Radio Shadhin is just one year old. On 20th of March 2014, the young radio channel celebrated it's one year anniversary. Full of glitz and glamour, the station building was full of enthusiasm. I caught up with Radio Shadhin's Station In-Charge Sriya Sharbojoya to learn more about her venture into the world of radio broadcasting and entertainment.
I studied at Scholastica in Bangladesh. For my undergraduate program, I went to Smith College in Massachusetts in the USA. I studied Anthropology, with a minor in Economics. Returning back to Bangladesh, I joined a sister concern of Asiatic and advertising – on the side I was a RJ for Radio ABC.
2. Why radio as opposed to any other medium?
Of course I had already gained some experience being a RJ for Radio ABC. Also, I felt I could do more through a radio. Still now, I believe radio in Bangladesh is at an infant stage. When I first got involved in initial talks about the station, the sector was even more at an infant stage - hence the potential to do something different. Many radio stations were becoming monotonous – there were many kinds music not introduced on radio. And also, radio is a strong platform for the youth. It can have a huge effect on minds – it can shape the minds.
3. Why is there a sudden revival of popularity for radio?
This was bound to happen. As we are flooded with satellite and internet, information is now literally in everyone's palms. Through our research, with blessing of internet mobile, we found that radio has become the most accessible media. Some thinks that its only car owners listen to radio during traffic jams – it is just plain wrong. People of all income groups are now listening to the radio. I have seen executives listening to radio while working, or even a rickshaw puller, during his break listening to radio. I am sure, within a few more years, radio listeners will grow even more. Look at other media; television is still expensive and it's immobile. No matter how better the internet bandwidth gets mobile TV is not appealing with a small screen.
4. What is the best part of your job?
Living, breathing and walking into a workspace which is full of vibrant minds with vibrant people and also coming up with new ideas every single day. It's a hub that is abuzz with so much talent and creative juices that it's impossible to not love being part of that kind of environment.
5. What is the worst part of your job?
There are no hours! When you are in charge of a station, you just can't get away from the job. Even when I am at home, I am still on the job.
6. How do you want to reach the rural population?
Unfortunately, FM radio is only accessible to urban listeners. But again, internet has reached everywhere now. Through internet radio, the rural population, especially the in smaller cities and towns, is already enjoying the fun of FM radio. I am afraid those who are not tech-savvy yet have to wait a bit longer. Soon, FM radio will reach them too with conventional radio.
7. Who is your target audience?
We like to have the mass in mind as our target audience. We don't want to restrict our audience into an age-limit. Age does not matter when it comes to spirit and enthusiasm. At heart, no matter what one's age is, anyone can be young and spontaneous. Our listeners are all who have that desire to share the fun with us.
8. Where do you want to see Radio Shadhin in five years?
Well, I want to see Radio Shadhin to be the best and number one channel in Bangladesh. Hopefully, you don't have to wait that long.
9. Why is your slogan 'Rise Up'?
'Rise Up' and 'Shadhin' goes hand-in-hand. 'Rise Up' is taken from Bob Marley's song. We want everyone's voices to be heard. Only when someone is Shadhin (free), can he rise up and have his/her voices heard. Radio Shadhin is a platform for all, not matter what the race, color and creed. Freedom doesn't only mean physical bondage – it is also freedom from mental and social slavery. Radio Shadhin's website reads a verse from Bob Marley's another classic, 'Redemption songs- our songs of freedom song'.
10. Is a radio a good place to build a career?
Of course it is! If a person is creative and wants to be in a creative field – it could be in the business or marketing side of radio – there are so many ways to apply yourself creatively here.
Interviewed by Zia Nazmul Islam