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(ANS – Rome) – Yesterday, 13 February, for the first time was World Radio Day. Suggested in 2008 by the Spanish Radio Academy, the day was approved last November by UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation). The Salesian Congregation observed this occasion explaining how radio is one of the media closest the world of youth capable of guiding, informing, involving and evangelising.
“Free independent and pluralistic radio is essential for healthy societies, it is vital for advancing human rights, and fundamental freedoms.” This is one of the points made in the message written for the occasion by the Director General of Unesco, Irina Bokova; she invites Governments to promote all the radio initiatives than can be of support in human development. It is in this spirit that the Salesians of Don Bosco, present in 132 countries in the world have set up in various countries radio station committed to defending those most vulnerable.
In many parts of the world the Salesians see the radio as one of the means that has enabled them to come into direct contact with communities, with this first form of accompaniment and as the best way for educating, informing and evangelising. It has been a rapid and practical mean of overcoming distances and making the message more effective.
For the Salesian Congregation – as described in the Salesian Social Communication System “We are radio institutions working with a Salesian style; we evangelise popular and youth culture, educating, guiding, informing and involving” (SSCS n. 90).
With regard to good practice it is suggested that: “(Salesian radio) promote culture, education and religion through ethical quality programming; prepare and train professional radio staff in the Salesian charism on a regular basis, to guarantee the quality of the message of evangelisation; engage in social justice and human rights with radio messages for the purpose; in all areas encourage networking with the Salesian Congregation and the Church” (cfr SSCS n. 93).
“Radio will always be a means of bridge-building between cultures, bringing the different age groups together and a form of education for the new generations” is the opinion of the Salesians of Radio Don Bosco in Madagascar.