On 13 February, UNESCO celebrates radio as a medium vital to its mission of creating a more peaceful, more sustainable and more inclusive future for all. World Radio Day is an opportunity to celebrate radio as a medium; to improve international cooperation between broadcasters; and to promote diversified content, access to information and freedom of expression over the airwaves.
Since the 19th century, radio has remained widely accessible, relatively cheap and very simple to use. It is a medium that surpasses all other communication technologies and reaches 95% of the world’s population
Radio has shaped the way we communicate with one another and will continue to help span distances across cultural, political, social and economic divides. Internet and new technologies have further extended their reach. Radio promotes development, lifelong learning and cultural diversity. It helps preserve local cultures and languages while contributing to global understanding.
Children and youth represent more than one-third of the world’s population and will represent even more in the years to come. In less developed countries, young people account for nearly 70 per cent of the total population.
Around the world, young people turn to radio as a mentor, a companion, an educator and as a virtual community where they can express views and opinions freely and constructively. But there is still much work to be done to give young people a voice over the airwaves. UNESCO encourages broadcasters to include youth in the daily programming schedule. >> More
Short Wave Radio
Far from being a radio of the past, shortwave radio continues to reache both local and international audiences. It can provide service where other platforms cannot due to high cost, lack of infrastructure, geographical location or hazards.
In situations of conflict and natural disaster, shortwave radio provides a lifeline of information that can save lives. Shortwave radio can also be used for distance education. It reaches children, women and men in areas where traditional education systems cannot due to lack of financial means, education infrastructure or accessibility. >> More
Safety of Journalists
Free speech on radio advances democracy and human rights, allowing journalists to do their work, and citizens to hold authorities accountable. Journalists take great personal risk when reporting facts and exposing injustice.
Radio has shaped our history and remains a powerful force for creating a more peaceful, more sustainable and more inclusive future for all.
Radio has embraced the digital revolution and employs new platforms to reach international audiences. The cost of broadcasting is decreasing and the number of traditional and non-traditional radio stations is increasing. Citizen journalists and community stations are using online radio to give voices to the underrepresented. Radio continues to be a force for social change, by sharing knowledge and providing new platforms for freedom of expression and inclusive debate.
Help celebrate World Radio Day
13 February is a day to celebrate radio as a medium; to improve international cooperation; and to promote access to information and freedom of expression over the airwaves. UNESCO encourages all countries to celebrate World Radio Day by planning activities in partnership with regional, national and international broadcasters, non-governmental organizations, the media and the public.
Throughout the World Radio Day web pages, you will find a wealth of resources that you can use free of charge and without copyright restriction to help plan your World Radio Day event. Let’s celebrate!
Why World Radio Day?
On 18 December, 2012, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the 2011 resolution adopted by the UNESCO General Conference, proclaiming 13 February as World Radio Day, the day United Nations Radio was established in 1946. The objectives of the Day will be to raise greater awareness among the public and the media of the importance of radio; to encourage decision makers to establish and provide access to information through radio; as well as to enhance networking and international cooperation among broadcasters. >> More about the history behind World Radio Day.
World Press Freedom Day
UNESCO to celebrate World Press Freedom Day in Lao PDR and Myanmar
Bangkok, 30 April 2012: On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day on 3 May 2012, UNESCO Bangkok emphasizes the freedom of expression and the right to information in Asia and the Pacific.
“Freedom of expression is a fundamental right stated by UNESCO and a right which all people in the world should treasure,” said Susanne Ornager, Adviser for Communication and Information Programme in Asia, UNESCO Bangkok.
“When you have freedom of expression, you have a dialogue with all members of society. Without freedom of expression you exclude some part of society from voicing their concerns. And if you are not allowed to express your views, then you starve intellectually,” she said.
Every year on 3 May, World Press Freedom Day serves as an occasion to remind people to respect the fundamental principles of freedom of expression; to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession. Media freedom faces significant pressures across the world. Last year, UNESCO condemned the killing of 62 journalists who died in performing or in direct relation to their work. The World Press Freedom Day was jointly established in 1991 by UNESCO and the United Nations Department of Public Information.
“Journalists can be involved in decision making by making the decisions visible to civil society. And it’s extremely important that journalists report what is happening in society. Also the right to free speech and press freedom are deeply interconnected with the right to access information, so it is a priority to bridge the digital divide both between and within countries,” said Ms Ornager.
This year, UNESCO Bangkok is jointly organizing World Press Freedom Day events in Lao PDR and in Myanmar on 3 May 2012, focusing on ‘New Voices: Media Freedom Helping to Transform Societies’.
The event in Lao PDR, held in Vientiane, will consist of a panel discussion under the title of “The Media Landscape in Lao PDR”, where participants will discuss topics, such as media law, current media practice, access to information for media and the public, and opportunities related to media development. It is organized jointly by the United Nations Communications Group and UNESCO Bangkok in close collaboration with the Lao Journalist Association.
In Yangon, the Ministry of Information of Myanmar and UNESCO Bangkok are organizing a ceremony of ‘World Press Freedom Day 2012: Challenges to Media in a New Environment’ with opening remarks by Union Minister for Information and for Culture H.E. U Kyaw Hsan.
World Press Freedom Day
UNESCO World Press Freedom Day 2012
To mark UNESCO World Press Freedom Day, Pacific Media Centre will hold a seminar on Media freedom in the Pacific: the rhetoric and the reality on Thursday, 3 May 2012 from 7-8.30pm at WT1004, AUT Tower, AUT University.
Joint Message of the Director-General of UNESCO and Secretary-General of International Telecommunication Union on the occasion of World Radio Day established by the UNESCO General Conference, 13 February 2012
Writing a century ago, the American poet, Josephine Preston Peabody described the ability of radio to “fly a thought across a stretch of sky” as a “marvel of the universe.”
The world has changed since then. New technologies have emerged and communication has deepened. And yet, as we move into the 21st century, the power of radio remains as remarkable as ever. Established by the UNESCO General Conference, this first World Radio Day is an opportunity to recognize the transformational power of radio and make the most of it for the benefit of all. February 13 marks also the day when the United Nations Radio was launched in 1946.
Joint message from Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General; Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General; and Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
World Press Freedom Day was born twenty years ago in the vision of a group of journalists gathered in Windhoek, Namibia. The Windhoek Declaration was a call to arms to protect the fundamental principles of the freedom of expression as enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration Human Rights. It was also a bell ringing in change across the world.Twenty years on, the media landscape has changed beyond recognition, but our objective remains the same: to promote freedom of expression as the foundation for human dignity and the cornerstone of democracy.
The NZ National Commission for UNESCO is to establish and maintain a NZ Memory of the World National Committee.
It's responsibilities will be to:
propose and coordinate nominations for a Register of NZ documentary and audio visual knowledge;
raise awareness and promote the programme through publications and presentations.; and
encourage government and private sector sponsorship for specific projects and activities.
The committee will propose and coordinate nominations for a Register of New Zealand documentary and audio visual heritage.
The Treaty of Waitangi 1840 and the Women's Suffrage Petition 1893 have already been added to the International Memory of the World Register. While the Tokyo War Crimes Trial Records 1946-1948 is the latest document inscribed on the Memory of the World's Asia Pacific register.
What is Memory of the World?
Documentary heritage often reflects the diversity of languages, peoples and cultures. It is the mirror of the world and its memory. But this memory is fragile. Every day, irreplaceable parts of this memory disappear forever.
UNESCO launched the Memory of the World Programme to guard against collective amnesia, calling upon the preservation of the valuable archive holdings and library collections all over the world and ensuring their wide dissemination.
For more information please contact:
Dianne Macaskill, Incoming Chair, Memory of the World NZ Committee
Evelyn Wareham, Communications Sub Commission Member, NZ National Commission for UNESCO
World Press Freedom Day 2010: A minute's silence for murdered journalists
Friday, 30 April 2010 14:19
UNESCO New Zealand is behind the call for newsrooms around the world to observe a minute’s silence to remember journalists murdered doing their job.
Chairman of the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO, Bryan Gould said the initiative had been made by the New Zealand delegation at UNESCO’sGeneral Conference in Paris in October last year. It was adopted by the international body as a way of highlighting the issue of journalist murders and will be observed during World Press Freedom Day Conference in Brisbane on May 3.
Former journalist Paul Smith, a member of the delegation, suggested the minute’s silence at the UNESCO General Conference in Paris. He said this week that almost every week a journalist somewhere in the world lost his or her life.
"These aren’t accidental killings, they are murders.This is one way to draw attention to these crimes aimed at limiting the public's right to know".
Last year set a new record, with 77 murders reported by UNESCO which also uncovered a trend: The agency's report on this issue last month found that the percentage of murders in 2008-09 that were not linked to conflicts rose in comparison to the previous two-year period. Most victims were not foreign war correspondents, but rather local journalists who were working in countries at peace.
The reported noted that “Sadly, the frequency of acts of violence against journalists is increasing.In most cases, impunity precludes the way of justice, and if this trend prevails, journalists will remain easy targets.Needless to say this represents a severe threat to freedom of expression and to our ability to seek the truth.”
“At least 80 per cent of the 125 murders in 2008-2009 were due to attacks specifically targeting the victims by 'those who do not wish journalists to investigate and reveal information of public interest.”
UNESCO is encouraging New Zealand journalists to take part in the Minute's silence at 5pm on Monday 3 May 2010, to coincide with its observation at the World Press Freedom Day Conference that will be taking place in Brisbane, Australia
Every 3 May, World Press Freedom Day represents an opportunity to commemorate the fundamental principles of press freedom around the globe and to pay solemn tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day 2010 will be held from 2 to 3 May in Brisbane, Australia. It will highlight the importance of freedom of information as an integral part of freedom of expression and its contribution to democratic governance.The celebration is being organised jointly by UNESCO and the School of Journalism and Communication at Australia’s University of Queensland, under the theme “Freedom of Information: the Right to Know”. The event is expected to foster reflection and exchange of ideas on freedom of information to advance empowerment, transparency, accountability and the fight against corruption. It will also look at the key obstacles to the effective exercise of the right to know in today’s digitalized world.
The occasion will serve to call on UNESCO Member States to reaffirm and implement their international commitments to guarantee and promote freedom of information and to remind civil society organizations, other relevant stakeholders, and the news media in particular, of their central role in furthering it.
The Award Ceremony for the 2010 UNESCO World Press Freedom Prize will be held on 3 May. The prize will be presented to a journalist or an organization that has made a notable contribution to the defence of freedom of expression. The 2010 winner is planned to be announced during the month of April.
Living Heritage Awards honour NZ's Junior Historians
Are mangroves unwanted weeds "gorse of the sea" or are they beautiful trees that attract native birds?
Who was Mr Stellin? And why did they name the park we play in after him?
What games did our grandparents play? How did they live?
These are the questions that children in three New Zealand schools asked themselves earlier this year and their online research projects have seen them each honoured with a LIving Heritage Award.
Junior historians from: Hauraki Primary School on Auckland's North Shore; Northland Primary School in Wellington; and Mahana Rural School just outside Nelson have each been honoured with LIving Heritage Awards this week.
“Living Heritage, Taonga Tuku Iho Awards celebrate our country’s heritage and or treasures,” says NZ National Commission for UNESCO chair, Bryan Gould.
“UNESCO recognises that living or intangible heritage provides people with a sense of identity and continuity. Helping young people to learn from their past is a key way to help prepare them for the future.”
The New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO helped establish the Living Heritage Taonga Tuku Iho Awards to celebrate schools whose work contributes to UNESCO objectives by capturing heritage resources for future generations.
Living Heritage (Tikanga Tuku Iho) is a project of the 2020 Communications Trustin partnership with The Learning Centre Trust of New Zealand, The National Library of New ZealandTe Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa, and Sun Microsystems.
Northland School junior historians awarded UNESCO Living Heritage Award Nearly sixty years after a young New Zealand pilot died saving a village in WWII, a group of Wellington school children have won a Living Heritage Award for an online project that remembers his life and sacrifice.
Youngsters from the Wellington suburb of Northland had played in the Stellin Memorial Park for the past forty years – but no one seemed to know how it got its name. This year students at Northland Primary School embarked on a Living Heritage research project in which they discovered the park was named after James Kingston Stellin, a heroic young Wellington-born pilot who died while saving a village and school in France.
As part of the research process children visited the park, student researched on the Internet, talked to a local historian, watched a DVD of a dedication ceremony at the park and found photographs that told a story.
James Kingston Stellin was born in Lyall Bay Wellington in 1922, he joined the Royal Airforce as a pilot and was killed in 1944 while successfully defending the village of St Macloula Briere. His father donated land in Northland so that a park could be erected in his son’s memory. Meanwhile, thousands of kilometres in the village of St Maclou la Briere a memorial to James Stellin still stands in the town square.
Are Mangroves unwanted weeds, the “Gorse of the sea” or are they beautiful trees that attract native birds? Mangrove swamps are prevalent throughout Takapuna and yet local youngsters discovered that adults seemed divided over where they were a good or a bad thing.
This prompted four Year Five children from Hauraki Primary School - Jack, Joel, Nina and Leah –to find out more. They embarked on an online project that saw them win a Living Heritage, Taonga Tuku Iho Award this week.
The young project team talked to local people, environmentalists and studied research online. They reached the insightful conclusion that they needed to find good ways to get rid of mangroves when they are growing in the wrong place – but also initiatives to help save the local environment as well. Their overall conclusion was that there needs to be more young people like them to make a difference in the world.
An online history project initiated by the children of tiny Mahana Primary School – a rural school 30km from Nelson – has won a Living Heritage Taonga Tuku Iho Award for 2009.
The students recognised that their small community was changing and they wanted to promote a sense of belonging and pride in their past by finding out more about the lives of their ancestors and tipuna.
The online project involved all three classrooms that make up Mahana School and students report that they learned a lot more about their own families, their school, region and country. In spite of their isolation, students developed their ICT skills by contributing to their web page, producing podcasts and integrating ICT into performances. A variety of pictorial/photo resources from books and communities, local museums, archives and family collections were also called upon.
Jenny Robinson (School Administrator) (L) and Briar Smith Waddell (Student) (R) from Mahana School at the Living Heritage Awards Ceremony, Wellington
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 18:04
International Workshop focuses on NZ “Greenstone” Digital Library Software
“Greenstone” an internationally renowned software system for digital libraries that was developed in New Zealand is the focus of an international workshop to be held in India in November. The “Greenstone” Digital Library Software (http://www.greenstone.org) is an Open Source package for building and distributing Digital Libraries, which has been developed by the University of Waikato.
“Greenstone” is supported by the UNESCO and the Human Info NGO Belgium for spreading the benefits of this software to developing countries. The state-of-the-art software is both powerful and flexible, and of great potential interest to libraries and information centres and other public and private institutions in South Asia and other developing regions.
As part of this year’s Te Rangitawaea ICT Festival, students from Ngati Porou East Coast Schools have been trained by professional broadcasters to deliver a Noon news webcast live from the festival in Ruatoria.
Te Rangitawaea celebrates the creative and innovative digital media achievements and development of local students. The webcast will enable students to further their skills in broadcasting and to also provide an opportunity for rural Maori youth to participate in the digital news age.
Webcast Time: 12 Noon, Wednesday 16th September 2009
The festival has been supported by the NZ National Commission for UNESCO’s UCAF 2009 funding. The fund is for New Zealand projects that engage with two or more of UNESCO’s mandated programme areas: Education, Natural Sciences, Social and Human Sciences, Culture, Communications and Information.
Monday, 03 August 2009 17:09
Ethnic Diversity Broadcasting Forum, June 2009
Hosted by NZ On Air and the Office of Ethnic Affairs, this forum focused on how NZ’s changing demographics will affect the broadcast media in 2020. Promoted by NZOA board member and UNESCO NZ National Commission member Paul Smith for several years this initiative was a significant achievement and the first of its kind. Ethnic Affairs Minister Pansy Wong noted that as NZ becomes ethnically and culturally diverse, the media needs to reflect this change; savvy media outlets know this isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s also the bright thing to do. Ms Wong also observed the growth of ethnic media products and outlets. Professor Richard Bedford from Population Studies Centre at the University of Waikato highlighted the major changes taking place. He told the forum that by 2021, European New Zealanders will remain the largest (and aging) group – Asian and Pacific populations are growing fastest and their numbers will rival Maori as our second largest ethnic group. He also noted that this trend will be most evident in the Auckland region. Further themes of the role of cultural diversity in mainstream broadcasting were considered for the remainder of the Forum. The role of the Government through its charter, funding and lack of public broadcasting dominated the discussion.