|This article was originally aired over Adventist World Radio’s “Wavescan” program and now forms part of the Radio Heritage Collection ©. All rights reserved to Ragusa Media Group, PO Box 14339, Wellington, New Zealand. This material is licenced on a non-exclusive basis to the South Pacific DX Resource hosted on www.radiodx.com for a period of 5 years from December 1 2003. Author: Adrian Peterson|
Each year on December 9, All India Radio conducts what they call “Children’s Broadcasting Day”. This annual event places children from many regions and languages on the air and it encourages children of all ages to aim for excellence in any sphere of life.
In this edition of “Wavescan”, we honor All India Radio for their annual “Children’s Broadcasting Day” and we present this feature on children & young people in radio broadcasting.
Let me begin this feature on childenr and radio by telling you the true story of “The Little Boy Found”.
Back in the year 1939, many thousands of people living in the coastal areas of China migrated inland away from the political and military strife. At the time, a Chinese opera star was in the United States with her husband who was on study leave. The opera star made a special broadcast over the new shortwave station KGEI which had recently been installed on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay.
The opera star sang several lullaby songs in Chinese and then she made a dramatic appeal. She was seeking her four year old son who was missing in inland China due to the turmoil caused by the mass migrations. A few days later, she and her husband returned to China and they were re-united with their newly found son. An American missionary in China had listened to the shortwave broadcast over station KGEI and had made the arrangements for the happy reunion of this little family.
We go back into radio history now and we note that the first regular radio program for children was a book reading presented over station WJZ in Newark New Jersey in 1921. The first children’s broadcast on shortwave was presented back in 1930 over a station called “Radio Experimental” in Paris France. These programs were beamed to the French Colonies on 31.65 metres, corresponding to 9480 kHz.
Other shortwave stations have also been on the air with programming specifically produced for children. In 1954, the Adventist program, “Your Story Hour” made its inaugural broadcast from the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation in Colombo, and this program was subsequently absorbed into the regular scheduling of Adventist World Radio. In 1987, Trans World Radio beamed specially produced programming in Mandarin into China for the benefit of China’s three million children.
In the mid 1980s, Radio Lollipop was launched in England as a cable radio station in children’s hospitals. Personnel from the English Radio Lollipop assisted in the launching of a similar closed circuit radio station in the children’s hospital in Perth Western Australia, and this was followed by similar attempts in India.
Over the years, several attempts have been made in many countries to launch radio stations operated by children, and Radio Lollipop also began to move in that direction. However, KIDZ Radio in Leicester England claims to be the first fulltime radio station operated by children. They can be heard on 103.2 FM and also on the internet at takeoverradio.com
Better known are the myriads of radio stations operated by students at colleges and universities, and in the United States alone, there are more than 2,000 of these stations, on both AM and FM. On shortwave, one of the best known and longest running student stations was UKE-Sender in Norway. This station also issued highly-valued QSL cards. Radio Student was on the air in Yugoslavia in 1973, and last year there was Radio Rasant in Germany, and Emerald Radio in Ireland that was on relay from WWCR in Nashville Tennessee.
Over the years, some of the international shortwave stations have issued QSL cards that were designed by children. Among these stations are Radio Taipei International, Radio Moscow, China Radio international, and Adventist World Radio.
As a matter of interest, a special version of the Baygen wind-up radio was designed and manufactured in South Africa for the benefit of orphaned children in Africa. This radio receiver was designed for ease of operation and it was distributed free. It was funded by grants from welfare and charity organizations and it was not sold commercially.
Radio Stations for Children & Young People
Country Year Station Information Reference
Radio Broadcasts for Children
USA 1921 WJZ 1st regular children’s programs 1sts 77.11 34
France 1930 Experimental 1st Paris SW broadcast for children 79.217B 38 LI 5-2
Germany 1932 MIRAG Special programs Sunday afternoons KWH 19-00
USA 1939 KGEI Lost infant found in China R&H 79.12 2-41 57
Sri Lanka 1954 SLBC Taken into AWR programming AWR File
China 1987 TWR 300 million children in China CARTW 1987
India Annual AIR Children’s Broadcasting Day Dec 9 TITD 326
S Africa 2002 Sentech UNICEF Children’s Day of Broadcasting Ezeanni QSL
Radio Stations for Children
England 1985 Radio Lollipop Hospitals in England AWW 6-85 51
Australia 1985 Radio Lollipop Hospital in Western Australia AWW 6-85 51
USA Disney stations
Radio Stations run by Children
Australia CRS AIR interview of director Akashvani
Australia 1984 CRS Photo 2 children Akashvani 84
England 2003 KIDZ Radio 1st full time station run by children Postcards
Radio Stations run by Students
Norway 1952 UKE-Sender 500 watt shortwave CPRV QSL
Yugoslavia 1973 Radio Student Visit to station Boeck letter
Ireland 2002 Emerald Radio Broadcasts over WWCR ADXN 4-02 10
Germany 2002 Radio Rasant Broadcasts twice each year on SW Ratzer Email
USA College stations
Taiwan Youth shortwave station
TV Channels for Children
India 2001 DD TV channel excclusively for children Prabakaran
England 2002 BBC Didital TV two channels for children Email bulletin
QSL Cards Designed by Children
Taiwan 1992 RTI 5 QSL cards designed by children KWH 20-99 21
USA 2001 AWR 3 cards designed by contest winners GC AWR QSLs
Radio Receiver Designed for Children
S Africa 2002 Baygen Designed for orphaned children NZDXT 8-02 22