Community radio journalists stimulate talks on COVID-19
The Namibia Community Broadcasters Network recently hosted an online listening session through its coordination centre, aimed at making community radio journalists advocates within their communities to ensure knowledge and stimulate talks about the importance of stopping the coronavirus pandemic.
The project, supported by the European Union, was initiated in April 2020 and seen content production going through May and June 2020 Namibia Community Broadcasters Network, with 6 participating radio stations / journalists covering over 4 regions including towns of Gobabis, Ondangwa, Oranjemund and Opuwo with most rural localities as far in surroundings also covered.
The 6 participants of the project were Maria Namupala (Shipi FM), Edwin Kamutjemo (Omaheke Radio), Vernon Van Wyk (NUST FM), Uakuturua Kambaekua (Kunene Radio), Johannes Orr (BASE FM) and Rejoice Heita (Oranjemund FM).
The project created informative radio content in English and local languages to raise awareness, update and educate the small towns and rural communities about the COVID19 / Corona virus and its impact on livelihoods subsequently giving local updates to the nation. One key element of the project has been the bottom-up approach to inform the nation from community (citizens, focus groups, leaders) levels giving situations, issues, feedback and recommendations; rather than the usual top down streaming of information.
These community activists, gain ultimate fulfillment by producing and airing weekly radio formats containing such information as well as getting their communities to express their concerts and wishes. They also ensured to work with national and local stakeholders such as National Covid19 Communication Centre, Ministry of Health, Ministry of ICT, Police Departments, Regional Councils and media partners such as NAMPA and NBC to receive and or extend credible and timeous information.
This project was initiated and headed by Levi Katire, Amor Bason and Tjipenandjambi Hoveka from the Namibia Community Broadcasters Network Centre in Windhoek collaborating mainly with Susan Lewis from the supporting partner EU.
“Our passion is to continue supporting community media to the extent that we can to ensure that there is hope, excitement for work and growth for these young journalists,” Lewis said.
According to Lewis for continuity, the project was fruitful and used as basis to inspire the now ongoing 6 months DW Akademie supported, biweekly radio programme called, ‘This Is It Namibia, produced by Rochelle Peter Mjila.
The show now still focuses on covid19 using the same journalists and radio formats but eventually geared to cover the upcoming elections.