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The Next Phase: Covid-19

As we enter the next phase, how will radio and audio adapt?

As the 1st of June clocked over around the world, we saw a number of changes in the Coronavirus restrictions and measures. Many countries including Australia and Denmark have started to loosen their lockdown measures, while others, like Spain and the UK are still in different stages of lockdown as a result of different approaches to the pandemic and returning to work.

Week after week we are reminded of the impact radio is playing during this time, as it continues to play a vital part in building community and sharing information. We now find ourselves in a discretionary period, where some businesses and stations are returning to work or broadcasting from studios, and others are staying home. Coronavirus created a digital transformation, enforcing change across all industries to adapt to a new working environment. This transformation is an integral element in understanding how the industry will bounce back from the changes of the last few months.

The European Broadcasting Union says that content has continued to flow across Europe throughout this period. They state that a number of public service media outlets “have extended the number of news broadcasts - providing regular special broadcasts, fighting misinformation surrounding the virus and giving airtime to competent specialists and relevant authorities. In many cases, programming is open for audience participation, allowing citizens to address their most pressing issues and ask urgent questions during a period of uncertainty.” As we enter this next phase around the world, it is important to consider this - radio and audio has continued to flourish, from podcasts to home studios, providing a flow of content around the world. Many countries have weathered the storm of Coronavirus and now face the challenge of returning back to work and allowing industries to function with a sense of normality again. While it is still early days, the power of radio during this period will impact what it will look like in this new normal, as some countries have seen positive change after being thrown in the deep end.

In the United Kingdom, after months of lockdown, restrictions are starting to ease. The return to work is discretionary, however people who can work from home are being encouraged to do so for the foreseeable future. What remains clear, is that even with the limitations of working from home, radio and audio in the United Kingdom has continued to provide a high quality of entertainment and information.

Radiocentre writes that in addition to a number of excellent initiatives, “Ellie Kumar, a newsreader for Metro Radio and TFM Radio, has been providing listeners with a regular Good News Update. Some of the uplifting and fun stories… support for people affected by coronavirus, and a citywide singalong.” In Radiocentre’s ‘keep the nation smiling: this week in radio’, they report on a number of initiatives that take place each week across the country - proving that even with restrictions staying in place, great content will continue to be produced. 

In Germany, the country reopened on the 4th of May, with a number of facilities reopening, as well as some schools across the country. In an article by DW, they write that Germany has shown a more relaxed side in the coronavirus era of working at home. Essentially, Germany is changing and we are seeing a shift in the traditional mindset. “In the coronavirus era, digital conferences and TV links are penetrating into private spaces and showing what it is like there. Digitization is transforming home decor. The home workspace — Germans like to call it home office — is dominated by computers with headsets, notebooks and smartphones. Televisions, multiband radios and dictation machines are no longer often found on desks and kitchen tables. And the dress code is no longer taken as seriously.” 

Countries including Denmark, Norway, Austria and Australia have seen positive changes as they enter their next phases in social distancing and isolation restrictions. Despite this forward step with local business, transport and socialising opportunities opening up again, companies have embraced working from home and many continue to do so. Radio stations are in an elective period, where some broadcasters have returned to the studio and others continue to broadcast from home. With home studios built in a matter of days and little to no change in the quality of broadcasting - the question really is whether or not all broadcasters or businesses will return to the studio or office at all?

As we have reported over the last few months, there is an abundant flow of content from the radio and audio industry, proving its adaptability and reliability. We can look to every country - from podcasts to special news programs - radio is the voice of information and education, and will continue to be as we evolve out of this period and into the next global phase - whatever that may look like.

We want to know more about what is happening in your country! Send us an email at katalina@radiodayseurope.com and tell us about your experiences.