World Radio Day will be celebrated on February 13, 2015. It’s a global celebration of radio as a medium, and as this year’s theme is “Youth and Radio”, it’s a great opportunity to plan a youth-focused event or activity. Here are some ideas to get you started, both on the Day and in the months leading up to it.
ON THE DAY
1 Produce a ‘by youth, for youth’ radio show
The ultimate goal of WRD 2015 is to increase the level of participation of young people in radio, not just as listeners but as producers of content. The best way to demonstrate this is to invite your young producers to devise their own youth-focused radio show – by youth, for youth.
You could even organise a “Youth Takeover the Radio” event, handing over all of the day’s content to young people to devise, plan and produce.
2 Carry our on-the-day radio content
UNESCO is partnering with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to broadcast a full 24-hours of programming, including contributions from broadcasting unions all over the world. Be sure to check our website closer to the day for more information on how you can stream this content yourself.
3 Organise an Open Day for the public, run by young people
An open day is a great way to involve the public in your activities. The day should be led by young producers and reporters, ensuring people not only learn about the inner workings of radio, but see first-hand the vital contribution that young people make in the sector.
4 Organise an outdoor broadcast or event
Outdoor or town hall broadcasts are a great way to increase the participation of young people, and put your organisation at the centre of community activities. Once again, the event should be handed over to your young producers and reporters, from planning the event and setting the agenda to creating and producing the day’s programming. This will not only demonstrate their capacity, but also inspire other young people with what is possible.
5 Run youth-focused training workshops and tutorials
Arrange for your younger staff to run these workshops to ensure the participants leave engaged and inspired.
6 Integrate young listeners through social media or call-in forums
Whatever special World Radio Day programming or communications you decide to organise, it should always involve the direct participation of young people, and social media and call-in discussions are an excellent way to do this. It allows a two way conversation where young people contribute in ways they are familiar with.
7 Conduct interviews with young opinion leaders
One way to ensure young people are more involved in the discussion on the Day is to interview influential young people in your area, from celebrities and media professionals to young community leaders and politicians. Talk with them about the issues that are important to them, and promote the interviews during your World Radio Day activities.
BEFORE THE DAY
8 Share and disseminate content from UNESCO
We’ll be producing a huge amount of royalty-free audio, video and written content that you can use on air, on your website or via social media channels. This will include interviews, radio shows, articles, infographics and sound bites, posted to our website and SoundCloud account for World Radio Day. We’ll also be providing promotional banners you can use to show your support for the Day.
9 Start a conversation via social media
As explained above, social media is a great way to have a two-way conversation with young listeners and get their feedback about the issues that are important to them. You don’t have to wait until World Radio Day, however, to start the discussion.
Mark all social media content with the #worldradioday hashtag so it feeds into the global conversation, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest news.
10 Start a ‘World Radio Day’ youth mentoring programme
Identify young radio professionals and media students in your area and offer them training and guidance in navigating the industry. The insights you’ll gain from bringing young people on board are sure to make the experience mutually rewarding. They could even become your 2015 World Radio Day ‘Youth Ambassadors’, producing content for the day and reporting on their experiences.
11 Hold a ‘Young Listener’ contest
Whether it involves reports, stories, articles or videos, a competition such as this engages young people, makes them feel included and provides you with a whole host of youth-created content that you can use in the lead up to the Day.
12 Invite other media to report on your activities
Once you’ve planned your World Radio Day events and activities, be sure to invite media outlets, NGOs and other organisations in your area to report about it. They’ll help raise the profile of your event, and may even be able to contribute their own aspects or ideas.
13 Stimulate the conversation at work
Organise a brainstorming session to discuss the level of inclusion young people have in your organisation, how young people are portrayed in stories about them, and what more can be done to include them in all areas of the organisation’s activities. See Talking Points, below.
14 Join the discussion with other professionals on our LinkedIn
Head over to our LinkedIn page and subscribe to receive updates – we’ll be posting interesting discussions and inviting contributions from media professionals and policy makers from all over the world.
15 Partner with various other organisations
Think about what organisations in your area may wish to be part of World Radio Day, from radio stations and other media partners, to schools and libraries, community organisations and NGOs. Also get in touch with your local UNESCO National Commission – there’s one in every country, and they can help you find locally-relevant content and put you in contact with other events being organised in your country.
Instead of dictating the discussion, we believe it’s crucial to ask young people about the issues that are important to them, but here are some ideas for topics related to youth and radio that you might want to discuss:
– The future of radio and the challenges and opportunities brought about by new technologies, especially given the early adoption of these by young people
– How to improve participation of young people in the radio sector:
– Radio for youth: Youth-focused programmes
– Radio with youth: Programmes involving young people in the production team
– Radio by youth: Programmes produced by youth, for youth
– The elimination of stereotypes and prejudice in the portrayal of young people in the media
– Improving the security of young journalists, especially freelancers and fixers in conflict and disaster zones
– The impact of young people on community radio (education, acculturation, coverage of conflicts not being covered by the wider media, emergency and humanitarian crises, etc)
– The link between the accessibility of information through radio amongst young people and the sustainable development of communities