From 19th to 21st December 2013, UNESCO organized workshops on the role of correspondents for the four radio stations in the DRC participating in the project "Empowering local radios with ICTs". Almost 60 radio correspondents and staff, 15 from each station, were trained during this period.
To conduct these formations, UNESCO delegated the teaching coordination to the Institute for the Support and Promotion of Governance in the DRC (IPGC, in French) headed by Prof. Dr. Aimé Kayembe, expert consultant in Communication and professor of Information and Communication Sciences. For the workshops at the radio stations Kimvuka na Lutondo and Télé Deo Gratias, the Institute was represented by Prof. Dr. Emmanuel Kabongo and the assistants Faustin Fwasa Tombisa and Mwepu Ilunga.
Several topics of the activity of journalism were discussed during these workshops, such as: techniques of information collection, reporting, conducting interviews and interacting with radios. It was also provided information about the fundaments of the law on the exercise of press freedom in the DRC, about the regulation and self-regulation and about professional and ethical standards in journalism. And this training also aimed to enhance the correspondent’s knowledge about the three issues of local concern in their communities and about the interactions by mobile phone with the radios’ newsrooms.
During these workshops, each correspondent has mapped his/her coverage area indicating exhaustively the community’s problems and also identifying contacts of people available to address these concerns at the local level. After training, local correspondents reached over practice to write short texts incorporating issues of local concern and fundaments of journalism, being able to enhance the level of the proximity information .
Regarding the collection of local information and the achievement of reports and interviews, local correspondents have acquired a perfect mastery of these two major and indispensable journalistic genres for their work, thanks to numerous practical exercises conducted during the workshops.
About the use of mobile phones to communicate with editors, local correspondents and editorial staff have acquired skills in four ways of transmitting information to the editors by mobile phone. The correspondents could practice this task by phone calls, sending SMS, mobile internet involving the sending email and message on the Facebook profile of their respective radios.
Local radio stations have committed to organize upgrade sessions where the correspondents can create their email address and a Facebook profile in order to diversify the ways of transmitting information to the newsroom. Community Radio Moanda, for its part, is committed to provide its correspondents ten mobile phones with mobile internet device.