Photo by Michel Ravassard

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Executive Board approved a proclamation to establish a World Radio Day on February 13 of every year. The holiday would honor the day that the United Nations established the concept of United Nations Radio in 1946.
As reports, the proposal recognizes the popularity and success of radio because it is inexpensive, simple, important in times of emergency, and can be understood in areas of low literacy, unlike most other forms of media. The proclamation states that “For many communities it is the only medium available and certainly the only one open to the voices and concerns of women, youth and the poor.” World Radio Day would also aim to help the billion people that still do not have access to the medium by supporting innovative policies and practices that highlight the importance of radio.
The main objectives of World Radio Day, as stated in UNESCO’s proclamation, would be to:

  • Raise the understanding among the public and the media of the value of radio, including in the context of new media, and the value of actively supporting radio
  • Encourage decision-makers to support, establish and prove access to radio
  • Provide a networking focus for radio proponents and practitioners worldwide, to exchange ideas, experiences and resources, and;
  • Highlight selected issues each year to radio practitioners and the public, galvanizing otherwise dispersed support
    Founded on November 16, 1943, UNESCO was created after World War II in an effort to bring countries together for the “intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind,” and to prevent the possibility of another world war. Today, UNESCO’s website states that its mission is to “contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information,” while creating conditions of mutual respect between cultures to further their dialogue.
    Though the proclamation has been approved by UNESCO’s Executive Board, it remains unclear when World Radio Day would become an active holiday, but either way, our favorite broadcast medium is getting some recognition.