Spotlight on FRI’s backgrounders

September 10, 2018
Une traduction pour cet article est disponible en Français

In June, we asked our broadcasting partners how they are using our backgrounder documents and how we can improve.

For the past two years, we have been producing backgrounders. These are brief introductions to farming topics that orient broadcasters to the most important facts, challenges, and solutions, and direct them to further resources. Backgrounders are one-stop shops for broadcasters to learn basic information that can help them design a radio program on that topic. You can see all of our backgrounders here.

Survey respondents were overwhelmingly positive about our backgrounders. More than 80% said they were useful and that they had learned from the documents.

We asked about the length, language, breadth of topics, level of detail, and trustworthiness of our backgrounders. The response was positive on all counts, with more than 75% recommending no change to any of these elements. Some respondents thought the language was too simple or that the documents had too much information, and we will keep that in mind when designing future backgrounders.

We asked how broadcasting partners were using the backgrounders, and the most common response was to prepare for an interview with farmers (56%). Respondents also said they used the backgrounders to: prepare for an interview with an expert (41%), become more informed on a topic (44%), or prepare episodes on the topic (46%).

Amongst our survey respondents, the most popular backgrounder was about maize production, published in September 2016. However, our Fall armyworm backgrounder has been the most popular online. It has been downloaded from the website and from emails more than 100 times!

We chose three respondents as winners of $50 CAD mobile credit:
– Phinehas Udoeyo, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria
– David Munyaga, Radio Ondense FM, DRC
– Neyom Toukoua, Association des Femmes pour l’autopromotion, Chad

If you would like to share more details on how you have used our backgrounders, please send us an email at We love to hear from our readers!

Stay tuned for the next opportunity to share your feedback on Farm Radio’s resources. In just a few weeks, we will share our annual survey—and we are excited to hear your feedback. As always, the information you provide helps us to improve our resources and develop new ones.