Information needs in provinces often differ from those in the capital, and UNESCO has been working in Cambodia to empower provincial radio stations to provide their communities with regional, engaging stories in local languages.
This has been through a project developed with the Cambodian Communication Institute (CCI) and the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC). In mid-February, 14 reporters from seven provinces gathered for a one-week training course on the conceptual and technical aspects of community-based radio feature production, followed by three weeks devoted to in-field training sessions.
Once these were complete, each trainee has produced various feature stories. According to Mr. Ratana Som of the CCI, participants “showed great interest in the training and actual practice and expressed their eagerness to acquire more new knowledge and skills to upgrade their daily practices. Many have, to some extent, put what they learned from the course into ongoing practices as they understand the importance of a good community-based radio piece.”
With story topics ranging from the increase of fishery crimes in one commune to the lack of preschool facilities in another community, the training led to specific and relevant content being disseminated.
“Besides receiving locally relevant information in a timelier manner, local people have been active stakeholders (producers) of a radio programme,” said Mr. Som in regard to the project.
He added: “The equipment support from UNESCO has been indispensable for the actual practices during the training period and for our trainees to carry on the mission to produce community-based radio programs beyond the project period,” he said. Deemed a “successful” project by the CCI, the effects reinforce radio as a crucial means of reaching a vast portion of Cambodia’s population.