I s s u e  5 2  -   O c t o b e r ,  2 0 0 3

Boosting community radio's technical...
Media women trained on the ICT
Creative programming courses
Journalists Discuss Elections...
And approve code of conduct

Boosting community radio's technical capacity

The Community Radio in Metangula is back on air after a couple of months of silence due to a lightning strike early this year that caused severe damages to its electrical system. The transmissions could re-start after a complete repair, upgrade and installation of equipment, including a new diesel generator, in an operation carried out by Globecom mid October in this rural, municipal town, along Lake Niassa.

This operation culminated a countrywide three-week round trip during which the south African equipment supplying company visited the UNESCO partner community radio stations for preventive maintenance, breakdowns repair, equipment upgrade and installation and spare parts supply to "Voz Coop", Arco in Homoine, Dondo in Sofala, Chimoio in Manica, Milange in Zambezia and Metangula in Niassa. The huge periodical technical operation also served as a training opportunity for the local technicians working at routinely maintenance operations level.

The present maintenance service activity is part of a global technical sustainability strategy designed by the UNESCO Media Project, which also includes an equipment upgrade package and a spares storage system, that's manageable and sustainable beyond the Project's lifetime.

In an unprecedented operation during the last couple of months, teams of high level technicians carried out a global registration of the status of equipment and technological lines of the existing community radios in the country, with the view to facilitate co-coordinated maintenance and repair operations, within the framework of National Community Radios Co-ordination Group.

The informal community radio forum is composed of three main "sectors", including the UNESCO radio partners, the Institute for Social Communication

(ICS) and the Catholic Church. Its is the intention to boost technical sustainability of the stations, in a context of permanently scarce technical and human resources, that are adequately trained.

It is expected that by the end of November a new member joins the community radio "family" in Mozambique, with the installation of equipment in Vila Manica, for the Macequece Community Radio station in this municipal town, close to the border with Zimbabwe, in the Manica Province.

Media Women Trained on the ICT

A group of African Women from Mozambique, Tanzania, South Africa, Somalia and Kenya gathered in Nairobi early October in a workshop on the use of Information and Communication Technologies in community media in the continent.

The African chapter of the World Association of Community Radio AMARC Africa - organized the event, which aimed at providing African community media women skills on the use of informatics packages, from word to Internet, for radio programme production.

Celina Henriques, our Community Radio adviser, took part in the workshop representing the Media Project.

Creative Programming Courses

Radio, be it community or commercial; is - we all now - about communication and sharing, But it is also about entertaining. Or, to use using a modern concept on development communication, is about edutainment altogether. It means that, just because your programme is about education -you do not need to be a boring broadcaster - be it on primary health care, agriculture and rural extension or water supply, you do not need to be so boring: be creative! Find and work with particular cases, focusing on situations that are familiar to your audience, with familiar names, with human touch and.. . why not? Some humor? Because there are many people who think that talking. on community issues is synonymous with sadness, suffering and conflict. For two weeks, radio producers from the central and northern provinces of the country are gathering in Chimoio and Nampula to improve their skills on creative programming. This is a joint initiative of the UNESCO Media Project and the Institute for Social Communication ,ICS.

Journalists Discuss Elections...

More than 50 professional journalists participated in two regional forums organized in Beira and Nampula with the purpose of exposing them to the relevant forthcoming municipal elections legislation packages and agree on strategies to share their scarce resources while keeping diversity and editorial independence among themselves. Through a special Media Fund for Elections, the Southern Africa Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC) is also helping a number of media houses to cover municipal elections, through providing them funds for transport, accommodation and communications to their reporters. This is to allow for a more editorial independence of the small media houses, which tend to depend on transport and accommodation provided by the competing Political Parties and candidates, a practice with strong ethical consequences.

...AND Approved Code of Conduct

The Northern and Central Forums meeting in Nampula and Beira respectively also extensively discussed the Cod of Conduct initially approved during two national editors' workshops in Maputo in June and August. The selfdefined Code of Conduct is specific for elections coverage, and underlines the main ethical principals in journalism: independence, impartiality, commitment with the truth and strict observation of the relevant electoral legislation.