Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Radio Talkshows for Peacebuilding: A Guide

by Ross Howard and Francis Rolt

According to this guide, radio talk shows are becoming the most influential form of media and a great many of them risk doing more harm than good by using conflicts and disagreements to attract listeners. They can intensify the conflict under discussion, and rather than inform listeners, leave them angry or fearful, or with the sense that the conflict will go on forever. They can make destructive conflict seem the inevitable response to all disagreements and destabilise communities. This guidebook is designed to help talk show presenters and producers learn some new skills to deal with conflict effectively on air. According to the authors of this guide talk shows require diversity, spontaneity and flexibility, so there are no absolute rules about how to discuss conflict in a more constructive manner. The guide offers techniques and skills to enable presenters to talk about conflict in a way which is interesting and informative, which offers positive alternatives, and which holds an audience.

Overall the guidebook includes:
a how-to guide to analysing conflict;
tools and examples of how radio professionals can help build a peaceful society; and
descriptions and definitions of the different types of talkshows and their various strengths and Weaknesses.
The guide contains examples which are drawn from African countries, however, the issues, discussions and skills are also relevant to a much wider spectrum of countries. The guide was developed at a workshop organised by the Radio for Peacebuilding, Africa project in Bujumbura, Burundi in April 2005 which was attended by twenty-one sub-Saharan African talk show presenters and producers from commercial, state, public and private radio stations.
This second edition of the guide was developed out of a series of focus group meetings with broadcasters and experts in Sierra Leone, Burundi and Belgium. Their recommendations led the publishers to make several changes to the structure of the guides - notably to add a section on conflict.

English and French

Number of Pages 36

PDF Link
Click here to download the guide in PDF format in English.
Click here to download the guide in PDF format in French.

Search for Common Ground
Publication Date

Search for Common Ground

Radio for Peacebuilding Africa website on April 4 2006.