This is what came out of Week 2 contributions:
Week 2 focus was on sharing experiences of collaborating with others, and also taking into consideration benefits and challenges. As someone said, “collaboration brings about mutual achievements and all the stakeholders must pursue the same objective".
Looking at who broadcasters and stakeholders collaborate with, this came out:
- different government ministries,like health, agriculture, education, community development, social welfare and other institutions , audiences in terms of getting feedback, media houses , CSOs, NGOs, print and tv journalists, market women, different station departments - producers collaborate with presenters, announcers, studio engineers, small scale farmers, community based organisations, research institutions etc.
- radio stations through talk-shows where we elaborate more about farming and agricultural projects, teaching listeners new methods that will improve their production.
- other stakeholders and government departments to co-fund and co-design a project to promote localization agenda
Benefits of collaboration for broadcasters
- the information given by institutions speaks to the needs of our communities
- education from these sectors help the listeners, and also educate the entire public on important matters
- resources mobilization when these institution bring programs on the radio they actually pay
- producing productive programs for the radio to attract business
- encourages team work within the station and stakeholders
- transparency on activities done within our stations
- brings about diversity in terms of radio programs, not a one-way thing.
- people get to enjoy the program sessions and also contribute
- propagates good news about the radio station.
- earn new skills and also benefit from others' expertise.
- collaborating with journalists from different geographical locations reduces travel costs
- collaboration also saves time because participants divide tasks.
- collaboration with FRI impacted immensely in our style of programs production, boosted our capacity and confidence.
- existing collaboration can connect you to other potential collaborators
- coming together, sharing ideas, and brainstorming together can help overcome challenges.
- it brings people of mixed-skills together
- new channels for communications open up and important information shared easily
- it provides a platform to learn from each other
- exposes teams to new ideas.
- helps to increase individual and team productivity, improve relationships, more effective problem solving and increases knowledge.
- enhances efficiency and also helps individuals feel they belong to a team
- have access to interview stakeholders and in turn produce programmes and news reports
- tapping into the skills, knowledge, resources, and capabilities that sped up our processes and reaching out to our esteemed listeners.
- collaboration with stakeholders help uncover potential risks that might have had a negative impact
- Farm Radio International have been very outstanding in terms of training and re-training of media and stakeholders over
the years. They have provided the media space with resources and a hands-on dossiers to engage in meaningful and interactions that have an impact on the target audience. This collaboration has strengthen mutually beneficial relationships for the media and society, and has conveniently helped both the media and the audience to access what they need when they need it.
- collaboration help us to identify and remove potential roadblocks that would have otherwise held up our projects to breed distrust.
- we improved ways of managing our relationships with the stakeholders.
- collaborating with stakeholders is very helpful for risk prevention, making it easier to implement mitigation strategies and ensure they were carried out to foster a lasting relationship.
- there is a higher chance that when a healthy collaboration with stakeholders is maintained, it can help to encourage greater alignment between their needs and your needs.
- it ensures that our programs are aligned with government or national approved standards thereby reducing misinformation.
- It also promotes trust and credibility among our audience.
- help in peace building dialogues and conflict resolution in the crisis affected areas in the state.
- great chain that fosters communication for development
Benefits of collaboration for stakeholders
- get linked to farmers
- integrated health education on sensitization and awareness creation through radio talk-shows
- ability to reach out to a larger target of people/farmers at a time
- timely and a simple delivery of information within a shortest possible time
- economically effective and sustainable
- collaboration amplifies our advocacy efforts and significantly increases our impact.
- on teamwork, there may be people with different ideologies and perceptions
- broadcasting policies, rules and regulations fail the collaboration depending on the type of station involved, eg religious stations vs entertainment stations
- sometimes i’s difficult to get the resource personnel from public institutions, disappointments because of work schedules, when invited departments are not able to make it.
- climate change and weather especially rainfall sometime has an effect on people attending to the radio program.
- slow teammates or those who never want to compromise and learn from others.
- lack of continuous funding of programs production and also to reach out to more farmer communities.
- commitment and discipline most likely becomes weak for some collaborators and that affects effectiveness and sustainability
- most of the NGOs have changed the community mindset. They always give transport refund to their workshop/meeting participants so if you don’t have funds you can’;t gather people
- poor communication skills for some of the stakeholders can lead to distorted information
- some resource person expect monetary gain from the radio station for sharing their knowledge
- there is a challenge of continuous support and sustainability of such partnerships
- the economy of media in many African countries is unstable, budget is small
- language sometimes may be a barrier, if the resource person is not a local
- division among community leaders
- for stakeholders, there are many radio stations and they end up failing to select which station to collaborate with
- it is hard to get a time appropriate to every potential listener
- women hardly participate or contribute to programs
- timelines stakeholders and authorities set for the collaboration are usually short-term
Our resource people have also been very helpful in responding to issues raised. Here are some notes from their contributions:
Media work is team work. It is said that no man is an island. We all need one another to achieve great things. However, collaboration isn’t always easy to achieve like it has been said on this platform time without number. Regarding lack of women participation in radio phone-in programmes, the suggestion is to try to identify 2 or 3 women callers who would be cohosting the programme - one at a time. Their main role would be to encourage fellow women to participate in the programme. Normally, when other women listeners hear the voices of fellow local women on air, encouraging them. The issue of resource persons expecting to be paid by the radio station for sharing their knowledge is a symptom of lack of clarity between the parties about their relationship. When it is collaboration, no collaborator expects to receive any benefit from the other as a thank you or payment for their contribution, except their proportional contribution towards the achievement of the shared objective of the action. Each of the collaborators has a shared interest in the objective. For instance, on one hand you have the radio station which wants to inform its listeners who may be fishermen about tomorrow’s weather so that the latter can plan accordingly but do not have the weather data or do not know how to interpret it. On the other hand, you have the weather team who have the information but do not have the way to disseminate it widely. The two, the radio and the weatherman/woman collaborate to achieve the objective of informing the listener. It would be absurd under this example for the weatherman/woman to expect payment from the radio. However, if one of the parties is not interested to inform the listeners, but has been asked to do so by the other, it is normal for them to expect, or ask for payment. That is why we emphasize that in collaboration, ensure that your objective is clear and that all collaborators are interested in its achievement. When your coming together is in the form of a partnership or a cooperation,
payments are expected. So, make sure that before anything else, all stakeholders should have an understanding of their agreement (collaboration/partnership/cooperation) to avoid surprises and disappointments.
Collaborating with other stakeholders can help achieve our goals in different ways as it has been mentioned by many of us. For example, collaboration can enable sharing of best practices, knowledge, and innovation, leading to improved processes, products, and services. Collaboration can also create new markets, partnerships, and revenue streams, as well as enhance reputation and trust.
In as much as there are benefit in collaborating, there are also challenges that we need to take note which others have continued highlighting. For instance, collaboration can involve complex and time-consuming negotiations, coordination, and communication, which may affect the speed and flexibility of decision-making. Collaboration can also create conflicts
of interest, competition, and power imbalances among stakeholders, which may affect the fairness and transparency of outcomes.
To overcome these challenges, there is need to adopt a strategic and proactive approach to collaboration. This means identifying and engaging with the relevant stakeholders, understanding their needs and expectations, and aligning the goals and incentives of the collaboration. It also means establishing clear roles and responsibilities, rules and norms. Moreover, it means fostering a culture of trust, openness, and learning, as well as addressing any issues or conflicts that may arise.
In conclusion, collaboration with various stakeholders is the lifeblood of radio stations. It is therefore important to know how to work with collaborators! Here are some guidelines:
- Conduct a mapping of your possible collaborators in the community. This is to plot, plan, chart, record, draw a list of all possible collaborators which includes sponsors, current and potential ones for news/programs in your community and country. The list should have full names, organizations, contacts and should be regularly updated to reflect new changes.
- Develop a policy on how to handle/deal with collaborators. A policy is a standard way of doing things in an organisation. Policy means a guiding principle, rule, strategy, plan, course of action, guidelines, procedure. It builds consistency, respect and professionalism. Enables collaborators to respect the station. It also enables sponsors to respect the station and
not BULLY it just because they have sponsored a program.
- Build relationships with collaborators in your list. You must be deliberate because things don’t just happen. Be intentional about working with and involving your collaborators. Call them, visit them, be-friend them! Encourage them to visit the station, organize special days (open days) to visit and educate them about your work. This is likely to make them work with you easily and support you. Let them know that they are key partners to the station work and the community. Focus the friendship on your mutual roles e.g., community development.
- Be confident about your role as a producer/presenter/radio station. They already know your role and power and that’s why they are working or want to work with you. Don’t let them bully you with unnecessary demands and pressures. Make the collaborators your ambassadors. Making sure that you are top of their mind on the list of radio stations they know! Educate them about your professional, standards and policies. They will respect you when they learn that you are a professional who is serious about your work.