The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is gearing up for World Radio Day (WRD) next month by sharing educational materials and offering unique ways to celebrate.
Proclaimed in 2011 by the member states of UNESCO, and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012, the international day is recognized each year on Feb. 13. This year, the theme for the 12th edition of WRD is “Radio and Peace.”
“War, as an antonym to peace, signifies an armed conflict between countries or groups within a country, but may also translate into a conflict of media narratives,” says UNESCO on its website. “In reporting and informing the general public, radio stations shape public opinion and frame a narrative that can influence domestic and international situations and decision-making processes.”
In honor of this year’s theme, UNESCO has shared 13 ways that radio stations can incorporate “Radio and Peace” into their programming. Ideas include focusing and discussing songs of peace or hosting a talk show reviewing books or magazines that bring home stories of disarmament, demobilized soldiers, reintegration, reconciliation, etc.
UNESCO said WRD can also be a great time for stations to review their editorial style and employment policies, asking the questions: “Why is your radio station’s independent reporting absolutely critical to peace? How is the station contributing to good governance and the rule of law? In which way does staff diversity influence content?”
The UN agency says, “In contexts of distant or immediate tension, relevant programs and independent news reporting provide the foundation for sustainable democracy and good governance by gathering evidence about what is happening, informing citizens about it in impartial and fact-based terms, explaining what is at stake and brokering dialogue among different groups in society.”
On World Radio Day 2023, UNESCO highlights independent radio as a pillar for conflict prevention and peacebuilding.