Sign Off: World Radio Day
Feb. 13 was World Radio Day, as proclaimed by UNESCO in 2010 and endorsed by the United Nations. The day was prompted by a request from the Spanish Radio Academy. The date was chosen to honor the founding of United Nations Radio, which was established on Feb. 13, 1946. The day is intended to celebrate radio as a medium, to improve international cooperation between broadcasters, and to encourage major networks and community radio alike to promote access to information and freedom of expression over the airwaves. World Radio Day is recognized by various countries with activities in partnership with regional, national and international broadcasters, non-governmental organizations, the media and the public.
As part of its recognition of World Radio Day, the United Nations Postal Administration has issued a set of stamps that feature photos from the radio service's past. The service's first makeshift studios and offices were in the United Nations headquarters in Lake Success, NY, where it transmitted its first call sign: "This is the United Nations calling the peoples of the world."
Today, UN Radio produces content that includes weekly and daily radio programs, news spots, features, interviews, sound bites and raw audio for more than 600 outlets around the world. In addition to programming in the six official languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish), news and features are produced in Kiswahili and Portuguese, and weekly programs are adapted into Bangla, Hindi, Indonesian and Urdu.
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