According to the UN, an estimated 44,000 radio stations broadcast to at least five billion people, representing 70 percent of the population worldwide.
While digital technology dominates the modern means of transmitting information, UNESCO said on Saturday that radio remains the primary source of information for most people in the world.
“Radio still remains the medium that reaches the widest audience worldwide, in the quickest possible time,” the UNESCO statement said.
“Radio is a platform that allows people to interact, despite different educational levels, so somebody may be illiterate but still be able to call in a show to give a testimony and participate in radio”
“This is not the same if the person wants to read a newspaper.”
In developing countries, an estimated 75 percent of households have access to a radio, making it an essential and reliable part of disaster and emergency response, UNESCO said.
The arrival of mobile phones has changed the consumption habits of millions, but many come with built-in radio chips and this has helped keep the radio industry effective, more than 120 years after the first radio broadcast.
For almost 100 years, the radio has been available in homes and workplaces around the world. The invention of portable radio in 1947 made it even more popular.