In 2011, UNESCO proclaimed February 13 as World Radio Day. It is a celebration of radio as a powerful medium and its role in serving diverse communities of listeners worldwide and promoting their interests. To mark the occasion several partner radio stations held a debate on diversity and how it is reflected in their work. The debate was hosted by Radio Canada International and involved journalists from Swiss.info, Radio Poland, Radio Romania International and Radio Prague International.
Julian Horodyski from Polish Radio: We are trying to tackle the main problem that radio is facing these days which is a terrible decline in the young audience. Generation Z has abandoned radio –they mainly entertain themselves on digital services. So we are trying to re-invent ourselves from radio in the traditional sense to doing more podcasts and various activities on Twitter and Facebook in order to reach young audiences as well.
Jo Fahy from Swissinfo: Here at Swissinfo we’ve taken a lot of steps recently to try and have inclusive language in the articles that we write. Last year we introduced guidelines on using gender neutral terms and guidelines on how we write and how we address comments that come from users on our website or on our social media platforms to make sure that discriminatory comments or offensive language aren’t allowed on any of our platforms.
Daniela Lazarova from Radio Prague International: There are certain issues that are important in reflecting diversity particularly for this country because for forty years the communist regime supressed multiculturalism. So we talk a lot about Czechs’ attitude to foreigners, we have just launched a series giving a voice to foreigners living in the Czech Republic, we are about to launch a series on the 100th anniversary of Czech women getting voting rights, to talk about why Czech women still make on average 20 percent less than men, why there are relatively few female politicians and why the "Me Too" campaign is not resonating in the Czech Republic.
Marc Montgomery from Radio Canada International: Toronto is possibly the most diverse city in the world –in terms both of ethnicity, language, religion and so on. So we are dealing with a very diverse country and a very diverse society and we try to reflect that in our broadcasts and the people we interview.
Calin Cotoiu from Radio Romania International: I think that for some reason Romania has been spared this wave of xenophobia and right-wing nationalism which probably should have been here but has not occurred. So Romania is apparently homogenous, but once you scratch the surface you realize there is pretty big diversity down there.
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