Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of World Radio Day, 2017
We are living a revolution in how we share and access information – and, yet, in the midst of deep change, radio has never been so dynamic, engaging and important.
This is UNESCO’s message on World Radio Day, 13 February 2017.
At a time of turbulence, radio provides an enduring platform to bring communities together. On the way to work, in our homes, offices and fields, in times of peace, conflict and emergencies, radio remains a crucial source of information and knowledge, spanning generations and cultures, inspiring us with the wealth of humanity’s diversity, and connecting us with the world. Radio gives voice to women and men everywhere. It listens to audiences and responds to needs. It is a force for human rights and dignity and a powerful enabler of solutions to the challenges all societies face.
This is why radio is important to taking forward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Advancing fundamental freedoms and promoting public access to information is essential to bolstering good governance and the rule of law, to deepening inclusion and dialogue. In tackling new challenges, in responding to climate change, in countering discrimination, radio can provide an accessible and real-time medium to bridge divides and strengthen dialogue.
This requires a new commitment by all to radio. Broadcasters, regulators and audiences alike should nurture and make the most of its power. Listener clubs and forums are uniting communities around common issues with the power to hear themselves on the airwaves and to have others listen to them. Audience engagement policies are placing listeners at the heart of broadcasts. Media and information literacy has never been so vital, to build trust in information and knowledge at a time when notions of ‘truth’ have been challenged. This is how radio can provide a beacon for innovative solutions to local problems, and continue to advance human rights, gender equality, dialogue and peace.
On World Radio Day, UNESCO calls on everyone to nurture the power of radio to foster the conversations and the listening we need for cooperation to tackle the challenges all humanity faces.