Today is UNESCO World Radio Day and this year the theme is “Radio and Peace.” Here’s the announcement from UNESCO:
Proclaimed in 2011 by the Member States of UNESCO, and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 as an International Day, February 13 became World Radio Day (WRD).
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. 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.
World Radio Day 2023
The theme for the 12th edition of the World Radio Day, to be celebrated on 13 February 2023, is “Radio and Peace“.
War, as an antonym to peace, signifies an armed conflict between countries or groups within a country, but may also translate into a conflict of media narratives. The narrative can increase tensions or maintain conditions for peace in a given context – for instance weigh in on the rough or smooth conduct of elections, the rejection or integration of returnees, the rise or tempering of nationalistic fervour, etc. In reporting and informing the general public, radio stations shape public opinion and frame a narrative that can influence domestic and international situations and decision-making processes.
Radio can indeed fuel conflict but in reality, professional radio moderates conflict and/or tensions, preventing their escalation or bringing about reconciliation and reconstruction talks. In contexts of distant or immediate tension, relevant programmes and independent news reporting provide the foundation for sustainable democracy and good governance by gathering evidence about what is happening, informing citizens about it in impartial and fact-based terms, explaining what is at stake and brokering dialogue among different groups in society.
“… since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.”
That is the reason why support to independent radio has to be viewed as an integral part of peace and stability. On World Radio Day 2023, UNESCO highlights independent radio as a pillar for conflict prevention and peacebuilding.
The impact of community radio: World Wide Waves 2023
As mentioned in a previous post, in celebration of World Radio Day 2023, our friend David Goren has produced another amazing World Wide Waves episode with Maria Margaronis presenting. You can listen to the audio of the full documentary via BBC Sounds, or The Documentary website once it has aired:
For World Radio Day, we celebrate four vibrant community radio stations on four continents, tuning in to their sounds, their music, and their missions. Northern Malawi’s Rumphi FM supports the Tumbuka tribe while giving young women a space to speak out against early marriage and for education.
From Budapest, Radio Dikh broadcasts “about the Roma, but not just for the Roma,” presenting Romany culture in its own distinctive voice.
In Nunavik, Northern Quebec, Inuit radio beams Inuktitut music and talk to 14 remote villages, helping to keep an ancient language and threatened tradition alive.
And in civil-war-torn Myanmar, brave journalists risk their lives to resist the military dictatorship with news and views sent out from portable transmitters, sometimes under fire.
Presenter: Maria Margaronis
Producer: David Goren