World Television Day is annually observed in many places around the world on November 21. The day recognizes that television plays a major role in presenting different issues that affect people.
On December 17, 1996, UN General Assembly proclaimed November 21 as World Television Day to commemorate the date on which the first World Television Forum was held earlier that year. The UN invited all member states to observe the day by encouraging global exchanges of television programs focusing, among other things, on issues such as peace, security, economic and social development and cultural change enhancements.
World Television Day is a day to renew governments’, organizations’ and individuals’ commitments to support the development of television media in providing unbiased information about important issues and events that affect society. News about World Television Day may be shared via print, online and audio-visual media.
Television and radio bloggers may write comments, editors may write in the editors’ columns, and writers, academicians and journalists may write feature articles about the meaning behind this event.
Educational institutions may mark World Television Day on their calendars and educators may use this day as an opportunity to invite guest speakers to discuss media and communication issues relating to television.
Discussion topics may include: how television promotes cultural diversity and a common understanding; the links between democracy and television; and the role of television in social, political and economic developments.
World Television Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.
The UN acknowledges that television can be used to educate many people about the world, its issues and real stories that happen on the planet. Television is one of the most influential forms of media for communication and information dissemination. It is used to broadcast freedom of expression and to increase cultural diversity. The UN realized that television played a major role in presenting global issues affecting people and this needed to be addressed.
In Afghanistan, television was first introduced in 1964, when a new organization called Radio Television Afghanistan (government-owned) founded a TV channel. After the completion of feasibility study under grant aid from Japan, construction work of the studio and transmitter buildings were finished by August 1978. During the 1980s, many Soviet programs were airing such as the children’s show.
From 1992 onwards television went into a steep decline as a result of the war in the city of Kabul, destroying infrastructure.
During the Taliban rule between 1996 and 2001, television was strictly banned. Stores were not allowed to sell TVs, satellite dishes, VCRs, or other similar technology entertainment devices. Anyone owning or watching TV was arrested and punished. The national television broadcaster was closed down, whilst private broadcasters’ buildings and studios were smashed by the regime’s police. It is worth mentioning that currently 95 TV channels are operating countrywide and according to media support agencies, TV is considered as the first power in the country. Freedom of speech and current TV broadcasts in Afghanistan are unprecedented comparing to other neighboring countries in the region.