UNESCO celebrates youth during the fourth World Radio Day
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is celebrating World Radio Day on 13 February. The theme of the fourth World Radio Day is ‘Youth and Radio’, and the goal is to promote greater participation of youth in radio, not only as listeners, but as producers and broadcasters.
“Young women and men are not sufficiently represented in the media – an exclusion that often reflects a wider social, economic and democratic exclusion,” explains UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. “Young producers and broadcasters are still rare. Too few programmes are devoted to or designed by young people.”
“Radio provides the means for change,” Mrs. Bokova continues. “It is a vector of cohesion, education and culture. It is a platform for exchange, where young people may find their place and express themselves.”
“Radio also helps to create a sense of community through the dissemination of information. It supports communities in breaking out of their isolation in situations of armed conflict, political tension and humanitarian hardship. UNESCO is currently using the radio to broadcast health emergency messages in response to the Ebola crisis. Radio can also help to rebuild social links in refugee communities and UNESCO contributes here to disseminating education, culture and information, by backing programmes created and hosted by young people.”
Radio supports communities in breaking out of their isolation in situations of armed conflict, political tension and humanitarian hardship.
Radio is the most easily accessible and commonly used form of media that we have. It is an inexpensive medium that requires relatively simple technology. Its reach extends from policy makers to remote communities and marginalized groups. Currently, too few programs focus on the concerns of younger generations. This lack of youth participation is made worse by the fact that a career in radio journalism is often difficult and underpaid, regularly requiring aspiring journalists to work for free.
In addition to this, young professionals, including journalist and fixers, are particularly at risk in conflict areas because of their lack of preparation, training and support. “It is often through young people that the international press are able to cover current affairs in sensitive or dangerous regions,” adds Mrs. Bokova. “Many have risked their lives in the service of information and the radio. Supporting them better by giving them a greater voice, we can air innovative ideas and new viewpoints and renew collective energies. This is the goal of World Radio Day in 2015, reflecting UNESCO’s efforts to counter all forms of discrimination.”
Supporting youth better by giving them greater voice, we can air innovative ideas and new viewpoints and renew collective energies.
“Today, I call on all UNESCO Member States and partners, especially in the world of radio, to rally around this medium and make the most of it as a force for social inclusion, intergenerational dialogue and social change.”
Join us! #Worldradioday
If you want to know more about World Radio Day and the activities that are organised around the world to celebrate this day, you can visit the following World Radio Day website: http://www.worldradioday.orgor follow UNESCO on Twitter: http://twitter.com/unesco.