February 13 is the day proclaimed by UNESCO to celebrate radio as one of the most influential and wide-reaching mediums of communication. According to the UNSECO website, the theme of World Radio Day 2018 is “Radio and Sports”. The UNESCO sub-themes that will be the focus for world Radio day 2018 are: Diversity in Sports Coverage, Gender Equality in Sports Coverage, and Peace and Development through Sports Coverage.
As one of the cheapest media, radio is suited to reach the most vulnerable and remote communities and empowers them. Youth, women, children, the elderly, disabled people and other marginalised communities are given the platform to air their views and engage in public debates on radio. Radio has the power to touch lives and act as a bridge of communication between people from diverse backgrounds. In Namibia. Our diverse national radio networks cater for most (if not all) the languages spoken in Namibia. Radio creates a platform for people who do not speak Namibia’s official language a chance to engage in public debates, and promotes access to information and freedom of speech.
Like radio, sport offers a platform for uniting people with diverse skills, experiences and talents no matter the race, age, financial status, sex, or disability. Radio equally covers the stories of sportspeople who have overcome: poverty, physical disability, gender stereotypes and other challenges, and motivates people to strive to achieve their dreams despite their circumstances.
According to UNESCO (www.worldradioday.org), through reporting on “…traditional and popular games, radio can also relink people with their customs, encouraging diversity through cultural expression. Sports coverage is hugely powerful in influencing ideals and labels about gender. Radio has the ability to challenge these ideals, disseminating a balanced coverage of men’s and women’s sports and a fair portrayal of sportspeople irrespective of gender…”. Sports also support the universal principles of tolerance, unity and non-violence.
As we celebrate World Radio day, let’s continue to recognise radio as one the most interactive mediums there is. By adapting to technological changes and offering new ways to interact and participate through mobile phones and other portable devices, radio gives audiences the opportunity to instantly and continuously exchange solutions to challenges which they face on a daily basis.
HAPPY WORLD RADIO DAY!