Date Posted: October 15th, 2012
Farm Radio International conducted a one-week writing workshop in Arusha, Tanzania. Farm Radio Weekly’s editor Karen Hampson and Nelly Bassily, research and production officer, facilitated the workshop. In attendance were two Farm Radio Weekly (FRW) bureau chiefs, Mark Ndipita from Malawi and Inoussa Maïga from Burkina Faso, and two FRW freelance writers, Ahmed Bacar from Comoros and Zenzele Ndebele from Zimbabwe.
The team spent the week discussing and learning to improve their writing and editing skills for FRW. The bureau chiefs and writers focused on topics such as: what makes a good focus statement, what are the four elements of a story, how to structure interview questions and what is writing for radio.
To put that theory into practice, the group made a field trip to a Maasai community called Longido in order to research stories for FRW. Longido is a small town north of Arusha, close to the Kenya-Tanzania border. In Longido, the writers and bureau chiefs interviewed Maasai women and men about some of the challenges they face with land, water and education.
Inoussa Maïga is Farm Radio Weekly’s bureau chief for Francophone Africa and a media program coordinator at JADE productions in Burkina Faso. He says the workshop has really been beneficial. He explains: “This workshop was an opportunity to better know my role as bureau chief [as well as] to see and physically witness this relationship between the bureau chief and the correspondent.”
For Zenzele Ndebele, FRW freelancer and production manager for Radio Dialogue in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, the FRW writing workshop was “useful.” It allowed him to better understand “how Farm Radio wants their stories done, your particular styles, your particular angles, what you want to focus on, so that when I go back home, I know this is a story specifically for Farm Radio, and meets the interest of the readers of Farm Radio Weekly.”
For the Farm Radio Weekly team, this has been a great opportunity to finally meet face-to-face and build better relationships within a team that has been interacting solely online.
The Farm Radio Weekly team would like to thank Tracey Sawyer and Emmanuel Saakai from the NGO Testigo Africa for their support of the field trip. To learn more about Testigo Africa and the Maasai community in Longido: http://www.testigoafrica.org/
To view pictures from the writing workshop: https://picasaweb.google.com/110249213240649710263/FarmRadioWeeklyWritingWorkshopAndFieldTripToLongidoTanzania#