Radio is an essential part of maintenance and transition to peace – Min McCoy
– Guyana joins in observing World Radio Day 2023
The Government of Guyana remains committed to the continued support to radio in recognition of its importance to peace both locally and internationally.
Today is World Radio Day and to highlight these efforts, Guyana joins the rest of the world in its observance under the theme “Radio and Peace”.
Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy in his message noted that despite being over 100 years old, radio is one of the oldest and most popular ways to exchange information, provide social interchange, and educate people all over the world.
He pointed out that successive People’s Progressive Party/ Civic Administrations have exhibited a “long legacy and a proud history of protecting and preserving freedom of expression in all its forms.”
“The proliferation of radio in 2013 and its diverse content is no exception. The fundamental position of the Dr. Irfaan Ali-led Administration continues to be to champion freedom of the press and expression and has accorded it the highest priority in the legal framework set out by the Broadcasting Act of 2011,” he stated.
Technological advancements, the minister underscored, have stimulated new innovative ways for mass communication; however, he noted that radio remains the most significant medium of communication as it is the most widely consumed.
In keeping with this year’s theme, the public affairs minister noted that, “Radio can indeed fuel conflict but in reality, professional radio moderate conflict and/or tensions, preventing their escalation or bringing about reconciliation and reconstruction talks. In contexts of distant or immediate tension, relevant programmes and independent news reporting provide the foundation for sustainable democracy and good governance by gathering evidence about what is happening, informing citizens about it in impartial and fact-based terms, explaining what is at stake and brokering dialogue among different groups in society.”
While applauding all stakeholders, he called on them to recommit to radio being an important player and an essential part of maintenance and transition to peace.
Minister McCoy said it must continue to be part of its agenda-setting function and provision of essential services to bring forward issues of concern, feature matters that deem attention from authorities and citizens, and give them salience.
In Guyana, radio has played a significant role in providing access to information to the public. The government and non-governmental organisations have been using radio as a tool to disseminate information to reach remote and rural communities where access to other forms of media is limited.
The government has supported the establishment of community radio stations to serve the needs of rural and remote communities. These radio stations provide local programmes that are relevant to the community and keep residents abreast with developments in the country.
Radio stations in Guyana offer educational programming that is aimed at increasing literacy levels and improving educational outcomes. These programmes cover subjects such as mathematics, science, and language arts and are designed for students of all ages.
The Education Ministry’s National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD), EdYou FM (99.7 FM) was launched as part of government’s efforts to address the learning loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and also help in bridging the gap between coastland and hinterland.
Health and agricultural programming and emergency broadcasts are also available locally via radio. Overall, radio has been an effective means of providing access to information to citizens.