Radio is You: Audiences at the heart of World Radio Day 2017 celebrations

On 13 February 2017, UNESCO joins the world in celebrating World Radio Day, a chance to honour how radio is uniquely positioned to bring communities together and promote positive dialogue for change.  Across the globe, listeners and radio stations alike are coming together to mark the ways that radio shapes our lives – it is still one of the most dynamic, reactive and robust media there is, even in this age of digital transformation.

More than 350 events and special broadcasts have been organized in more than 90 countries worldwide – with radio stations, schools, communities and forums listed on the global events map under the theme of “Radio is You”.

“This year’s theme, ‘Radio is You’, was chosen because radio is everything it is because of its listeners,” said Mirta Lourenco, Chief of the Section of Media Development and Society at UNESCO. “The theme puts the spotlight on audiences, ensuring their views and diversity are represented on the airwaves. It is a chance to look at all of the different ways that radio engages audiences, not only on-air but through “listening to listeners” in the planning and policy of radio”.

Previous themes have included gender equality, youth participation, and radio in times of emergency and disaster.

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said in a statement that “at a time of turbulence, radio provides an enduring platform to bring communities together. 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”.  Ms Bokova’s message can be read in full here.

World Radio Day was created in 2012 by UNESCO Member States and was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2013 as an International Day. The date of 13 February was chosen to represent the day that United Nations Radio was launched in 1946 more than 71 years ago today.

World Radio Day is supported each year by the World Radio Day Committee, comprised of major regional and international broadcasting organisations. This year, the Committee brings you World Radio Day from Shanghai, China, where a classical music concert will take place, conducted by Mr Chen Yiyang and supported by the Shanghai Media Group.

Radio stations, civil society and the whole community can join in with the worldwide festivities by visiting and taking part in the online discussion using #WorldRadioDay.