UN to celebrate World Radio Day in Kenya ahead of polls

A joint initiative by three United Nations (UN) agencies and programmes has organised World Radio Day in Kenya to underscore the role of community radio as a medium for communication in addressing social issues such as peaceful elections.

The two-day event, organised by United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Radio as well as Kenya’s national media stakeholders, is expected to cover the issues of responsive election reporting and the significance of inter-tribal dialogue in promoting peace and democracy.

As the lead UN agency for communication and information, UNESCO said it has planned the event to further include a series of workshops on new media and ICT, sustainability of community radio operations, and the production of civic education radio programming.

A highlight of the event will be the launch of “Media Coverage of the Mombasa Republican Council Monitoring Report” and “The Voice for Peace and Democracy Campaign” in preparation for the March 4 Kenyan election leading up to the International Day of Democracy on September 15.

“This will be an opportunity for community radios and its audiences to share experiences with their neighbors and the world, by applying new media and ICT tools for radio program development,” said UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa.

World Radio Day commemorates the use of radio as a communication medium to improve international cooperation among broadcasters and encourage decision makers to create and provide access to information.

“Radio has embraced the digital revolution to expand its power and reach. It is still the prominent medium that can carry any message to any place at any time even without electricity, providing a lifeline of information that can save lives,” UNESCO said.

World Radio Day in Kenya is scheduled for February 13 to 14 in Mtito Andei and Voi, both in the coastal Kenya region. The two sites host the country’s oldest community radio station.

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