President of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union, Mrs. Kayleaser Deveaux-Isaacs is pleased to extend best wishes to the more than a dozen members of the Union who offer radio services on the occasion of World Radio Day to be marked on February 13, 2022.
Even as much of the global media landscape appears to be dominated by visual and online services, the critical importance of radio is demonstrated by the continued popularity of all genres of radio programming across the entire Caribbean.
The UNESCO designated theme for this year’s World Radio Day celebration of “Radio and Trust” is also very relevant to the hundreds of radio services to be found in the smallest radio markets of just a few thousand listeners in Anguilla and Montserrat or those serving millions of listeners in Jamaica and Cuba.
For the Caribbean, radio remains the most technologically accessible medium of mass communication, particularly since universal internet access and reliable electrical service are goals still to be achieved for many communities.
Caribbean radio is also well-developed in terms of social access. A multitude of community radio services have arisen across the region reflecting to those they serve, their languages and culture, as well as highlighting local and national concerns. And radio is the medium that has best accommodated diversity in terms of gender and people with disabilities not only being audiences, but also content creators.
And the trust in radio in the Caribbean, also springs from its vital role in supporting disaster preparedness, as well as relief and recovery in the region so vulnerable to natural and man-made hazards. Even as misinformation and disinformation are growing issues for developing and developed societies alike, radio has a great role to play in promoting trust.
Ms. Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director General, in her message for World Radio Day 2022 notes, “…. our trust in radio may be due to something even more profound: where images can be distorted or reproduced to the point of excess, radio establishes a more direct, more intimate relationship between speaker and listener.”
CBU President Deveaux-Isaacs highlights the need for continued independence of media, including radio, to ensure the trust with which they have been vested continues. She says, “…whether publicly or privately funded, regional media need to be free of undisclosed interests and undue influence to maintain their credibility.” She emphasizes that the issue of trust remains at the forefront of the Union’s advocacy for media institutions in the region.