Today is World Radio Day, a day marked in recognition of the impact radio has had on the lives of people all over the world. In a country like Ghana, where radio has over the years played a huge role in our democracy and press freedom, it is important to recognise this day and join in the global recognition of the day.
It is worthy to note that information dissemination, deepening democracy and freedom of speech, providing an avenue for public discourse and shaping the minds of people towards issues of national concern all hinge on the efficiency of the media; most importantly radio, since it is the oldest medium of electronic communication in Ghana.
This year, World Radio Day is celebrated on the theme, “Dialogue, Tolerance and Peace”. According to UNESCO, ‘broadcasts that provide a platform for dialogue and democratic debate over issues, such as migration or violence against women, can help to raise awareness among listeners and inspire understanding for new perspectives in paving the way for positive action.’ This reiterates the need to promote human rights reporting and inspire listeners to be change agents in their communities.
While Ghana is ranked the best in Africa on the World Press Freedom index, a lot can be done to improve the quality of radio content, particularly by using the medium efficiently to promote the growth and development of our country. Also, the medium must not be used to incite undesirable actions and violence.
Notwithstanding, radio has for decades been a strong tool, and currently goes beyond its traditional role of educating, entertaining and informing, to agitating, propagating and instigating public opinions and actions. When radio is used more efficiently, it can be a great tool to shape positive behaviours and attitudes of citizens to help in the development drive.
As the world marks World Radio Day, it is important to acknowledge the human-interest gains that have emerged from the responsible use of radio such as promoting social justice and fighting corruption. Therefore it is important for journalists, editors, media organisations, regulatory bodies and other stakeholders in media practice to help promote and encourage a more decent and responsible use of the medium.