Yesterday 13 February was World Radio Day. The day was proclaimed in 2011 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). This year’s WRD is celebrated under the theme, “Yes To Radio, Yes To Trust” acknowledging radio as the most trusted, accessible and viable source of information, entertainment and education.
“Over the years, radio has continued to embrace technological advances and innovations to remain one of the most widely consumed media that impacts on the lives of its listeners both rich and poor. In South Africa, the history of radio since 1923 (99 years ago) can always be linked to the political environment of the period including the struggle for a free, equal, and diverse South Africa. Whether we recall radio under the South African Railways in 1923; or the SABC’s Radio South Africa of 1936, or broadcasting of Radio Freedom in 1963, or commercial Capitol Radio in 1979, or the introduction of community radio in 1993/4, or the SABC radio extending to cover all indigenous languages in 1996 and the bantustans radios in-between, the diversity of our radio (public, commercial and community) reflects the journey this country has and it is still travelling both in its political and development paths towards an equal and prosperous society”, said the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni.
“The advent of digital media has redefined the concept of news report to beyond journalism and hourly radio news bulletins. Whilst it has expanded access to information and creative business opportunities, it has equally proliferated fake news and unscrupulous journalism. In this era, we celebrate World Radio Day because radio has in the main continued to broadcast verified and reliable information with a measure of accountability and public complaint system in case of unjustified reporting thus earning the trust of the listeners” Minister Ntshavheni said.
The Department of Communications and Digital Technologies commits to support radio development in South Africa. Through the Broadcast Digital Migration (BDM) programme, the Department will create the platforms for public, community, and commercial radio to be more accessible and reach wider audiences. This will also contribute to the recovery, rebuilding and transformation of the creative industry that has been severely impact by the Covid-19 pandemic and the slow pace of transformation.
As we celebrate World Radio Day, we appreciate the work that our entity SENTECH SOC Ltd continues to do in providing radio broadcasting signal for all in the country and leading the BDM. We equally celebrate men and women behind the 19 SABC, all commercial and community radio stations. “The journey has not been easy but you have stayed the course to ensure your listeners’ access to trusted information”.