The Radio Has Been In Existence For Over 110 Years, And Remains One Of The Most Powerful And Near-Universal Broadcast Mediums.

The Radio Has Been In Existence For Over 110 Years, And Remains One Of The Most Powerful And Near-Universal Broadcast Mediums. No wonder the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has set aside an annual celebration of the invention, with February 13 of every year recognised as World Radio Day.

It is the comparatively easier connectivity and adaptability of radio broadcasting that has seen the device thrive – rather than die – with advancing technology. From simple transistors on kitchen tables, nowadays people can follow their favourite stations on their phones.

As South Africa World Radio Day 2021, spokesperson for national broadcaster SABC, Mmoni Seapolelo, said: “The SABC celebrates the collective power of its 19 radio stations that reach 30 million South Africans each week across all corners of the country. SABC radio continues to play an important role in educating, informing and entertaining audiences in more than 11 official indigenous languages. It also broadcasts to other African countries in languages including French and Portuguese.”

This year year’s celebrations were themed “New World, New Radio”. Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General of UNESCO, drew attention to the past year as highlighting the extent to which this medium remains essential to contemporary societies.  She added that radio was playing a pivotal role during the coronavirus padenmic, making it possible to ensure the continuity of learning and to fight misinformation.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us of its added value: with a penetration rate of over 75 per cent in developing countries, radio remains the most accessible medium. It has helped to save lives by making it possible to relay health instructions, make reliable information accessible and combat hate speech,” she highlighted.

“Radio thus remains an essential medium that proves its resilience on a daily basis, along with its capacity for innovation. Noting that in this century of images…radio mirrors the thoughts of a world that must be heard to be understood.  With the creation of Internet radio, podcasts, smartphones and new technologies, it is truly blossoming in its second youth,” said Azoulay. South African radio news reader Thuli Ndlovu thanked the UN for putting aside a day to celebrate radio.

“It’s a big day for us as radio broadcasters. We need to reflect and see how best we can maintain radio as a very effective medium of communication and improve were we need to improve. Society relies on us as a formal and truthful voice. I remember in my rural area, people will believe information after it is heard on radio. Have you never heard people say,’ it is true, I heard it on radio.’ So my point is, let us not disappoint our listeners by giving unreliable information. Happy radio day!

This news was originally published at Southern Times Africa.