description of activity

Adapted from SMART radio training.

The trainer will aim to find issues for a special radio broadcast (e.g. a daily information magazine).

A brainstorming session on the participants’ suggestions for topics based on their interests will follow.

The trainer will collect as many suggestions as possible without choosing any one of them for roughly 20 minutes. Afterwards the group will discuss every topic/issue with regards to their relevance, motivation and potential public interest for 15 minutes.

The participants will select three or four topics.

The trainer will divide the participants into groups of interest. The participants will then discuss in groups the main issues concerning the chosen topic and afterwards present their findings, including:

  • Selecting the angle
  • Listing possible sources

The group session will last 20 minutes.

The trainer will ask learners to present the results of their group work (30 minutes in total) and ask them:

  • why that angle and no other?
  • why those sources and no others?

The trainer should then facilitated a 30 minutes discussion on:

  • The Advantages and Dangers of the Sources selected
  • Which sources are primary and which secondary?
  • all possible angles
  • how the story will impact in the specific group referred to by the story as well as the impact on public opinion.

ASSESSING THE LEARNING OUTCOMES

The assessment will be based in the results of the research combined with the final group discussion. The focus of the activity is not on the final result, but on the group and individual awareness on the motivation and reasons to choose specific topics, sources and angles, and on the impact that their constructed story might have in the group or individual portrait in the media text.

Some questions that can be asked:

  • Why this topic and no other?
  • Why this angle and no other? What are the reasons (audience, controversy, alternative…)?
  • Why this source and no other? How did you decide on the sources / interviewees (expertise, well-known people, alternative point of view, primary sources)?
  • Why are some primary sources excluded? How do you think this exclusion will play on the mind of the audience?
  • What do you think your angle and sources bring to the public knowledge of the story?
  • Have you considered the inclusion of people from a minority group to offer their opinion, experience and/or expertise on this particular issue? Why?
  • How do you think the public perception will be altered by the information your item is providing? Will be reinforced, challenged, will it add other perspective?
  • How do you think public perception will be of the group / individual being portrait in your news item?
  • What do you think the role of the journalist is to their sources, but also to the public and to the subject of the story?

information on the activity

This activity will show participants how journalists find material for their articles and identify different kind of sources available outside the ‘experts’ being used by mainstream media. The participants will analyse the reasons behind their own bias, find the causes and think of the possible consequences for the individual or group represented in the item they have researched.

Participants will understand

  • Editorial work means forming and shaping an unclear topic (covering information)
  • Editorial work is based on two fundamentals: programme philosophy and structure
  • The cycle of editorial work
  • Ways of internal decision making
  • The basics of and the criteria for choosing topics/issues in the public's centre of attention (current affairs)
  • How to avoid stereotypes in reporting and communicating in the media.
  • Is it media exclusive to a “selected” group?
  • What is the media agenda
  • Understand the relevance for migrants, ethnic/religious minorities, LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities, women, youth and senior citizens to get a voice in the media and how to facilitate this.

INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Whiteboard/blackboard/flipchart and markers, chalk
  • Wifi
  • A room is recommended for each working group

EQUIPMENT

Tablets/Laptops

MATERIALS

Newspapers, Press releases, Flipchart and markers, writing Materials for Learners.

DURATION

120 minutes (2 hours)

RECOMMENDED NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS

12

TIPS FOR TRAINERS

Trainer should be familiar with the content of sources hand-out and primary and secondary sources. This has a media literacy lining , as it is also worth briefly returning to the definition of Community Media here - pointing out that community radio considers that individuals that live specific situations are the real ‘experts’. Also that community radio tends to draw their sources from the community and organisations and groups under-represented in media outputs.