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Radio journalists in Laos launch new participatory programmes

02-06-2006 (New Delhi)
Radio journalists in Laos launch new participatory programmes
Radio has become a forum for ordinary people at Bolikhamsay Provincial Radio Station in Laos
© UNESCO Office in New Delhi
Ordinary citizens in Laos now have a new forum to air their views, after 18 radio journalists, producers, and technicians received training in new technology that makes it easier to directly involve listeners in their programmes.
The training carried out by the Asia Pacific Institute of Broadcast Development (AIBD) recognizes that radio stations worldwide face growing competition as listeners switch to television or the Internet to satisfy their demands for information, entertainment, and communication.

The training course, supported by UNESCO's International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), revealed how ICT can make it much easier and faster to record interviews in the field with members of the public, as well as edit and mix radio programs.

“Initially I thought it would be very difficult to use the new technology, but it only took a short time before I understood how to use the new equipment and now it will make our job much easier,” said producer and technician Khampou Savanh Pensavant.

The training course was conducted over two weeks in May at regional radio stations serving Bolikhamxay Province in central Laos, as well as Udomxai in the mountainous north of the country.

Journalists, producers, and technicians in these provinces received hands-on training in the ICT equipment and by the end of the course had launched entirely new radio programs that highlight the ideas and views of ordinary people in their communities.

The first programs to go on air provided a voice for village elders, local tour operators, market traders, restaurateurs, shoppers, guesthouse managers, and motorcycle repairmen.

Future programs in these innovative, ongoing series plan to feature the views of farmers, students, teachers, trishaw drivers, and fishermen to name just a few, on a variety of subjects, which affect their everyday, lives.

“I believe the people in our province of Oudomxay will enjoy this program very, very much, especially because they can hear themselves on the radio,” said journalist Syphoy Syphayvong.

AIBD/UNESCO/IPDC supplied Paksan radio station with an MP3 recorder, microphone, headphones and sound editing software, while the Udomxai station received the same equipment, along with a desktop computer.

The digital technology allowed the participants to include in their new programs a lively and exciting array of sound effects, which they collected in the field.

“It would have been very time consuming and difficult to make the same program if I had to rely on old analogue equipment like the cassette recorders we were using before,” said journalist Maiphone Phommachan.

In April AIBD carried out a similar training course at regional radio stations in Bangladesh, and a further two weeks of training is scheduled to take place in Vietnam in June.
Radio journalists in Laos launch new participatory programmes Radio producers experienced how to produce and edit radio programs with modern technology
© UNESCO Office in New Delhi

Radio journalists in Laos launch new participatory programmes At Oudomxay Provincial Radio station the program went on air for the first time using their new studio computer
© UNESCO Office in New Delhi
Related themes/countries

      · Lao People's Democratic Republic
      · Media Development: News Archives 2006
      · News Archives: 2006
      · Content Development: News Archives 2006
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