admin | January 6, 2023
Radio Rurale Locale de Koubia is located in Koubia, northeast of Guinea’s capital Conakry, and is the voice of this region’s agricultural news. Every Sunday from 9:10 p.m. to 10:10 p.m., Souleymane Diallo and Mamadou Adama Balde also give voice to the station’s listeners. In doing so, they collect and analyze listeners’ comments with the aim of improving the station’s many programs.
To listen to its audience, the station broadcasts a program called “Society of listeners.” Mr. Diallo, the program manager, explains, “It is a program during which we ask listeners’ opinions about the programs produced and broadcast by our radio station.”
Radio Rurale Locale de Koubia broadcasts to an estimated 119,300 people. “Society of Listeners” represents an opportunity to ensure that the station is effectively delivering high quality, interactive radio programs that meet listeners’ needs.
Episodes of “Society of Listeners” are prepared during the daily meetings of the editorial board. These meetings are used to choose the programs that will feature in a given episode. This gives different program teams the opportunity to benefit from listener feedback.
Overall, feedback is positive—but some listeners have insightful suggestions which help the station improve.
Mr. Diallo says: “Generally, those who give feedback say that they are satisfied. There are also a certain number of listeners who say, for example, that the Tuesday programme is on at such and such a time, and we would like you to change that. Based on these comments, we try to make the necessary changes.”
He gives the example of a program called “Social cohesion,” which is broadcast every Wednesday. Feedback from the Society of Listeners helped the radio to improve the broadcasting techniques used in this program, as well as guide interviews with guests and listeners.
Broadcasters at Radio Rurale Locale de Koubia use phone-ins as the primary means of involving listeners in the programs. They also use SMS and WhatsApp messaging.
Mr. Diallo says the program has been a great benefit to the station. He explains: “I have learned a lot through this program because it gives me a lot of advice on how to improve our radio programs and other advice related to social and behavioural change.”
The principle of interactive rural radio is to establish a two-way channel of communication between broadcasters and listeners. Mr. Diallo says this approach is more dynamic than radio formats that don’t include listeners’ voices. He adds that it’s crucial to create ways to collect and analyze audience feedback.
To his fellow broadcasters, Mr. Diallo has this message: “We, as journalists and communicators, work for the people. For this work to be improved, we must ask the opinions of those who listen to and consume the information we broadcast. For this to be effective, we need to set up this kind of program.”
Photo: Clara Moita, radio presenter, at Radio 5 studio in Tanzania on October 8, 2013.