(Persia Digest) – Seventy-eight years ago, on 24 April, the first radio transmitter in Iran began broadcasting from the old Shemiran road studios in Tehran. Exactly on 24 April, 1940, a radio service started which presented programs such as news, Iranian music, cultural and artistic subjects, history and geography for eight hours a day. The service was only for Tehran, and for this reason became known as “Radio Tehran”.
Earlier, the Ministry of War had provided arrangements for wireless use, and the first wirelesses came to Iran in 1926. After that, wireless companies grew and the radio started work. Radio Tehran was nationalized and its name was changed to Radio Iran.
Mohammad Hejazi (author and story writer), Abdolrahman Faramarzi (author and director of the Kayhan Newspaper), Hosseingholi Mosta'an (story writer), Abolghasem Payandeh (author), Abolghasem E’tesamzadeh and Moshfegh Hamedani (translator) were the first to work and write for Radio Iran.
The radio of those days was the companion of many Iranian people. They followed the important political and social news on the radio. The first performances of Iranian composers, singers and original Iranian music were first broadcast from the radio. Then people would whisper the songs, and the lyrics would be out, and in every corner of the city many people would be seen singing the songs broadcasted on the radio.
Stories were narrated on the radio and people would let their imagination fly. It took them to faraway places, to the hearts of the tales, and because there was no image, everyone created a new world in their mind with the sound of the story. The radio took people to new lands. It was the people’s companion.
The sound of the radio was heard in every corner of the city. Shopkeepers would turn on the radio in the morning when they started working and worked with the background sound of the radio.
Now, 78 years have passed since that time. Mass media has become so advanced, and we are so engrossed in multimedia and our cell phones that we do not even have a chance to listen. But the radio is still alive. Radio is the only media that you don’t have to look at, and while you’re busy doing something, you can listen to it everywhere and any time, without it imposing its presence on you, unlike multimedia and images. Radio is still an unassuming companion.