World Radio Day 2018: diversity and equality in ‘Radio and Sports’

On 14 January 2013, the United Nations General Assembly formally endorsed UNESCO’s World Radio Day, announcing 13 February, (the day United Nations Radio was established in 1946) as World Radio Day.

World Radio Day 2018 focuses on the interplay between radio and sports, and its impacts on bridging divides, gender equality and diversity. 

The UNESCO initiative aims to improve global cooperation between broadcasters, promote freedom of expression and diversity in sports coverage, and encourages people to reconnect with their cultural heritage. 

This seventh edition of World Radio Day focuses on three sub-themes:

Diversity in Sports Coverage highlights the ways in which radio can promote diversity through coverage of traditional and grassroots games – rather than focusing on a handful of elite games and teams – which enables people to reconnect with their cultural heritage and identities.

Gender Equality in Sports Coverage focuses on the role of sports coverage in shaping and reinforcing stereotypes and social norms about gender, and radio’s ability to promote balanced coverage of men’s and women’s sports.

The theme also raises issues around opportunities for women as sports broadcasters – today, just 12% are women, according to the UNESCO-supported Global Media Monitoring Project.

The third theme, Peace and Development through Sports Coverage, puts emphasis on the ways sports coverage can promote peace and development initiatives, as well as solidarity and tolerance.

World Radio Day invites all radio stations, regulatory bodies and related organisations to “celebrate radio and its contribution to democratic debate through information, entertainment and audience interaction.

“Let’s celebrate the traditional sports that connect us to our cultural heritage, the grassroots sports that anchor us within our communities, and the inspiring stories that challenge gender stereotypes and cover, equally, both men’s and women’s sports events,” urged UNESCO.

“On World Radio Day, let us celebrate both radio and sports as ways of helping people achieve their full potential,” said UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres in his message.


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