Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Voice of Russia: World celebrates all-uniting role of radio

© Photo "The Voice of Russia"

February 13 is World Radio Day. It’s a young holiday, just two years old, established on the initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2011. Representatives of all of the world’s major radio broadcasters, the Voice of Russia among them, have gathered at the UNESCO’s central headquarters in Paris to celebrate World Radio Day.

February 13 is not a random date. On that day in 1946, Radio UN aired its first broadcast. In his World Radio Day-2013 message, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that as a boy growing up in a poor village after the Korean War with neither phones nor television people still had something that connected them to the world outside their small village - they had radio. Since its invention more than 100 years ago, radio has sparked imagination and opened doors for change, entertaining, informing, promoting democracy and connecting people wherever they are, and “in conflict situations and times of crisis, radio is a lifeline for vulnerable communities,” Ban Ki-moon remarked.

About 95% of all people throughout the globe listen to radio regularly, chief of the UNESCO’s Communication and Information Sector Mirta Lourenco told the Voice of Russia:

"Radio remains the most easily accessible mass media. You can listen to it in the remotest corners of the Earth. Thanks to radio, people who cannot read or write have access to information. Radio plays a crucial role in emergencies, natural disaster warning and during rescue operations. For the UNESCO, World Radio Day is the acknowledgment of the tremendous use of which radio has been to humanity over more than a century."

Today’s World Radio Day forum and roundtables at the UNESCO’s Paris headquarters focus on three main topics: radio for children and youth, the safety of radio journalists and the future of shortwave broadcasting.
The Voice of Russia and other top international broadcasters set up their mini-studios in the entrance hall, from which they will be broadcasting throughout the day. That’s something this building has never seen before, said UNESCO spokeswoman Polina Kovalyova.

"Here, side by side, we have international broadcasters from all over the world - the BBC, Radio China International, Radio Spain, Radio Monte Carlo, RFI and Radio Orient, all in one hall, and there is also the Voice of Russia, which is a great honor to us. It’s an unprecedented and truly unique experience for the UNESCO. We expected fewer guests. But the actual number of broadcasters here is nearly twice the expected number. They represent the entire world, which is in line with our goal. I think that we have really managed that and I hope that whatever information comes out today and whatever events take place, they will be broadcast to all corners of the world. And this will be a major contribution to our main task of raising public awareness to the significance of radio in the modern world and of boosting cooperation between international broadcasters."

The UNESCO has great faith in the all-uniting role of radio. For Russian radio broadcasters, February 13 will be their yet another professional holiday in addition to the national Radio Day celebrated on May 7.

(Source: Voice of Russia)

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