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World Radio Day celebrated around the world

Monday 15 February 2016, by SIGNIS

Brussels, February 15th, 2016 (SIGNIS/Gurtong website/RTE News/Allafrica). On Saturday 13th of February, the whole world celebrated World Radio Day, with the theme “Radio in times of war and conflict “. In South-Sudan, in Ireland or in South-Africa, everyone had something to celebrate.

Citizens in Yei (South Sudan) have lauded the role radio plays in information dissemination to the public. They believe that radio is the fastest and the only media that can convey information to almost all the categories of people due to its use of diverse languages and free accessibility. For Angelo Diuk, a citizen, “radio transmission in our country and in our continent is a very important media for reaching the population with information about what is happening in other parts of the world. Radios here play a very great role in bringing news and information to our rural population.”

The Irish President, Michael D Higgins paid tribute to the power of the spoken word. He declared “people in Ireland have a special affinity for the spoken word. We inherit a long tradition of storytelling, and in modern times this has translated into the interesting fact that Irish people spend more time than most nations listening to the radio”.

He added " we are encouraged to remember not only how Radio has changed our world but also that Radio continues to shape our lives. Just as it has helped change our past it is now shaping our future. In communicating the messages of sustainable development and in responding to climate change, Radio is an invaluable tool and, most importantly, we can use the power of Radio to provide a medium for the voices of those who are too often ignored: the young, the marginalised, the powerless".

South African Minister of Communications, Ms Faith Muthambi, said radio remains one of the most loved, cherished and ubiquitous symbols of communication and human progress. "Radio has faced tough times and challenging competition, but it is still one of the most effective medium around; one that reaches the homes and hearts of almost every person no matter where they are in the world," said Muthambi.

"South Africans are blessed to be able to choose between an array of radio stations that serve their interests. We also have a plethora of community radio stations which give people from all spheres of our country a platform to voice their concerns about issues that touch them personally and celebrate their achievements," she said. There are more than 150 operational licensed community radio stations, about 23 commercial radio stations and 19 public radio stations in South Africa.

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