World Radio Day was first held back in 2012, after its declaration by the UNESCO General Conference. Later, it was adopted as an International Day by the General Assembly of the United Nations. It was established to celebrate radio and prove why we still need it today. Each year, a certain sub-theme is explored with previous years including gender equality, youth participation and radio in humanitarian and disaster situations.
This year, World Radio Day is being celebrated on Tuesday 13th February and the theme of 2018 is sports and how we can tackle important issues through the coverage of sports on radio. Specifically, World Radio Day 2018 will focus on the following topics in sports coverage: gender equality, diversity and peace and development.
In an article on RadioWorld.com, Mirta Lourenco, chief of section for Media Development at UNESCO, stresses the importance of radio: “radio can be a platform for sharing stories that interest and inspire their audiences”, adding that “we aim to hear more coverage of the kinds of sports for peace and development initiatives that showcase the positive values of sports – teamwork, fair play, solidarity, mutual respect.”
The intrinsic link between sports and radio allows World Radio Day 2018 to cover a wide berth of issues – but also the plethora of solutions that are available to us. Diversity is key to sport as sport allows people to connect with their cultural roots and celebrate something on both a club and international level. World Radio Day 2018 is also tasked with challenging gender stereotypes with inspiring stories from the world of sport and to inspire a new wave of young people with positive role models in sport.
World Radio Day 2017 was a real success, with UNESCO writing that “over 500 events took place worldwide in 2017”. Broadcasters from all over the globe are encouraged to co-operate to make World Radio Day a real force for good and one which we hope to see for many years to come.
For more information, see the official UNESCO World Radio Day website here.