Who created World Television Day — and why?

In 1996, the United Nations designated November 21 as World Television Day, marking the date of the first-ever World Television Forum. The United Nations, headquartered in New York City, is an international organization with 193 member countries that work together on humanitarian and peacemaking efforts around the world.

A news anchor reports the news from a television studio

 

Though many people mainly think of TV as a source of entertainment, the purpose of the observation was to recognize the important role television has played in bringing information directly to people. Since the very first TV was invented in 1927, it has grown into a revolutionary tool for spreading knowledge about the world to everyday people, including political and social issues, current events and crises.

On their official World Television Day page, the U.N. states, “The interaction between emerging and traditional forms of broadcast creates a great opportunity to raise awareness about the important issues facing our communities and our planet.” In this light, television is a symbol of communication and informed decision-making. When you can see for yourself what is going on in your world through news, documentaries, and popular media, you can form opinions and take action.

A news reporter stands in front of the camera with a microphone

 

What do people do to observe World Television Day?

Every year, journalists and other members of the media promote and celebrate World Television Day, not only over broadcast television itself but through print media as well. Many schools raise awareness of TV’s important role in communication by hosting special talks and events.

Around the world, conferences in honor of this day also highlight the impact of television and continue to push for it to be available to everyone. They remind policy-makers and media moguls that access to TV is crucial for democracy and stability. Now, more than ever, the growing number of platforms and methods to access video content means even more ways that people can “tune in” to learn what is going on in the world around them.

A woman watches TV on her couch with a remote and mobile phone

 

What can you do to celebrate World Television Day?

  • Check out the U.N.’s approved list of news and media outlets, including their YouTube channel, UN WebTV, and UNifeed, which features up-to-date footage of breaking news and events from around the world related to programs and peacekeeping missions of the U.N.
  • Binge away for a day! But as you do so, reflect on the influence TV has on your life. When you spend time vegging out and binge-watching your favorite shows (within reason, we hope), think about the benefit in terms of stress relief.
  • Share with your kids or friends a moment you can remember witnessing or learning something important on television. Post your memory and invite others to share on social media #worldtelevisionday
  • Feed your mind by picking a highly-rated news source or a documentary film that you’ve never watched before. Learn something about what’s going on in another part of the world or in your own backyard.
  • Visit the CenturyLink TV page to find out more about the latest options in TV viewing, including streaming and over-the-top TV.

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Show us how you’re celebrating World Television Day on social media @CenturyLinkHome. We’d love to hear about your favorite shows, news programs, or the ways you stay aware and informed.

Jennifer Fossenbell enjoys the internet and enjoys writing about many things, including the internet. She lives in the Denver area with her children and spouse, who also enjoy the internet. She also enjoys traveling and eating around the world, making poetry and art, and standing in the forest. More at jenniferfossenbell.com.