Strengthening the Media by Building Community Reporting Capacity | Topics | DW | 02.03.2012
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Strengthening the Media by Building Community Reporting Capacity

media interview © wellphoto #34433458

26 June, 11:30 a.m., Room A/B
Hosted by
Voices of Africa Media Foundation (VOAM)

Many campaigns in rural and urban parts of Africa do not achieve the expected results despite the considerable efforts, energy and resources invested in them. This workshop sets out to demonstrate that one of the most important elements that has so far been neglected is ‘the grassroots viewpoint’ on cultural, political, educational and social issues. If policymakers were aware of the feelings, beliefs, and opinions of targeted local communities, they would better orient and implement their policies and campaigns with greater chances of success.

With about 100 mobile reporters trained in seven African countries, the Voices of Africa Media Foundation (VOAMF) has introduced the concept of mobile reporting, whereby local reporters equipped with mobile phones are trained and coached to bring the missing grassroots viewpoint to the public space. By doing so, community reporting is established to bring forth issues that matter to the members of the community.

The workshop will show how mobile reporting training works and how VOAMF can implement it in existing communication programs for all organizations that run community-oriented projects in Africa. This will be illustrated by two case studies taken from the mobile reporting training programs that VOAMF carried out for Free Press Unlimited in Zimbabwe and the Institute for War and Peace Reporting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In all cases, reporters using mobile phones reveal some of the deepest reasons why the grassroots viewpoint is far removed from that of policymakers.


de Wit, Pim
Director, Voices of Africa Media Foundation, The Netherlands

Gouby, Mélany
Journalist, Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo

Nyirubugara, Dr. Olivier
Senior Trainer and Coach, Voices of Africa Media Foundation, The Netherlands