Radio has been widely recognized by the UN as a low-cost and powerful communication tool to reach out to all people, even the most vulnerable and disadvantaged, including Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), women, youth and the poor. Radio has also proven to be an important medium of communication that offers a platform for all people, irrespective of their age, race, class or educational level, to contribute to public debate and intervene on issues that affect them most.
On 14 January 2013, the United Nations General Assembly formally endorsed UNESCO’s proclamation of World Radio Day. During its 67th Session, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 13 February, the day United Nations Radio was established in 1946, as World Radio Day.
On 13 February 2020, UNESCO Beirut celebrated World Radio Day through a national event bringing together 10 radio stations across Lebanon: Delta Radio, Mada Radio, Radio Liban (Arabic, English and French sections), Al-Bashaer Radio, Voice of Lebanon Radio (two sections), Al-Nour Radio, Radio Liban Libre.
The theme of this year, “Radio and Diversity”, was highlighted in various ways. First, through the diverse nature of participating stations and their audience: in fact, the 10 participating radio stations have different identities; some of them are cultural stations, others are social/religious, some are news stations, while others are entertainment/music stations.
Second, diversity was highlighted through the variety of topics that the participating radio stations covered in their shows: Diversity within Radio; Diversity in media; Diversity within an ICT development world; Diversity/Radio and sustainable development; Diversity within radio programs; Evolution of radio and its future role; Diversity, youth and taking a step towards change.
Lastly, diversity was celebrated through the fact that radio shows were prepared by diverse people (youth, women, special needs) and targeted diverse listeners (rural, urban, vulnerable, youth, aged, …).