Radio is the mass medium reaching the widest audience in the world. It is specifically suited to reach remote communities and vulnerable people: the illiterate, the disabled, women, youth and the poor, while offering a platform to intervene in the public debate, irrespective of people’s educational level. Furthermore, radio has a strong and specific role in emergency communication and disaster relief.
Although more than a century has passed since the invention and practical application of this important communication tool, World Radio day remains one of the youngest holidays – it was first celebrated only in 2012, after the resolution of UNESCO adopted a year earlier.
The date was not chosen by chance — it was February 13, 1946 when the UN Radio, the station of which was located at the headquarters of the United Nations, first went live. At the same time, UNESCO called on residents of all countries of the world to actively participate in the events dedicated to the radio Day, wherever they are and whatever the job they have.
UN Radio talks about the problems of peace and security, development and human rights, prepares daily (5 days a week) news releases, interviews, reports and thematic magazines. The UN Radio website also contains archival audio materials, original recordings of press conferences, meetings of the General Assembly, the Security Council and other UN bodies.
As the founders of the World Radio day say, it should not only pay tribute to radio as a means of communication, but also strengthen cooperation among all those involved in radio (whether large radio broadcasters or single amateurs), as well as to promote both international media and local radio stations in expanding access to information and promoting freedom of expression and gender equality on the radiowaves. After all, in the age of digital technology, radio continues to be a communication medium for the largest audience in the world.
There is also a changing face to radio services, which in the present times of media convergence, are taking up new technological forms, such as broadband, mobiles and tablets. Radio is still the most dynamic, reactive and engaging medium there is, adapting to 21st century changes and offering new ways to interact and participate. Where social media and audience fragmentation can put us in media bubbles of like-minded people, radio is uniquely positioned to bring communities together and foster positive dialogue for change. By listening to its audiences and responding to their needs, radio provides the diversity of views and voices needed to address the challenges we all face.
As of January 1, 2019, 174 radio programs were broadcasting in Belarus. Of these, 26 radio programs are private.
The high proportion of public radio programs is explained by the fact that most of them are regional radio, the founders of which are local authorities.
About 30 radio stations, including Radius-FM, Radio "Unistar", "Europe-plus" and others, broadcast in the FM-range in Belarus.
The foreign audience, interested in the events in our country, is expected to receive broadcasts of the radio station "Belarus", which broadcasts in Belarusian, Russian, English, German, Polish, French, Spanish and Chinese.
The UN Secretary-General delivered a message on the occasion of world radio day:
"Radio is a powerful tool.
Even in today’s world of digital communications, radio reaches more people than any other media platform.
It conveys vital information and raises awareness on important issues.
And it is a personal, interactive platform where people can air their views, concerns, and grievances. Radio can create a community.
For the United Nations, especially our peacekeeping operations, radio is a vital way of informing, reuniting and empowering people affected by war.
On this World Radio Day, let us recognize the power of radio to promote dialogue, tolerance and peace.