Professionalize media reports on indigenous issues

Training participants working on their blog (Photo: GIZ)

Training participants working on their blog (Photo: GIZ)

The challenges indigenous radio journalists at community media face are twofold: On the one hand, it is often through “learning by doing” that reporters know how to do their job. As a result, they are often not familiar with standards of professional journalism. On the other hand, they have not been able to draw sufficient attention to indigenous topics. As a result, the capacities of community radio reporters to produce quality broadcasts about issues affecting their ethnic groups still need to be increased.

Therefore, the community media workers and community representatives participating in the project were equipped with the skills they need to produce news on “indigenous” topics, which meet professional journalistic requirements. In a series of workshops, they were introduced to standards of quality (radio) journalism, but also to concepts like indigenous rights, interculturality and conflict sensitiveness. They were made aware of the difference between news and opinion and were urged to name the source of and to check the facts behind a piece of news. Moreover, the participants learned how to benefit from the multiplier effect of digital media by making use of and interlinking new and social media like blogs, Facebook, Twitter etc. to get their communities’ message out. They also got to know approaches for crowd funding to get the financial resources for research and were introduced to instruments of media analysis. Doing this, they were sensitized to the tone and perspective of and the motive behind news with regards to “indigenous” topics. After the workshops, the quality of the participants’ news coverage improved noticeably.

In addition to the workshops for community radio reporters and community representatives, the project also organized seminars for a broader audience. Indigenous youth and women were made aware of their right to information and discussed topics of concern to their community such as land, water, identity, etc. The extended workshops also provided room for discussing how these topics may be disseminated in the communities and the media.

Also have a look at what DW Akademie was reporting on the workshops.

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