Video: Emmanuel Sémo, President and founder of Radio VL

This video is copyright free. Emmanuel Sémo and UNESCO authorise broadcast, print and online media, as well as the general public, to use part or all of the video for the celebration of World Radio Day 2015.

View this video on YouTube (in French with English subtitles)

World Radio Day message from Emmanuel Sémo, President and founder of Radio VL, France.

Emmanuel Sémo is the president and founder of Radio VL, the first media outlet in France created and run by and for young people. The web-based radio station is the first initiative of the organisation, which aims to inform young people in a more intelligent way. In his message for World Radio Day, Emmanuel Sémo shares the motivations and difficulties in creating a youth radio station and its integration with digital platforms.

Transcript: The creation of our organisation results from several observations that have been made and that is why UNESCO has approached us. That is to say that we have sought to talk to young people without language facilities, without necessarily talking about sex all the time or anything stupid, like other national FM radios could do. This was our first niche. Actually, the radio is part of a cluster among other clusters in our media umbrella because unfortunately we cannot survive as a "pure player", only on radio. We also survive through our editorial cluster, our artistic cluster, our video programming production cluster. But, basically, we started with a simple purpose, which is that today we wanted to speak with one voice, a national outlet built for the young and not run by old people and led by young people, but really run by young people, led by young people, for young people. That's why we created Radio VL.

The initial difficulty, of course, is money. To create a media outlet as large as we have managed to achieve today, with this size, it is money. This is the heart of the matter and so we have had to find funders. At first, some funders supported us. We have set objectives that have been largely achieved. And this has attracted other funders and so on. Now, we have more different funders and survive through advertising, through partnerships and so on.

Our goal is truly to educate young people in a smart way. This is our editorial line. Following on from that, in the radio part, we have twenty different programmes. We really have a variety of interesting programmes. We talk about history, we talk about general culture, we talk about media, and we also talk about free access to the airwaves. Yes, we have free broadcasting as with other radio stations, except that our free broadcasting is not vulgar. There are a few differences. So what truly characterises our editorial line is really this diversity and knowledge of its target, its audience.

Today, everything happens on the Internet, in reality. So people read us and listen to us on the Internet and watch us. Because now we are doing something that is quite modern and important, as everyone does now, which is filmed radio. On our radio station, all of our programs are filmed. So we can watch them and our reports are also visible on platforms like YouTube or on our website.
Digital technology promotes sharing, comments and the ability of opinion too, because we know right away whether or not it works. It is also very hard, it is real time. Digital, it is real time.

Radio is perhaps the most universal media. That is to say, it can be understood by everyone. All across the world, there is radio. It was a medium used for relief; it was also a military medium at the beginning. So today, radio is perhaps the easiest way to communicate around the world. We can capture radio waves everywhere. After that, all that is needed to know is how to use this tool.

I obviously deeply support World Radio Day, so every year on 13 February I encourage people to come to this Day. It allows them to discover media from all over the world that are known everywhere. And, in addition to that, discover this beautiful place that is UNESCO, which is full of history, which is recognized worldwide and that everyone should see at least once in their life. ■

The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of UNESCO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The ideas and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author; they do not necessarily represent those of UNESCO and do not commit the Organisation.