KATHMANDU: The advent of video hugely affected the prospects of Radio as the rise of new technology often spells doom for the previous one. But this story of how Radio overshadowed the video medium by helping the panic-stricken people of Nepal and allaying their fears during the earthquake crisis will win you over.
Hari Sharan Lamichhane , a senior editor,at Radio Nepal, was about to leave the studio after finishing his morning show, when the earthquake struck. His handling of situation has now become the talk of the town.
“I went back to the studio. I thought it is my duty to take over. As I had no script, I went to earthquake.com and got whatever information they had put up," he told a leading daily from India.
With every one out of their houses TV was as good as absent. Radio worked in those hours of crisis and it went on non stop. Within an hour Lamichhane had convinced the prime minister to come on air and tell people not to panic. That was followed by the government's spokesperson, the police and army brass.
"People were tuning in to radio through their cell phones, carrying their radios out in the open. Everybody was listening to it," Lamichhane said.
"There is a famous song — 'Video killed the radio star'. But now I say, 'Radio killed the video star'," he added.
Encouraged by the response, Nepal Radio hooked up with the local FM channels, nearly 500 of them, and shared resources.
Then they asked the government to make calls and SMSs free. The ministry obliged. Radio Nepal was suddenly scoring big.
Lamichhane, said, part of the job was to kill rumors. Someone called in to ask if a volcano had also erupted.
"Now that radio has woken up, we should push to make Radio Nepal 100% public service broadcasting," he added.