27 June 2007
Good quality programming makes a radio station trustworthy. Kyrgyz community radio station Radiomost takes this common wisdom not only as a lip service.The Talas-based media NGO has started a journalism training program last April thanks to funding by UNESCO. In workshops and practical trainings eight students are undergoing intensive journalism training: i.e how to write news, conducting interviews or what is the political system. For many of the trainees becoming a journalist is a childhood dream come true: “When I was a little girl I was impersonating news anchors”, says 21-year old Nazira. And her colleague Akilay adds “I have been writing news stories for a long time and now I re-write them many times so my stories become really professional.“
When Radiomost will go on air, these motivated journalists are ready to inform and entertain Talas citizens. The official start of the Unesco funded community radio station on 100.5 FM is scheduled for end of August. The mission of the radio station is to fill the information gap in this region. Talas is a secluded region in the Tien Shan mountain ranges and this also means that news or other information rarely reach the locals in time. After the break-down of the Soviet Union the communication infrastructure went down, as well. Today, many villages in this rural district do not have telephones and local radio stations and newspapers have been given up.
Naturally Radiomost faces a big challenge and there is still a lot to learn – but with each new workshop the vision of a viable community radio becomes more and more reality.
For Bakyt Nurzhanov, Mediamost’s director, the trainees’ progress has become visible already after three months: “The youngsters have grown up. They have already discovered their strengths and weaknesses. They know what stories they can do. I am also very pleased that people who gave an interview to our journalists later on asked me whether they were good interview partners.”
And some of the trainees have already developed ideas for their own programs. “I want to do my own radio show and will focus on family problems. For instance, bride kidnapping is a big problem here and I want to bring this issue to public attention”, says fifth-grade student Salkinai.
In order to better understand the information needs of Talas citizens, the journalism training program also includes audience research and radio programs will be developed according to the specific information needs of Talas people – each day will be dedicated to a certain sphere, so there will be news, for instance, for farmers, women or young people.
Training supported by the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC)