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Steps for story-based farm radio programming – Step 1: Topical thinking

As you’ll read below in the Farm Radio Action section, radio practitioners involved in the African Farm Radio Research Initiative (AFRRI) recently took part in a training session to hone their broadcasting skills. As part of this training, they reviewed eight steps for story-based farm radio programming. These steps will be reprinted in the Radio Resource section of upcoming FRWs. Here is Step 1: Topical thinking:

Topics don’t make for very interesting broadcasting. Good radio is more often found in people talking to people about people. So, you’ll want to break down a broad topic or issue to identify possible angles, and, from there, possible stories. “Free-thinking” (naming all the issues people associate with the main topic) can help you break down a topic into an interesting subject for a story. Try using a mind map, such as the one illustrated below.

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Mind map on the subject of hybrid maize (Mangochi, Malawi)

Example: In Malawi, the AFRRI team used the mind map technique to break down the broad topic of “hybrid maize.” The mind map revealed many possible angles they could pursue for a single program, or a series of programs, on the topic. As you can see in the example below, many interesting story ideas arose from their mind map, including: access to hybrid seeds, “poundability,” and storage.

-Select a topic you want to use for a story and create your own mind map. What do you see? ?
-What might make for an interesting program? Explain why your subject might make an interesting story.