Airways for Good: Celebrating World Radio Day
On February 13th, the Right Livelihood Award Foundation celebrates World Radio Day 2016, honouring the medium that reaches the widest audience in the world. This year’s theme is radio in times of emergency and disaster, to underscore the ability of radio to save lives and highlight the need to protect journalists’ freedom and safety.
Radio broadcasters have long played a major role in helping people both during emergencies and in times of crisis – from the shows and news programs of Radio Okapi produced during the UN peacekeeping mission in DRC to the reconciliatory programming of community radio stations in post-apartheid South Africa; from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty during the Cold War to the more recent Jungala Radio, recorded in and broadcast from the Calais Refugee Camp.
Several Right Livelihood Award Laureates have also used radio to advance their causes: Asma Jahangir set up a web radio programme to promote human rights in her native Pakistan; Hans Herren’s organisation, Biovision, uses a weekly radio show to reach some four million farmers across Africa. David Suzuki’s five-part radio series “It’s a Matter of Survival” received letter from over 15,000 listeners, prompting him to found his eponymous organisation. Finally, Amy Goodman, co-founder of Democracy Now!, started her career on the independent station Pacifica Radio.
This month, the Right Livelihood Award Foundation builds on their inspiring work with a series of podcasts featuring the voices of its Laureates. The first episode airs on February 25th. Happy World Radio Day and stay tuned!