First phase (2012-2014)

From 4th to 6th December 2013, UNESCO organized a workshop in Lusaka, Zambia, which provided hands-on training for 14 reporters (7 were women) representing 10 local radios. The goal of the workshop was to move the stations into a digital mindset and to expose them to the tools available online that would help to advance them without substantial cost.

Local Radio

Breeze FM

FM 89.3

Radio Lyambai

101.3 FM

Mkushi Radio

92.7 FM

Zambezi FM

107.7 FM

Participants and trainer during the workshop in Zambia
Participants and trainer during the workshop in Zambia
Participants and trainer during the workshop in Zambia
Participants and trainer during the workshop in Zambia
The new look of Radio Lyambai's Facebook page created during the workshop

All the 5 stations under the project "Empowering Local Radios with ICTs" within the country and another 5 invited (Mphangwe FM, Kasempa Radio, Itezhitezhi FM, Petauke Explorers FM and Zambia Daily Mail) were trained. The training was conducted by Mr. Travis Bussiahn and covered aspects such as the management of daily contacts using ICTs for increased plurality of sources and perspectives; mobile-friendly content production and use of related broadcasting software; as well as the use of mobiles by correspondents for interviewing and reporting. The workshop target to enhance their capacities mainly on the following topics:

1. Google’s suite of products;

2. Social media including Facebook and Twitter;

3. Radio production and creative idea generation techniques;

4. Gathering data from the audience to learn more.

After the training, each station had Google accounts and access to Google’s full suite of cloud products. The knowledge to use these tools permits them to have a proper and safe management of their contacts. The local radios can also start Youtube channels and have 15GB of storage on Google Drive, where they can share content and documents. This means instant uploading and sharing of content gathered in the field. A workshop Google Drive folder was also created and some resources were uploaded for all teams to share related materials after the training.

The workshop also ran a series of creative exercises where each station role played their average listeners and presented them to each other. Furthermore, there were a series of data gathering exercises around using SMS to discover more about listeners in order to better tune programme content. In addition to this, the workshop made the radio stations' Facebook presence look more attractive by adding graphics to the page banners. The Facebook page for Radio Lyambai was completely redone and received a friend within 30 minutes after its new look. All the stations were trained to really dive into Facebook and Twitter as tools for learning more about their listeners and to have conversations with them.

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Community media, including local radio, should be supported from several angles: strenghtened skills and capacity-building, reinforced network and knowledge sharing, promotion of favorable legislative environment for sustainable growth. UNESCO is supporting community media practically by training professionals, but is also working with duty-bearers to ensure progress at policy-level.