World Radio Day: AFEX Tasks Governments on Media Freedom in Audio Message

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On the occasion of this year’s World Radio Day, which was celebrated on February 13, with the theme “Radio is You,” some members of the African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX), in audio messages, called on governments in the region to ensure that radio operates freely and independently and urged citizens to own to the and let their voices be heard.
Through the audio message, AFEX members highlighted the essential role of radio in society and challenged citizens to engage actively in governance through radio. The message also urged governments in the region to ensure that radio operates freely and independently.
Endorsing the theme of the World Radio Day, Media Rights Agenda (MRA) said radio remains the most important means of communication for many African citizens despite the massive development of digital technology and the spread of the Internet.
MRA added that “it is important that we celebrate the resilience of radio and the impact it has had on our lives”.
The Media Foundation for Democracy (MFWA) in its message elaborated on what the theme meant for it saying it “emphasizes the personal character of radio” and that it invites radio managers to focus on the immediate local environment and deal with issues that affect the daily lives of people and to allow listeners to have their say. MFWA added that the theme is a call on governments to allow free, open and independent broadcasting.
The West African Journalists Association (WAJA) in its message, called on the authorities to stop targeting critical voices and arbitrarily shutting down radio stations saying this can have a chilling effect on the rest of the people wanting to be heard by means of a radio. WAJA added that everyone has a shared responsibility to make radio broadcasting professional.
Calling on government to hands-off radio so that it can serve the public interest, the International Press Centre (IPC) urged support for this call so that radio can continue to serve it purposes including: listening to news and reports in languages that audiences understand; voicing out opinions and concerns; being the ultimate means by which news and information reach diverse audiences.
Emphasising on the participatory nature of radio in enhancing development, the Institutes of Media and Society (IMS) called on all to participate in debates using the radio as medium.
Journalists in Danger, an AFEX member organization which operates in the Democratic Republic of Congo stressed on the need to reflect on what we do with the information that radio provides and the impact of the medium on our daily lives. It urged people to imagine what the world would have being if there had been no radio.
Joining the rest of the global community to commemorate the World Radio Day, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) said it is a time when we introspect on where we have come from and trying to advocate for the opening and expansion of radio services.
AFEX is a network of some of the leading freedom of expression and media rights organisations in Africa.
To download and listen to the full audio message, please click here .