Innovation for community radio stations in South-East Asia

October 11, 2017

In Bangkok, from 11 to 15 September 2017, seven journalists from Asian radio stations discovered and tried out innovative tools such as radiolabs, citizen broadcasts and podcasts.

This workshop – led by Joris Zylberman, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Asia-focused, French digital media company Asialyst, and Chiranuch Premchaiporn, Executive Director of the Thai independent online media company, Prachatai – took place at the offices of the Media Learning Center of the Foundation for Community Educational Media (FCEM), with which Prachatai is linked.

“We found out about tools, methods and approaches to help us think about radio innovatively. This encouraged me to develop a programme of podcasts. I also really enjoyed the discussions with the other participants, stimulated by practical exercises designed by the trainers." Fabian Drahmoune, deputy editor, The Isaan Record, Thailand

Primarily based on collective intelligence, the workshop combined short theoretical introductions, role plays and group or individual practical exercises relating to topics such as drawing up a charter, designing an economic model, and social network development strategies.

Specific tools enabled participants to come up with new programmes and develop innovative ideas (citizen broadcasts, podcasts, radiolabs), in order to broaden their community radio audience and increase audience involvement.

Lastly, the participants reflected together on the creation of a network of community media companies in South-East Asia, looking at a number of issues:
- How to protect a community radio station from political restrictions?
- How to organise a syndicate of radio stations?
- How to design a dedicated showcase site, intended to become an aggregator site?

"It is highly innovative, and at first that might seem idealistic, but it is completely achievable. Using group ideas, new tools and a pragmatic methodology, I have discovered how to make my dream a reality." Letyar Tun, Programme Adviser responsible for the community radio project, IMS FOJO, Myanmar.