Provincial and District Journalists Trained in Environmental Radio

As part of its support to environmental radio, ProCEEd invited journalists from Khammouane, Houaphan, Sayaboury and Bolikhamxay Province to a seminar and training in Vientiane on 7-11, 2015. Trainers from

Lao National Radio assisted by a development communication specialist from Germany provided environmental radio case studies, basic radio journalism inputs and learning-by-doing on how to produce attractive environmental news and features.

 

The 22 trainees on 8-11 Dec, 2015 were radio journalists from provincial and district radio stations in the mentioned provinces. For the seminar on 6 Dec, 2015, they were joined by radio directors and representatives of the Provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment as well as Information, Culture and Tourism. LNR and the World Conservation Society reported on lessons learned from environmental radio case studies in Khammouane and Houaphan. This set the stage for  ProCEEd to offer and outline an environmental radio support program in these two provinces. Starting in 2016, this program will comprise feature productions in combination with quality management, local training and coaching. The objective of the program is to establish regular 30-minutes radio magazines similar to the national LNR program “For the Environment”. The latter is broadcast every Monday from 8:00 to 8:30 a.m. and has been supported by ProCEEd since 2013.

 


During the first-day seminar, participants learned basic information about ProCEEd's five major themes, i.e. climate change, forest protection, co-management, wildlife and biodiversity conservation. Forest protection and natural disasters was the focus of research and interview activities during the training's real life exercises.

 

The experienced trainers shared their skills in news and script writing, interview techniques as well as editing and post-production  in the studio. In addition to expert interviews with government and project officials, trainees also practiced 'man on the street' interviews with students, market women and traders. The latter offer an opportunity for ordinary people to voice their opinion on everyday subject matters.

 

After a days of in-class sessions with practical exercises, participants were divided into three teams. For a whole day, each group applied what they had learned in a real-life field practice in Vientiane,  collecting information and conducted expert and voxpop interviews. A whole day was used for editing and post-production at LNR studios so that the groups' three 15-min features could be presented to ProCEEd staff on 11 Dec, 2015.

 

The lessons learned during the training will help radio journalists and relevant government agencies alike to raise environmental awareness with target groups in Khammouane and Houaphan as part of ProCEEd's mentioned environmental radio support program. The Sayaboury and Bolikhamxay radio stations may join in at a later stage by submitting entries to a call for proposals related to the production of environmental radio features.

 

Radio plays a crucial role in ProCEEd’s communication strategy and the Lao government’s general efforts to increase knowledge on and promote positive environmentally friendly attitudes and practices regarding natural resource management, biodiversity conservation and climate change. Radio is such an important tool because it is the most widely available and one of the most popular media. This is particularly true in rural areas where almost any family owns a radio set and where people’s livelihood depends on a healthy environment. In addition, a ProCEEd environmental awareness survey in 2012 found that radio and TV are among the most frequented and trusted sources of information for people in Laos to learn more about the environment. Broadcasting in local languages makes radio programs more appealing and easier to understand.

 

Therefore, since 2013, ProCEEd has been supporting environmental awareness raising through radio programs throughout Laos. The programs aim at disseminating information and encouraging people to participate in the process of conserving and protecting nature, wildlife and natural resources such as forests for the sustainability of their children’s future. This helps people know about and understand the environmental impacts of climate change, deforestation or the over-exploitation of natural resources for example, which ultimately affects their lives. Regular radio programming on such issues can contribute to people’s motivation and ownership regarding environmental protection.

 

 

 


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