Reporting training: a new career step for female journalists
Around 20 female journalists, presenters and radio technicians took part in a MediaSahel for Women training programme on reporting techniques, which was held in Burkina Faso and Niger from 24 July to 3 August 2023. The purpose of this training was to boost their journalistic skills and help them to diversify their content.
Hawa, who has just started working for the "Voix de Loroum" radio station, took part in the training. She had always considered field work to be something that only a few privileged people could do. "Going on reporting assignments was a luxury that I couldn't afford myself. I didn't really know what it was. I just presented from the studio," she explains. This training therefore marks her first steps into this area of journalism. When she went out into the field to collect sound data, she was amazed to discover just how important sound is to the narrative. She understood that sound is inherently information in its own right.
"Going on reporting assignments was a luxury
that I couldn't afford myself.
I didn't really know what it was."
Christiane Younga, a presenter for the "Voix du Paysan" radio station based in Ouahigouya, claims that this training will help her to improve the content she produces. She insists that simply collecting information isn't enough. Instead, you need to know how to work with that information, paying particular attention to what angle you select. Prior to this training, she had difficulty finding an angle for her reports, which resulted in a poor standard of writing when audio was interrupted for the recordings. The sheer volume of information often distorted the message she wanted to convey. As a result of the training, she is now able to choose relevant angles and to captivate her audience with well-structured reports.
Experience drives continued development
Another essential aspect covered by this training programme was how to present topics in editorial meetings. Christiane Younga has learnt how to generate interest among her colleagues, in order to gain their input and ensure that subsequent broadcasts are of a high standard. She is making a stirring and inspiring appeal to women to get more involved in journalism. She encourages her colleagues not to fear making mistakes because they represent an opportunity to learn. She believes that experience drives continued development.
She is making a stirring and inspiring appeal to women to get more involved in journalism.
Another inspiring testimony comes from Delphine Thiombiano, a journalist and technician at "RTB Radio Rurale". Although Delphine is a technician, she has always harboured a passion for journalism. Having heard her express a desire to learn more about journalism, her manager supported her to make her dream a reality. Now she presents two 26-minute radio programmes.
Taking the plunge
She was initially worried what her colleagues would think of her changing careers. But a personal development training session helped her to regain her self-confidence. It gave her the confidence to take the plunge and fully embrace the career she has always been passionate about! The reporting training gave her the knowledge she needs to produce strong reports, which gave her career in journalism a new lease of life.
The reporting training gave her the knowledge she needs to produce strong reports
In addition to learning field reporting techniques, the training participants were also introduced to editing. They now possess all the basic skills required to edit their own reports. The participants are fully committed to this training programme, as they are keenly aware of the importance of diversifying their content. Their desire to learn inspired their trainer to adapt the working methods used to meet their specific needs. This experience represents a new career step for these female journalists and offers them new opportunities to thrive as journalists.