On 13th February each year since 2011, the world celebrates “radio as a medium; to improve international cooperation between broadcasters; and to encourage major networks and community radio alike to promote access to information, freedom of expression and gender equality over the airwaves.” – UNESCO
In the official World Radio Day website, we are informed:
The World Radio Day seeks raise awareness about the importance of radio, facilitate access to information through radio and enhance networking among broadcasters.
Radio has to be recognized as a low cost medium, 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. 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. However, it is said that up to a billion people still do not have access to radio today.
How to commemorate World’s Radio Day as a Kenyan
World Radio Day comes only a day before the Valentine’s Day. This means you are probably thinking of how your partner will treat you this Valentine’s (if you are a lady) or you are probably thoughtful of what gifts you need to surprise your partner with (if you are a gentleman).
But If the statement from the official World Radio Day website that “up to a billion people still do not have access to radio today” is to be taken seriously, I would urge our readers to think of providing a radio to someone who doesn’t have one – yet.
It wasn’t long before our watchman came to say hi to my family and enquire how we are progressing “security wise”. In his visit I attempted to discuss with him issues regarding politics and digital migration. Specifically I wanted to know whether he can afford the cheapest set top box that currently retails at about Kshs 3,900. He informed me that he can’t even afford a radio.
I promised to get him one.
Given that today is World Radio Day, it will be cool of you to also identify someone like that and give him a radio – as other than food, shelter, clothing and good health, the next important thing for humanity is access to information.