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Pakistan celebrates World Radio Day with focus on sports

Vice President Pakistan Olympic Association and former Sports Minister Syed Aqil Shah, Program Manager Radio Pakistan Peshawar Zahir Shah Afridi and Secretary General AIPS ASIA Amjad Aziz Malik during a function to mark World Radio Day in Peshawar on Tuesday, February 2018. (Photo by Ijaz Ahmad)
by Ijaz Ahmad, AIPS Asia

PESHAWAR, February 14, 2018 - Pakistan marked World Radio Day on Tuesday with a long ceremony dedicated to radio and sports in collaboration with the Association of International Press Sports (AIPS ASIA) and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) at the Media Center Qayyum Sports Complex Peshawar.

The Vice President Pakistan Olympic Association and former Sports Minister Syed Aqil Shah, Program Manager Radio Pakistan Peshawar Zahir Shah Afridi, Secretary General AIPS ASIA Amjad Aziz Malik, former Pakistan football team skipper Basit Kamal, Senior Producers of Radio Pakistan, President Sports Writers Association KP Jehanzeb Siddique, members of the sports writers association, office-bearers of the associations attended.

This year’s World Radio Day, in its 7th edition, had ‘Radio and Sports’ as theme. The UNESCO called on all radio stations around the world to showcase the beauty of sports in all of its diversity. "Let's celebrate the traditional sports that connect us to our cultural heritage, the grassroots sports that anchor within our communities, and the inspiring stories that challenge gender stereotypes and covers, equally, both men's and women's sports events," the UN agency said.

The theme was diversity and equality in ‘Radio and Sports’, said Mr. Amjad Aziz Malik. He stressed the key role radio had played in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s by highlighting the good image of Pakistan in the world of sports. He disclosed that on January 14, 2013 the United Nations General Assembly formally endorsed UNESCO’s World Radio Day, announcing February 13, (the day United Nations Radio was established in 1946) as World Radio Day.

World Radio Day 2018 focused on the interplay between radio and sports, and its impacts on bridging divides, gender equality and diversity, he added. He said the UNESCO initiative aims to improve global cooperation between broadcasters, promote freedom of expression and diversity in sports coverage, and encourages people to reconnect with their cultural heritage.

Malik continued that this seventh edition of World Radio Day focused on three sub-themes: diversity in sports coverage highlights the ways in which radio can promote diversity through coverage of traditional and grassroots games - rather than focusing on a handful of elite games and teams - which enables people to reconnect with their cultural heritage and identities.

The theme, he said, also raises issues around opportunities for women as sports broadcasters. Women make up just 12%, according to the UNESCO-supported Global Media Monitoring Project, of broadcasting personnel. Amjad Aziz Malik, who also ran a program Sports Magazine for 16-years on Radio Pakistan Peshawar, said that the third theme, Peace and Development through Sports coverage, puts emphasis on the ways sports coverage can promote peace and development initiatives, as well as solidarity and tolerance.

Syed Aqil Shah highlighted that World Radio Day invites all radio stations, regulatory bodies and related organizations to "celebrate radio and its contribution to democratic debate through information, entertainment and audience interaction and that is why AIPS along with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) decided to celebrate the day to get aware the general public about the importance of radio.”

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