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Stakeholders task radio, broadcasters on leveraging technology to bridge cultural gaps

Margaret Mwantok

Feb. 13, 2020

As the world celebrates World Radio Day today under the theme, ‘Radio and Diversity,’ radio stations and broadcasters have been urged to promote a diversity of editorial contents and programme types reflecting the variety of the audiences.
They have also been advised to uphold diversity both in the newsroom and airwaves, as they advocate for pluralism in radio, including a mix of public, private and community broadcasters and encourage representation in the newsroom, with teams comprised of diverse society groups.
The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, in his message at this year’s ninth edition of the Day, stressed that radio brings people together and retains a special place in every community and an accessible source of vital news and information, saying: “Radio is also a source of innovation that pioneers interaction with audiences through contents. It offers wonderful diversity in its languages and format, which sends a strong message to the world as we strive to achieve the sustainable development goal 2030. Let us recognise the enduring power of radio in diversity and help build a peaceful and inclusive world.”
For the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, “radio supports dream, information and dialogue. It is a tool for diversity, a voice to the voiceless. This is why we support over 59 local radio stations in Africa. Without radio, the world would not be full and culturally diverse. It is one of the media of the future and it is up to us to make sure it survives.”With Nigeria having over 500 radio stations with, at least, 56 of them community-owned, Ralph Akinfeleye,.
Also, a professor of Mass Communication, Ralph Akinfeleye, said that with Nigeria having over 500 radio stations with, at least 56 of them community-owned, the proliferation of radio stations across Nigeria had had an impact in combating fake news and hate-speeches.
According to him: “It appears to me that most of the radio stations, the ones owned by the Federal Government and state governments, it’s even worse at the state level that instead of using radio for development, it is being used for propaganda and other things and that is not the philosophy of radio for development.    “While it is widely seen as a tool to combat hate-speech, radio stations across Nigeria have also been used to spread hates and misinformation among the populace.
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