Winning radio stations of MediaSahel contest receive their prizes
Solar panels, a long-range transmitter, smartphones, computers, editorial and managerial coaching… the prizes on offer for the radio contest organised in 2022 by MediaSahel were awarded to the nine winning radio stations during Q1 2023.
"We had problems with our electricity supply that were affecting our programmes," explains Dayabou Dan Sakou from Radio Mourna Dolé in Niger. "The prize we won in the contest allowed us to fix this problem.We have become self-sufficient in terms of energy We now have large-capacity solar panels that power our devices and allow us to broadcast. We have become self-sufficient in terms of energy," he adds, proudly.
Launched with a view to rewarding the best productions by MédiaSahel partner radio stations, the contest aimed to recognise the best programmes and to promote solutions journalism.
Radio Mourna Dolé also received a long-range transmitter, which allowed it to increase its audience. "Before, our coverage was very limited. There were many villages that were unable to receive our frequency," recalls Dayabou. And the prizes did not stop there. Smartphones were also provided. "Our hosts can now provide video coverage of stories," he enthuses.
Like Radio Mourna Dolé, the eight other winning radio stations received prizes in the form of equipment worth almost 6.5 million CFA francs (around €10,000). The equipment was chosen in consultation with the managers of the media outlets, the trainers and the technicians, based on their needs.
Editorial and managerial support for each media outlet
At the same time, the chosen radio stations benefited from editorial and managerial support. This five-month period of support aimed to improve the quality and visibility of the winning programme.
"These coaching sessions were of great help to our radio station," affirms Dayabou Dan Sakou. "We were hesitant to start with, because the support was provided remotely, which was difficult for us. However, by the end of the first few sessions, we loved it."
He is now seeing a change in the content of his radio station. "The editorial coaching has, above all, enabled us to better choose our subjects and the angle from which we are going to approach them. As for the managerial coaching, it helped us to promote our radio station and our productions on social media as well as to justify a budget," explains the journalist.
The programmes, which were awarded prizes according to the project criteria – youth involvement and gender and conflict sensitivity – will be re-evaluated in the coming months. The objective is to assess how the editorial and managerial support has benefited the radio stations.