Written by Laraba Murey

World Radio Day: WAJA says radio game changer in promoting diversity

The West African Journalists Association, WAJA, has hailed the important role and contribution of radio as a game changer in a region increasingly challenged by poverty, disease, illiteracy, growing insurgency, political and economic tension amongst others.

President of the WAJA, Mr. Peter Quaqua, said this on the occasion marking the World Radio Day, held every February 13, 2020.

In the message, Mr. Quaqua said the day was set aside to underscore the “special value of radio in the age of a rapid media revolution.”

“When it seems almost impossible to surmount these challenges in the face of diversity, radio has made it all too easy to appeal to the senses of the people. Radio enables development; it enhances security and peace; it promotes behavioral change and education. But most of all radio allows for the voices and participation of the population to be heard in the governance process. This year’s theme “Radio and Diversity,” says it succinctly,” the message read.

He noted that “There is hardly any citizen, educated or uneducated; rich or poor; man or woman; young or old; politician or otherwise, that do not have access to radio. So, whether it is personally owned or not, we must all work together to make radio sound better at all times. Insist on good taste because your children also have access and do listen.

“Refuse to misuse and abuse radio because it could abuse you also. Nobody should be denied access to the radio. Authorities should stop targeting critical voices, as well as using their powers to arbitrarily shut down radio stations. That can have a chilling effect on the rest of the people wanting to be heard by way of radio.

“You have a shared responsibility to make radio professional whether you are a broadcaster, an owner, an authority or listener. With more measured speech, we can collectively respond to the radical minority who manipulate the radio to spread hate messages and belligerent propaganda. 

Ours is a region defined by fragilities but our diversity has proven to be our strength in confronting those issues. The role of Radio remains profoundly pronounced. Let’s maintain is relevance.”

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