RBO-Proposal for Partners in Africa and/or Asia

Regional training A – Media personnel will be taught how to identify a local story and turn it into an audio-format which will find the attention of radio-listeners within and beyond the local setting. They will learn how to make use of digital hard- and software, and of the Internet for this purpose.

Regional training B – Young people get a chance to master digital communication technology so as to develop into providers of high quality content from within their own culture for the Information Highway, rather than becoming consumers of global (mainly Northern) content only.

Establishing a network of schools and colleges using the Internet – This will allow pupils to learn how to use modern communication tools whilst, at the same time, allowing ideas and opinions to flow freely from one country to another.

Appropriate media tools will provide students with experience they need to be well informed, intelligent decision makers, producers and problem solving members within their own societies as well as mediators between different cultures. Just imagine how empowering this will be to an African or Asian child! The use of multimedia will facilitate this because teachers and students are able to tackle various issues by creating interactive lessons – they are able to link up with their counterparts in other schools not only in the region but internationally, thus sharing experiences and new ideas in a stimulating way.

Prospective participants will be identified from groups at schools which are already working with computers, preferably within an existing scheme of "Global Learning". Priority will be given to schools in rural areas. It may become necessary to assist in upgrading soft- & hardware so that pupils at such schools can be introduced to a wider range of digital multimedia operation. Multimedia shall be understood as a combination of any two or more different media types (text, graphics, images, audio, video). Whilst researching for one story, the multimedia approach seeks to gather material for print, audio, picture and video at the same time. Electronic devices will allow digital capturing of audio, still pictures and video with the same piece of hardware. The multimedia allows to produce newspaper-, radio- and TV-stories and can be combined on a CD-ROM or on the Internet.

It is important to stress RBO’s approach of this project, targeting the local use of multimedia technology at the outset rather than the Internet itself. RBO believes that mastering digital technology will create a new interest in young people with regard to their own local culture; in mostly orally oriented societies, they will become empowered to create links between generations by recording and processing pictures, poems, tales, songs, and music in simple digital formats which they can than turn into attractive new local media-formats. They may – for example – create a regular multimedia-show which can be viewed from the hard disk or from a self-produced CD-ROM through data-projection on a large screen at a school or in a community-centre.

Such experiences may see the emergence of a new type of local entrepreneurs: School-leavers who turn into local information providers, making the use of new technologies at schools and within their communities sustainable by charging an entry-fee for such shows. They may further incorporate results of Internet research translated into the local language, and thus making Internet-content accessible to their community. With the acquisition of skills and know-how, it may then become feasible for young people to present aspects of their own cultures to a worldwide Internet-audience in a way which has shed any feelings of inferiority, as values may have been evaluated and revised in a local discourse. Local art and culture could be proudly promoted, developing them even further in a virtual context.

Production & Distribution Facility – Once the training described above starts to result in programs of interest and broadcast quality, they could form part of a new network, providing a constant feed of stories from around selected regions in the South, with RADIO BRIDGE OVERSEAS (KJS) – through its website – acting as a permanent communication-center to facilitate further training, multi-lingual production & distribution, and as a link between participating storytellers and interested local radio-stations for up- & download of programming content.