Broadcaster partner survey on barriers to using FRI’s Broadcaster resources
In March and April 2017, 124 broadcasters responded to a short online survey designed to identify the main barriers which stop broadcasters from using FRI’s resources more often to create their own programming. The resources include interview and drama scripts, issue packs and backgrounders, and Broadcaster how-to guides.
The first question was: What are the biggest difficulties that stop you from using FRI’s resources more often to create your own programming?
By far the most popular response was—“It is difficult because I don’t have good enough access to the Internet and/or computer.”
The second most popular choice was “I would like to use the resources in the Resource Packs, but I don’t know how to best use or adapt them for my own program.”
The second question was: What are the most important things that FRI could do to help you use FRI’s resources more often to create your own programming?
More than 80% of respondents chose “Offer training, tips, and guidelines on how best to use the resources to help create my own programs” as their first choice.
The second and third most popular choices, were, “Distribute resources that are more relevant to farmers in our area,” and “Offer FRI resources in plainer, less technical language.”
The final question was: In an ideal world, what is the #1 thing FRI could do to help you in terms of information resources?
Many of the responses to this question suggested that FRI could provide equipment to the stations, including computers, recorders, mobile phones, cameras, and good connectivity for entire facilities.
The next most common requests were for training, including onsite training, training in producing effective farmer programs, training on computer skills, and training on how to use FRI’s resources.
Discussion and recommendations
The majority of respondents chose It is difficult because I don’t have good enough access to the Internet and/or a computer as their first, second or third choice. But we don’t know whether their barrier was poor connectivity, poor computer skills, a combination of both, or another related barrier.
We will follow up with FRI country offices to contact broadcasters who chose this response, and try to determine exactly what the barrier is. Depending on the outcome of these conversations, FRI can consider ways of helping to address these challenges.
The second most popular response to question #1 was I would like to use the resources in the Resource Packs, but I don’t know how to best use or adapt them for my own program.
And the most popular response to question #2 was Offer training, tips, and guidelines on how best to use the resources to help create my own programs.
Because of the popularity and similarity of these responses, FRI is considering options for providing partner broadcasters with training, tips, and guidelines on how to best use and adapt FRI resources for broadcasters’ programs.
In order to do that, FRI will continue to canvas partners on the ways they currently use and adapt FRI resources. We will do this through face-to-face meetings, through online and email surveys, through WhatsApp and other social media. We will also continue to build partners’ skills through:
- broadcaster how-to guides on how broadcasters can use different kinds of resources; and
- Google Hangout sessions or webinars, which would encourage discussion and focus on topics such as how to use different FRI resources, or introduce new resources or features.
Many respondents indicated that they want resources which are more relevant to farmers in their area, and that they want FRI resources in plainer, less technical language.
FRI’s goal is to make our resources as locally relevant as possible by finding ways to identify and respond to the issues that are important to partner broadcasters and their listeners. But our ability to respond to local issues is limited by the vast number of “local” areas in sub-Saharan Africa. One useful way for distributing relevant resources in a particular country is in-country Whatsapp groups for broadcasting partners—like the existing group in Ghana—and we can consider established these groups in other countries where we have offices.
FRI can also support broadcasters to create their own programming to address local issues—through a combination of online training and (where feasible) face-to-face training.
With respect to offering resources in plainer, less technical language, this is always our goal, but your feedback reminds us that we need to continue to simplify the language in our resources.
It’s clear that many broadcasters feel that lack of equipment is a barrier to producing effective programming. This can certainly pose a serious challenge. But it is not within FRI’s mandate to provide equipment to partner broadcasters, except to a limited degree when partners participate in funded projects or when we offer equipment as an incentive for participating in a broadcaster competition.
But perhaps FRI can help partners:
a) Contact national and international organizations which may be able to either provide such equipment free or at a subsidized price; and/or
b) Raise funds to purchase such equipment. This could be through a module in a training course, broadcaster how-to guide on generating revenue, etc.
Finally, here are the three survey respondents who will receive a prize of $50 Canadian in mobile credit for participating in the survey:
- Raoeliharison Harintsoa, Noro, SCFG, Madagascar
- Keita Moise, Radio Soumppou, Mali
- Devote Martine, FADECO, Tanzania
Thank you to everyone who participated! Your feedback helps us create resources that help you better serve your audience.