On 13 February 2020, World Radio Day will celebrate how radio broadcasting has promoted freedom of speech, cultural diversity and expression.
Under the theme ‘radio and diversity,’ the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (Unesco) 2020 edition of World Radio Day will focus on radio’s responsibility as ‘a platform for democratic discourse’. Through this, the international organisation is also encouraging radio stations worldwide to participate in the one-day celebration, which takes place on 13 February 2020.
Unesco’s also calling on radio broadcasters to consistently maintain ‘diversity in the newsroom and on the airwaves’ to guarantee variety of content and voices for its varied audiences.
Radio World proceeded to speak to Mirta Lourenço chief, Media Development and Society, Communication and Information for Unesco on the significance of this day and the importance of radio in maintaining plurality and transparency.
She said that World Radio Day is actually more than an event.
“It is more than an event, or it is several events around the world, all of them celebrating radio. The objective is to encourage decision makers to establish and provide access to information through radio, as well as to enhance networking and international cooperation among broadcasters.”
She also said that there is not a continent that doesn’t celebrate World Radio Day. In fact, last year, the SABC also commemorated World Radio Day in South Africa by presenting Lesedi FM’s new state-of-the-art outside broadcasting van fitted with modern digital studio equipment. It is said that the history of radio in South Africa can be traced back to 1923 when the first wireless broadcast was made in Johannesburg.
Proclaimed in 2011 by the Member States of Unesco, and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 as an International Day, 13 February ultimately became World Radio Day.
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 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.
Unesco also created a World Radio Day celebration kit that is copyright free and may be used to promote World Radio Day. Check out their WRD 2020 Celebration kit over here.