UN marks World Radio Day
NEW YORK, 13th February, 2022 – This year’s World Radio Day marked on Sunday, 13 February, focuses on the pertinent theme of “Radio and Trust”, at a time when misinformation and disinformation are spreading, and distorting the flow of life-saving facts in relation to public health, as well as fanning hate speech.
From UN Radio’s first official broadcast on 13 February 1946, programmes were broadcast in the organization’s initial five official languages: English, French, Chinese, Russian and Spanish – later followed by Arabic.
By 1950, UN Radio was broadcasting in 33 languages, and in 1980, UN peacekeeping missions started launching their own radio stations.
Language networks offered a 15-minute daily programme of news, interviews, and features, from the various teams working at UN Headquarters in New York.
The first two decades of the century, have seen dramatic changes in the work of UN Radio: reels and cassettes gave way to digital media, and audio broadcasting has become enriched and enhanced by multimedia features, tying together text, audio, photo, video and other web-based graphics through the explosion of social media.
The UN’s radio services have been transformed into multidimensional news outlets that maintain their own websites.
Today they create digital content and tell multimedia stories and disseminate these products, shows – and increasingly podcasts – via multiple platforms, including social media, not only in the six official languages of the UN, but also in Portuguese, Kiswahili, and Hindi.