Radio

Radio

Since their invention, radios have played a central role in American culture — from FDR’s “fireside chats” to Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.” In addition to politics and entertainment, radio plays an important role in public health communications around the world — particularly in the event of disasters and other public emergencies. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention works with health departments to maintain a radio network that can be used if other communication modes like telephone and internet are lost.

Beyond emergency preparedness, research has shown that radio shows can reduce stigma associated with and increase testing for HIV, as well as improve outcomes for other conditions in developing nations. In Malawi, a program called Life is Precious showcases role models the audience can identify with and covers topics including maternal health, poor nutrition, and diarrheal diseases, using entertainment to educate over the airwaves.