Radio Baraza Pilot – The Role Of The Media



We are pretesting one of the nine Radio Documentaries we have produced under the pilot phase of our Radio Baraza Project. In this programme we hold barazas (meetings) with residents of four counties (Uasin Gishu, Kisumu, Nairobi and Nakuru) to seek their views on issues affecting their constitutional right to Freedom of Expression and Access to Information with a special focus on the role of the media. Please ensure to leave comments below with your views about the documentary to help us finalise and avail it to the wider listening public.

Comments ( 10 )

  • ..Has the media done anything good for the communities? Sounds like a bashing of the media sort of documentary, yet, despite the flaws, we know the media does a commendable job, despite its limitations.

    • Dear Mellissa Oluoko,
      Thank you for your comments.
      In response, we would like to begin by giving you a bit more background to the project. As you know, we are a media organization and in our operations over the years, we have partnered with others in various projects in which we have analyzed the state of the media (ownership and practice) and hence sought to enquire directly from media consumers through organized grassroots meetings, what their thoughts were. Hence it was planned that those meetings remain uncensored and the groups we met were randomly selected as samples of the listening public in the counties visited. The aim was for them to express themselves freely and from their input, it is hoped that the media fraternity would gain a wealth of knowledge regarding how our readers, viewers and listeners would wish that we engage with them going forward
      So we would like to encourage you not to view their input as “media bashing” but rather, as constructive criticism from which we as practitioners can learn in ways that will help us grow as we continue to inform our networks of readers, listeners and viewers.

    • Dear Solomon,

      Thank you for this keen observation on the technical aspect of the radio documentary. We will address that before we publish for general listening.

  • This is good – but might be a bit too long for a report. Personally I listen to longer podcasts if they involve conversations or panel discussions. Good job, nevertheless, creating more local content! Go ahead and upload it asap!

    • Thank you Simon Kaheru, for your constructive criticism. You are right, this is a pilot project in which we aim to develop local content produced by independent practitioners. We have produced 9 radio documentaries which will be pre-tested before finally posting them. Your comments will go a long way in helping us realise this.

  • Good evening,

    The documentary is well done.

    I just have a few observations:
    I am curious about what happens to the feedback received from the communities interviewed, otherwise we risk reiterating what has already perennially been shared as feedback about the media without offering solutions or recommendations to address the challenges raised in the same documentary.

    I am particularly interested in the feedback regarding the women leaders’s unwillingness to face the media and comment on certain topics. My work is advocacy based and have had an opportunity to interact with women leaders who are often found in these situations. It would be beneficial to also interview some of them to find out where their challenges with the media is, one of which from my experiences has been that when they give commitments on topical issues, the media either distorts the information or picks a portion of it and reports it out of context. Since they are politicians, it would be natural to shy away from negative publicity and destroy their reputations.

    I would think perhaps interview questions to these communities on what can be done differently by the media to facilitate their access to information would have been useful,so that the feedback is not left hanging.

    The relationship with the media is one of give and take, I am looking forward to some give and take recommendations on how best to engage, this would benefit my advocacy work as well. I hope this is also a series you will be doing.

    Many thanks,

    • Hello Lorraine,

      Thank you for your very comprehensive feedback.
      You raise a very important point regarding “next steps”. We received similar questions from some participants in the media barazas. The purpose of the media barazas was to gather information based on various themes that we had sought to investigate. Beyond the 9 documentaries being produced under this pilot project, the bigger agenda is to design a new approach to developing media content from the point of view of targeted beneficiaries. Early indications from the analysis of the data we collected show a great need for informative radio programs than are currently being broadcast via many of the radio stations in Kenya.

      Yes, the representation of women leaders in the media is something we have a keen interest in, given our background. You might recall the participation of both your organization and ours, in programs such as the GGP and others, and its quite something to hear today that women still face challenges working with the media as stated by the lady journalist in the documentary. This pilot program is actually a precursor to an initiative we have developed for a more sustained engagement of women in audiovisual media. Women leaders are particularly of great interest especially given that their absence in the media might be contributing to the challenge we are currently facing as regards the 2/3-gender bill. In this connection, we would appreciate your help in putting us in touch with the women leaders you talked about so that we can take this discussion further as you have suggested

      Also as you have rightly pointed out, getting solutions from the ground regarding the gap between the media and the people would be beneficial. This is one of the things that inspired the project as a whole ant this particular radio program does highlight some recommendations for the people on the ground, but as you have suggested, it is certainly something that we plan on pursuing more in-depth in subsequent programs.

      Best regards.

  • There is a lot of background noice at the beginning of the documentary. Is possible to introduce it using some nice sountrack? the content is fine though.
    I hope you have taken care of all your target audience with respect to language used in the documentary.
    Great work.

    • Hello Joel,

      Thank you for your input. The intro sequence was intended as a montage of sound effects combining various voices from the counties with the different views coming from the people there. But it seems that this has not come out clearly and there is therefore a need to improve it as you have suggested. One of the options we are exploring is to develop an audio program ID to be used as a signature tune for all the episodes that will be produced under this project.

      Regarding the target audience, the intention is to translate this documentary (and indeed all the other 8 under this pilot phase) into Kiswahili and other Kenyan languages. We are currently raising funds to support this process.


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