The author is a consultant specialist for the Media Development & Society, Communication & Information Sector at UNESCO
PARIS — The World Radio Day theme, “Radio is You,” resonated with radio stations, civil society and audiences alike, as more than 550 events took place around the world on Feb. 13.
Here are some interesting statistics at a glance:
– There were more than 550 events in 110 countries.
– The hashtags #WorldRadioDay, #DíaMundialdelaRadio and #JournéeMondialedelaRadio trended globally on Twitter for Feb. 13.
– There were 7500 plays of World Radio Day jingles and interviews.
Farm Radio International collected unique statistics and voices about radio. You can see and hear them by clicking here.
“We were so thrilled with the success of World Radio Day this year,” said Mirta Lourenço, chief of Section for Media and Society at UNESCO. “We wanted to show that the public could interact with radio stations, even to the extent of having a say in their programming and content. It’s a win-win, because for radio stations, listening to their audiences fosters trust, something that is ever more important in today’s climate of fake news and unknown sources.”
UNESCO launched as part of its theme “Radio is You,” a health checkup, highlighting the need for radio broadcasters to have audience engagement policies, public editors and to be active members of strong radio associations that can advocate their message with their industry regulators.
“It’s particularly important for community radio stations to be equipped with the necessary skills to be the best radio stations they can be,” said Tim Francis, program specialist with UNESCO. “Community radio stations have a close relationship with their listeners, and so should ensure their listeners have a say in the content they produce.”
UNESCO works closely with community radio stations in sub-Saharan Africa through its “Empowering Local Radio with ICTs” program, which aims to bridge the gap between poor people — especially women and girls — and the public debate on issues of local public concern.
UNESCO is now looking forward to World Radio Day 2018 and invites the community at large to continue to engage with World Radio Day, by taking the Health Check Up if they have not done so already.
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