In 2011, UNESCO declared World Radio Day to honour radio’s remarkable capacity to celebrate humanity in all of its diversity.
More than ten years later, radio is still one of the most widely consumed mediums on the planet. And World Radio Day, on 13 February, reminded us of the critical role radio broadcasters continue to play.
2022’s World Radio Day theme is ‘Radio and Trust.’ Mr Geraint Crwys-Williams, the chairperson of Primedia Broadcasting and Primedia Group chief business officer, has shared his thoughts about the concept of trust.
According to Mr Crwys-Williams, the impact of spreading fake news and misinformation is far-reaching, influencing global and local dialogue on a vast scale. “We all need more trust — in our interactions with one another, in the media, and our political landscape. As we commemorate World Radio Day, we also acknowledge how radio has continually proven to be a reliable medium.”
He went on to say that the significance of radio is in its ability to establish a two-way discourse. Unlike other traditional media, radio is uncensored, unscripted, and transparent. Radio allows for a certain sense of intimacy because we accept presenters into our homes, cars, and lives daily. This kind of intimacy can only be achieved via trust.
Radio has built an expanded connected community on this foundation of trust, which has become a lifeline for many, especially during the pandemic and various levels of isolation.
Radio has two purposes: to entertain and to inform. It awards us the opportunity to hold up a mirror to the difficulties confronting society. More crucially, it allows us to air out in public what would otherwise fester in private groups. Freedom of expression entails the ability to dispute. Facilitating an on-air conversation helps both parties genuinely hear each other as human beings with opposing viewpoints.
Particularly in South Africa, radio plays a vital role in being reflective and committed to diversity. The above-mentioned applies not simply to race and gender but also to the plurality of thought and opinion and respecting and celebrating differences.