Zimbabwe joined the rest of the world in commemorating this year’s World Radio Day with the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa declaring that the government would fulfill its mandate of rolling out community radio stations across the country.
Speaking at the national commemorations in Gweru on 13 February 2020, Minister Mutsvangwa said community radios were key to development.
“There is no turning back in the rolling out of community radio stations,” she said.
“We believe in the power of radios and recognize that for people to contribute to national development, their voices should be heard,” she added.
Community radio is a service offering a third model of radio broadcasting in addition to commercial and public broadcasting. Community stations serve geographic and communities of interest. They allow participation from community members, foster development at the most basic level and allow access of information to the people.
Speaking at the same occasion, UNESCO Regional Advisor for Communication and Information in Southern Africa, Al Amin Yusuph said radio is a powerful medium of communication and information adding that community radio stations allow people to take ownership of their own development.
He called upon all radio stations to uphold diversity, both in their newsroom and on the airwaves.
“Diversity must be seen in radio content, as well as among the creators of content – technicians, programmers, journalists, sound engineers, everyone has a role to play in this respect,” he said.
“It is important that the radio industry itself be an industry of diversity, reflecting the complexity and richness of our societies. Diversity is also an asset, as it is synonymous with more creativity and innovation in product content,” he added quotating from the message of UNESCO Director General, Ms. Audrey Azoulay.
Proclaimed in 2011 by the Member States of UNESCO, and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 as an International Day, World Radio Day is celebrated globally on February 13.
Radio is a powerful medium for celebrating humanity in all its diversity and constitutes a platform for democratic discourse. At the global level, radio remains the most widely consumed medium. This unique ability to reach out the widest audience means radio can shape a society’s experience of diversity, stand as an arena for all voices to speak out, be represented and heard. Radio stations should serve diverse communities, offering a wide variety of programs, viewpoints and content, and reflect the diversity of audiences in their organizations and operations.