This training workshop was organized for News Editors and News correspondents in the five radio stations in Zambia from 22 to 26 October 2012. Each of the five radio stations sent two correspondents and a news editor. A total of 15 participants from the five radio stations took part.
The objectives of the workshop were to:
- Establish correspondents’ network editorial production systems and to put into practice with them the skills acquired in the use of ICTs;
- Establish communication lines with correspondents, information sharing procedures, working modalities, code of ethics, community relations principles, monitoring remuneration and incentives for correspondents;
- Building trust and confidence among the local public.
All the participants were advised to ensure that when they return to their stations, they briefed their managements about what they had learnt. They were also advised to vigorously implement what they had learnt so that samples of their work could be reviewed during the second workshop.
To complete the training, a few field visits were carried out by participants as follows:
- News Correspondents going out in the field to gather news
- News Correspondents writing stories
- News Correspondents producing documentaries
- News Correspondent conducting interviews
- News Correspondents conducting live news reports
Three workshops were organized back-to-back to address the identified training needs within the project. Correspondents participated in all workshops. Whereas news editors were added in the workshops on: Choice of local correspondents and Workshop for news desks on work with correspondents’ network, including the use of ICTs. An overview was presented on each of the following topics: Administration, Editorial policies, Staff contracts, Story filling systems, Payment system
1. Choice of local correspondents:
The facilitator’s prepared lectures on recruiting, contracting, working modalities, remuneration incentives and other management approaches to engaging as well as retaining part-time and volunteer staff, as workshop teaching materials to engage news editors and news correspondents in order to build/strengthen local correspondents’ networks;
2. Workshop on the role of correspondents to feed local news, collect testimonies and make interviews
The workshop training materials included lecture notes on: Reporting skills, Reporting local news, interviewing techniques, Documentary reporting, Gathering of testimonies, Code of ethics, Information sharing procedures and report filing, Media law and self-regulation. The workshop also presented ideas for raising awareness on the importance of building trust and confidence among the local public such as, wearing ID cards and branded jackets for the radio station, communicating to interviewees about their right to protection, etc.
3. Workshop for news desks on work with correspondents’ network, including the use of ICTs
This workshop comprised of news correspondents and news editors as participants. The training employed lectures, group discussions, individual presentations by participants, practical use of Breeze FM newsroom with 7 computers and field visits to conduct short interviews and live news reports.
Feedback on work done by trained news correspondents:
Paul Phiri – Correspondent, BreezeFM
Paul reported that he firstly studied the geographical area for his catchment area. He then created contacts with the local leading personalities so that he can know his sources. He indicated that although he has been able to send stories to the radio station, he has faced the challenge of sending live reports because of poor telecommunication mobile network.
Mercy Maseko – Correspondent, BreezeFM
Mercy reported that she has managed to send a number of stories to the station and also managed to do live reports and covered a local by-election, which was one of her biggest assignments within that week.
Samuel Ndhlovu – Editor, BreezeFM
The editor confirmed the reports given by the two correspondents concerning their work. He also expressed satisfaction that Paul Phiri and Mercy Maseko were implementing what they had learnt as this was evidenced from their work.
Lazarous Sichula – Correspondent, Zambezi FM
After the training, Lazarous was able to firstly create a calendar of events to enable him cover a wide range of activities. He used the skills learned in the last workshop to sharpen his reporting of news reports. He has been able to send stories to Zambezi FM supported with actualities. He also has been able to make follow-ups on developing stories.
Victor Musonda – Editor, Zambezi FM
The editor confirmed the remarkable improvement on Lazarus’ work capabilities after attending the training.
Mwilima Lutangu Daisy – Correspondent, Radio Lyambai
Mwilima’s strength after the training is that she has been able to produce documentaries. She has produced documentaries on subjects such as Gender Based Violence and HIV and AIDS. She also has produced programmes on students and life style. She has improved on her reporting skills as evidenced by the number of stories she filled in. She has, however, faced challenges on sending live news reports because the station does not have equipment to facilitate voice recording from phones.
Mwikisa Mukuyema – Correspondent, Radio Lyambai
Mukuyema reported that he has improved on script writing skills. He has been able to write scripts and produce the weekly current affairs programmes. He has also improved his interview techniques and he is able to conduct higher profile interviews. Mukuyema has also been able to conduct live programmes (interviewed Chairperson of Judo)
Dennis Muyunda – Editor, Radio Lyambai
Mr. Muyunda attested to the reporting improvements of Mwilima and Mukuyema. He indicated that Mukuyema is now good at live reports while Mwilima’s documentaries were an indication that the training was good for the station staff. Mr. Muyunda hoped that such training would be extended to more staff as this would improve the general operations of the station. He however, indicated that the station had a serious shortage of recorders to help get sound bites.
Milton Musukwa – Correspondent, Iso FM
Milton now finds it easy to write news. He has been able to present his diary to his Editor and has been able to file in a number of stories. He now has the confidence to interview sources from within and outside his catchment area.
Abraham Musukwa – Correspondent, Iso FM
Abraham Musukwa reported that he has faced serious challenges to send stories to the station because of financial problem since the station does not give him money for airtime. He indicated that from the time he attended the training he had only managed to send three stories through the post office, which unfortunately never reached the News Editor.
Kumwenda Mirriam – Editor, Iso FM
Confirmed a remarkable improvement on Musukwa. She says he is now able to balance up the stories and able to diversify stories. The challenge is on the lack of recording equipment to enable the correspondents give detailed stories with actualities.
Pethias Sawa – Correspondent, Mkushi FM
Pethias has been able to send stories to the station and his writing has improved from the time he attended training. Unfortunately the station has no money to provide airtime to the correspondents to file stories using mobile phones.
Audrey Lwenga – Editor, Mkushi FM
Management is so far impressed with the achievement recorded by the two correspondents who attended the training. The station would like more of their staff to undergo similar training.