World Radio Day

Family members in a village in Ayeyarwady Region, Myanmar, listen to radio together in this photo taken in 2018. (Radio Veritas Asia photo)

“On this World Radio Day, let us recognize the enduring power of radio to promote diversity and help build a more peaceful and inclusive world.” — UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Pluralism, Representation, Diversity

Radio is a powerful medium for celebrating humanity in all its diversity and constitutes a platform for democratic discourse. 

At the global level, radio remains the most widely consumed medium. This unique ability to reach out to the widest audience means radio can shape a society’s experience of diversity, stand as an arena for all voices to speak out, be represented, and heard. 

Radio stations should serve diverse communities, offering a wide variety of programs, viewpoints, and content, and reflect the diversity of audiences in their organizations and operations.

Radio is a low-cost medium specifically suited to reach remote communities and vulnerable people, offering a platform to intervene in the public debate, irrespective of people’s educational level. It also plays a crucial role in emergency communication and disaster relief.

Radio is uniquely positioned to bring communities together and foster positive dialogue for change. By listening to its audiences and responding to their needs, radio services provide the diversity of views and voices needed to address the challenges we all face.

Last year, UNESCO called on radio stations to uphold diversity, both in their newsroom and on the airwaves.

Origin

UNESCO’s Executive Board recommended to the General Conference the proclamation of World Radio Day on the basis of a wide consultation process carried out by UNESCO in 2011.

The leader of the project, the Academia Española de la Radio, received support for the proposal from diverse stakeholders, including major international broadcasters and broadcasting unions and associations.

February 13, the day United Nations Radio was established in 1946, was proposed by the director general of UNESCO.

UNESCO’s General Conference, at its 36th session, proclaimed February 13 as World Radio Day.

On January 14, 2013, the United Nations General Assembly formally endorsed UNESCO’s proclamation of  World Radio Day. 

During its 67th Session, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming February 13 as World Radio Day.

Purpose

The objectives of the Day are to raise greater awareness among the public and the media of the importance of radio; to encourage decision-makers to establish and provide access to information through radio; as well as to enhance networking and international cooperation among broadcasters.

Radio brings people together. In an era of rapid media evolution, radio retains a special place in every community as an accessible source of vital news and information.

Radio is also a source of innovation that pioneered interaction with audiences and user-generated content decades before they became mainstream.

Radio offers a wonderful display of diversity in its formats, in its languages, and among radio professionals themselves.

As we strive to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and tackle the climate crisis, radio has a key role to play as a source of information and inspiration.

On this World Radio Day, let us recognize the enduring power of radio to promote diversity and help build a more peaceful and inclusive world.