I s s u e 4 4  -  F e b r u a r y , 2 0 0 3

Communication Centre Revitalized in Beira
RM and UNESCO sign Memo of Underst...
Media Managers Trained in Course ...
Media project moving on
Code of elections adopted
UNESCO strengthens newspapers...


New social and managing structures of the Sofala Media Operators Association {SOFAMA) were elected February 221n Beira culminating a long awaited and actively prepared general assembly of this central Mozambique's capital city based media practioners and managers group.

The elections were prepared with a view to pave the way for the revitalization of the Beira Communication Centre, an infrastructure established under SOFAMA with financial and organizational support from the Media Project in 2001. The objective of the centre is to provide technical support to the emerging local independent print media.

A long period of preparatory activities preceded the General Assembly, which approved a partial revision of the Association's statutes, through creating a much needed Fiscal Committee, with mandate to ensure the conformity of centre's operations with its mission, apart from monitoring its accounts.

Equipped with computers for the production of small publications, a photocopier machine and a duplicator, thee Communication Centre offers a large range of printing facilities to media professionals at affordable prices as well as to general public according to market prices, with the view to allow for their self sustainability.

The new managing bodies of CCB seek to prioritise the revitalization of the Internet services, making them accessible to all interested journalists, the local academic community and the general public. Seminars, workshops and other public events are also to be organized and held at the Centre's facilities, connected to the local National Journalists Union's branch headquarters. The European Union funded Italian NGO, ALISEI, has just joined the UNESCO Media Project in providing financial support to SOFAMA's Communication Centre.

While Mr. Adolfo Semente, a senior journalists from the daily paper "Diariode Mocambique" was elected Chaiffilan of the Board, Radio mozambique's senior editor Sauzande Jeque took over Mr Paulo Maduco as the new Chief Manager of the Communication Centre. In line with its revised statues, the SOFAMA's general assembly also elected UNESCO for the Fiscal Committee.

RM and UNESCO sign Memo of Understanding

In a festive event, organised by and at Radio Mozambique on February26, the National Public broadcaster (RM) and UNESCO signed a memorandum of Understanding, detailing the plans in the latest cooperation project between the two institutions: With an objective to strengthen the decentralised management in RMs ten provincial delegations, UNESCO and RM has agreed on an 18 months participatory strategic planning process, including coaching, training, internship and whatever else will be identified as necessary to arrive at the objective.

Media Managers Trained in a Course in Beira

15 managers from different media houses and radio stations had taken up the invitation from the UNESCO Media Project to be trained in the ins and outs of effective Media Management. While the first module took place in November 2002 in Maputo, the second module in this 2-module course on Media Management was held in Beira and Celebrated the completion of the ambitious programme of February 12.

Media Project Moving On

While awaiting the team invited by the UNDP to carry out the Midterm Review of the Media Projec’s phase II (March 24-April 4 ), the Project continues its intensive implementation. This includes for the coming months, among others the following main events.

• Formal hand-over of a UNDP funded study on transition of the School of Journalism, on March 13

• General Assembly of the Association behind the Communication Centre in Tete on March14.

• National Seminar for Journalists working with HIV/AIDS, Launch of the Women’s Component of project, National Seminar on sustainability systems for Community Radio, and Election coverage workshop for editors and journalists with a view to develop a code of ethics.

• Furthermore thematical workshops are carried out for editorial groups of the community radios in the following areas: Health, Agriculture, Children, Women, Education, Culture, & Sports, and – again : Election Coverage

Code of Elections for Community Radios Adopted

A ten point General code of Conduct for Community Radio to cover the forthcoming elections in Mozambique has been agreed on by the stations covered by the Community Radio Coordination Nucles, an informal network of about 35 local radio station sponsored or supported by the Institute for Social Communication (ICS), the Austrian North-South Institute (ANSI), the Catholic Church and the UNESCO Media Project

It is the aim of the ten-point Code of Conduct to ensure that the Community Radio “movement” in the Country contributes for the civic education of the electorate, abstaining itself from party politics, in line with the stations, main objective of playing a decisive role for the consolidation of peace and the strengthening of the citizenship awareness. The code is expected to be launched in a formal ceremony mid-March in Maputo, with the presence of the stations management committees and executive coordinators, as well as the state electoral organs, STAE and CNE, as well as representatives of political parties.

UNESCO Strengthens newspaper’s management

The Media Project is presently finalizing preparation to launch an wide ranging management capacitation operation, designed to help some selected four publications to strengthen their performance, both at the editorial, administrative and financial levels.

A preliminary needs assessment study, to establish the present panorama and trends concerning editorial management practices, financial and administration management and routines , as well as the distribution options of the selected newspapers has just been concluded, paving the way for the starting of a comprehensive on the site coaching operation. The final objective of the subproject is to ensure long term self-sustainability and editorial impact of the selected publications. To achieve this, strategic plans will be revisited, with the view to redefine and update each publication’s vision and individual added value in the country’s media landscape the selected publications include fax sheets and tabloid newspapers published in different provinces of the country.