22 Feb World Radio Day – Annual Celebration of Its Past and Key Future
World Radio Day, celebrated on February 13th and dedicated to peace, was also a good opportunity to highlight the permanence and clear role of radio in people’s lives. This lofty theme was a good opportunity to raise the profile of radio. Here is just a short recap of some of the headlines:
‘Radio and Peace’ was the theme of World Radio Day, an annual celebration introduced by UNESCO in 2011 took place on 13 February 2023. This day was meant to highlight independent radio as a pillar for conflict prevention and peacebuilding.
The DRM Consortium joined dozens of organisations, public, commercial and community stations, governments, ministers and regulators in marking this day and thus raising yet again the heightened profile of radio in these uncertain times.
The Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) Consortium (www.drm.org) wished UNESCO, the founder of the United Nations Radio in 1946, many decades of successes in promoting the free-to-air radio as a universal way of informing and promoting peace to all citizens of the world with enhanced and relevant content enabled by state-of-the art digital broadcast.
The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, greeted radio listeners on this important day.
He has reached the 98th edition of his nationwide monthly radio programme “Mann ki Baat”. His tweet also looked to the future of radio by saying: “May the radio keep brightening lives through innovative programmes and showing human creativity. “
The CEO of India’s public broadcaster Prasar Bharati, Gaurav Dwivedi, mentioned the venerable age of radio, 100 years and its significant role in people’s lives around the world.
In a message marking World Radio Day on 13 February, he said this year’s theme of Radio and Peace was a subject intrinsic to the mandate of the public broadcasters of the world.
“Let us together create more inclusive platforms on the part of nation building and peace building,” he said.
“Let us leverage rapidly emerging technologies to reach out more effectively to the remotest corners of the land to ensure that all voices are heard.”
Other Messages from Around the World
For the top manager of Swedish Radio, which reaches 80% of all Swedes, radio has a particular role in these uncertain times when access to credible information is becoming vital: “Swedish Radio has a unique task in peace and war. Through a crank or battery radio, you should always be able to rely on the radio to reach out, even under greater societal pressure, writes Sveriges Radio’s CEO, Cilla Benkö.
Messages of congratulations and the crucial role of radio in nation building came from South Africa, Namibia, Colombia etc.
Other ABU Countries
According to ABU a lot of messages on the role of radio came from countries of the largest continent of the world.
Pakistan also gave a lot of time, space and effort to the radio celebrations on February 13th. The Federal Secretary for Information and Broadcasting, Shahera Shahid, has expressed the commitment to take the state broadcaster to new heights of development through digital transformation, modernization of equipment and capacity enhancement of human resource.
She said the plan to replace existing transmitters with digital setup will further extend outreach of the national broadcaster.
Info Secretary vows to take Radio Pakistan to new heights of development
Radio Pakistan echoed the minister’s words and decided to hold a grand cooperation dialogue on World Radio Day in order to discuss the emerging new digital broadcasting ecosystem.
The Director General of Radio Pakistan, Tahir Hassan, said the emerging trends of digital broadcasting demanded collaboration among the relevant organisations.
Radio plays a key role in helping people find happiness, especially in difficult times, said Suhaimi Sulaiman, Director General of Malaysia’s national radio broadcaster RTM, who reminded us that radio is not just about entertainment, but it is also about companionship and emotional connection.
In Nepal the Executive Director of Radio Nepal, Buddhi Bahadur KC, pledged that the broadcaster would improve its content and technology. He said Radio Nepal had been playing a crucial role since its establishment in 1951 by educating, informing and entertaining the people.
Meanwhile the Association of Community Radio Broadcasters Nepal (ACORAB) held a discussion in Kathmandu on 13 February on the role of radio in the political, social and economic transformation of the country.
Radio has to give a message of peace to overcome the turmoil in the world, Bangladesh’s Information and Broadcasting Minister, Dr Hasan Mahmud, said.
Radio Voice of Vietnam (VOV) is always proud to be the voice of conscience and peace according to its President, Do Tien Sy.
“More than ever, radio needs to prove its value by transmitting reliable and valuable information to contribute to reducing tension, preventing conflicts, promoting cohesion and sharing, and joining hands to build a peaceful and compassionate society,” he said.
Speaking at the same function, Christian Manhart, UNESCO Representative in Vietnam, said radio was a powerful means of communication for helping prevent conflict and build peace.
Broadcasting could be used as a safeguard against disinformation and fake news, the factors that divided and promoted conflict and war, said the UNESCO representative.