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Farm Radio Weekly is a news and information service for rural radio broadcasters in sub-Saharan Africa. It is published by Farm Radio International.

Farm Radio Weekly

Steps for story-based farm radio programming – Step 2: Practical research

Broadcasters participating in the African Farm Radio Research Initiative (AFRRI) recently engaged in training to produce story-based radio programming. We’re sharing part of the training materials here, in the Radio Resource Bank. Below you’ll find Step 2 of an eight-step guide to story-based farm radio programming, on practical research. To re-visit Step 1: Topical thinking, click: http://weekly.farmradio.org/2008/12/22/steps-for-story-based-farm-radio-programming-%E2%80%93-step-1-topical-thinking/.

You’re producing a radio program, not writing a thesis. So, you need not get involved in academic research. Nonetheless, some practical research will:
-Ensure that you understand your listeners’ views on the issue, and what their challenges are around it;
-Help you prioritize what focus to take in this particular program; and,
-Build your confidence and credibility on the topic for your production work.

As time allows, read and talk with whomever you can to better understand the topic and what people want to hear about it. Consider local, national, and international sources on the topic.

If you have access to the Internet, a brief round of Internet research can give you the international perspective. If you have access to transport and telephones, you might do some “pre-interviews.” If you have access to research that’s already been done, review it before moving on in the production process.

Example: The AFRRI team in Malawi turned to a set of local agricultural experts to explore key issues related to hybrid maize. They reviewed AFRRI’s formative research reports on hybrid maize. They sought answers to questions such as: how widespread is pounding vs milling of hybrid maize? Is it true that hybrid maize yields less flour than local maize? Where are there differences of opinion among other agricultural experts and farmers themselves?

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