Amman, 13 February 2017 – Today the UNESCO Amman Office in Jordan co-organised a roundtable discussion, along with partners Jordan Media Institute (JMI) and Community Media Network (CMN), to mark the 2017 World Radio Day.
Under the framework of the EU funded and UNESCO Amman Office implemented “Support to Media in Jordan” Project, the roundtable discussion was held at JMI and brought together community radio stations from across Jordan, including Yarmouk FM from Irbid, Sawt al Karak from Karak, Sawt Al Januub from Maan, Liqaa FM from Zarqa, Aqaba FM from Aqaba, Radio Al Balad as well as new community radio initiatives currently being supported through the project, the Media Commission and local NGOs.
“The goal of the roundtable is to build on the achievements of the ‘Support to Media in Jordan’ project and other UNESCO mainstream media activities and to facilitate networking of local radio stations in the context of this global celebration,” said Ms. Costanza Farina, UNESCO Representative to Jordan.
Facilitated by Ikhlas Al Khawaldeh, UNESCO Communication and Information National Programme Officer, the participants discussed what it means to have a “healthy” community radio station that represents the views and diversity of its audience, where its listeners are central contributors to its strategy and policies, and what mechanisms can allow people to participate at all levels. This may include self-regulatory systems such as a complaints process and audience engagement approaches. A healthy community radio station also deals with challenges relating to sustainability and funding, and addresses gender disparity in senior management positions. In addition, it works with communities to support an enabling legal environment for community radio development.
JMI Dean, Dr. Basim Tweisi, said that local and community radios have played a significant role in Jordan’s media scene. “Radios have become prominent contributors in local development, fostering of societal dialogue, and raising awareness of pluralism and diversity,” he said. Dr. Tweisi also noted that Jordan’s steering towards decentralization places more responsibility on these radios and provides them with further opportunities.
In addition to the roundtable, UNESCO Amman Office invited partners from the local and community radios to organize open days at their respective stations, and encourage their listeners to visit the station, give feedback on the content of their programmes as well as participate in sessions aimed at sharing ideas on issues of local concern. Radio stations were also invited to use the 2017 WRD jingle, or create their own, to advertise the segment of the World Radio Day.
Radio Al Balad, the leading community radio station in Jordan, will hold an open day inviting friends and listeners to visit the radio station. Radio Al Balad’s listener’s club will be conducting a number of supporting activities.
UNESCO also encouraged radio stations that are organizing open days to register their events at the global website (http://www.diamundialradio.org/events). All organizations that register an event will receive a UNESCO certificate of participation.
World Radio Day is celebrated every year on 13 February. Now in its 6th year, the UNESCO celebration invites all radio stations and supporting organisations to celebrate radio and how it helps shape our lives. Radio is still the most dynamic, reactive and engaging medium there is, adapting to 21st century changes and offering new ways to interact and participate. This year UNESCO focuses on encouraging radio stations around the world, whether community, private, or public radio stations, for greater participation of audiences and communities in the policy and planning of radio broadcasting under the tagline “Radio is You!”.