“Its proximity, simplicity and low cost make the radio a medium that promotes community living, providing a way to strengthen social ties and ensure people’s participation in humanitarian programmes and the discussions that inform them.”
(Ms. Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO)
On February 13th the United Nations celebrates World Radio Day to commemorate radio as a medium which has and continues to improve international cooperation between broadcasters. Moreover it wants to encourage networks and community radio alike to promote access to information, freedom of expression and gender equality. World Radio Day has been celebrated since 2012 in memory of the first “UN Radio” station which is located at the United Nations Headquarters and aired for the first time on February 13th, 1946.
This year, the priority theme for World Radio Day is “Radio in Times of Emergency and Disasters”.
UNESCO states that, even in the age of digital technology, radio still remains the medium that reaches the widest audience worldwide in the quickest possible time. It is mostly in times of environmental disasters and emergencies that the radio proves itself as an indispensable tool! It is then used to inform the audience, mobilize and organize rescue and recovery operations. Additionally, it can also help to protect journalists located in disastrous situations.
Mr. Tadateru Konoé, President of the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC), released this statement to commemorate the observance day:
“In emergency situations, radio is often one of the few sources of information for people affected. Combining the power and proximity of our Red Cross Red Crescent front line volunteers with the reach of Radio, we will strengthen our ability to listen to communities. It will also help us to empower the people we serve to take action on their own behalf.”
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