Technical Training Workshop for Community Radio Practitioners in Western India
In July 2013, UNESCO partnered with Tamarind Tree Trust (TTT), a Maharashtra-based NGO, to conduct a workshop that provided technical training to 23 community radio (CR) practitioners in western India. The event was part of an IPDC-funded project under which four capacity-building workshops for CR personnel are being organized in the country’s northern, southern, eastern and western zones.
The TTT workshop targeted organizations that are preparing to set up a CR station and have already received a Letter of Intent. The three-day course was structured into eight modules. The course began with a historical overview of the CR sector in India, and explored certain key impediments to its growth, such as the cumbersome licensing procedure for CR stations. The second module focused on the technical requirements of CR stations and demonstrated the use of low-cost transmission equipment. Subsequent modules provided hands-on training for assembling transmitters and recording, editing, mastering and mixing. The course also included practical lessons in content development and encouraged CR stations to air at least 70–80 per cent of live programmes rather than recorded and edited ones.
Trainees were educated about the use of automation software to air programmes, create pre-programmed playlists, record live speech, receive and make phone calls and record dial-in conversations, and add or edit metadata for programmes. The course emphasized the need for CR stations to create teams of personnel to begin using automation systems, who could subsequently train their peers to do the same. The final module dealt with ‘Internet radio’, and taught participants how to stream radio content over the Internet.
Feedback collected from the participants after the workshop indicated that the combination of theoretical lessons and practical training had been much appreciated. Opinions were sought from participants on how to strengthen the network of CR practitioners in Western India, and strategies were formulated for sharing programme content and good practices among geographically proximate CR stations.
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