World Radio Day: Celebrating over 100 years milestone

WORLD Radio Day is celebrated on February 13, every year to raise awareness about the importance of radio in providing information, entertainment and education.

The day was proclaimed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 2011 and observed annually to commemorate the anniversary of the first radio broadcast on February 13, 1922, by the United Nations (UN) Radio.

According to UNESCO, this year’s celebration focuses on celebrating the radio’s rich past, ongoing relevance and promising future.

With the theme, “Radio: A century informing, entertaining and educating”, it is a significant occasion to commemorate the medium’s extensive virtues and continuing potency having crossed the 100-year milestone.

As part of Nigeria’s efforts to commemorate World Radio Day, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, noted that the Federal Government had pledged to expand community radio to strengthen the nation’s democracy.

Speaking on the theme, Idris stated that it “reflects the remarkable achievement of radio as a means of communication and information for over 100 years, despite the advent of social media and highlights the promise of a dynamic future for radio as a platform that has stood the test of time.”

He added that as an essential medium of communication in Nigeria since 1933, radio’s unique ability to reach a large audience made it an ideal tool for disseminating government plans and programmes to all levels of society, including the grassroots, and that it had played important roles in shaping public opinion and promoting cultural unity in heterogeneous Nigeria.

The minister stated that the government was working to make community radio more reliable, efficient, and affordable by initiating necessary reforms in establishing community radio stations.

He said, “Currently, only 89 such stations have been granted broadcast licenses in Nigeria. However, the government intends to change this trend by providing a more favourable environment for other radio stations to emerge and for the existing ones to strengthen their capacity and thrive.”

Radio is a medium uniquely positioned to bring diverse communities together and foster positive dialogue and change. By listening to its audiences and responding to their needs, radio services provide diverse viewpoints and voices needed to address societal challenges.

Speaking with The ICIR, a sound manager and presenter at Radio Nigeria’s Atlantic FM, Uyo, John Emmanuel, said radio had evolved. Short-wave radio allows individuals to listen in a specific area, whereas technology allows people to listen to radio programming from anywhere globally.

He added, “The digital era has positively affected radio broadcasting, increasing its reach and scope. It has helped radio evolve by allowing it to adapt to new technology and engage with audiences.



    “Furthermore, radio has remained committed to its basic values, educating, informing, and entertaining people through delivering exceptional content.”

    The lead producer at Made4radio, Ekemini Joseph, also told The ICIR that the World Radio Day event was a call to presenters and broadcasters to improve their presentation skills. He noted that radio had not lost value, but radio stations must adapt to the digital age.

    “A major issue is that radio stations have not adapted to the digitalisation of broadcasting, which is wide and goes beyond having a digital console. Many stations still need to learn and adapt new trends to stay active online and in people’s ears.

    “From streaming to social media, it would be great to know the statistics of people who listen to a radio station at a given time. Radio has not lost its value. The younger generation just have a different place they go for information. That is why radio should adapt to that”, he said.

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