GCC Secretary General Stresses Importance of Enhancing Prospects for Joint GCC-Chinese Cooperation in Meeting with China's Ambassador to Saudi Arabia    Saudi Arabia to Host 14th General Assembly Meeting of ARABOSAI    Saudi Ambassador to Jordan Meets with President of Islamic Development Bank    Brazil polarized as Bolsonaro seeks re-election and Lula aims for comeback    174 dead in Indonesian football stadium crush    OIC Condemns Suicide Attack on Private Educational Center in Kabul    Vehicle Overturn Kills 26, Injures 10 in India    Weather Forecast for Sunday    At Least 127 People Killed, 180 Injured at Football Match in Indonesia    SAGO launches campaign to cut food waste costing SR40 billion annually    UN chief condemns any attempt to seize power by the force of arms    King Charles will not attend COP27, says Palace    Morocco's King congratulates Mohammed bin Salman on becoming Saudi PM    Al-Asoumi re-elected as Speaker of Arab Parliament    Saudi Arabia re-elected to ICAO Council membership    MOC announces scientific grants for 'Saudi coffee researches'    Mawthooq license of advertisers comes into force Advertisers can continue practicing activity if request for issuing license is still under process    Culture Minister visits ALIPH in Mexico City    GEA receives Guinness World Record certificate for largest shopping festival    Riyadh hosts first Saudi Games on Oct. 27    Saudi Arabia gets four memberships in IOC commissions    Al-Khuwaitm turns in golden display in Girls Gymnastics Championship in Riyadh    15 cups of Saudi coffee in a day are enough!    Bahrain Condemns Terrorist Attack on Educational Center in Kabul    19 women, 2 men qualify as Kingdom's first yogasana referees    Saudi Central Bank permits 4 new FinTech firms to operate under Regulatory Sandbox    Movies return to Kashmir with Hrithik Roshan-starrer    Bahrain Stock Exchange Indices Close Trading Higher    CITC, National Telecommunications Agency of Brazil Sign MoU    FSC Holds Meeting with Delegation from World Affairs Councils of America    Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu Signs Investment Agreements worth over SAR7 Billion    Body of famed US climber found on Mt Manaslu in Himalayas    Yoga introduced to Saudi universities    Islamic Minister Al-Sheikh: Juristic judgment catalyst to salvage Islamic Ummah    Culinary Arts Commission Registers 13 Foods on Slow Food List of Endangered Food    72% of Children Globally have been Victims of Cyber Threats    Saudi National Football Team Continues Preparations for Friendly Match against Ecuador    Saudi Futsal Team Beats San Marino, Wins Silver in Croatian International Championship    During 2nd Global AI Summit.. AI-powered Early Breast Cancer Detection Program Launched    Triple talaq: India Muslim women in limbo after instant divorce ruling    Film Commission Reviews Film Industry Prospects in Saudi Arabia at Venice International Film Festival    Saudi national volleyball team loses to Kyrgyzstan in Asian Challenge Cup final    Saudi national volleyball team beats Uzbekistan, qualifies for the final of the Asian Challenge Cup    Ka'aba door bears witness to Saudi rulers' care for the House of God Kaaba' door, repentance' door contain more than 280 KG of pure gold    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Delivers Speech to Pilgrims, Citizens, Residents and Muslims around the World    Sheikh Al-Issa in Arafah's Sermon: Allaah Blessed You by Making It Easy for You to Carry out This Obligation. Thus, Ensure Following the Guidance of Your Prophet    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques addresses citizens and all Muslims on the occasion of the Holy month of Ramadan    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers at Arafat Holy Site    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.



Veterans reflect on past, present and future of radio at the UN
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 13 - 02 - 2022

This year's World Radio Day marked on Sunday, focuses on the pertinent theme of "Radio and Trust", at a time when misinformation and disinformation are spreading, and distorting the flow of life-saving facts in relation to public health, as well as fanning hate speech.
To mark the occasion, the birthday in 1946 of the United Nations Radio service, we reached out to two veteran broadcasters and journalists, who recently retired from UN News.
Elena Vapnitchnaia was chief of our Russian Unit, and Jerome Longue, the former chief of our French Unit — both have served for many years in UN Radio and later with the integrated UN News Section.
On this World Radio Day, we asked them to share some pertinent memories of their work in radio and their views on the prospects and power of radio in general, to help counter the pandemic of misinformation, in the Internet age.
A glimpse of history
From UN Radio's first official broadcast on Feb. 13, 1946, programs were broadcast in the organization's initial five official languages: English, French, Chinese, Russian and Spanish — later followed by Arabic.
By 1950, UN Radio was broadcasting in 33 languages, and in 1980, UN peacekeeping missions started launching their own radio stations.
Our language networks offered a 15-minute daily program of news, interviews, and features, from the various teams working at UN Headquarters in New York.
The first two decades of the century, have seen dramatic changes in the work of UN Radio: reels and cassettes gave way to digital media, and audio broadcasting has become enriched and enhanced by multimedia features, tying together text, audio, photo, video and other web-based graphics through the explosion of social media.
The UN's radio services have been transformed into multidimensional news outlets that maintain their own websites.
Today they create digital content and tell multimedia stories and disseminate these products, shows — and increasingly podcasts — via multiple platforms, including social media, not only in the six official languages of the UN, but also in Portuguese, Kiswahili, and Hindi.
UN Radio language services have always worked side by side, in a newsroom arrangement, within the UN Secretariat building in New York.
"In the office, our neighbors on one side were journalists from the Russian service, on the other side we had our Portuguese colleagues.
"We could always hear them working, and over time we learned some words in those languages: for example, "Dobroe utro" ('Good morning!' in Russian) or "Obrigado" ('Thank you!' in Portuguese), recollects Jerome Longue, ex-chief of the French News Service, who worked for UN Radio and UN News for 30 years.
Elena and Jerome believe that such multi-culturalism and cosmopolitanism help when you are in the news business.
"Professionals with extensive experience in journalism, a broad outlook, open to the world, and always ready to help each other and share necessary information, have always worked at UN Radio. I am glad that I was able to work in such a team," emphasizes former Russian service Chief Elena Vapnitchnaia.
"For example, with a woman from Kyrgyzstan who came to a conference on the International Day of People with Down's Syndrome. She was an activist and mother of a child with this syndrome, and she had also adopted a girl with the same syndrome."
UN Radio and other news producers also often accompanied the Secretary-General on official trips and many times bore witness to major world events.
Radio is still the most popular means of communication. It is available when other means of communication do not work. A vivid example of that is the earthquake in Haiti in 2010.
Jerome Longue
"We participated in the meetings with Col. Qaddafi, with the presidents of Chad and Sudan, in the reintegration process for child soldiers in Sierra Leone, and also covered the signing of peace agreements, such as the one between Ethiopia and Eritrea," recalls Longue.
And, of course, every year the opening of the General Assembly brings heads of State and governments of UN member countries to New York.
For UN News staff, the high-level week of the general debate provides a rich harvest of news content and hard to get interviews with players on the world stage.
Reliable sources
Many pundits, drawing from the old 80s hit, "video killed the radio star," have falsely predicted the end of radio.
This has been proven wrong because millions around the world continue to rely heavily and primarily on radio as their primary source of information and education — be it via radio stations, Internet platforms or podcasts on the smartphone.
Radio has transformed into its digital avatar, and it has not only retained loyal listeners but also attracted newer and younger audiences.
"The idea that radio will soon die has been talked about for a long time — since the moment the television appeared, but I think that radio has no plan to die," Longué told us.
"Moreover, radio is still the most popular means of communication. It is available when other means of communication do not work. A vivid example of that is the earthquake in Haiti in 2010," he added.
Unparalleled reach
During the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, BBC Radio and other traditional soundwave-based stations were up and running well, serving as critical lifelines with remote communities cut off from the capital, long before other media formats could be accessed.
He further adds that radio serves as the best way to convey the voices of minorities and individual communities — because it does not require investment in any expensive equipment or the creation of a separate media stream online.
Vapnitchnaia believes that radio, unlike television or other media, creates a more intimate connection between the listener and the voices that come out on the radio.
"Unlike television, one doesn't normally listen to radio and podcasts with the whole family or in a company of friends. Radio is usually turned on in a car, or during a walk, or when exercising".
That may be why radio continues to be so influential, credible, durable, and always accessible.
Radio in the age of disinformation
The importance of radio as a reliable source of information has increased a lot in recent years, with the era of fast-spreading fake/false news, both in social media networks and via other media.
"We all have to fight this scourge. And, of course, thanks to the audio interviews and live broadcasts from the spot, radio, as a communication channel, provides more reliable and indisputable information," Longué believes.
Vapnitchnaia added that UN News follows very strict journalistic standards: objectivity, neutrality, impartiality, accuracy, and reliability.
These principles, together with the UN's position of neutrality and fairness, plus equality, have played an important role in the coverage of recent events, especially since the beginning of the pandemic, when fake and unverified information have flooded social media networks and other information platforms.
Straight news
"During the COVID-19 pandemic, we made a lot of our productions based on the WHO recommendations: those were not only dry numbers and statistics, but also, for example, recommendations for parents who were self-isolating with children on how to keep fit during quarantine; as well the dissemination of information about the first vaccines — especially reassuring information about how they were being developed and tested thoroughly.
"We really hope that those publications and productions helped in the fight against misinformation and were useful for our listeners," — the ex-chief of the Russian News Service said. "So, keep listening to UN News audio productions and broadcasts, via the airwaves, online platforms, and podcasts!" — UN News


Clic here to read the story from its source.