Radio Day marked globally as UNESCO calls for diversity

World Radio Day is celebrated globally on February 13 each year to recognize radio as a powerful medium for celebrating humanity in all its diversity, a platform for democratic discourse and a means of teaching individuals. Radio passes information and promotes the opportunity of expression across global cultures. After a wide consultation process, carried out by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, (UNESCO) in 2011, the Board Executives recommended to the General Conference the proclamation of World Radio Day. On 14 January 2013, the United Nations General Assembly formally endorsed UNESCO’s proclamation of World Radio Day.

Radio has in recent years struggled to maintain its prominence alive despite so many pressures and the competition from other communication channels. Rapid advances in technology have given people more ways to access an increasing amount of information. The radio is no longer the master of the real-time feeds as it has been in the past years. Newer discoveries like social media, blogs and digital sites have taken its space and many people who would have otherwise depended on their channels have migrated to these networks where information and real-time updates are circulated around the world with just a simple click.

Nevertheless, radio continues to undergo a gradual modification and changes in concerted efforts to cope with the changing times. Nearly all the stations now have alternatives such as live-streaming, podcasts, Soundcloud, Google applications and many other ways people can access their programs.  There are approximately 150 plus radio stations currently on-air in Kenya.

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We have witnessed the setting up of many local vernacular stations broadcasting in nearly all the ethnic languages in the country, and have been very significant in sharing vital information with hard-to-reach audiences that other mainstream media do not care about. Thanks to the body mandated to regulate the industry, Communication Authority of Kenya, for simplifying the process of registering a radio especially the community-based stations. The authority’s quarterly report, December 2018/2019, indicates that there are over 131 commercial radios and 42 community radios in Kenya.

The purpose of this celebration is to raise greater awareness among the public and the media of the importance of radio; to encourage decision-makers to establish and provide access to information through the medium; as well as to enhance networking and international cooperation among broadcasters.

“Through the freedom it offers, radio is thus a unique means of promoting cultural diversity. This is particularly the case for indigenous peoples, for whom it can be an accessible medium for sharing their experiences, promoting their cultures and expressing their ideas in their own languages,” Director-General Audrey Azoulay

The theme of this year’s celebrations is “Radio and Diversity”. It focuses on diversity and plurilingualism. UNESCO calls on all the stations around the world to uphold diversity, both in their newsroom and on the airwaves.

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Enock Bett
Digital Media Enthusiast|Tech, Business, Corporate Affairs, Politics, and Governance. [No Modes]
EMAIL: [email protected]
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Enock Bett

Digital Media Enthusiast|Tech, Business, Corporate Affairs, Politics, and Governance. [No Modes] EMAIL: [email protected]

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