chapter  12
12 Pages

Radio Beyond the Anglo-American World

WithClaude-Jean Bertrand

One sometimes gets the feeling that Anglo-Americans believe that their radio, like all their media, is the best in the world, that it should serve as a model, and that they themselves have nothing to learn elsewhere. In the days of China's Cultural Revolution, wired radio was omnipresent, with loudspeakers in schools, playgrounds, factories, trains, crossroads, even fields. Group listening was also organized in several African countries in the 1960s, for educational purposes. In Africa, it was only when sets became portable and inexpensive, hence more common, that radio began to play a major role in political life. The French have a long experience of history-making by radio. Contrary to what some Americans might believe, there is not only more radio, but probably more interesting radio outside the United States than inside. No survey of radio, the most transnational of media, can ignore the vast proportion of it that is not Anglo-American.