10th Symposium of the Forum Media and Development (FoME)
Audience Research in Media Development: Is It For ME?
That audience research is of crucial importance for international media development and further steps are needed to strengthen local audience research capacities in developing countries was concluded by participants of the 10th symposium of the Forum Media and Development (FoME), organised by CAMECO in Bonn, Germany, on 6th and 7th November, 2014.
About one hundred media practitioners and researchers from thirty countries worldwide met to exchange and discuss experiences of how audience research has been used to enhance the performance of media outlets and development programmes. The symposium focused on four aspects. The role of audience research for media planning was discussed through initiatives such as a citizen engagement programme in Burma, or citizen consultations on media quality in Bolivia. Methodological and logistical challenges of audience research in conflict zones and countries under authoritarian rule were exemplified by case studies from Syria, South Sudan, Belarus and Uzbekistan. A seven-country audience segmentation study in Asia and the concept of meta-milieu typologies reflected on the contribution value-based approaches can make to better understanding audiences. And experiences from Guinea, Uganda, Nepal and Afghanistan offered perspectives on how to strengthen local audience research knowledge as well as national standards and institutions in developing countries.
Most PowerPoint presentations from the FoME symposium are online; a publication with all eighteen contributions is in preparation. Various follow-up proposals were discussed, among them the implementation of an international working group and organisation of a second international conference. (CD)
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Audience Research for Community Oriented Radio Stations in Uganda
Building Capacities for Assessing Listeners and Target Audiences
Between July and November, 2014, twenty radio practitioners, representing twelve community oriented radio stations in Uganda, participated in a three-stage capacity building programme financially supported by the Dutch Foundation Stem van Afrika.
The overall programme is a “pilot project” implemented under the Communication Commission of the Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC), facilitated by Audience Dialogue, and coordinated by CAMECO.
The aim of the first step, a ten-day training workshop in Kampala (July 2014) on Audience Research principles and methodologies, was to enhance understanding of audience research as essential for taking informed decisions, enabling community oriented radio stations to flourish by better satisfying their audiences and stakeholders, generating income and becoming more sustainable. Furthermore, skills were shared on “how to do” audience research in the respective context of the specific stations. The latter was realised through various practical exercises, such as a small survey, a group discussion on an audio clip, and in-depth interviews. At the end of the workshop, each station presented a tentative Audience Research Plan.
The second stage of the programme was a field phase lasting from August to October, 2014. During this period, each radio station was distance monitored and supervised by Audience Dialogue. The ongoing and continuous sharing and exchange among the participants was further enhanced by the creation of an internal Facebook group.
All participating radio stations implemented a research activity at their individual stations, with variations, and produced (or at least started to produce) a report about results. These findings and the experiences gained during the implementation phase were ultimately shared and analysed in the third stage of the programme, a two-day networking/sharing meeting, which took place in November in Kampala.
The following positive points can be highlighted in connection with the programme: An official Call for Interest, with clear participation criteria and requirements, was launched ahead of the capacity building programme, ensuring that participants were well selected and their stations committed to actually implementing audience research. Besides, it was an enriching (and for some participants fully new) experience to bring together Catholic and non-faith based community oriented radio stations. Their mutual attendance initiated exchanges and even joint activities, going far beyond the workshop topic or occasion. For instance, as a result of the November meeting, participants established an “audience research interest group”, with five committee members from across Uganda, to continue joint measures on the topic.
CAMECO and Stem van Afrika are currently in the process of developing a concept on how the initial assistance can be expanded and further intensified. Additional capacity building measures (for probably a limited number of stations) might need to focus more on personalised, one-to-one consultations and on-site assistance. However, the overall concept and structure of the capacity building programme, with its various stages and steps so far, indicate that it will be an adequate and effective procedure, which might be worth repeating in the future, in other (African) countries. (PS)
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Workshop on Planning a Campaign on Behaviour Change Communication
Communication Campaign on Child Nutrition in Burkina Faso
Severe malnutrition continues to plague the Djibasso region. OCADES (the Burkinabe Caritas) and Kindermissionswerk (KMW) maintain their efforts to combine activities and resources towards improving living conditions of mothers and children in the northwest of the Diocese of Nouna, close to Mali. However, supplying food will not have any lasting effect. Behavioural changes in health, nutrition and child nourishment, the introduction of agriculture technology, and small-scale entrepreneurship are the way forward. To this end, OCADES-Nouna, with support from KMW, envisage an incorporated communication campaign on the causes and consequences of malnutrition, promoting improved antenatal monitoring and newborn care, better cooking methods, adequate child nutrition and cultivation of products to complement the typical diet, with the aim to improve the health of under-fives.
In March 2013, CAMECO facilitated a workshop in Nouna to discuss and plan a campaign on Behaviour Change Communication. Throughout 2013 and the beginning of 2014, intensive exchange and discussion took place between OCADES-Nouna, KMW and CAMECO. Unfortunately, no agreement was reached, due to the local partner’s difficulty in determining a well-defined objective and indicators – basically because the extent of the problem was undocumented and a starting point could not be defined. To avoid the whole process grinding to a halt, KMW agreed to finance a baseline survey. This preparatory step was conducted during the second quarter of 2014, with collection of data on the actual degree of malnutrition, and health status of mothers and children in the Djibasso area. An audience survey of communication usage and methods within the target population was incorporated. Based on the results of this baseline survey, OCADES-Nouna drafted a three-year pilot programme focused on significant reduction of malnutrition in the area, thanks to better use of health services and introduction of new ways to feed children.
CAMECO’s contribution to the project was varied and included visits and working sessions with OCADES-Nouna in Burkina Faso, distant exchange via email during all steps of the process, perusal of and advice on the various drafts of the programme and the baseline survey. To date, a new draft of the three-year programme for submission to KMW has been forwarded for analysis and advice, towards completion of a final version for the funding request. (PH)
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Top Five Publications
This section features remarkable new titles in the CAMECO library. The library catalogue and a complete list of new acquisitions are available online.
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Digitisation has only partly led to major news diversity and quality, says this synopsis of 56 country reports on the digitisation of the media sector in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Oceania. Access to information and dissemination channels improved, but at the same time unethical practices, like lack of verification and plagiarism, became current practice. Citizen journalists have become a new source of information, but in many cases the quality of their stories has come under critical scrutiny. The biggest gain from digitisation is the growing space for minority groups. Digital media and online journalism offer hope of new, independent sources of information, but are also a new battleground for censorship and surveillance. Eight chapters of this report are dedicated to thematic issues like the influence of telecommunication providers on news producers or the role of public media in digitisation, followed by eight chapters summarising the most important regional trends.
http:/ / www.opensocietyfoundations.org/ reports/ mapping-digital-media-global-findings
Since the early 1990s, media outlets in Sub-Saharan Africa have proliferated extraordinarily, freeing Africa's press and liberating the airwaves from monopoly by the state. This paper summarises these developments and analyses in how far foreign donors were catalysts of this development. Myers describes the motives and mechanisms of this aid, and discusses whether media proliferation necessarily led to pluralism and genuine freedom. She concludes that "considering the media sector as part of the wider political economy of a country is becoming more widespread in donor circles and, although there is still room for improvement, there is much greater recognition today that supporting a healthy media is a matter of encouraging a wider enabling environment. This requires attention not just to the media outlets themselves but to the laws on free speech, broadcasting regulations, etc."
http://www.ned.org/cima/docs/CIMA- Africa's Media Boom.pdf
In Brazil, India and Kenya, a wide range of factors currently inhibit media from playing their full role in promoting awareness of child rights and in helping children realise their rights, says this report. Crucial issues identified in all three countries include lack of media coverage, inadequate professionalism among journalists, absence of children’s voices in the public debate, and scarce coperation among the media and child rights advocates. For each country, a detailed chapter provides insights into the national media landscape, the child rights reporting practice (based on a content analysis), the "media perspective" (based on focus groups and interviews with media professionals), and the "civil society perspective" (based on focus groups and individual interviews). The report recommends creating more youth journalists by training young people to produce radio programmes; establishing incentives for journalists to specialise in child rights; improving networking among civil society organisations and media, and establishing and monitoring guidelines for reporting on child rights.
http:/ / www.internews.eu/ docs/ Publications/ InternewsEurope_Child_Rights_Report_Web_2014.pdf
Why is advertising crucial for sustainability of independent media, and does it influence content? What makes advertisers choose certain media? Who within a company decides on advertising? How influential are media agencies? And how can media organisations conduct or commission audience research? This publication gives straightforward answers to such fundamental questions. Advertising experts and journalists share their knowledge, based on their experiences in the Middle East and in Germany, in easy-to-understand, non-technical language, and even describe concrete steps towards clinching an advertising deal or organising an audience survey. This publication is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in familiarising themselves with the basics of advertising media planning and its relevance for sustainable media markets.
http:/ / dam.mict-international.org/ mhb/ pageflipdata/ down/ plural_en_inside_20140314.pdf
Franz-Josef Eilers (ed.): Church and social communication: basic documents, 1936-2014. 3d ed. Manila: Logos (Divine Word), 2014, 639 p.
A reference work giving ready access to official Catholic thought on communication. It includes seventeen Vatican documents focusing on media and communication issues, all Pontifical messages for the World Communication Day since its inception in 1967, and communication-related excerpts from nineteen other Pontifical documents and five documents from Latin America, Germany, the Philippines and the USA. Especially helpful are the introductions of the editor, which state the origin and importance of the various texts.