I s s u e  3 4   -  M o n t h , 2 0 0 2

Filling the air with adequate content
Strengthening Institutional Capacity
Getting Homoíne on track
TAG On Independent Print Press

Filling the air with adequate content

While the eight UNESCO partner community radios go on air one by one, the issue of ensuring adequate content becomes urgently relevant. The are of what music to put on your radio, and how, and why and for how long becomes important questions to ask. While music is not the only parameter for measuring a radio’s ’colour’, it is among the important ones to be aware of when establishing a new radio on air: When being a community radio, then: what kind of music do the listeners prefere and like? What music belongs to this community? How can we – the radio – through our choice of music strengthen the community identity of the station and celebrate the local tradition, history and culture?

To address some of these issues, the Media Project during the first week of May called the technician and the coordinator of the editorial group working with culture together in Chimoio to learn about and practice: ”Appreciation and Recording of Local Music”. Based in an initial analysis of the many cultures and their specificities in Mozambique, an overview of music in a global perspective, and an African perspective and focusing in on Mozambique and its traditions, the participants practised how to effectively record music outside with the use of a tape recorder, and also in the studio. After this exercise they worked on the many different ways in which such music can be used, including also basing sound-scapes and other sound effects on the local instruments, sounds and song.

This is the first of a series of topical seminars and workshops to take place during phase II of the project, in order to strengthen the background knowledge, the understanding and the capacity of the editorial groups in their different content areas. Other seminars foreseen will deal with agriculture, environment, health, HIV/AIDS, Women, and education.

Where the Media Project’s phase I worked to get activities up and running, phase II focuses on consolidation and longterm sustainability of these, including community radio stations and communication centres.

Strengthening Institutional Capacity
Being based in an oral tradition, UNESCO has found that most of our partner communities all over Mozambique have an excellent feeling for what it takes to produce effective programming in local languages. As, however, experience with getting organisational structures and everyday work routines in place has in many realities met with difficulties, the Media Project has carried out a series of short term consultancies to strengthen partners.
This process will culminate on May 1st when the project appoints a full time Community Radio Adviser for institutional development of the community radio stations. Mr.Faruco Sadique brings with him 20 years of experience in journalism, long experience with assessing training needs, planning training interventions and carry them out. On top of this Mr. Sadique has a 3-year degree in journalistic and media management on-the-job-training techniques from Germany.
Mr. Sadique will be based in Maputo, but will spend 2-4 week periods with the project’s eight community radio partners, who will all be on air within this year.

Getting Homoíne on track
During the months of March and April the
Homoíne Community Radio station has received such a capacitation, from the Media Project’s administrator, recruiting and training a new administrator for the station; from the coach of the Lago Community Radio in Metangula, providing overall organisational capacitation; and from the technician of the Chimoio Community Radio, training a group of technicians as well as all volunteer programmers in the station.
With the good results of this experience, we have tested one of the assumptions of the Community Radio Coordination Group, which has been to create a system of exchange of support between the stations, building upon a database of which stations have what kind of capacity available. The challenge now is to turn this good experience into a workable format, where we actually establish effective ways of cooperation and exchange.
The Coordination Group works to establish coordination and sustainability for all of the 31 community radio stations presently on air in Mozambique, including the state run stations (by the Social Communication Institute), the Catholic Community Oriented Broadcasters and the independent, association-based community stations.

TAG On Independent Print Press
The Media Project organized a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) meeting on support to the Independent Print Press on March 25 and April 22, to discuss how to effectively implement its activities in that area during the project’s phase II.
The participants discussed the experience so far with he impact of the first two experimental Communication Centres established in Beira and Tete, and what this means for the future development of additional centres. A consultant report pointed to the sore spots, and the advisory group recommended the project to carry out additional capacitation of the centres in Tete and Beira, after which the longterm potential should be discussed.
In terms of establishment of new centres, Lichinga and Nampula were proposed as suitable sites.

These recommendations will now be presented to the project’s tripartite structure for discussion and possible approval.
The meeting furthermore discussed the implementation of a management component for the independent print press. The participants pointed to a number of important aspects to consider, and it was agreed that the project carry out an assessment of the sector before reconvening the group for further decisions.

Media Development Project c/o UNESCO, P.O.Box 1397 Maputo, Mozambique
Tel. + 258.1. 498752/ 490840 Fax +258.1.498717
E-mail: unesco@mediamoz.co