Contemporary Youths: Radio Vs Social Media

Aliyu Musa

By Aliyu Musa

Radio, for decades, has been one of the ways of information dissemination globally. News, music, and information are transmitted to the audience through radio waves, while the audience receive them as sounds on their radio sets. For years, till now, the radio and television have been the most reliable sources of information. Because there, news or any other information before dissemination go through rigorous editing.

Sometimes, programs are even recorded then get edited before been  broadcasted to the public. 

Most radio stations in Nigeria,  have a very good percentage of their programs transmitted in the local language of the very community/society that the radio station is situated, if not for news (usually translated) and other handful programs that are transmitted in the country’s official language – English. This has facilitated the embracement of the programs by the audience  since the programs are usually aimed at entertaining and educating, as the case may be. 

Kudos to the NBC – National Broadcasting Commission – for it’s efforts toward ensuring that programs aired are free of anything that will be threat to the security, unity and oneness of this sovereign country, Nigeria. In every radio station across the country, there are certain programs set specifically for news, discussion/debating on national issues (current affairs and youths). In the news programs, happenings all over the country and the world at large were broadcasted to the audience reliably. The programs about national issues/current affairs, this is done in two ways or at times in separate time slated for each as a program of it own. Here, headlines of the national dailies are discussed or a topic or two are picked and dealt with intellectually. Programs slated for youth issues are usually aimed at reminding the youths of their roles in national development and suggesting solutions to problems the youth face. 

The aforementioned three kind of programs, when regularly followed will give an ordinary citizen (read: youth) insights on happenings around him with facts, unlike the social media. This is because the issues are discussed intellectually and neutrally, if not for other privately owned stations – where inclined opinions are forcefully chipped in.  

Contemporarily, using the radio is synonymous to aged and rural people. An average Nigerian youth hardly will remember the last time he purposely tune in to a station to listen to a program. Unfortunately our youths are missing these impacful programs aired on radio. I can remember a post by Badamasi Aliyu Abdullahi where he was lamenting on a woman who had been engaged in business for years and had a Masters degree in a social science course but don’t know what’s CAC i.e The Cooperate Affairs Commission and its functions. In the same post he mentioned an aged woman named Maman Abdussalam, tho late – may her soul rest in peace – who had vast knowledge in religion, politics, business and culture all these due to the fact that she follow impactful radio programs.

The emergence of the internet which brings about the social media has seen the radio and television relevance decreasing in the 21st century especially in urban communities. Unlike the traditional mass media, the internet is less restrained hence it massive embracement by the public. Opinions are freely aired, even at the expense of others’ dignity or security. Despite the massive usage of the internet by Nigerian youth, a lot of national issues didn’t come to the light for them. Issues like the distinctive duties of the executive, the legislative and the judiciary arm of the government, one will realise this when he engage an average Nigerian youth in political debates, if not for the few privileged who are into politics, study government related courses etc. Not that the social media isn’t impacting, but our youths hardly go beyond the news’ headlines and yet they comment on the topics, one of the tools of propagating fake news.

A very good number of social media youths who gave themselves the title of Public/Political Analyst know little about topics they discuss. One will know this when you listen to how the likes of Adamu Ibrahim Chiroma of Fombina FM Yola, break national issues into pieces, his comments when compared to that of the so called social media analyst will beat them hands down.

“Lack of awareness is the problem of our people and awareness is the beginning of change” Badamasi Aliyu Abdullahi, August 2021. If you are reading this and live within Adamawa state and environs I have programs to suggest for you, try  programs like “Iya Ruwa Fidda Kai” of Fombina FM help in self growth. Programs like ‘Ina Matasa’ of Radio Gotel and NAS FM discuss things related to youths. For programs on national issues and current affairs you can try “Najeriya A Yau” and “Daga Jaridumu” of Fombina FM and NAS FM respectively. I bet you trying these programs will help you as a youth in bringing a lot of things to light for you. Radio is not just for the aged and dwellers of rural areas, you are missing a lot of things by having that stereotype in regard to the stereos.

Aliyu Musa writes from Jimeta. He can be reached through