The author is a consultant specialist for the Media Development & Society, Communication & Information Sector at UNESCO.
PARIS — Already more than 100 events are happening in all corners of the globe for UNESCO's World Radio Day. Is your broadcast listed?
Radio stations, civil society and community organizations around the world are registering their events and broadcasts on www.worldradioday.org to celebrate the day that unites the world through real-time dialogue.
It’s now time for radio stations to upload their events and broadcasts online and encourage their listeners to join them in celebrating World Radio Day 2017. At the very least, radio stations can put a pin in our global map of their regular programming on Monday 13 February 2017 for their listeners and new listeners to find them.
Here is what stations need to know:
What are the key messages for World Radio Day 2017?
1) Radio helps shape our lives — it is still one of the most dynamic, reactive and robust media there is. Ensuring radio can operate in conditions that promote freedom of expression and journalists’ safety is paramount.
2) Radio informs and transforms us through information, entertainment and audience participation. Having listener clubs, public editors and policies that promote quality editorial ensure all voices can be heard.
3) Radio is uniquely positioned to bring communities together and promote positive dialogue for change. Where social media and audience fragmentation can put us in media bubbles of like-minded people, radio brings us together
4) Radio is You! Having a radio means you’re never alone. You always have a friend in radio.
How can you celebrate World Radio Day in your regular programming?
1) Music Radio: You can announce that it’s World Radio Day and that this year’s theme is "Radio is You." Encourage your listeners to tweet their favorite song to your radio station using the hashtag #WorldRadioDay in the week preceding the day and do a countdown of the most requested songs.
2) News Radio: You can incorporate the key messages of World Radio Day above in your regular talkback programming. Invite members of parliament or other experts to discuss how we can create spaces for dialogue and how the medium of radio can assist. Form a closed Facebook group for regular callers/listeners and get feedback on what discussion topics should be on air in your local community.
3) If you have young listeners, encourage them to download our “print at home” photo booth kit and use social media such as Snapchat or Instagram with your radio station’s handle and the #WorldRadioDay hashtag.
UNESCO is hoping that as many radio stations as possible will join the worldwide map with their broadcasts for World Radio Day.
Radio World welcomes other points of view. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.