Interesting Facts About Feb 13: World Radio Day

Did you know that more than half the world’s population is not connected to the Internet? Despite changing times, for many, radio is still the most accessible medium.
On February 13, 1946, the United Nations Radio produced its first broadcast. It was a solemn moment as the world transitioned away from a period of violence and tragedy, towards an era of international peace and security.
To honor the importance of that period in history, UNESCO’s executive board decided to establish a World Radio Day, in 2016. The main goal was to raise the public’s awareness of the importance of radio in our society and to enhance cooperation among broadcasters from different countries. To know the history of radio is to understand how mass media helped shape the major events of the 20th century.
The idea of World Radio Day was first proposed by Spain’s Radio Academy in 2010. The following year, in 2011, UNESCO declared the first World Radio Day. February 13 was chosen to mark World Radio Day, coinciding with the anniversary of the United Nations Radio, the United Nation’s international broadcasting service which was established on February 13, 1946.
World Radio Day was first celebrated in 2012, following its declaration by the UNESCO General Conference. It was subsequently adopted as an International Day by the United Nations General Assembly.
Below are some interesting facts about World Radio Day:
1. According to the UN, there are about 44,000 radio stations operating around the globe.
2. An Italian named Gugliemo Marconi invented the Radio in 1895. It was originally called the wireless telegraph and used radio waves to transmit Morse code.
3. It is estimated that approximately 75% of homes in developing nations have access to a radio.
4. Each year the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) celebrates World Radio Day by planning activities with broadcasters, organizations and communities around the world.
5. Despite being over 100 years old, the radio is one of the most popular ways to exchange information, provide social interchange, and educate people all over the world. It has been used to help people, including youth, to engage in discussions on topics that affect them.
It can save lives during natural or human-made disasters, and it gives journalists a platform to report facts and tell their stories.
6. Radio Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.
7. In honour of the first edition of World Radio Day in 2012, Lifeline Energy, FrontlineSMS, SOAS Radio and Empowerhouse hosted a seminar in London. A variety of practitioners, academics and tools providers joined at the School of Oriental and African Studies to explore ways in which radio reaches even the most remote and vulnerable communities.
8. In 2012 in Barcelona, Spain, a public event organised by College of Telecommunications Engineers of Catalunya (COETTC) was held on 21 February 2012 to commemorate World Radio Day. The event was organized with the help of the Government of Catalonia.
There were panellists from radio stations and personalities from the world of radio broadcasting in attendance. The main event was a panel discussion entitled: “For a more global and competitive radio”.
9. World Radio Day 2013 celebrations were extensively covered in news and social media worldwide. UNESCO staff gave 75 media interviews and 130 registered events took place that reached over 150 million listeners worldwide.
UNESCO audio interviews with UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors, Artists for Peace and world known opinion leaders resulted in over 10,000 plays on SoundCloud thematic page in February. “World Radio Day” became a Top-10 global trending topic on Twitter throughout the day.

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