Helubanchi Enyew, senior reporter with Amhara Mass Media Agency, Ethiopia

| February 2, 2020

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Helubanchi Enyew is an Ethiopian journalist, born and raised in Bahir Dar City. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Amharic in 2008 and is working on a Master’s in Media and Communications.

Mrs. Enyew has been working as a professional journalist for the past eleven years, and is currently with a government agency called Amhara Mass Media Agency, where she works on various programs as a senior reporter with Bahir Dar FM 96.9.

In addition to her regular programs, she has been working with Farm Radio International as a reporter and producer for FRI’s agricultural programs, most recently on a series about rice and vegetable production and value chain improvement. Mrs. Enyew says the work with FRI is very different from her usual activities because it allows her to visit farmers in their own areas. She says she meets women and men who are growing all kinds of different crops and encountering various challenges.

She says: “Because of Farm Radio International, not only have I learned a lot about best practices in journalism, but I have also learned a lot about agriculture. This has helped me to better understand the listening audience for all of my work. As a working journalist, I always want to improve my radio craft.”

Mrs. Enyew has participated in FRI design workshops, in-station trainings, VOICE standards, and many telephone and email interactions. She says it was this learning process with FRI that encouraged her to apply for graduate studies in journalism and media and continues to impact her work as a journalist.

She says her biggest strength is making her radio programs entertaining as well as informative. She adds, “I have had a lot of feedback from farmers who have listened to the programs and who tell me that they have particularly enjoyed the interviews with women and men farmers.”

Mrs. Enyew says that as a female producer and reporter, she is glad that FRI supports an equality-based environment. She says, “I am encouraged and supported when interviewing women farmers and using their voices on air.” She adds that FRI’s Uliza polling system has been very helpful in maintaining this balance between female and male farmers as it gives her access to the ideas and opinions of women farmers.

She notes that FRI encourages broadcasters to use local music and a variety of voices in each episode. This can be tough to balance in a short radio program, says Mrs. Enyew, when there is so much important information to share. But, she adds: “We have to make the most of the airtime we have. By using different techniques to keep it interesting, we are able to communicate the information that benefits farmers the most each time.”

Mrs. Enyew says that working with FRI has helped her to be creative and informative in her radio broadcasting and to understand the needs of farmers, their way of life, and the challenges they face.

She adds: “As I continue my studies in journalism, I will take with me the training and techniques that I have learned from working with FRI. I feel knowledgeable and confident that we are making a difference in the lives of Ethiopian farm families.”

Helubanchi Enyew was one of the runners-up for the George Atkins Communications Award in 2019. This award celebrates radio broadcasters who produce excellent programs that serve farmers and rural communities. In our Spotlight section, you will find profiles of the winners and other runners-up.