used to refer to a station whose wattage, transmission format or content doesn’t abide by the rules.
The Influence of radio broadcasting in society
Technology has a way of greatly influencing society in more ways than you can imagine. It influences people’s culture, politics, religion, education system, personal thoughts, and beliefs. Radio broadcast has brought the world together and made it seem like one small village by keeping people connected.
Radio is one of the earliest contributors to today’s form of mass media and has since played a huge role in affecting how we view things. While it all started to solve the need to communicate and entertain, today radio has been embraced as a form of education.
Regardless of a person’s physical location and class, they can always tune in and listen to news and other forms of broadcasts. They’re very educational tools that allow for information to be distributed to large audiences in a matter of minutes. Thanks to their effectiveness, radios continue to be more popular as they enable their listeners to see a broader spectrum of the world around them.
Radio broadcasting is one of the greatest tools that have ever been placed in the disposal of civilized man and it takes several forms. It can either be AM or FM with different subtypes ranging from commercial broadcasting, non-commercial broadcasting, public broadcasting, and non-profit
Radio broadcasting is an instantaneous and universal mode of communication that has a wide range of uses in modern technology. For example, it’s worth noting that televisions also use radio frequency that also includes video signals. It’s quite clear that with technological advancements, it’s now possible to deliver different types of media, thanks to the invention of radio broadcasting.