Empresa Brasil de Comunicação (EBC) and the Post Office launched a stamp on Sept. 7 in Rio de Janeiro marking the 100th anniversary of the first radio broadcast in the country, exactly one century after the Declaration of Independence.
The ceremony took place during the intermission of the event held by Rádio MEC at the Theatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro featuring the theater's orchestra conducted by maestro Felipe Prazeres and the UFF National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the Argentinean Javier Logioia.
Radio broadcasting in Brazil is still on the rise, combining information, culture, and entertainment. Form and content are reinvented in these moments of transition.
In 1922, a major exhibition was held in Rio de Janeiro, then the country's capital, from September 7 of that year through July 24, 1923, to demonstrate the country's potential. The event promoted inventions, such as the one that required the setting up of transmission stations such as the ones on Corcovado Hill, previously only telegraphic, and Praia Vermelha.
The new structures were deployed to demonstrate the use of sound and voice over long distances, with repeater antennas in the mountainous regions of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The idea was to show a technological advance capable of making transmissions through the air without the use of wires.
One of the outstanding transmissions on that September 7, 1922, took place from the area of the pavilions from which President Epitácio Pessoa addressed the nation. Another highlight was the introduction of Carlos
Gomes' opera O Guarani, broadcasted from the Theatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro that same day.
The noisy transmissions needed improvement, but the novelty caught the attention of those who visited the fair or traveled through the surrounding areas and heard the sound communication. Those experiments officially marked the beginning of radio in the country with wireless, long-distance transmission.
One of the main pioneers of radio broadcasting in Brazil was Edgard Roquette Pinto (1884-1954), who convinced the Brazilian Academy of Sciences to sponsor the creation of Radio Sociedade do Rio de Janeiro, now MEC Radio, which began operating the following year. His defense of educational radio encouraged Roquette Pinto to donate the station to the Ministry of Education in 1936. Even so, he continued to run the station until 1943. He also created, in 1934, the Radio School of Rio de Janeiro, which today carries his name: Radio Roquette-Pinto.
Rádio MEC was given an FM channel in 1983 and is known as Brazil's Classical Music Radio, with concerts and jazz programs. The two stations have been part of EBC since 2008 and offer content that focuses on culture, education, and children.
The 1930s marked the Golden Age of Radio. Technical investment expanded the scope from shortwave to medium wave and then to AM. In this context, Rádio Nacional do Rio de Janeiro went on the air on September 12, 1936, from the building of the newspaper A Noite.
Nacional was taken over by the federal government in the 1940s. The station invested in technology to increase its reach and in the production of new products. The station became hegemonic with a series of diverse attractions including soap operas, while the news show Repórter Esso made a name for itself.
Competition from television undermined the station's dominance from the 1950s on. Even so, Rádio Nacional remains with quality productions on the air and, since 2008, is part of the EBC. The main programming content involves journalism, sports, and cultural attractions.
(Source: Agencia Brasil)
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