February 13 marks World Radio Day. This day was proclaimed in 2011 by the Member States of UNESCO and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 as an International Day.

SABC National Radio Current affairs Editor, Angie Kapelianis, says diversity on radio is critical.

The theme this year is: “We are diversity” and UNESCO calling on radio stations to uphold diversity, both in their newsroom and on the airwaves.

Kapelianis, who has worked on radio for over 30 years, says if we do not have diversity on radio then we generally have like mindedness.

She says, “Like mindedness on some things, in some issues can be a good thing because you know you are steering in the right direction  and you are on the right track, but diversity challenges us. It begins to allow us to see the world differently because we can’t be everything. You come from a certain background with a certain experience. I come from another background with another experience and at some point there may be between us intersections.”

Kapelianis says she would like to see newsrooms and the people being interviewed more diversified.

“It’s not a question for example with interviews with more women than men, its women from different perspectives, men from different perspectives because I think that builds us. It helps us to better understand what’s going on in the world around us, but actually who we are and where we fit in that world. I’m all for diversity.”

A radio is a companion to the listener

Kapelianis says radio plays a huge role in society. “At the SABC, with SABC News and current affairs, we are on every single day, we have certain windows, our bulletins run from 5 o clock in the morning to midnight. We have windows during which we do currents affairs.”

Kapelianis says radio is a companion and a friend to the audience or the listener.