The Radio Heard around the World
In what has become a tremendous success to the delight of thousands of Italians, LondonOne radio (www.londoneradio.com) is often referred to as the home away from home for the Italian community. Since its launch in January 2015, the radio station has worked with more than five hundred international artists, has broadcasted major live events and concerts, and has welcomed over 60,000 listeners across 383 stations.
It has been a while since the Italian community has had an Italian radio broadcast in its midst. The first Italian radio station in London dates back to 1938 to the historic Radio London which was transmitted via the iconic BBC. Although it was not 100% Italian, it did air many Italian shows including “Colonello Buona Sera.” (Colonel, Good evening) In 1981, the radio station unfortunately, closed its doors until the urge to create another Italian based broadcast resurfaced years later. This time, the goal was based on creating a link between various Italian communities around the world.
Today, after having accomplished this, LondonOneRadio is up and running. Things, of course, are much different (the internet, social media) but the pulse of the station remains the same. No matter what the trends or technical advances may be, listening to informative shows and incredible musical talent remains of upmost importance.
|Founder: Mr. Philip Baglini|
“It wasn’t’ easy and it still isn’t, but it is wonderful to be able in some way to intuitively continue the legacy of Guglielmo Marconi, thanks to the Internet and social medial. Being able to listen to our broadcast on a cell phone is extraordinary,” explains Philip Baglini, the founder of LondonOneRadio and now a London resident. Baglini is also the CEO of I.C.S. ltd and creator of Italoeuropeo magazine which is based out in London. “We wanted to bring a radio to the Italians in London. All over the world, Italians have brought their innovation, creativity, aesthetic sense of beauty, style and passion; it is these qualities which have made us famous in the world, and it is these very principles that have become the foundation of LondonONERadio.”
The Consolato Generale (the Consulate General) based in London has become aware of the station’s success and importance within the Italian community, so much so that this past January, he has given the station his Consultate support and patronage. Even the RAI has taken note of the Italian radio station which has not been in existence for years.
During the week, the topics on the radio alternate. On one day, a lawyer responds in Italian to listeners while the program Creativity Talk is dedicated to cultural studies. On this show (aired every Tuesday) the radio’s cultural director, Katya Marletta conducts weekly interviews with those in film (directors, actors, authors ), music (singers, bands) television personalities and successful entrepreneurs who have distinguished themselves in the U.K. Taste of London is a show that is dedicated to young entrepreneurs who are in the restaurant business. Mamma, ho perso l’Aereo are stories about young Italians who left Italy to pursue better opportunites elsewhere. In the end, and with every show, Baglini encourages his staff to engage in artistic freedom in order to create a dynamic radio station that fulfills the expectations of its audience.
The radio is popular not just in Europe but also abroad thanks to a simple click on its link: www.lodononeradio.com. Listeners all over the world can listen to the radio or to the pod cast, thanks to free downloads available Apps on Itunes.
The founder, Philip Baglini, sat down with us to give more insights into RadioOneRadio and its growing success. Now, everyone can listen to a radio, a communicative source which is free, independent, and like a good friend. Indeed, LondonONEradio is so much more than a radio, it is the essence of Italy which is heard around the world.
What was the initial goal of RadioOne when you first began?
To create bridges within the Italian community and spread Italian culture throughout the world….We wanted to strengthen relationships amongst our countrymen, welcome the emergence of new musical talents, promote artists worldwide. What gives us the most joy is without doubt, the music. Original young talented musicians from the around the world gives this radio station a richness of multiculturalism and innovation.
But I want to emphasize that the radio has always felt a social obligation to our community and has supported two charities: one is Italian and the other is English. I’m talking about Easy Dragons that support the M.A.E.S. Therapy and Children with Cancer UK. Lastly, but not least, it is to give a voice to those who do not have one and are living in a box here in London.
Looking at the large Italian community here in London has it been difficult to create a radio station that pleases everyone?
We thought we’d give an alternative to just handing out information. Instead, we want to tell stories, and focus the attention on some services that we feel would be most helpful, like the direct lines to the Italian lawyer, Italian psychologist or doctor etc.. That’s because the first challenge that an Italian encounters upon his arrival in any foreign country is the barrier of language. To be able to explain and be understood in difficult situations especially in regards to health matters is certainly one of the first obstacles to confront. So, we create podcasts, a kind of help manual, that can be heard at one’s own convenience.
An important part of our radio itinerary is to broadcast live events throughout London such as events and concerts. We have a large space dedicated to international entertainment, Italian restaurants here in London and abroad.
What are the main themes that you focus on in your broadcast?
|Cultural Director, Katya Marletta
Host of Creativity Talk
To add to the previous question, I can say that one of our most popular broadcast is Creativity Talk, conducted by Katya Marletta (Vice Director and head of our Cultural Division) which covers cultural in all its forms, from movies to fashion to culture. The subjects and topics vary depending upon the guests we have in the studio. Maybe one time, the guest would be a director or an actor, or an be an Italian entrepreneur who brought his innovation to London. Another topic would for example be an interview with Stefano Piergiovanni, an expert in his field, on the job sitaution.
Another popular show is when the lawyer answers questions related to law such as scams or illegal business dealings. “Mamma ho perso l’aereo” is about stories of the Italians in the world, headlined by the young and brilliant Illaria Gallo. The themes of the scams we have faced has prompted us to tell our stories that are swept under the rug of this wonderful city. We talk about political themes that are connected to Europe such as Brexit etc. We have open discussions with top journalists like Caterina Soffici of Il Fatto Quotidiano or Enrico Franceschini of La Repubblica. And then, of course, there is our App which we would love for you to download (LondonOneRadio) and follow us on your cell everywhere. You will be able to discover new exciting material that in a few weeks will be included in the App.
I know that besides the radio and your media and communications company, you also have a magazine.
Yes, the magazine you are referring to is the historic “Italoeuropeo.it’ (and .com). Founded in London, it has sought to inform Londoners and students. I remember that fifteen years ago, I was trying to create an informative site online but no one believed in me. Everyone was attached to the old fashioned style of journalism and newspapers that today still exists, and it’s wonderful that there are these forms that paved the way for newer generations of journalism. But information today is lightning fast as if we are getting news even before it has happened in a sense. A paradox. I remember once after an attack by hackers, it forced me to stop an editorial. I didn’t accuse anyone nor point fingers. In London, there just isn’t time, there’s only time to create and move on.
Adopting the English method, I was forced to create another website, same name, same mission, to inform freely and give a chance to young journalists to partake in free and independent journalis and talk politics. Thus, begun Italoeuropeo. And here I can say that L’italoeuropo is the father and London is the mother, probably without their union, LondonOneRadio would not have been born.
Why does the Italian community need this type of radio broadcast?
Why do other communities have one and not the Italian community. I found it unbelievable that having had an Italian, Guglielmo Marconi conceive and invent the radio itself, Italians did not have one. In the past, there was the historical Radio Londra that was a hybrid of many cultures, and for a short time was done in Italian, then there was Radio Spectrum. And it is for this reason we are proud of our accomplishments- to think we did its first airing On Air of LondonOneRadio on September 27, 2014, the same day that it once made its debut on September 27, 1938.
In this day and age, we where we are immersed with information, a return to radio with its historical foundation along with a modern twist, seemed to be the right thing to do.
After the magazine, the radio seemed like the next natural step and I’m not saying it was an obligation but a spontaneous response for those who love music, and radio more than television. It has been that friendly voice that has accompanied me in life. And for Italians who come here to London, a radio station would be useful. Using the web has allowed us to reach other Italians abroad by creating a connection that increases more and more.
To feel united with the same passion, to create communicative bridges, just perhaps like Marconi once imagined. In this case, I believe for those who engage in this type of work must uphold these Italian values and make it clear that without that spark of love and courage, perhaps not even the Internet nor Facebook would have ever been conceived.
We thought we’d create a radio that could be supportive to the Italians in London, but also to the Italians in Italy who want to come to London. There are many in number and often they lack the support, a helping hand, a friendly voice that can make them feel at home. LondonOneRadio is not just a radio but an experience both for those who are artists, but also for those who are listeners. ”
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The official italian radio in London
to promote music talent worldwild
Under the auspices of the Italian Consulate
Many thanks to LondonOneRadio founder, Mr. Philip Baglini and Cultural Director, Katya Marletta.
©Gaya Lynn 2016