Two training courses for producing magazine shows aimed at making people more aware of citizenship were held in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) in mid-July. One of these courses, which lasted 12 days, was attended by 18 journalists from radio stations participating in the
Faso Media project.
While the main aim of the training course was to improve the journalists' professional skills in devising effective and appealing programmes for raising the public's awareness, it also gave them the opportunity to reflect on the very concept of citizenship. Accordingly, two 'information and awareness-raising' days were set aside for presentations given by experts, university lecturers and civil movements such as 'Laboratoire Citoyenneté' (Citizenship Laboratory) or 'Le Balai Citoyen' (Citizens' Broom). These helped to strengthen the journalists' knowledge of civic-mindedness and of democratic institutions, and also of the concepts of governance and accountability of elected officials, for which the role of the citizen is central. The exchanges and debates revealed the complex nature of the concepts of citizenship, through the various prisms of law, history, public life, social and cultural customs, and also of the general and universal principles of democracy.
These days also brought to light a number of original topics that the journalists will be able to cover in their magazine shows. Two questions – "What traditional customs can be assimilated to democracy?" and "Citizenship: why and how do certain people commit to it?" – have already been discussed on pilot shows produced and recorded in the studio, with trainers Pierre-Yves Schneider, Rabo Soumaila and Bernard Bougma.
The trainees now have until the end of August to produce their magazine shows for raising public awareness of citizenship, which will then be judged as part of a competition organised by CFI and UNALFA (Burkina Faso's national union of free audiovisual media outlets), with prizes being awarded at the end.