two young women with microphones at outdoor event
The UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) coordinated outreach activities with Guira FM, a local radio station in Bangui.
Photo:UN Photo/Herve Serefio

Radio and Trust

Building on more than a century of history, radio remains one of the most trusted and widely used media. Throughout the years, radio has provided affordable access to information in real time and professional coverage about matters of public interest, as well as guaranteed distance learning and entertainment. Bridging the gap between traditional and state-of-the art technologies, radio now offers a variety of content through different devices and formats, such as podcasts and multimedia websites. 

Recent world events and the COVID-19 pandemic have eroded trust in the media in general, fuelled by the circulation of false content rapidly spreading on social media. But while studies reveal a global decline in trust in the internet and social networks, they show a rise in overall trust in the news. And many citizens still have greater confidence in radio than in other media. 

Digital access to information is far from being equal, with huge differences remaining between regions and between communities. In comparison, radio remains affordable and can be listened to everywhere, even when electricity or connectivity are not reliable. It is also diverse and inclusive. Community radio, for instance, reaches out to those under-represented in the mainstream and social media, who may feel better understood and fairly portrayed and consequently trust their local station. 

On the occasion of World Radio Day 2022, UNESCO calls on radio stations to celebrate the Day through three sub-themes:

  • Trust in radio journalism: Produce independent and high-quality content;
  • Trust and accessibility: Take care of your audience;
  • Trust and viability of radio stations: Ensure competitiveness.
2022 poster: Yes to Radio, to Trust

Together let's celebrate the 11th edition of World Radio Day #WorldRadioDay. Register your event.

Background

Proclaimed in 2011 by the Member States of UNESCO and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (A/RES/67/124) in 2012 as an International Day, February 13 became World Radio Day (WRD).

Radio is a powerful medium for celebrating humanity in all its diversity and constitutes a platform for democratic discourse. At the global level, radio remains the most widely consumed medium. This unique ability to reach out the widest audience means radio can shape a society’s experience of diversity, stand as an arena for all voices to speak out, be represented and heard. Radio stations should serve diverse communities, offering a wide variety of programs, viewpoints and content, and reflect the diversity of audiences in their organizations and operations.

Radio is a low-cost medium specifically suited to reaching remote communities and vulnerable people, offering a platform to intervene in the public debate, irrespective of people’s educational level. It also plays a crucial role in emergency communication and disaster relief.

Radio is uniquely positioned to bring communities together and foster positive dialogue for change. By listening to its audiences and responding to their needs, radio services provide the diversity of views and voices needed to address the challenges we all face.

We turn to radio, more than to any other medium, when we need to be informed.

Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO

Listen

No Denying It

No Denying It podcast

There’s no denying it - we have to tackle the climate emergency. The UN climate action podcast brings you the voices of young climate changemakers from across our warming planet. 

 

Awake at Night

Awake at Night podcast

What does it take to be a United Nations worker in some of the world’s most difficult and dangerous locations? Melissa Fleming finds out.

Watch

Radio school

Audrey Hepburn at UN Radio

The United Nations Audiovisual Library presents UN Radio Classics, an online archive of documentary and dramatic programmes starring Audrey Hepburn, Kirk Douglas and Bing Crosby, among many others. These programmes, available free of charge with digitally remastered sound, offer a unique way of experiencing key historical moments of the United Nations and of the world throughout the second half of the 20th century.

 

 

illustration of people with clock, calendar, to-do list and decorations

International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.