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Iberoamerican soundscapes

From an Iberoamerican perspective, and with the support of UNESCO Montevideo, the Centro de Producciones Radiofónicas, and Radios Libres, an audio exhibition featuring ten radio projects and an audio fanzine inviting us to embark on a creative journey to reflect on how radio fosters trust.

On February 13, 2022, UNESCO Montevideo will participate in the annual global #WorldRadioDay celebrations with an audio exhibition consisting of two appealing components:

  • The top ten radio projects chosen from the Centro de Producciones Radiofónicas and Radios Libres’ course "Telling stories with sounds: a podcast workshop," held earlier this year. The program drew 1740 participants, the majority of whom came from Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia. Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, Venezuela, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Spain, France, Germany, Ireland, and Portugal were also represented.
  •  An audio fanzine dedicated to the exploration of innovative radio formats, contents and styles.

Since UNESCO proclaimed February 13 as World Radio Day in 2011, the pace of change in the media has accelerated, deepened and become more complex. Some of the most notable elements are the massification of new digital technologies, the creation of novel methods for the production, diffusion, and consumption of news and entertainment material, as well as the onslaught of fake news and hate speech.

Despite the fact that the radio has evolved more than a century after its conception and in the midst of a dynamic and changing media landscape, it remains one of the most trustworthy and widely utilized media in the world, as proven by academic and market research. While audience figures differ in scope, in terms of reaching a diverse range of users, and across countries and regions, some eye-opening evidence suggests that:

  • Brazil, Spain, and Mexico are the Spanish-speaking countries with the highest percentage of listeners listening to radio online, especially on their mobile devices, according to a global ranking of selected countries.
  • In Argentina, more than 55% of people who listen to the radio said they trust it "to stay informed and updated on news."
  • There are presently over 2 million podcasts available, with over 48 million episodes available as of April 2021.
  • According to 2021 data, Spain and Argentina were among the countries with the highest proportion of podcast listeners in the world.

Radio has evolved itself in order to adapt to rapid changes and to propose alternatives to the new challenges of humanity. The sounds and dialects of Latin America and the Caribbean reach millions of listeners every day via airwaves or bytes disguised as podcasts, broadcast at "regular time" or on demand. Thus, radio revalues the power of words, listening, diversity, credibility, plurality, and local perspectives, all of which are characteristics that improve democratic life in a global and digital environment.

CALL FOR ACTION

  • We invite radio stations that join us on #WorldRadioDay every year to broadcast this year's proposal in their programming.
  • We invite all radio lovers to visit the audio exhibition, listen, share and comment through our website and social networks.

For more information, please contact:
Sandra Sharman s.sharman@unesco.org