I s s u e  5 5  -   J a n u a r y ,  2 0 0 4

Selected Newspapers take new breath
Community Multimedia Centres...
Funding for Women in Comm...
A new communication center ...
Towards a National Fórum of Co...

Selected Newspepars take new breath

Good practices in financial management, including transparency for all the company's staff; a coherent and systematically observed editorial line, whereby the news disseminated are independently researched and processed, as well as the availability and rational use of the necessary means of communication - here are the three main areas of concentration by the team of UNESCO consultants working for the institutional capacity building of five pre-selected newspapers throughout the country since April 2003.

With the view to provoke, introduce and consolidate in-depth changes both at the managerial and the content development levels, this process targets Demos and Vertical in Maputo, Faisca and Amanhecer in Niassa, and Wamphula Fax in the Nampula Province.

Indicators of an encouraging process of improvement, resulting from the intense multidimensional coaching that has been carried out by Afrisurvey, a consultancy company hired by the Media Project, includes, as for May-June 2003: an ever growing rate of sales revenue of up to 70% , the introduction of and strict compliance with effective administrative procedures and routines, as well as editorial style books to improve the content quality of the newspapers, some of which .with new, more attractive layouts.

With different and specific strengths and weaknesses, challenges and opportunities in their individual socio-economic contexts and realities, the five newspapers have now a decisive opportunity to cross the fragile line for survival, towards a more sustainable framework, through a process that includes the provision of technical support by the Media Project.

In line with this, the five selected newspapers will soon boost their technical capacity with the installation of new computers, some much needed software, -as well as a robust copy printer for common use by Faisca and Amanhecer in Lichinga.

In a mid-term evaluation session early February, the team of consultants and the Media Project could agree on the need for this process to be closely continued, towards a final evaluation seminar scheduled for April 2004.

Community Multimedia Centres Scaling Up

Mozambique has been selected as. one of three African Countries to be the pilot countries for the roll out of the so-called "Community Multimedia Centres" (CMC). A CMC is a community service center, combining a community radio and telecentre facility.

The Head of State,MrJoaquim Chissano, confinned Mozambique's readiness to enter the group of African especially selected pilot countries; in a festive ceremony during the WSIS in Geneva on December 10 last year.

A group comprising all important stakeholders is to plan and monitor the roll-out, with UNESCO working as central facilitator.

At the present time Mozambique has 3 CMCs in Manhica, Namaacha and Sussundenga. The country also has 40 active community radios and 7 telecenters, which could all add the missing component in order to complement the fuller community service and development functionality roomed in a CMC in the first roll-out phase.

Funding for Women in Community Radio

The network of women in community radio has received its first major funding this month from Hivos, an NGO committed to worldwide economic and cultural development. The support measuring €IO.OOO will be concentrated in the network's northern region.

The network was first conceived of in 200 I in order to ultimately increase the number and quality of women's programming in community radios. Its previous activities included seminars, a publicity campaign to gamer more volunteers, and a monthly bulletin that allowed radios to exchange ideas. The expansion of the Network's resources will help educate women on health, AIDS and illiteracy, while giving a voice will make it deeper part of community radios.

A new Communication Center for Nampula

Nampula is the next provincial capital to have a UNESCO Communication Centre to be managed by the local Media Operators Association (Assonami).

The Media Project signed an activities financing contract with Assonami recently and the process to Install the equipment is about to be concluded. Close to the Nampula branch of the country's Catholic University, students from this academic institution will also use the centre, specially the ones from the Communication Department.

Towards a National Fórum of Community Radio

Culminating two years of a hard working preparatory period, the Community Radio Coordinating Group, integrating the Institute for Social Communication, the Media Project and the Catholic Church, is now speeding up preparations for the holding of a constitutive conference of a National Forum of Community Radio in the forthcoming period.

The Group took the decision to convene the conference next April during a meeting in Chimoio, December 2003.The Forum is expected to cater for subjects of common interests for all the community radio stations in the country.