What is radio programming like in the rest of the world?

I don’t know if this belongs in General Questions or Cafe Society. I’m going to post it in Cafe Society, and if the mods decide to move it my feelings won’t be hurt.

I’m something of an Old Time Radio fan, and have hundreds of MP3s and cassettes of old radio shows like *Dragnet, Our Miss Brooks, Jack Benny, Lights Out * and so forth. Of course, this sort of radio programming hasn’t been produced on a regular basis in the States since the early '60s when the last radio soap opera was cancelled. Since that time, radio in the States has consisted almost entirely of music, talk shows, religion, news and sports (if you ignored the damned commercials which take up 'way 'way too much air time if you ask me). You do sometimes hear radio plays from sources like National Public Radio and religious broadcasters (there’s a radio version of *Left Behind * currently being broadcast) but for the most part this kind of radio programming is dead.

Now, in my collection I have a couple of Canadian horror/suspense radio shows, *Nightfall *and The Vanishing Point which appear to have been produced in the '70s and '80s respectively. Does Canadian radio still do stuff like this on a regular basis? If so, is it relatively rare or fairly common? If it’s common, do they have a full range of stuff like dramas, comedies, detective shows, soap operas, etc.? What about Quebec? Since radio shows are much cheaper to produce than television shows, do the good folks in Quebec produce this kind of entertainment in French? Or is their radio programming as impoverished as it is here in Georgia? Is Canadian radio available on the Net? If so, where would I go to hear it?

I understand this kind of programming is widely available in Europe. The BBC (God love 'em!) still produces a fair amount of this stuff. (Is there a Doper out there who doesn’t love The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?) In German classes in college we listened to some German radio dramas, and I actually managed to make some sense out of 'em even though my grasp of the language wasn’t anywhere near fluent. (And it’s declined a hell of a lot in the ensuing 15 years, so please don’t test me.) Is this true of France, Spain, Italy, Poland, Russia, etc.? My impression is that radio in Europe is much richer than it is here in the States. Or am I being naive?

What about Mexico or Latin America in general? Are there Spanish language soap operas still being broadcast on the radio? If I were to take a trip to Brazil, would there be a local equivalent to Jack Benny in Portuegese on the Radio? If I were to go to Argentina or Bolivia, could I hear the local equivalent of Dragnet or Lights Out in the lovely Spanish tongue?

And what about Asia? If I went on vacation to Hong Kong or Bangkok, would there be situation comedies or variety shows on the local radio? What about the Mideast? Is there something like Lum and Abner being broadcast in Egypt, or a Farsi counterpart to The Life of Riley being done in Iran?

What about Africa? Are there radio sitcoms in South Africa? Do folks in Nigeria gather around the radio to listen to the wit and wisdom of a Yoruba Will Rogers or a Hausa Fred Allen?

I’m intensely curious right now. What is radio programming like in the rest of the world?

I would particularly like to hear from non-Americans on this subject. :stuck_out_tongue:

You can listen to a lot of world radio stations on the Internet.
Check out some of the radio databases and explore.

Have fun!