Community Radios' life ...
A code of conduct
also for the ...
Management Committees met
COMMUNITY RADIOS' LIFE BEYOND JUNE 2004
June 2004 will be the last month of the three years Media Project's
Phase II. It means,in other terms, that we only have little more than a
year left, to Pave the, way for sound, long-term sustainability
strategies for our eight community radio partners,'from Metangula to
Boane, and from Milange to Dondo.
Technical and financial sustainability will always remain as the most
critical challenges for the continuity of the community radio stations
beyond ,the Media Project's' lifetime, in a context of a continuously
difficult national socio-economic environment; worsened by successive
natural disasters, especially droughts in/the South and cyclones in the
North of the country, over the last couple of years.
Adding to this, the lack of technically well prepared human resources in
the small Rural towns where, the stations have been installed should
also be taken into account, when it comes to the need for the
establishment of sound radio management strategies and systems.
At the "super technicians" workshop and the preventive maintenance
course, both held in Maputo last January, it was noted that a
maintenance strategy was crucial for the technical sustainability of the
community radio stations
In line with this, a wide ranging sustainable technical infrastructure
for the eight UNESCO assisted community radio stations is presentily at
the discussions table between our project and Globecom, the South
African company that installed our eight partner radio station. The
package includes three strategies, namely: a maintenance service plan,
an equipment upgrade package and a technical stores depot based in the
country. It is the aim of this technical sustainability overall plan,
not only to address the ongoing maintenance and repair of equipment, but
also to focus on technician training, technological and human resource
assessments and upgrade possibilities for the studios.
Parallel to this, and at the policy level, discussions were held in
Maputo March 12, between UNESCO and Management Committees of the radio
stations, and again focused on strategic planning in general, expenses
reduction and fundraising strategies. The key expression is, more and
more “planning for sustainability beyond June 2004”.
Group Endorses Initiatives for electins
During its last meeting late February, the UNDP coordinated donor’s
Media Working Group, endorsed a number of separate project proposals
conceived to help the media to better cover the forthcoming municipal
elections this year, and parliamentary and presidential scrutiny in
One of the endorsed projects-with two components-was submitted by the
Southern Africa Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC), and it
foresees the organization of regional Media Democracy Forums and
National Elections Coverage Fund for media practitioners at national
level, as well as Municipal Elections Coverage and Training Courses for
community radio and rural television stations editorial staff.
code of Conduct also for the National Media
One other initiative also endorsed by the Media Working Group deals with
the sensitive question of deontology and journalism ethics, especially
during the Elections process. Jointly prepared by the Information Office
of University “Eduardo Mondlane” and the Media Project, this sub project
aims at calling editors and media managers together to agree on a Code
of Conduct, especially – but not only – for the forthcoming elections,
thus strengthening the media professionals preparedness to appropriately
cover these process, with adequate ethical and professional standard
levels. This expected to happen in a two – day workshop scheduled for
early July in Maputo
The dono’rs Media Working group warmly welcomed these initiatives and
pledged support for all of them.
Committees met in Maputo
The presidents of the management committees and the coordinators of all
the eight UNESCO community Radio partners gathered in Maputo on 12 and
13 March, in a meeting to discuss plans for the future, focusing
especially on strategies to ensure long term financial sustainability of
the stations. The managing structures of the radio stations were given a
global overview of each one’s financial situation and trends, with the
view to help them better understand the challenges ahead, always bearing
in mind June 2004 as the last month of the Project’s foreseen lifetime.
Measures to strengthen the stations fundraising capacity and expense
reduction were discussed, and this includes the establishment of fixed,
unchangeable and unmovable budget limits for the different items making
the monthly running costs of each radio. The decision for the Community
Radios, not to use the still very low amounts of money locally raised-
Through selling “listener to listener” radio messages and other public
announcements was again underlined, so as to allow for the establishment
of small savings band accounts for each radio station. The management
Committees were also urged to rapidly conclude the strategic plans
initially presented and commented on during the Community Radio Festival
held in Chimoio last November. So far, only Metangula, Milange Dondo,
and Homoine have already sent their strategic plans to the Media Project,
seeking support for their operationalisation.
Higher Communication Institute in Maputo
On March 13, the UNESCO Representative in Maputo, Mr. Lupwishi
Mbuyamba, headed the official handing over of the study to reform the
School of Journalism in Maputo, with its transformation into a Higher
polytechnic Communication Institute. The study, sponsored by the Media
Project, and funded by the UNDP, was handed over to the Director of the
Information Cabinet, Mr. Felisberto Tinga. Present at solemn ceremony at
UNESCO’s Office in Maputo were representatives from the Ministries of
Education and Higher Education and Technology, as well as the Secretart
General, Mr. Januario Mutaquia, the Director of the School, Mr. Américo
Xavier the Study’s chief Consultant, Mr. Mouzinho Mario.