In 1996, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed November 21st as World Television Day in order to acknowledge the role of television in decision-making and awareness-raising on a global level. This year’s edition will be celebrated under the topic of diversity; diversity of content, but also diversity as a societal topic. Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, Melissa Fleming, underlined the importance of this year’s theme, stating that: “Diversity should always be viewed as a positive and not a threat. Television is no exception. The more diverse television content is, the more accurately it reflects our world.”
Today, over two decades later, the importance of television remains as it generates content on multiple platforms. According to the Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT), 221 minutes per day is the average viewing time of linear viewing time. Moreover, one million people work in the audiovisual industry in Europe only, creating an annual turnover of 112 billion euros.
But television has also an impact on society. It has allowed millions of viewers to become aware of the huge challenges that we are facing. At the same time, it has allowed viewers to become part of a global change by fostering enthusiasm and triggering action with meaningful stories that are told by broadcasters.
On the occasion of World TV Day, United Nations Director of the Strategic Communications Division, Seda Pumpyanskaya, delivered a speech at the 30th anniversary of the Association of Commercial Televisions in Europe (ACT) in Brussels, emphasizing that “World Television Day is a celebration of TV as a tool for informing channelling and affecting public opinion, but also of TV as a symbol of communication and globalization in the contemporary world”.
Screening the video “We the People for the global Goals”, she underlined that the television industry can play a key role in the realization of the Agenda 2030 and invited more media companies to join the SDG Media Compact. Over 70 media partners from 80 countries covering 4 continents have joined the SDG Media Compact so far, expressing their willingness to take action and spreading the message of the SDGs across the globe through their broadcasting programs.
As there are only ten more years to go in order to achieve the agenda 2030, the momentum needs to be sustained and the broadcasting industry can play an essential role in the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals by reaching out to the most powerful force of all: the people.