Using Radio to Empower and Engage Communities

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Who are we speaking with - audience analysis and impact

Dear Sharon,


It is very true and powerful what you say above, about the importance of having your audience, your listener in mind, when producing a radio programme and speaking on air. As mentioned elsewhere, the radios I have worked in and with - from my native Denmark where I began over a later number community radio stations in African and Asian countries, we have always found it important in community radio that it is not someone speaking to a community, but rather community members speaking to other community members from within. Then the 'tone' and content and understanding of the level of information among the listeners match. It is there more or less automatically. And the identification among the listeners is there immediately as well. This is one of the real powers of community radio - as compared to other kinds of radio - no matter where you are.

documentation

For sure documentation and storing such interviews can work in audio, but I would also recommend that you use video as well because of the ability to show individuals and locations and other images. In Egypt we have heard of  the first ever police brutality case taken against a policeman who was captured torturing a citizen. The video was done by a colleague and was passed from one policeman to another as a joke until it got to a blogger. In Jordan we had a citizen film a video of police brutality using a cell phone and we broadcast the sound on radio and posted the video on line. We then called the police spokesman and they HAD to react to the case because of the posted video online.

radio as tool for documentation

Hi there,

I'm glad to see the discussion that's begun around using radio to document. I'm entering into the conversation (rather belatedly!) here, because this is what Outer Voices  does. Outer Voices began our work specifically to document voices of women who are leaders, as a way to broadcast their examples of leadership to people in other parts of the world who could benefit from their examples. Radio has been a great documentation tool for us in doing so, and the broadcast of these documentaries has been far beyond our greatest expectations.  

I shifted into media work as an outgrowth of my work as an activist, trying to see if I could better frame our stories to reach beyond the usual audience of listeners. I was just as intent on making certain that we didn't rely on sensationalism to bring attention to the stories we were telling. This was important to me for a couple of reasons, but for the most part because I  wanted to impart to the listeners the sense of normalcy of the ideas and values that the women we were documenting held. 

I bring this up not just as an introduction to our work, but also as an introduction to a cautionary tale, that I think is well considered by all the practitioners participating in this discussion, but bears mentioning again. How we are documenting, what response we want to initiate from the listeners, and in the end the path of social change we are suggesting is very much in our hands as media makers. If we create media about extreme situations that shocks listeners into action, we must also be very careful to hold a long term strategy for how we want the listeners to respond - what we want them to do as a result of hearing our work, whether it be fast breaking news or a deeper issue-based documentary. Yes, we want them to hear "our side" - to come to terms with the world's inequities, to take political and social action to create change. But as activists and media-makers, we have a huge responsibility to follow the ball all the way through to the net, (to use a basketball metaphor). Before we publish images of tragedy, for example, we should think through what we hope the ultimate response we hope to issue. We must consider what tools our target audience has to create change, and most importantly, what happens if we succeed in reshaping the outcome. Do we want to solicit funds for the human rights defenders? If so, then straight up sensationalism is a proven tactic. But in the long run, what is the larger picture of social change that's being addressed by this simple first aid tactic? Is any long term dialog initiated between the "victims" and "oppressors" as a result of our documentation? Are we in fact continuing to contribute to the oppression that we're working so hard to overcome by continuing to perpetuate this duality of "victim and oppressor"? It most definitely can be an effective way to solicit funds to support "our side", by playing on people's sympathy, and much of the international aid is designed to function as a response to oppression in this way. But in my mind we must work to avoid the danger of falling into the trap of perpetuating inequity by soliciting support for its solution. 

Issues of privacy and documentation

The issues you raise here are so important, along with the issues of privacy. I recall our online dialogue regarding video advocacy and want to also raise the issue of privacy in relation to the use of radio.

What might be the unique issues related to this media of communication?

In the advocacy dialogue, Sam Gregory, Program Director, WITNESS  shared the following important imformation regarding the use of video in his comment on Privacy issues around video and the internet:

One option for sharing video with a select group of people is to use a tool like Flixwagon  (for adhoc video shot on a cellphone) or Blip.TV  (which in its Pro account settings allows you to have a private or hidden video). I'd caution however that with digital media it's incredibly easy for video to leak (there are plenty of tools online to download videos from sharing sites), and there's no way to reverse that. That's part of the reason we encourage a 'worst-case scenario' model of informed consent since you have to assume that once digital media is out there it could circulate and be seen by anyone, including your worst enemy.

On the broader question of privacy online with video it basically relates to i) people uploading ii) people filmed. On the Hub we tell users if they are in a high-risk country for surveillance, have tips on protecting privacy of uploaders including using anonymizing tools, clearing history, and making sure to use a dedicated email addresss. On our end, we don't keep IP addresses, so we can't be sub-poena'd to reveal the identity of people uploading (which has been an issue with other video sharing sites).

In terms of protecting people filmed I think the issues on the internet are the same as with distribution of the video offline - make sure to ensure that people filmed understand the risks and the benefits and make an informed choice, and offer them opportunities to disguise their identity, voice or appearance. We have a free downloadable chapter on safety and security in our Video for Change book - also available in Russian, French, Spanish and Arabic at www.witness.org/videoforchange.

Are there privacy issues that are important and relevant for people to consider in relation to using radio?

Privacy Issues to consider

Thank you very much for raising the privacy issue.


I would like to share how I have handled privacy issues.



  1. Just like WITNESS, we make sure that clients understand the risks and benefits involved. Risks may include being followed by security agents. We have had incidences where security just listened to audio and were able to put a face to a voice. The lawyer usually takes on the role this role including talking about "sub judice issues". A client was once referred to me because he wanted to go to the press with his story about torture. I learned that his case was already pending before the Uganda Human Rights Commission tribunal. I took him through the risks and benefits involved and then sent him to our lawyer for second opinion. In the end, he chose to wait for the tribunal to conclude its investigations into his torture case. In another incident, a BBC reporter did a feature story on some clients. Before the arrival of the journalist, I took the clients through a pre-briefing on what/what not to say for protection purposes. When the feature was aired at Bush House, London, the Management were so happy with the story that it was run again. The feature was 5-7 minutes long.

  2. Consent. We do not use any client information in the media without signing a consent form. This is also to protect ourselves in case the client says otherwise. Not all our clients are law abiding citizens so it pays to cover your own back;

  3. Disguise. I run an audio of a client. The scripting was his true story but I had the audio produced in the studio by different people. Again, when working with victims of trauma, we must take great care not to retraumatise them. We may think that by sharing their stories, we are making their plight known when in actual sense, we are retraumatising our clients;

  4. Confidentiality. As mental health workers, the rule of confidentiality of client information is critical. As media workers, we are also charged with protecting our sources of information. The question then is: "How do we expose a violation without comprosiming confidentiality and protecting our source of information where clients do not want to be known?".

Sharon.

Privacy, confidentiality and expectations of victims

Sharon,

Thank you so much for raising these key points involved in privacy issues. The Center for Victims of Torture is also very conscientious about discussing the risks and benefits for clients who consider telling their stories to the media (whatever kind of media radio, print, TV, etc). In addition to the other points that you raised regarding consent, disguise and confidentiality - it is important to discuss the expectations clients (or victims of human rights abuses) have about telling their story. Most of the time, it is not possible for the client/victim to control how a media person will finally decide to "package" a story. The outcome may be quite different than a client/victim intended about relating their story. This can result in further tramatization.

But you also asked the question: "How do we expose a violation without comprosiming confidentiality and protecting our source of information where clients do not want to be known?"

This question takes on even greater importance with the rise of "citizen reporting" using new technology like mobile phones. People are capturing events as they happen, which has provided great advantages for evidence of events. However, people do not take the time for ensuring the consent, confidentiality and privacy of the people being recorded.

How do those of you developing radio programs deal with such issues?

Manual for community radio managers: digital archiving

Hi all - one more thing I wanted to share regarding online radio as a tool for documentation, is a manual for community managers on how to archive your audio content by UNESCO:

Digital archiving of audio content using WINISIS and Greenstone software: a manual for community radio managers

This publication is a self-instructional handbook aimed at helping managers of community radio stations, FM radio stations, public service broadcasting agencies and any other organizations that deal with audio files in creating prototype archives of digital audio documents.

Where does one start?

So where does one start off in media advocacy work? What has worked in Uganda.

  1. Know your target audience. My target audience are victims of domestic and sexual violence. This knowledge helps when designing messages;
  2. Know how far the radio you intend to use broadcasts. In Uganda, most radio stations broadcast within a 400 KM radius. This information helps in knowing how far your message will reach your intended recipients. I have used a community radio in northern Uganda that broadcasts as far as Congo. We get Congolese clients so knowing that the messages were reaching some parts of Congo was good;
  3. Documentation is important. This is how it works. This is a hypothetical scenario. If most clients we receive are victims of domestic violence, it is important to know their socio-economic background, level of education, etc. If the majority are illiterate or semi literate, then I would straight away know that using newspapers as a channel of communication will not get my message through to the target audience. I would use radio which is cheap and accessible in Ugandan households;
  4. Design work. Work with people who are experienced in designing BCC [Behavioural Change Communication] messages;
  5. Impact. It is often said that advocacy work is very difficult to measure. The challenge most of us implementing human rights programmes face is donors want value for money and so the question IMPACT lingers on all the time. How can we put in place some mechanisms to help us assess the impact of our radio work?
  • have live talk show programmes where listeners can call in. Although only one or two people get through with calls, whatever they say is representative of the wider audience that was not able to call.
  • carry out media surveys.
  • pre-test messages before going on air. It is sometimes a tedious process but it pays off. I often pre-test on staff, clients and studio [radio] staff to make my work and life easy.
  • for talk show programmes, get facilitators who are knowledgeable on human rights issues. This way, the questions they ask will be relevant and it is value for money for paid-up programmes - radio is an expensive venture.
  • Have the facilitator assist with asking listeners poll questions. I had one done for me this year where at the beginning of the talk show programme, listeners were asked: Are human rights organisations in Uganda working to prevent domestic violence? At the end of the programme, 60% responded in the affirmative. 40% felt otherwise. It is good to follow-up on the 40% to know their thoughts. This can help in repackaging messages and probably push up the 60% to 90%.

Sharon Lamwaka.

Resources & tools for community radio

I wanted to share the resources that I have found in preparing for this dialogue.  All of these resources can be found in the New Tactics group space - Community and short-wave radio tactics

What other resources - guides, manuals, communities of practice, tools, etc - can we add to this list?

Resources and tools for community radio

Dear Kristin, dear all,

Further to your sources, Kristin, I was thinking that the sources depend on what you want to be doing:

  • Do you want to start up a community radio?
  • Do you want to find ways of improving an existing (community) radio?
  • Do you want to find a way to have a regular (weekly) spot on an existing (community? FM? public?) radio with human rights messages and programming - or the like?
  • Or do you want to produce programmes in a community setting, where you have no radio broadcasting station and no sending permission, no pirate radio and no means or desire to do online radio - and then produce the programmes and distribute them through different means, like cassettes, CDs or USB sticks?

The documentation, sources and interests are different. Loads of community radio manuals can be identified on the web. The following are a few selected sources I can recommend:

Good luck! ;- )

What are the challenges/opportunities for radio + human rights?

Tell us about some of the challenges that you have faced – your frustrations may be shared by others in the dialogue!  How did you overcome your challenges? 


What new opportunities do you see for radio now and in the future?


Share your thoughts and ideas by replying to this theme-comment (or a participant's comment).

fund and trainings

we all know that it is easy to succeed, but it is more difficult to be always on the top 

the most problem we face is fund and training also

we have about 40 program in Arabic  , 3 programs in English , one in German , preparing for french , Russian and Spanish shows  .

all of that is by volunteers

 

Funding community radio projects

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on your challenges around fund-raising, Bassem.  I must say, I am surprised and impressed that your radio programs are all run by volunteers!  Wow.

femLINKpacific mentions their strategy for raising funding for their community radio programs in their publication (yes I realize I keep referencing this article but it is just so helpful!) Empowering Communities, Informing Policy: The Potential of Community Radio:

"...In order to secure funds from a range of donors to support training workshops, rural broadcasts, the resourcing of young women broadcast volunteers, rural correspondents and focal points, femLINKPACIFIC developed a series of funding proposals for each activity.  The proposals covered everything from rural consultations and pre-broadcast planning meetings, to field visits, publicity and awareness raising. Regular communication with development partners, not just limited to project reports, has assisted in also creating awareness of the aims and objectives of this women's media initiative." [page 13]

Practitioners - can you share any tips of raising funds for these radio projects?  What are the major funders for these kinds of projects?  Are there any funders reading this dialogue?  If so, please share your thoughts!

How do you engage volunteers in radio?

Bassem,

This is great to hear that the work you are doing is engaging volunteers. It would be great if you could share with us how you've been able to engage so many volunteers in the implementation of your radio programs.

What tips can you provide for others interested in doing this work?

Challenges / opprtunities faced in using the radio

 For us in the human rights community in Nigeria, one of the major challenges faced is that of ignorance by the media practitioners on the importance of human rights education to sustainable development. Many media practioners are interested in making money for their outfits, the State owned media inclusive as against promoting public good. This in the absence of enligthened managment staff to approve programmes featuring human rights issues, activists are forced to buy air time for their issues to be aired as news items, discussion programmes, documentaries or jingles. These cost a lot and is mostly above the reach of human rights activists especially if you have to pay for production of programme or jingles and then for the airing.       


In Kaduna, activists have noticed a new trend in broadcasting. The State broadcast house no longer agree to air live phone in programmes. At best they allow a pre recorded discussion, which when being aired allows for only text messages to be sent. Even at that, replies to these text messages are only made , if found appropriate by the authorities, at subsequent editions of the programme. This is highly frustrating and a result of self censorship on the part of over zealous and ignorant officials who are more interested in preserving their jobs through ensuring that nothing critical of government is aired. The privately operated radio stations are a little better off in this instance. What this means is that human rights issues are not properly put in the front burner to attract the necessary action required in addressing them.  


Just as there is a lack of understnding on the importance of reporting human rights as a key development issue on the part of many media practitioners, there is also a lack of understanding on the part of some human rights activitsts on properly engaging the media to maximize benefits and sustain a cordial working relationship. There are  certain concessions a human rights activists could get if there exists a mutually beneficial relationship with the media house. Where the media is only brought in to cover an event without the persons carrying out the assignment or orders ignorant of the issues or not treated as colleagues in propagating human rights values, it affects the manner the media handles the airing of the issues to the public. A lot of the times, the correspondent or reporter may not have sufficient information to prepare a good report, news item or documentary. In such cases human rights practitiners need to feed them with the required facts or information or enlighten them to use the proper terms and contexts. However this may be lacking where the activist is only intersted in the issue having a mention on radio and not the contents or what might be the outcome of the public' s reaction to the report or programme.          


Opportunities to redressing the trends arises now and then. There has been a change in the leadership at the State level. This may open up the media to the public especially if the new government  is interested in making positive changes and providing opportunity for voice for the citizens. Relationships built with media practitioners ( across cadre) could be strengthend with closer engagement that in particular provides an avenue for them to understand what human rights activists are doing and how it is aiding the work of the media. Where there is a buy in as a result, activists may be surprised to get offers for free air time or to participate in programmes to enligthen the public on specific issues. We have had several offers to participate in programmes to draw attention to diverse human rights issues, some of the requests coming at times which may conflict with your work. We had tried as much as possible to meet up with these requests as turning the media back closes opportunity for others.


           

What are the challenges/opportunities for radio + human rights?

Challenges:



  1. Radio work is expensive. For target audiences to internalise messages aired, the campaign must be sustained;

  2. Censorship. When working on sensitive issues e.g., corruption and human rights violations involving public officials, politics, etc, one must tread extremely carefully if you work in the context where Governments are repressive;

  3. Uganda has very many radio stations making it difficult to choose which radio station to listen to;

  4. Many human rights workers without Communications/Media/Public Relations Departments do not fully know and understand how to work with the media especially when it comes to programme/content design.

Oppportunies for radio and human rights:



  1. Many Ugandan households including the rural countryside own radio sets making it a good channel of communication. According to statistics from the Uganda National Household Survey, 63% of households own a radio;

  2. Given electricity difficulties especially in rural Uganda, using radio to communicate means that your message will get across with or without electricity. Even without electricity, households can afford to buy batteries to power their sets and listen to programmes normally;

  3. While a variety of radio stations is a challenge, on the other hand, it gives the community many choices of programmes to pick from. Besides, community radio stations with localised programming are sure to get audiences in that particular community as programmes are broadcast in local languages;

  4. The community in Uganda loves "ebimeeza" [out door talk shows] and drama. The ideal time for drama is 15 minutes but it can extend to 30 minutes creatively designed with discussion content. Take note that the urban populace listens more to music and news while in the rural countryside, the populace listen to announcements, drama and talk show programmes. This information is important during message design;

  5. Where talk show programmes in the rural countryside prove expensive for people to call in, some NGOs in Uganda have developed hotlines that are toll free. This facility allows even poor households to call and take part in interactive talk shows.

Sharon Lamwaka.

Challenges - how do you research your audience?

Sharon,

Thank you for sharing this great list of challenges and opportunities.

I was especially struck by the difference you were raising between the rural and urban populations - particularly regarding the kinds of programming that these populations prefer (e.g., rural populations prefer dramas and talk shows, while the urban population prefers more music and news).

I'm wondering how were you able to gain such information about these kinds of differences between the rural and urban populations?

Are there organizations that provide this kind of public research in Uganda that has made it possible for your organization to make better decisions abut how to reach your target audience?

 

How do I research my audience?

Dear Nancy,


Below are some of the methods that I use in researching my audience:


1. I get statistical information from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics [UBOS] website especially background information e.g., I can readily know by visiting this website the percentage of Ugandans living in urban versus rural settings, how many of these are women, etc. UBOS coordinates, monitors, and supervises Uganda's National Statistical System;


2. There is an independent research organisation called Steadman [they changed their name recently to Synovate] that does a lot of market research on various issues including the media. Many radio stations then pay Steadman to get information pertaining to their radio stations. On my part, when working with a radio station, one of the first things that I ask for is a Steadman Report on that radio. By reading it, I can get information on area of coverage, types of audiences that tune in to that particular radio station, etc;


3. I work with people and organisations who are specialists in designing messages for behaviour change communication. As such, I learn a lot from them in terms of designing my own programmes. Having a concept and a well written script are not enough. You must know good production people who will use the right voice intonation e.g., so that the message aired can evoke the right emotions in listeners;


4. Having shared experiences with some African countries, I realise now that in Uganda despite our challenges, CSOs work closely with Government. For instance, we can refer to research [e.g., UBOS] carried out by Government besides other market researchers and BCC experts. In one country, I was asked how CSOs in Uganda work closely with security institutions to fight torture. The group from this country told us during a workshop that this is not possible in their country. In another country, CSOs can refute annual reports of their national human rights commission. In Uganda, CSOs refer to annual reports of the Uganda Human Rights Commission as authetic well documented report of the human rights situation that we can then refer to for our advocacy work;


5. Internally generated information through documentation. I am working with a new organisation just 10 months old on the ground but we have already documented a lot of details regarding our clients e.g., sex, educational background, marital status, presenting problems, etc. This information then guides our advocacy work;


6. The media [newspaper clippings, video footage, audio] itself is a source of research information.


Sharon.


 

Guerilla radio tactics?

Hi all,

As a journalism student, this has been an extremely helpful dialogue so far - thanks for everyone's comments!

I am wondering if anybody could share some experiences or know of any good examples of radio stations working underground or in opposition to repressive regimes?  Or how they deal with censorship?

 

 

Thanks!

 

Aaron Hays

University of St. Thomas, Minnesota, USA

Undergraduate student in Communication/Journalism and Justice & Peace Studies

Gureilla radios

I am not sure if there is one operating in Nigeria presently. Some years back, we had Radio Kudirat which was originally launched as Radio Democratic International. Kudirat was the wife of late Chief M.K.O. Abiola who won elections in Nigeria in 1993 but was never enthroned. Instead he was thrown into jail where he died allegedly from poisonong by the military regime which took control of power. Kudirat was killed while leading campaigns aginst this injustice. 


Radio Kudirat operated between 1999 -2002 before it was shut down. It was operated by a group based in London known as  the United Foundation for the Defense of Nigeria. The UFDN opposed the dictatorship of General Sani Abacha in Nigeria. It is understood that the programs received funding from Worldview Rights, Norwaya media NGO, and used commercial airtime on South African transmitters. In the period it was on air, Radio Kudirat provided news, views and comments from the angle of pro- democracy groups and served as alternative to the public radio. Wole Soyinka was quoted as saying to a New York Times correspondent, that Radio Kudirat  "has been the single most effective counter against the authority of the regime. I mean, they’ve really been hysterical over the effect of the radio. Until that moment, they had total control of the media, apart from the underground press." 


You may go to www.cladestineradio.com to see what other places this type of medium was used.  

Gureilla Radio

The best gureilla radio that I have heard and seen in my travels is Radio Dialogue.  Based in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, this is a radio fully operating without a transmitter!  Its not internet radio but real community radio!  How can that be you ask?  They have a fully operational studio and since they couldn't get a license to operate a radio and broadcast they decided to operate a studio and roadcast.  Radio Dialogue produces radio programmes that are put on casette as and then shared with tqaxis and other transporters.  Because they have the latest music on them the transporters are pleased to play them in their vehicles.  The radio programmes sound as if they are live on air and are easily mistaken for real radio.  Creative, effective and has a huge following in Bulawayo.  Empowering for communities to hear their voice and impacting on public opinion by addressing contemporary themes.  Check it out, its a great story and a powerful innovation where getting licenses proves impossible.  http://www.zimbojam.com/lifestyle/happening-people/708-to-give-bulawayo-a-voice-the-radio-dialogue-story.html

Gureilla Radio

Hello Frances thanks for sharing this. I have followed the link you provided and read the article there and I must say I am impressed with Radio Dialogue. It is quite ingenious. This is something that can be copied elsewhere.


In Ghana, we've not had a gureilla radio as such, but in the early 1990s as a sign of resistance Radio Eye was started by one Dr. Wereko Brobbey. He generated his own frequency and stated broadcasting, but was stopped by the Government at the time. Dr. Brobbey thought the Government was supressing freedom of speech and set out to resist that. The resultant effect was the government liberalising the airwaves. Now Ghana has, according to the Ghana National Communications Authority, 26 Community FM radios, 36 Public radios, 10 Campus based Radios and 145 Commercial radio stations. ( These are approved government figures.)

Building Low-cost radio stations for democracy !

Hello !

While travelling in Asia we've met with a Social Enterprise named Gram Vaani : they are designing low cost radio stations to allow everyone in rural India to start a Radio. Their main innovation is that all the local community can participate live thanks to mobile phones !! 

To know more it's here : http://we.makesense.org/?p=436

 

Insurgent radio

Though Radio Venceremos in El Salvador was an insurgent radio operation in wartime, it was nonetheless a vital mechanism in the effort to bring democracy to that country. You could look at the following accounts of it:

 

  • López Vigil, José Ignacio. Rebel radio: the story of El Salvador's Radio Venceremos. (Translator, Mark Fried). Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, [1994]. Translation of Las mil y una historias de Radio Venceremos. ISBN 1-880684-21-7.
  • Consalvi, Carlos Henríquez (Santiago). La Terquedad del Izote, La historia de Radio Venceremos. México: Editorial Diana, Ediciones Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen, 1992. 268p., ISBN 99923-840-0-X
SMS/text messaging for community radio?

This is a great conversation and I am happy to read all the helpful posts.

I am with MobileActive.org, a global network of people using mobile technology for social impact. I'm looking into how community radio stations are using SMS/text messaging to help share information or reach out to listeners in areas. An example is the Unicef/SSMK text message campaign with Equal Access Nepal. http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/nepal_53553.html

What else is being done with text messaging at radio stations? Does your station use SMS in any way? Do you have suggestions of campaigns that are doing something right or wrong as far as using mobile phones/SMS in their mission?

Thank you!

SMS to complement community radio work...Zimbabwe

Hi Melissa,


To answer your question above :   


SW radio from Zimbabwe uses SMS / text messages to complement their short wave radio programming beamed into Zimbabwe on a daily basis. When it all began in 2007, it is covered here: http://comunica.org/radio2.0/archives/19 and a lot more about SW radio here:  http://www.swradioafrica.com/index.php


I will come back with more about the power of SW radio in Zimbabwe in view of the human rights situation there... but have a different commitment now :- )  More later!


 


 

Using text messaging to draw attention to radio programmes

My experience with the use of text messaging is in sensitizing the public to the programme - its timing and getting them to listen in and contribute to the discussions especially if it involves a phone in or allows for text messages to be sent. This strategy works as we have found that many activists hardly follow programmes on radio apart from news or specific programmes. It is thus key to attract listernership and stimulate robust discussions amongst a cross section of citizens through sms and reminders.  I need state though that it is not the radio stations that send these sms but activists who are sponsoring or behind the programmes.  Some of our colleagues that have successfully used the sms include Raising Her Voice project of Women;s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative ( WRAPA) and Connecting Gender for Development (COGEN).        

Text messaging

Hello Rebbie,


Many thanks for bringing up the use of text messaging. In Kampala, Uganda where am based, text messaging is very common on both radio and television stations. During live talk show programmes, telephone lines get so jammed many callers fail to get through. As a way of circumventing this challenge, listeners are encouraged to send text messages. The challenge with this again is how many messages get read. But when lines are congested, text messaging becomes a convenient option.


Sharon.

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