UNESCO is pleased to make the audio and text of this interview available copy-right free for the celebration of World Radio Day 2019.
For this World Radio Day, we celebrate the unique, far-reaching power of radio to broaden our horizons and build more harmonious societies.
Editorial by Jamila Seftaoui
Original article published by the United Nations:
About World Radio Day
UNESCO’s General Conference, at its 36th session, proclaimed World Radio Day on 13 February.
UNESCO’s Executive Board recommended to the General Conference the proclamation of World Radio Day, on the basis of a feasibility study undertaken by UNESCO, further to a proposal from Spain.
Radio is the mass media reaching the widest audience in the world. It is also recognized as a powerful communication tool and a low cost medium. Radio is specifically suited to reach remote communities and vulnerable people: the illiterate, the disabled, women, youth and the poor, while offering a platform to intervene in the public debate, irrespective of people’s educational level. Furthermore, radio has a strong and specific role in emergency communication and disaster relief.
There is also a changing face to radio services which, in the present times of media convergence, are taking up new technological forms, such as broadband, mobiles and tablets. However, it is said that up to a billion people still do not have access to radio today.
A wide consultation process started in June 2011, carried out by UNESCO. It included all stakeholders, i.e. broadcasting associations; public, state, private, community and international broadcasters; UN agencies; funds and programmes; topic-related NGOs; academia; foundations and bilateral development agencies; as well as UNESCO Permanent Delegations and National Commissions. Among the answers, 91% were in favour of the project. The leader of the project, the Academia Española de la Radio, received over 46 letters of support from diverse stakeholders, including the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU), the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), the African Union of Broadcasting (AUB), Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC), the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the International Association of Broadcasting (IAB), the North American Broadcasters Association (NABA), the Organización de Telecomunicaciones Ibeoramericanas (OTI), BBC, URTI, Vatican Radio, etc.
The date of 13 February, the day the United Nations radio was established in 1946, was proposed by the Director-General of UNESCO. The objectives of the Day will be 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.
The consulted stakeholders also proposed ideas for the programme of celebration: extensive use of social media, annual themes, a dedicated website enabling virtual participation, special radio programmes, radio programmes exchange, a festival involving key partners, and so forth.
On 14 January 2013, the United Nations General Assembly formally endorsed UNESCO’s proclamation of World Radio Day. During its 67th Session, the UN General Assembly endorsed the resolution adopted during the 36th session of the UNESCO General Conference, proclaiming 13 February, the day United Nations Radio was established in 1946, as World Radio Day.
UNESCO invites all radio stations and supporting organisations to join us for World Radio Day 2019, a chance to strengthen diversity, peace and development through their broadcasting.
World Radio Day marks a time where people around the world celebrate radio and how it shapes our lives. Radio brings together people and communities from all backgrounds to foster positive dialogue for change. More specifically, radio is the perfect medium to counter the appeals for violence and the spread of conflict, especially in regions potentially more exposed to such realities. On that basis, World Radio Day 2019 will celebrate the theme of “Dialogue, Tolerance and Peace” and the power of radio in promoting understanding and strong communities.
Please explore our webpage, brimming with ideas, activities and practical solutions, for you to do on or around World Radio Day.