"On this World Radio Day, let us recognize the power of radio to promote dialogue, tolerance and peace." — UN Secretary-General António Guterres
Radio is the mass medium reaching the widest audience in the world. It is also recognised 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.
Radio is still the most dynamic, reactive and engaging medium there is, adapting to 21st century changes and offering new ways to interact and participate. Where social media and audience fragmentation can put us in media bubbles of like-minded people, radio is uniquely positioned to bring communities together and foster positive dialogue for change. By listening to its audiences and responding to their needs, radio provides the diversity of views and voices needed to address the challenges we all face.
13 February is a date proclaimed by UNESCO to celebrate radio broadcast, improve international cooperation among radio broadcasters and encourage decision-makers to create and provide access to information through radio, including community radios. It’s an occasion to draw attention to the unique value of radio, which remains the medium to reach the widest audience and is currently taking up new technological forms and devices.
The theme for these years World Radio Day is Dialogue, Tolerance and Peace. Broadcasts that provide a platform for dialogue and democratic debate over issues, such as migration or violence against women, can help to raise awareness among listeners and inspire understanding for new perspectives in paving the way for positive action. Radio programming can also build tolerance and surpass the differences separating groups by uniting them under common goals and causes, like ensuring education for one’s children or addressing local health concerns.
We, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY) encourages all countries to celebrate this day by undertaking activities with diverse partners, such as national, regional and international broadcasting associations and organizations, non-governmental organizations, media organizations, outlets as well as the public at large.
Join us this World Radio Day 2019 to celebrate the impact of radio in pursuing of a more peaceful and tolerant world.