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World Radio Day broadcast focuses on Youth and Innovation

ITU developing new global standards for sustainable growth of radio

Geneva, 13 February 2015 – World Radio Day, organized this year by UNESCO, EBU, the United Nations Office in Geneva, and ITU brings attention to the theme: “Youth and Innovation”, looking ahead to new and innovative means to connect the world. It features a live global broadcast of panel discussions, call-ins from radio journalists covering breaking news of the day, radio features and an international concert by the UN Jazz Ensemble. A Radio Hackathon over nearly 24 hours has brought together technology buffs working on coding, hacking, building and breaking.

Anchored by BBC correspondent Imogen Foulkes, the high-level debate includes the Director General of the United Nations Office in Geneva Mr Michael Møller; Mr Getachew Engida, Deputy Director General of UNESCO; Ms Ingrid Deltenre, Director General of the European Broadcasting Union; and ITU Secretary-General Mr Houlin Zhao.

The live broadcast is coordinated by the European Broadcasting Union and transmitted globally via the network of World Broadcasting Unions.

“This year’s observance of World Radio Day highlights the importance of radio to the world’s 1.8 billion young women and men,” said United Nations Secretary-General Mr Ban Ki-moon in a message. “As the international community shapes new sustainable development goals and a new global agreement on climate change, we need to hear the voices of young women and men, loudly, strongly and urgently.”

“We all recognize the value and importance of broadcasting, not just as a medium for news and entertainment, but as a vital communications service,” said Mr Houlin Zhao. “Radio is a low-cost medium, specifically suited to reach remote communities and vulnerable people and has a strong and specific role in emergency communication and disaster relief.” Mr Zhao stressed the importance of encouraging young innovators, SMEs and start-ups in developing new, forward-looking technologies for the sustainable growth of radio.

Mr François Rancy, Director of ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau: “The ITU World Radiocommunication Conferences, and the ITU assignment and allotment plans and procedures ensure that spectrum is available for this medium and that it is available in every country. The ITU Study Groups develop the global standards that ensure the lowest costs through economies of scale and the most efficient use of spectrum for the sustainable development of radio in the future, in particular to reach the one billion people who still do not have access to radio today.”

A technical session, coordinated by Christoph Dosch, Chairman of ITU-R Study Group 6, examines new trends and innovation in radio including hybrid interactive digital radio, traffic information on DAB radio, emergency radiocommunications and personalized radio which will transform the way people will listen to radio programmes. Participants included Matthew Shotton, BBC; Matthias Stoll, Ampegon, Roger Miles and Mathias Coinchon, EBU; Fabian Sattler, IRT; Satoshi Oode, NHK; Nicole Winkler, Oliver Helbig and Olaf Korte, Fraunhofer IIS; Aldo Scotti, RaiWay; Christian Wachter and Thomas Bögl, Rohde and Schwarz.

For more information, please contact:

Sanjay Acharya
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information
tel +41 22 730 5046
tel +41 79 249 4861
tel sanjay.acharya@itu.int
Catherine Hardy
Senior Communication Officer
European Broadcasting Union (EBU)
tel +41 22 717 2879
tel +41 79 564 9711
tel  hardy@ebu.ch 


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