12.02.2019 - UNESCO Office in Brasilia

Dialogue, tolerance and peace to celebrate the World Radio Day

Message from Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of World Radio Day, 13 February 2019

For this World Radio Day, we celebrate the unique, far-reaching power of radio to broaden our horizons and build more harmonious societies. Radio stations from major international networks to community broadcasters today remember the importance of radio in stimulating public debate, increasing civic engagement and inspiring mutual understanding, under the theme “Dialogue, Tolerance and Peace”.

Since its invention – over a hundred years ago – radio has sparked new conversations and broadcast new ideas into people’s homes, villages, universities, hospitals and workplaces. To this day, dialogue across the airwaves can offer an antidote to the negativity that sometimes seem to predominate online, which is why UNESCO works across the world to improve the plurality and diversity of radio stations.

Radio is still one of the most reactive, engaging media there is, adapting to 21st century changes and offering new ways to interact and participate in the conversations that matter – especially the most disadvantaged.

Rural women, for example, constitute one of the most under-represented groups in the media. They are twice as likely to be illiterate as men, so radio can be a critical lifeline to express themselves and access information. UNESCO provides support to radio stations in sub-Saharan Africa that enable women to participate in public debate, including on often-neglected issues such as forced marriage, girls’ education or childcare.




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