The importance of collaboration for quality broadcasting

| September 15, 2023

Download this story

Collaboration is crucial in the world of broadcasting for a multitude of reasons. The purpose of radio is to convey information and provide entertainment, and to connect with audiences by providing content that interests them.

Recently, we organized an online discussion on this topic, and facilitator Meli Rostand shared his experience as a concrete example of how collaboration can benefit a radio program. For Mr. Rostand, becoming a radio journalist was a childhood dream. He had loved reading since elementary school, and now wanted to tell stories like those he had read. As a youngster, he often listened to the radio, which further reinforced this dream. After his studies, he took his first steps in the profession at the age of 25.

Mr. Rostand worked for a community radio station in western Cameroon, Radio Batcham 96.7 FM, from 2000 to 2011. He conceived and produced numerous programs on various topics, including agriculture, health, and culture. He was director of programs and information for seven years. Since 2012, he has been pursuing his career as a journalist working for the Cameroon government in the infrastructure development sector. 

During his career as a radio journalist, he has had many responsibilities, including daily production of a 15-minute news bulletin. In his search for content for his bulletin in 2009, he came across a press release announcing a workshop organized by the national program for the development of roots and tubers for the benefit of farmers in a major potato production area. He was surprised that his radio station had not been invited to cover the event. He decided to attend the meeting of the facilitating organization, where he learned that the radio sales department had demanded a high fee to cover the event, which was why it had limited itself to the press release.

He asked for a seat in the organization’s vehicle to cover the event free of charge, not wanting to miss this opportunity to enrich his news and agricultural program. His request was rejected, as the travel plan had already been drawn up and all seats were filled. Determined, he set off on his motorcycle the next morning in very cold, cloudy weather and travelled 50 km to attend the event. During the introductions at the opening of the workshop, the program’s main managers, who had come from the capital, were pleasantly surprised by his presence and immediately announced a partnership with his station for ongoing coverage of the program’s activities in his region.

Two months later, an agreement formalized the partnership. Every year, it brought in 1.2 million CFA francs for Radio Batcham. Two years later, when he left the station, the collaboration agreement was still in force. Mr. Rostand points out that good collaboration, whether internal or external, attracts funding.  

Radio production includes many types of tasks, including creating content, script writing, voice modulation, sound design, and technical operations. Mr. Rostand says: “Broadcasting is a process of continuous creation and innovation. To produce useful and captivating content, it is important to develop a network of relationships that can provide you with the right information at the right time to enlighten your audience and help improve the daily lives of the community you are targeting.”

Collaboration brings together different perspectives and ideas. This diversity fuels innovation and creativity, leading to unique and compelling radio content. Mr. Rostand says: “A team with fluid communication, where some care about the success of others and the structure as a whole, can only be a champion. When we hold hands for a common goal, it brings us closer to success, which requires good management of human and material resources, as well as a permanent culture of general interest. Challenging oneself by integrating constructive criticism can boost performance and make it easier to achieve the desired results.”

Collaboration in broadcasting improves content quality, promotes innovation, and strengthens the bond between broadcasters and their audience. By working effectively as a team, radio professionals can create meaningful experiences that touch listeners and encourage them to stay tuned.