Charting RTHK in the community

Local | Bernard Charnwut Chan 21 Nov 2018

This year is the 90th anniversary of public service broadcasting in Hong Kong.

It was in June 1928 that the government took over an amateur-run radio service and gave it the call sign GOW. The station broadcast for just two hours a day at first.

In the 1930s, it was divided into two channels - one in English and one in Chinese. But it is estimated that only around 5 percent of households had a radio at that time.

After the war, the service became Radio Hong Kong. By the 1970s radios were in every home, popular music and phone-in shows had started, and the broadcaster had branched into television and renamed itself RTHK.

The Hong Kong Heritage Museum in Sha Tin has teamed up with RTHK to put on a special exhibition looking back at the history of public broadcasting in Hong Kong.

Visitors will see old studio equipment and such items as program schedules from the old days. The exhibition also includes a lot of photos and audio-visual materials - including some familiar names and faces from a few decades ago.

The exhibition reflects the huge changes in popular tastes and lifestyles over the years. It also offers a look at how far technology has come in the past 90 years.

Most of all, perhaps, it reminds visitors of the role our public broadcaster RTHK has made in promoting social awareness and helping to forge the Hong Kong community.

The show lasts until February 25. See www.heritagemuseum.gov.hk for details.

is chairman of The Jockey Club CPS Advisory Committee

standard@bernardchan.com

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