World Radio Day tunes in to new advances in broadcasting
ITU renews commitment to increasing access to radio services
Geneva, 13 February 2013 – On the occasion of World Radio Day, ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré reaffirmed the Union’s commitment to increasing access to broadcast radio, the ubiquitous and widely disseminated communication technology that keeps people connected around the world. “The convergence of telecommunications, broadcasting and computing has revolutionized radio as a medium of communication,” Dr Touré said. “ITU continues to develop the standards that make technological advances in digital radio platforms available globally.”
The Director of ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau François Rancy pointed to the widespread use of streaming audio, podcasts, online radio and social media on mobile devices and said, “In today’s connected world, radio continues to provide an invaluable means of reaching out to the world. The digitization of radio has increased user-interaction and the sense of user engagement with this media, which increasingly uses multiple platforms.”
13 February marks the day UN Radio was founded in 1946. Today, UN Radio continues to reach millions of people around the world, with daily broadcasts in the six official languages of the United Nations plus Portuguese and Kiswahili. Through partner stations around the globe, via the Internet and through new media, UN Radio highlights the efforts, achievements and challenges of the United Nations in dealing with pressing global issues, such as, sustainable development, peace and security, human rights, humanitarian affairs, and women’s equality and empowerment.
In 2012, World Radio Day was proclaimed by UNESCO, following a request from the Academia Española de la Radio of Spain, to celebrate radio broadcast, improve international cooperation among radio broadcasters and encourage decision-makers to create and provide access to information through radio, including community radios. The occasion draws attention to the unique value of radio, which remains the medium to reach the widest audience and is currently taking up new technological forms and devices.
The ITU body dealing with the broadcasting service, ITU-R Study Group 6, focuses on worldwide broadcasting roaming and accessibility to these services – which include vision, sound, multimedia and data services intended for delivery to the general public – and plays a leading role in the advances being made in these technologies.
ITU is the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technology. For nearly 150 years, ITU has coordinated the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promoted international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, worked to improve communication infrastructure in the developing world, and established the worldwide standards that foster seamless interconnection of a vast range of communications systems. From broadband networks to new-generation wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, satellite-based meteorology and converging fixed-mobile phone, Internet and broadcasting technologies, ITU is committed to connecting the world. www.itu.int