For nine decades, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation’s radio service has been on air conveying general public-interest information.
Since its first started broadcasting in 1928 as Kenyan Broadcasting Services (KBS) when Kenya was a British colony, the national broadcaster has grown into a multimedia international broadcast service providing programming and content in more than 17 languages.
KBC began its radio broadcast services in English and Kiswahili but has since opened its frequencies to various vernacular languages. Its journalists and presenters have been on the scene to cover and broadcast major world events. The stations have churned out informative and entertaining content to millions of listeners globally.
The station’s 93rd birthday coincided with celebrations to commemorate World Radio Day. This was an occasion for the station to cast its mind back to the services rendered through the years.
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While acknowledging the numerous milestones recorded over the years, KBC Radio Programmes Manager Michael Mumo however says that the industry has to adapt quickly, especially to the dynamism of technology and content.
“We need to change how we do business, people used to consume content in a certain manner, not any more. They want to listen to you online, they want to listen to you over their mobile phones.” Mumo noted.
His sentiments receiving support from the Assistant Radio Programmes Manager Jonah Kusero who spoke of the impact of social media and the digital world in radio. He says today’s radio presenters and producers have no option but utilize most of their time carrying out research.
“You have to use 80 percent (of your time) in preparation and 20 percent executing what you have prepared outside the studio. That is the innovation we are talking about. So that, to whoever is listening, you can become relevant and connect with that person.” He said
According to The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO, the World Radio Day is an opportunity to celebrate the resilience of radio, its evolution, and constant adaptation for over a century to societies’ changes.