reflections, updates and homilies from Deacon Mike Talbot inspired by the following words from my ordination: Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach...
Pope on World Radio Day: ‘Carrying the word to most distant places’
Marking World Radio Day on Saturday, Pope Francis tweets his support for this unique medium of communication which is capable of reaching the most far-flung places.
By Devin Watkins
The United Nations proclaimed 13 February as World Radio Day in 2011, making this the 10th iteration of the annual event.
Saturday’s celebration comes one day after Vatican Radio marked the 90th anniversary of its inauguration by Pope Pius XI in 1931. The first commercially-viable radio system was invented by Guglielmo Marconi, who went on to set up the Pope’s Radio.
Pope Francis got in on the action by tweeting his support for this medium of communication.
“#Radio has this beautiful trait: it carries the word to the most distant places. #WorldRadioDay”
Celebrating humanity’s diversity
The United Nations chose 13 February for the annual celebration because UN Radio was launched on that date in 1946.
UNESCO, the UN’s cultural agency, released a message lauding the power of radio to “shape a society’s experience of diversity and stand as an arena for all voices to speak out, be represented and heard.”
“Radio,” reads the message, “is a powerful medium for celebrating humanity in all its diversity and constitutes a platform for democratic discourse. At the global level, radio remains the most widely consumed medium.”
UNESCO also urges all radio stations to “serve diverse communities, offer a wide variety of programs, viewpoints, and content, and reflect the diversity of audiences in their organizations and operations.”
In a changing world
The message for World Radio Day 2021 is also divided into three sub-themes:
- Evolution: The world changes, radio evolves. (Referring to the resilience and sustainability of radio);
- Innovation: The world changes, radio adapts and innovates. (Pointing out the technological adaptations radio has made in order to remain accessible to everyone);
- Connection: The world changes, radio connects. (Highlighting how radio assists those who have endured natural disasters and socio-economic crises).
While encountering people
The three themes coincide with Pope Francis’ message for the 55th World Communications Day, in which he invites people to foster authentic communication.
The Pope says communication should be a place of encounter and communion. Every medium, including radio, evolves and adapts to meet every generation’s need to connect.
From a Christian point of view, he says, communication is intimately linked to the two thousand years of “a chain of encounters” which share the attractiveness of the Christian adventure.
“The challenge that awaits us, then,” says Pope Francis, “is to communicate by encountering people, where they are and as they are.”