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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.

Radio Resource Bank

Publication: Linking generations through radio: A toolkit from Africa for radio with children and youth

UNESCO’s radio toolkit – Linking Generations through Radio – is inspired by the children and youth who make up one-third of the world’s population. The majority may listen to radio, but they are not often invited to produce interviews and programs, express their needs for information, or their opinions about children’s and youth programming.

Children and young people are an important segment of radio audiences. This 62-page radio toolkit provides examples which help broadcasters promote free exchange of ideas between girls and boys. It also highlights ethical and legal requirements which radio producers and managers must be aware of when working with minors.

The toolkit can serve as a regular training or programming handbook for radio stations, a reference and resource for young people, and an advocacy tool to inform policymakers and the general public.

To download the English version of the toolkit, go to: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002238/223828e.pdf.

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UN Food and Agriculture Organization: The Family Nutrition Guide

The Family Nutrition Guide is a practical tool that aims to improve the feeding and nutrition of families in developing countries.

The guide is written primarily for health workers, nutritionists, agricultural extensionists and other development workers who work with people at the community level. It should also be useful for mothers and other caregivers who want to know more about feeding the family.

The guide is divided into 11 topics, including: basic nutrition, family food security, meal planning, food hygiene and the special feeding needs of children, women and men, and of people who are old, sick and malnourished.

Each topic section can be used to prepare various nutrition education materials and activities − face-to-face education sessions with families and other community-level groups; print material or material for other media (such as radio talks); or training material for staff in different sectors who deal with family nutrition.

The nutrition facts on each topic are complemented by suggestions for people working directly with families and community groups. These suggestions cover the steps needed to prepare an educational session, encourage participation and make the session more fun.

The guide is available to download in English at this link: http://www.fao.org/3/a-y5740e.pdf

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The Solutions Journalism Network: Reporter’s guide to food security

Solutions journalism is an approach that focuses on stories which feature people working toward solutions. Based on the best available evidence, it attempts to show not just what is happening, but how and why it appears to be working, or, alternatively, to be stumbling.

The Solutions Journalism Network recently published Reporter’s guide to food security. The guide notes that food insecurity is now considered one of the largest risks to global society over the next decade, driven by a combination of volatile food prices, a growing world population, and the changing global climate.

While most journalists confront this challenge by finding and documenting signs of extreme food insecurity, this handbook describes responses to food insecurity. It uses data from the Global Burden of Disease report to uncover “bright spots,” which are places where undernourishment has significantly decreased and which may offer general insights.

The guide outlines several ways communities and innovators are responding to food security, including agricultural storage, insurance schemes, and biotech innovations. Pros and cons are noted for each solution. Journalists can refer to the guide’s resource section when beginning to investigate the subject of food insecurity.

To access this online resource in English, go to: http://solutionsjournalism.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Food-Security-guidebook-Final.pdf

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International Free Expression Exchange (IFEX): Sign up for e-mail news about free expression

The IFEX network of organizations is linked by a shared commitment to defend and promote freedom  of expression as a fundamental human right. IFEX advocates for everyone’s right to free expression,  including media workers, citizen journalists, activists, artists, and scholars.

IFEX offers a free email information service in English, French, Spanish and Arabic. You can sign up to  receive news about free expression from IFEX’s member organizations around the world.

Choose the online publication(s) that suit(s) your needs and you’ll get the latest on digital rights,  censorship, access to information, freedom of association, criminal defamation laws, and attacks on journalists, writers, human rights defenders and Internet users – all from a free expression angle.

For more information, go to the IFEX website: http://www.ifex.org/

To sign up for the English language version of the email service, go to: http://www.ifex.org/subscribe/.

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Free online course in science journalism

The world’s first online course in science journalism is now available to interested journalists. The course was developed by the World Federation of Science Journalists(http://www.wfsj.org/), in close collaboration with the Science and Development Network (SciDev.Net).

The free course is ready for use by professional journalists, journalism students and teachers. Each of the 10 modulesconsists of an e-lecture with examples, self-teaching questions, and assignments. Lessons are accessible on all electronic platforms: tablets (Galaxy, iPads, Kindle, Nook) and smart phones. You can also download a print version.

In 10 lessons, experienced science journalists from all over the world share secrets and advice. The lessons cover major practical and conceptual issues related to communicating science. Subjects include: how to find and research a story, how to identify which expert is right, how to interview, how to write, and how to use social media.

The course does not require any prerequisites. Anybody interested in communicating science and technology can participate.

To access the course in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese or Arabic, go to: http://www.wfsj.org/course/

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World Press Freedom Index for 2014

Every year, 500 journalists are arrested, 1,000 assaulted or threatened, and more than 500 media outlets censored. These violations have serious consequences which must be tracked in order to better address them.

Reporters Without Borders (RWB) is an organization which operates in two highly specialized spheres of activity: one focused on Internet censorship and the new media, and the other devoted to providing material, financial and psychological assistance to journalists working in dangerous areas. RWB releases an annual report on global press freedom and the threats to journalists: theWorld Press Freedom Index.

The 2014 World Press Freedom Index spotlights the negative impact of violent conflicts on both freedom of information and on those responsible for instigating the conflicts.

The report notes that some countries may be interpreting the need for national security in an overly broad manner, to the detriment of the right to inform and be informed. This global trend is even endangering freedom of information in countries regarded as democracies.

This year’s report covers 180 countries, one more than last year.

An overview is available at this link: https://rsf.org/index2014/en-index2014.php.The report is divided into continents, and you can read the Africa section here: https://rsf.org/index2014/en-africa.php

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Get involved with Earth Day!

Every year on April 22, over a billion people in 190 countries take action for Earth Day. From Cairo to Cape Town, Dakar to Djibouti, Africans plant trees, clean up their communities, contact their elected officials, and more — all for the environment.

Like Earth Days of the past, Earth Day 2014 will focus on the unique environmental challenges of our time. As the world’s population migrates to cities, and as the reality of a changing climate becomes increasingly clear, the need to create sustainable communities is more important than ever.

Earth Day 2014 focuses on promoting sustainable communities through its global theme: Green Cities. With smart investments in sustainable technology, forward-thinking public policy, and an educated and active public, cities can be transformed and a sustainable future achieved.

Nothing is more powerful than the collective action of a billion people.

As the global organizer behind Earth Day, Earth Day Network creates tools and resources for everyone to get involved with Earth Day in their communities. To find these resources, visit: http://www.earthday.org/greencities/resources/

For more information on Earth Day 2014, go to: http://www.earthday.org/greencities/earth-day-2014/

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Enemies of the Internet 2014: An online resource for journalists concerned about freedom of speech

To highlight World Day Against Cyber Censorship, held March 12, 2014, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) released a report entitled Enemies of the Internet 2014.

The report spotlights government units that coordinate Internet surveillance and censorship. It is government bodies like these, little known but often at the heart of surveillance and censorship systems, that RWB brings into focus in this year’s report.

You can access the report at this address: http://12mars.rsf.org/wp-content/uploads/EN_RAPPORT_INTERNET_BD.pdf

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World Health Day: Protect yourself from vector-borne diseases

In 1948, WHO held the First World Health Assembly. The Assembly decided to mark April 7, starting in 1950, as World Health Day. World Health Day celebrates the founding of WHO, and is an opportunity for the organization to draw worldwide attention to a subject of major importance to global health.

Each year, the Day focuses on a different threat to human health and longevity, and this year’s theme is Protect yourself from vector-borne diseases.

More than half the world’s population is at risk from vector-borne diseases (those transmitted to humans by insects and other small organisms) such as malaria and dengue. But we can protect ourselves and our families by taking simple preventive measures, including vaccination.

Small insects, such as mosquitoes, sandflies and ticks, and some aquatic snails are responsible for a number of deadly and debilitating human diseases.

Go to the World Health Organization’s website to find resources and events on this year’s World Health Day: http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2014/en/

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Web-based resources for reporting on women and women’s rights

In September 2013, the Congolese women’s rights NGO, Union Congolaise des Femmes des Médias, conducted a study to find out how women were represented in the print and broadcast media in the DRC.

The results are presented in a new guide: L’image de la femme dans les médias en RDC.

The guide aims to educate journalists and other media professionals on the positive role they can play in promoting equality between women and men.

The first part of the guide presents case studies, to illustrate both correct practices (dos) and incorrect practices (don’ts) when presenting the perspective of women and gender equality. The second part of the guide provides practical recommendations for journalists to help eradicate sexist stereotypes and promote healthy inter-gender relations based on equality and mutual respect in their daily work.

The guide is available for download online, in French only, in PDF format. You can find it here: http://rdc-humanitaire.net/attachments/article/4143/UCOFEM%20-%20Guide%20du%20journaliste%20au%2026%20novembre%202013.pdf

Also available, through the UK’s Guardian newspaper website is an interactive, country-by-country guide to women’s rights.

Which countries have laws preventing violence? Which legislate for gender equality? Which countries allow abortion? World Bank and UN data provide a snapshot of women’s rights across the globe. You can select a region and investigate how each country has legislated for women’s rights in terms of violence, harassment, abortion, property and employment rights, discrimination and equality.

The webpage, available only in English, can be reached at this link: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/ng-interactive/2014/feb/04/womens-rights-country-by-country-interactive

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58th Commission on the Status of Women: Resources for journalists

The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) has created a handy section on their website that focuses on the 58th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 58). It will follow the proceedings of the Commission and keep you up-to-date on official statements, events, news, analysis and resources.

CSW 58 is a two-week meeting (March 10-21, 2014) in New York City. Delegates from United Nations member states and women’s rights advocates and organizations will gather at the UN Headquarters to discuss and evaluate the challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls.

Broadcasters and journalists can use this site as a resource to better understand current progress on gender equality and women’s rights by the Commission on the Status of Women: http://awid.org/News-Analysis/Special-Focus-CSW-58

To watch the live UN webcast of the proceedings, go to: http://webtv.un.org/

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World Water Day 2014: Water and energy

World Water Day is held annually on March 22 as a way of focusing attention on the importance of fresh water and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

Water and energy are closely interlinked and interdependent. Energy generation and transmission requires water. About eight per cent of global energy generation is used to pump, treat and transport water to consumers.

For more information on World Water Day, go to the UNESCO website: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/media-services/single-view/news/world_water_day_2014_theme_water_and_energy/back/9597/#.UxgfJvmSxyM

For events and resources on World Water Day, and for ideas on how best to organize an awareness campaign in your community, visit the UN Water website: http://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday

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Online video and print guide: Conducting safe, effective and ethical interviews with survivors of sexual and gender-based violence

This guide is part of WITNESS’ Video for Change how-to series on filming safely, effectively, and ethically. It’s based on best practices in using video established over 20 years of training and supporting human rights activists in 90 countries.

The guide is designed for human rights activists, advocates, citizen journalists, citizen filmmakers, professional journalists, and others who conduct and film interviews with survivors of gender-based violence.

It includes guidance for anyone setting out to interview survivors. The tips are organized in different stages, including: before filming, during filming, and after filming. Special attention is given to ensuring the safety and security of interviewees.

The guide is currently available in English, with translations planned in Afrikaans, Arabic, Shona, Spanish, and Zulu. An earlier version is available in Swahili.

To view the series of six videos, go to: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8mlxoqsGhBFu7ChByvmJyDOI-cmRmRHv

To read the guide online, go to: http://www.scribd.com/doc/159998474/Conducting-Safe-Effective-and-Ethical-Interviews-with-Survivors-of-Sexual-and-Gender-Based-Violence

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Media guidelines: Responsible journalism for genderqueer and non-binary identities

This clear and simple-to-use media guide offers tips on how to cover issues surrounding lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and intersex, or LGBTQI communities in a responsible and gender-sensitive manner.

As a journalist, you help to shape public perception and opinion. Following the guidelines in this publication will ensure journalistic integrity and communicate support, both to the LGBTQI community and to the public at large.

It is important to be aware of the nuances regarding genderqueer identities; there is a fine line between an educational story and a sensationalizing exposé.

The guide offers a list of dos and don’ts when writing about people with genderqueer and non-binary identities, includes handy terms and definitions, and offer further media resources on transgender terms and how to do justice to transgendered people’s stories.

Click here to learn more: http://neutrois.me/media-guidelines-genderqueer/

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Story-Based Inquiry: A manual for investigative journalists

This manual is a guide to the basic methods and techniques of investigative journalism. It covers each step of the investigative process, from conception through research, writing and quality control, to publication.

The manual asks the question, “What is investigative journalism?” and answers it in a logical, step-by-step manner.

The manual explains that, when journalists cover an important subject, they need to present it in a fair and accurate manner. Journalists must cross-check the theory or hypothesis behind their story against available written and verbal sources. Once the data is collected, organized, examined and checked, journalists can write a hard-hitting story which can be published, promoted and, importantly, defended.

The manual is free to download, and is available in PDF format at this link: http://markleehunter.free.fr/documents/SBI_english.pdf

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Rural Radio Resource Packs from the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation

New Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are becoming more and more popular, but radio remains one of the most important communication tools in rural communities.

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation, or CTA, began supporting rural radio stations by launching their Rural Radio Resource Packs in 1991. The Centre currently has over 50 packs in stock. The packs are designed to expand the distribution of scientific and technical information to farmers via radio programs.

Each pack deals with a specific topic, ranging from crop storage to cassava, small ruminants to soil fertility. Packs contain the materials necessary to produce radio programs: interviews in MP3 format, a transcript of the text, suggestions for introducing each interview, technical information on the topic, and advice on how to use the pack.

The interviews are conducted by experienced African journalists from across Africa. Typical interviewees include agricultural experts, extension workers, technical advisers working for NGOs, veterinarians, personnel from Ministries of agriculture, and researchers.

Those who might benefit from the packs include farmer radio program producers, extension workers and farmers.

CTA’s archive of Rural Radio Resource Packs can be accessed through this link: http://ruralradio.cta.int/archive.htm.

CTA radio material can be broadcast, shared and adapted without permission if it is used for a non-commercial purpose and CTA is acknowledged.

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E-book: Reporter’s Guide to the Millennium Development Goals

In 2013, the International Press institute, or IPI, published the Reporter’s Guide to the Millennium Development Goals: Covering Development Commitments for 2015 and Beyond. The IPI’s “first-of-its-kind” manual is designed to help journalists cover development. It aims to assist journalists as they remind the public of government commitments to meet the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The guide contains nearly 200 pages of advice on how to report effectively on development-related issues. These include “core” MDG themes – such as poverty, gender equality and education – and newly acknowledged roadblocks to progress, such as corruption, energy poverty and lack of government transparency. The guide was written by journalists with deep and diverse experience covering stories that affect communities across the globe.

To download the free e-book in English, French, Portuguese or Spanish, go to:  http://ipi.freemedia.at/index.php?id=513. After completing a brief registration form and clicking the submit button, you will receive the link to the e-book in PDF format.

IPI also plans to release an Arabic translation.

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African Union Summit: Agriculture and Food Security

The theme of the 22nd African Union Summit is “Transforming Africa’s Agriculture: Harnessing Opportunities for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development.” The conference, which focuses on agriculture and food security, opened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on January 21 and runs until January 31.

The formal launch of the year 2014 as Year of Agriculture and Food Security will take place at the summit.

The African Union website has plenty of resources for journalists and broadcasters, including press releases, news and events, transcripts of speeches, and the proceedings of the conference. These resources can be accessed at this link: http://summits.au.int/en/22ndsummit

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New phone application offers worldwide access to community radios

RadCom Radios is a new phone app that allows easier access to community radio stations via the internet.

The tool is available in versions for iOS, Android and web, and can be downloaded free at the website: www.rebaixada.org/RadCom. The application allows access to 64 community radio stations in 17 countries.

RadCom Radios was developed in Brazil by Arthur William, a journalist, researcher and representative of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, or AMARC. Mr. William notes that community radios give space to local cultures, and the voices and accents of their communities. Mr. William says, “There are other applications for radios for smart phones, but it is difficult [for listeners] to specifically choose community broadcasters.”

It is still possible for community radio stations across the world to be added to this application − especially stations in Africa, which is currently under-represented.

The application also offers navigation through an interactive map available at this address: http://rebaixada.org/radcom/mapa/.

For more information on this app, please visit: http://www2.amarc.org/?q=node/1555

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Committee to Protect Journalists: Journalist Security Guide

With ongoing conflict affecting several countries in Africa and the internal security situation precarious in many other countries, Farm Radio Weekly revisits an online resource to remind journalists of ways to protect themselves when covering news in a dangerous and changing world.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, or CPJ, has released a Journalist Security Guide aimed at helping journalists evaluate and prevent risks.

This guide helps local and international journalists with all levels of experience learn how to take concrete steps to ensure their physical and online security. While some sections of the guide may be written with a Western audience in mind, many sections are relevant to African journalists.

Chapters such as Basic Preparedness, Information Security, Armed Conflict, and Sustained Risks are pertinent for all journalists.

For example, in the Basic Preparedness section, the Guide explains that a “number of countries have effective professional organizations that can provide guidance about laws concerning the press, along with practical advice on certain assignments. If you encounter trouble, some national organizations are also able to intervene on your behalf or publicize your case. You should also be aware that international groups such as CPJ and Reporters Without Borders can generate global attention and advocacy in case of harassment or threats.”

The guide is available in French, English, Arabic and Spanish. You can download it here:  http://cpj.org/reports/2012/04/journalist-security-guide.php

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