Celebrating Diversity on the Airwaves


On 13 February, UNESCO New Delhi office will celebrate the World Radio Day 2020 with a two-day festival in partnership with All India Radio (AIR) and the NGO, Seeking Modern Applications for Real Transformation (SMART) at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi.

World Radio Day (WRD)—held every year on 13 February—commemorates radio as a medium of mass communication. It is a day to assess and strengthen international cooperation between broadcasters to promote access to information and a free and pluralistic media.

UNESCO believes that Radio should serve diverse communities, offering a wide variety of programs, viewpoints and content, and reflect the diversity of audiences in their organizations and operations. With this idea, the theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Radio and Diversity’. 

A diverse and representative radio workforce is not only important for countering discrimination and ensuring gender representation, it is crucial for creativity and relevance of content. It thus safeguards editorial independence, promotes diverse, free, independent and pluralistic media environments

Eric Falt, UNESCO New Delhi Director

The festival will begin with the launch of UNESCO’s flagship publication, ‘Communicating the Sustainable Development Goals’, A Toolkit for Community Radios. This will be followed by panel discussions with eminent speakers and broadcasting professionals to deliberate and discuss the radio landscape in the country, especially celebrating the diversity it encourages in the newsroom. 

The interactive sessions will highlight the shift in the broadcasting landscape in the past two decades and where the mass media envisages itself in the near future. 

The celebration will display rich oral archives preserved by the IGNCA and All India Radio exhibiting India’s rich history and evolution of the broadcasting industry. 

The second day of the event will have a workshop for stakeholders from community radio as well as mainstream radio, organized by SMART. The workshop will focus on bringing together radio practitioners from India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka to assess the broadcasting scenario in their respective countries and set the basis of regional cooperation to improve public interest reporting. 

The two-day event will spread awareness on community radios, connect relevant partners, strengthen and motivate existing radio stations and emphasize on the significance of radio in today’s digital era.