World Radio Day (WRD) will be celebrated on Thursday, 13 February 2020 to commemorate the importance of radio in the lives of people. Radio stations will uphold diversity, both in their newsroom and on the airwaves on the call of UNESCO.
“Radio and Diversity” is the theme of World Radio Day for the current year 2020.
The theme of WRD includes Pluralism, Representation, and Diversity. Radio is considered one of the powerful mediums that helps humanity to celebrate diversity and it offers an ideal platform for democratic discourse. It is still the most widely consumed medium globally as the UNESCO website reveals on the Statistics on Radio reveals that radio counts for 86% of the total time adults aged 25-54 spend listening to three main audio platforms. Adults are more prone to listen to AM/FM according to the website. The United Nations website insists that radio stations should serve diverse communities and they should offer a wide variety of programs, viewpoints and content reflecting the diversity of audiences in their organizations. As we know that radio targets not only people living in metropolitan areas but also in remote areas so they should offer a kind of content which gives representation to those isolated communities as well. World Radio Day appreciates radio’s services to a variety of communities and representing them in its programs
According to the UN resolution# UNESCO 36 C/Resolution 63; A/RES/67/124 which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 14 February 2014 during its 67th Session, 13 February will be celebrated as World Radio Day (WRD) every year. The tradition of celebrating this day is still in effect and the world community observes this day including the world leaders. Interestingly, the United Nations Radio was established on 13 February 1946, and the same date was designated by the international organization to observe as World Radio Day (WRD)
Radio is an electronic machine which was invented by Guglielmo Marconi during the 1890s to offer audio news and music to audiences prior to the invention of television. It was the age of newspaper when people were accustomed to get news from unattractive newspapers. Radio appeared as an attractive invention because one or two persons were able to spread their voice to a wide range of audiences. Later on, TV was invented by a 21 years old American boy Philo Taylor Farnsworth in 1927 and it was assumed that radio would lose a large segment of its audiences because most people would prefer visuals over auditory talks and music. On contrary, the official website of UNESCO reveals that around 44000 radio stations are active throughout the world and around 70% of the world population is using radio whereas only around 28,000 TV channels are active globally even after a century of competition between these two modes of information and entertainment. Radio appears in vehicles, households, cell phones, and on work places. Moreover, it is comparatively a cheaper mode of information and easily accessible so a large number of poor people also have this cheaper luxury in their life. People enjoy getting news updates, weather updates, route updates for everyday traveling, informative programs, and entertainment programs while working in their daily routine. Most consumers of the contemporary world are short of time, therefore, they cannot offer their full time and attention to the entertainment devices and they expect by such devices to offer their services to people while they are busy in their daily routine. Radio is an ideal option for such a kind of consumer.
For the described importance of radio, The Spanish Academy of Radio Arts and Sciences (Academia Española de la Radio) which was established to promote radio in Spain successfully promoted the establishment of World Radio Day (WRD) by UNESCO. This institution under the chairmanship of Jorge Álvarez approached UNESCO in 2008 to convince them to observe a day in the recognition of the services of radio in spreading peace, entertainment, and information throughout the world. The 36th Conference General of UNESCO has the credit to unanimously approving the Spanish proposal of designating a day in the recognition of radio services on November 3, 2011. 13 February was observed as World Radio Day (WRD) until 2014 when the UN formally endorsed the day as World Radio Day (WRD).
The purpose of World Radio Day (WRD) is to acknowledge the services of radio and to spread awareness about the importance of radio offering people services regarding entertainment, news updates, and information. This day also insists the world leaders to support this medium to spread awareness and the values of democracy throughout the world.
“When radio keeps silent, our ears shall never hear the real details!” — (Ernest Agyemang Yeboah)
“Radio is the most intimate and socially personal medium in the world”. — Harry Von Zell