| July 31, 2023

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During the month of July, Farm Radio International is facilitating an online discussion for YenKasa Africa, under the theme of Collaboration for Effective Rural Communication Services. This discussion brings together media – including Farm Radio’s radio partners – and civil society organizations. The discussion is taking place online, via WhatsApp, in a group for Anglophone participants and a group for francophone participants. This is a summary of the Anglophone discussion.

The week of July 17, our online discussion focused on addressing gender issues and the involvement of women in our radio programs, as well as how to prepare for interviews.

A lot of attention was given to the gender issues and women’s involvement. This seems to be a matter of concern to many. There is a common challenge of getting women involved in media related activities. This may be because of cultural beliefs, illiteracy, lack of confidence, access to radio etc. Some of the suggested solutions are :

Radio stations can increase the involvement of women at all levels, from programming to internal decision-making at radio stations. This can be done by dedicating a program on women’s issues. For example, a program on how women understand climate change adaptation and biodiversity using locally-relevant, gender-inclusive nature-based solutions. Radio stations can ensure that everyone working at the radio station is aware of the gender issue and support an approach based on equity towards the running of the radio station and the production of the programs it broadcasts. Radio programming is one of the tools that radio stations can use to promote gender mainstreaming by airing voices and concerns of women, besides the daily news programs. There’s a need to air your programs at a time when women are listening and in the language they prefer. Make women comfortable when they participate in your interviews.


  • Radio station should ensure that their setting includes women and women should be represented in top management position. Women’s programs should be championed by women.
  • Organizations radios can collaborate with: Gender specialists, women in agriculture, women’s organizations, organizations that embrace gender diversity, organizations that have the same vision of bridging the gender equality gap, NGOs, government departments, CBOs, traditional leaders, religious leaders, welfare, gender-based violence rehabilitation centres


An interview should aim at getting information from the interviewee, in their own words, facts, opinions or reasons on a particular subject so listeners can form their own opinion. These are some of the common deliberations:

  • Know the kind of information your audience needs, select the right topic, get a relevant subject-matter specialist, do some research to get more information on the topic and draft guiding questions
  • Organize a briefing session between the broadcaster and the subject-matter specialist, with the broadcaster briefing the resource person about expectations including the objective of the interview, the targeted audience, and time of the interview. During the briefing session, the broadcaster may also ask the subject-matter specialist of any other information he may find useful for the audience.
  • If possible, organize a pre-interview but explain that this is not the real interview so they will have to still cover the issues talked about in the real interview.
  • If interview is pre-recorded, have all the necessary tools ready and in working order.
  • Orientate your guest so s/he may be familiar with the equipment.
  • Be a good listener and ask follow-up questions
  • Guide the discussion or interview and not be intimidated by the subject matter specialist

It may be desirable to share the actual questions with the expert. However, there are some disadvantages to doing that. These disadvantages have been outlined in one of the FRI documents shared this week (Interviewing experts: Best practices for broadcasters and experts).

Should the broadcaster send the expert interviewee a list of interview questions?

Though many people feel that they should, there are some disadvantages to doing so.

– Providing the full list of questions beforehand can result in the expert controlling the interview and dictating which questions will be asked and answered.

– Also, instead of answering one question at a time (which builds on the audience`s knowledge in a step-by-step manner), the expert may answer one question, then give a speech which includes answers to several other questions, but in insufficient detail, and with no room for follow-ups.

Because of these downsides, it is recommended that the broadcaster inform the expert beforehand (for example, when scheduling the interview on the phone) about the topic to be discussed, and provide a short list of the kinds of questions the expert might expect. This scheduling conversation should be as detailed as necessary to prepare the expert for the topic to be discussed, but without providing the actual questions.


  • Drafting key talking points
  • Knowing about the program, the radio station and the audience they will be addressing
  • Arrive early
  • Answer all questions and refer listeners if needed
  • Use simple understandable language and avoid jargon
  • Ask the interviewer or producer beforehand what their expectations of you are; what type of angles on the topic at hand are they looking for?
  • Know who else will be interviewed so you have the full picture.

For more information on preparing for interviews for both broadcasters and subject matter specialists,  refer to the resource shared on “Interviewing experts”.