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World Radio Day 2022: TWR ‘tenacious’ about trust

By John Lundy
Benin, Turkey, Global, radio, Thru the Bible, W&C Africa

A group of men gather with radios in the African nation of Malawi in this 2019 photo. Globally, radio remains the most widely consumed medium, according to UNESCO. TWR, also known as Trans World Radio, uses radio to reach more than 190 countries. Photo by TWR missionary Kelly Gilbert.

As people get information from more sources than ever, radio is still among the most trusted, according to the results of a recent survey.

That underscores the theme of World Radio Day 2022, “Radio and Trust,” and highlights a hallmark of TWR, also known as Trans World Radio.

“Broadcasting in over 300 languages has its challenges,” said Jon Fugler, TWR’s chief content officer. “TWR is tenacious in accurately translating content, so it is true to the speaker’s original language and intent. This is especially important with Bible teaching. Our creation process is highly detailed from translating to writing to production.”

UNESCO in 2012 established Feb. 13 as the annual observance of World Radio Day. In announcing this year’s theme, organizers noted that “in order to keep or raise listeners’ trust, journalism must continue to be based on verifiable information.”

A study released in December by consumer research agency MRI-Simmons found that 64% of adults in the U.S. find radio to be either “trustworthy” or “very trustworthy.” That’s 1 percentage point behind newspapers, but ahead of network and cable TV, internet and computer, magazines, and mobile internet. Social media lagged, with 26% finding it “trustworthy” or “very trustworthy” in the survey, which was conducted last summer.

As the world’s farthest-reaching Christian media organization, TWR strives to provide reliable biblical content to its radio listeners and on its online and video services. Listeners say they count on that.

“When I was listening to your program, I had the feeling of trust in my heart,” wrote a 25-year-old woman in Turkey who listens to the Turkish-language version of Thru the Bible via TWR. “A voice was saying that I can trust your words. I started to listen regularly, and my life changed.”

The same program in the Fongbe language helped a listener in Benin (West Africa) clear up some confusion, the individual wrote via social media.

“What I really like with the Thru the Bible Fongbe program is the ability of the host to spread the truth through sound doctrine with a careful study of biblical passages,” the listener wrote. “It reassures me that I am on the right way.”

Heard in more than 190 countries with a potential listening audience of more than 4 billion people, TWR takes great care to offer sound doctrine both in its recorded programs and when it airs live.

“In our live broadcasts, show prep is critical,” Fugler said. “Our on-air personalities and their teams spend research time ahead of their shows. This leads to trustworthy broadcasts and stronger relationships with our listeners.”

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