#WorldRadioDay2017: Radio, the most effective medium worldwide

We are living a revolution in how we share and access information – and, yet, in the midst of deep change, radio has never been so dynamic, engaging and important.

February 13 every year, The world celebrate World Radio Day, recognizing its impact to the world’s development. The first World Radio Day was officially celebrated in 2012 despite being over 100 years old operating worldwide as a tool used in educating people, providing information, and promoting freedom of expression across cultures.

Radio is considered as the most effective medium worldwide, comparing to other channels like Televisions, Print and Online media.

And in Rwanda, radio is the most accessible media outlet in the country and is now a key partner to Rwanda’s vision for development .

The theme for this year is “RADIO IS YOU”.

The country covers more than 30 radio stations while  a record of more than 800 million, is a number of  radios operating only in developing countries.

In 2016, more people listened to  the radion than they watched TV or smartphones. In Southern Africa, 9000 children now have access to education through solar radios after actor Tom Hanks organized the auction.

More than half the world’s population are still not conected to the internet, making a Radio the most accessible medium 3.9 billion.

According to Irina Bokova’s , the Director Gneral of UNESCO, her statement on the occasion of World Radio Day 2017, radio provides an enduring platform to bring communities together at a time of turbulence.

“On the way to work, in our homes, offices and fields, in times of peace, conflict and emergencies, radio remains a crucial source of information and knowledge, spanning generations and cultures, inspiring us with the wealth of humanity’s diversity, and connecting us with the world,” a statement reads.

She adds that Radio gives voice to women and men everywhere. It listens to audiences and responds to needs. It is a force for human rights and dignity and a powerful enabler of solutions to the challenges all societies face.

This is why radio is important to taking forward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Advancing fundamental freedoms and promoting public access to information is essential to bolstering good governance and the rule of law, to deepening inclusion and dialogue.

Cleophace Barore, the Chairman of Rwanda Media Commission (RMC), says the theme means that every single citizen’s voice is worth valuable in contributing to the radio’s content.

In tackling new challenges, in responding to climate change, in countering discrimination, radio can provide an accessible and real-time medium to bridge divides and strengthen dialogue.

This requires a new commitment by all to radio. Broadcasters, regulators and audiences alike should nurture and make the most of its power.

Listener clubs and forums are uniting communities around common issues with the power to hear themselves on the airwaves and to have others listen to them. Audience engagement policies are placing listeners at the heart of broadcasts.

Media and information literacy has never been so vital, to build trust in information and knowledge at a time when notions of ‘truth’ have been challenged. This is how radio can provide a beacon for innovative solutions to local problems, and continue to advance human rights, gender equality, dialogue and peace.

The celebration of World Radio Day 2017 in Rwanda is jointly organised by Rwanda  Media Commission (RMC), Rwanda community radios network (RCRN) and UNESCO.

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@Fred Irakoze

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