In December 2012, the United Nations General Assembly designated the 13th of February every year to be observed as the World Radio Day. The objectives of the Day are to raise greater awareness among the public and the media of the importance of radio to development; to encourage decision makers to establish and provide access to information through radio; as well as to enhance networking and international cooperation among broadcasters. The date for World Radio Day coincides with the date the United Nations Radio was established in 1946.
We all know that radio is the mass media that reaches the widest audience in the world. It is also recognized as a powerful communication tool and a low cost medium. Furthermore radio is specifically suited to reach remote, vulnerable and deprived communities. Indeed radio is an indispensable partner in national development. With the onset of new technology and mobile telecommunication, radio has further expanded its reach as we can now access radio on other devices such as computer and mobile phones.
Due to its accessibility and reach, radio can be very effective in supporting development and mobilizing change. Radio helps people everywhere to engage in discussions on topics that dwell on society as a whole to those that focus on the daily lives of individuals.
However, the great importance and influence radio can have on public life and opinion requires journalists to use this medium with a great deal of care and responsibility so that radio can play its unique role in supporting peace, democracy and inclusive development of all citizens.
This clearly provides journalists with a platform to report facts and tell their stories. In as much as radio provides the platform, those who use this platform must use it responsibly if radio is to achieve its optimum goal of informing, educating and entertaining.
In upholding freedom of expression as a fundamental human right, the media have – at the same time -a corresponding obligation to respect the rights of others, including their dignity and personal integrity, and to serve the broader public interest through professionalism and conduct that promote public confidence in the institution of the media.
On this first World Radio Day, the United Nations would therefore like to reaffirm its commitment to support quality journalism and quality radio programmes in Ghana, as a strategic contribution to the close partnership between Ghana’s media and the UN.
As we celebrate the First World Radio Day in Ghana, we at the United Nations take this opportunity to salute and commend all the pioneering and current radio professionals, journalists, presenters and producers alike in the quest to maximise the use of radio in the country as a discerning medium for information, education and entertainment around developmental issues such as the MDGs.
2015 is just around the corner and Ghana must show progress in achieving the set targets. On this note we also express our sincere thanks and appreciation for the support we have received over the years and still receive.
Delivered by the UN Resident Coordinator, Ruby Sandhu-Rojon.