12 February 2014 – Radio is the mass media reaching the widest audience in the world. It is a powerful communication tool, which reaches remote communities and vulnerable people. It gives people a change to participate in the public debate – regardless of illiteracy, gender, age or poverty. It is a low cost medium, which reaches people irrespective of their educational level, and in many places it has a strong and important role to play in emergency communication.
On 13 February we celebrate World Radio Day and encourage people to celebrate the importance of radio. The reason World Radio Day is celebrated the 13. February each year is because it is the day the United Nations radio was established in 1946. The United Nations Radio has been reporting since then, and is a source of information for people all around the world.
This year, UNESCO celebrates the women in radio, while emphasizing the harsh truths about women working with this media. Only 22 % of the news subjects in radio are women, less than 15 % of experts interviewed by the media are women and only 24 % of people questioned, heard or seen in media are women. ”We have seventy plus television channels, but the number of women at top management level is almost zero, at middle management there are very few, and the majority of them are working in junior positions”, says Shumaila Jaffery, who works for BBC in Pakistan.
In a statement, the Secretary-General of the UN highlights the fact that the airwaves frequently lag behind when it comes to gender equality. “I encourage radio stations to be more inclusive by equally recognizing women in their staff and in their audience. Radio can help dismantle stereotypical and imbalanced programming,” Ban Ki-Moon states. Meanwhile he encourages celebrating World Radio Day by saluting women in radio.
Listen to UN Radio here
Messages on World Radio Day
The Brussels based United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe - UNRIC provides information on UN activities to the countries of the region. It also provides liaison with institutions of the European Union in the field of information. Its outreach activities extend to all segments of society and joint campaigns, projects and events are organized with partners including the EU, governments, the media, NGOs, schools and local authorities.
United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC Brussels)
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