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DW celebrates 50 years of Hausa service in Niger and Nigeria

For a half-century DW has delivered quality news and information to Hausa speaking audiences in West Africa. To celebrate the occasion, a delegation of directors and editors from DW traveled to Niamey, Niger and Abuja, Nigeria to meet with local leaders and media representatives. Highlights of the events included keynote speeches and discussions centered on the role of international media in Africa and what can be done to assist with human rights and conflict resolution.  DW has been praised for providing a voice of freedom in times of political struggle as well as providing an example for the local media to follow. “We can’t always trust our own media,” said a representative from Dallol FM, a local radio station.

As one of the few international broadcasters with Hausa content tailored for local populations, DW plays a unique role in helping people improve their lives by providing them with a world-class news service alongside programming that advocates learning. A new part of this mission is Crossroads Generation, the latest series from the successful educational radio program, Learning by Ear. The new series was presented at both locations and received much acclaim. “With its educational programming and informative broadcasting, DW makes an essential contribution to education in Niger,” said Brigi Rafini, Prime Minsiter of Niger at the meeting in Niamey.

DW will also be seeking to expand its services for African audiences that comprise more than half of DW’s total global audience of 100 million.  “Deutsche Welle has been a large part of the media landscape in Africa for decades where we are seen as a reliable source of information” said DW Director General, Peter Limbourg, “Africa is a successful market for DW with excellent prospects.”

Date

2013-12-12 | 4:57

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Reaching African youth with educational radio

Guest commentary

Maja Braun, Coordinating Editor, Programs for Africa

Along with providing global audiences with quality news and information, we think international broadcasters should also be responsible for education, especially on social issues and topics that are a part of what Deutsche Welle stands for, such as democracy, civil rights and intercultural dialogue. And that is why we are always looking for new, innovative ways to make education work in different regions around the world – like, for example, in Africa.

Unlike other regions around the globe that have seen FM, shortwave and AM lose tremendous amounts of users in the last 15 years, radio has remained very important to people in Africa looking for information. It’s a big part of the media landscape and continues to draw listeners week in and week out. We have also seen a huge boom in mobile usage – the number of subscribers has increased by at least 20 percent in each of the last five years.

When we first developed Learning by Ear in 2008, we wanted to give young Africans – even those who cannot read or access the Internet – the opportunity to get information on important issues that would improve their lives immediately and in the future. It was important for listeners to learn, but we also wanted to keep them entertained. That is why we mainly use radio dramas to deliver the message of topics that are not taught in school.  Learning by Ear now plays a big role in the lives of many young people in Africa, offering radio dramas and feature stories on a variety of topics, ranging from political and societal issues to economic, health and environmental issues.

By working with mobile partners in Africa in the last few years, we have also been able to reach out to a new demographic and, hopefully, increase the level of social education among their customers. The unique, audio-based content is split up into individual series and segments – which makes it great for mobile consumption.

After five years and 42 different series with ten episodes each covering everything from health and hygiene to globalization, entrepreneurs and African success stories, we felt it was time for a change. We wanted to improve on the already successful format by providing a narrative that would help these young listeners in their daily lives; a story which accompanies them throughout the year instead of changing the scene every ten weeks.

With Crossroads Generation, we have created a Learning by Ear series which follows four characters as they confront challenges and learn from their mistakes. Listeners can get to know the characters better and will be more invested in what happens to them on the show. The episodes will deal with many issues simultaneously and the storyline will build on itself throughout the season.

The new format will also inspire young listeners to reflect on what they’ve heard and form their own opinions. One episode for example confronts teenage pregnancy and the actress decides to have an abortion. This decision is presented in a non-judgmental manner that allows for listeners to decide where they stand for themselves. There will also be a discussion platform available on Facebook where the audience can voice their ideas and opinions.

Other improvements include an online video-blog that will accompany every second episode and also adds a visual flavor to the series for the first time. The audience gets a look  behind the scenes and insight into how the characters feel. The video-blog will be included on the website and Facebook page. Their will also be a Learning by Ear theme song featured in each of the program’s six languages.

We are hoping that with this new series, we will be able to win over even more listeners and give them insights into how to help shape their own lives to be successful.

 

Date

2013-11-14 | 9:53

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Learning by Ear expanding to Pakistan

DW is teaming up with 63 radio stations throughout Pakistan to broadcast DW’s Leaning by Ear program in Pashtu and Urdu. Learning by Ear is a distance education program with a lively mix of in-depth reports, radio dramas and feature stories targeted to 12- to 25-year-olds. Fifty-three Pakistani stations are initially set to begin broadcasting the program, with ten more getting on board in the coming months. Learning by Ear will reach more than 90 percent of radio listeners in Pakistan, which has a total of about 120 independent radio stations.

“We are thrilled so many Pakistani stations wanted to broadcast Learning By Ear,” said DW’s Head of Distribution for Asia Anne Hufnagel. “We hope it will enhance their programming line-up, and win some new fans for DW.”
DW will send Learning by Ear content to partner stations via CD. Learning by Ear covers topics from children’s rights and family planning to conflict resolution and the media, and comes in series of ten-minute-long installments.

Pakistani fans of Learning by Ear will be able to participate in quizzes put on by partner stations, as well as receive supplementary books provided through DW’s distribution office in Pakistan.

Along with Hufnagel, the Head of Asia Programming Alexander Freund was in Islamabad, Pakistan, to officially announce the Learning by Ear for Pakistan at a press conference. FM 100 Pakistan, a leader in Pakistani FM radio, is the first partner to start broadcasting.

As all 63 stations start using Learning by Ear, DW will make the program available to NGOs, educational institutions and other organizations in Pakistan interested in the show.

Date

2012-09-04 | 9:19

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Insights into mobile content for Africa

Naser Shrouf, DW’s Head of Distribution Africa/ Middle East, recently conducted an interview with the Nieman Journalism Lab about the fastest-growing mobile market on the planet: Africa. DW sees a world of opportunities there to expand the reach of its programming and especially for its educational series Learning by Ear. Several partnerships with mobile providers have already been signed and DW is looking for more.

DW is using over-the-phone voice technology to deliver news. No Internet access necessary, customers just need to dial a number to access Learing by Ear content. The series covers everything from health and hygiene to politics, the economy, the environment and social issues.

Also, if you are interested in learning more about who we work with locally, check out this article from All Africa. And here is another interview with Tanzania’s Daily News about the Learning by Ear program.

Date

2012-07-24 | 9:20

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DW offers new programs for media professionals in India and Nicaragua

DW Akademie is now working with organizations in India and Nicaragua to offer journalists new opportunities for training. DW is working with Universidad de Managua, where 17 Nicaraguan journalists are taking part in a new degree program initiated by DW Akademie. The goal of the program is toi develop local journalists’ expertise in reporting on one of the country’s most pressing issues: environmental pollution and its associated problems.  The degree program encompasses five modules spread over six months, and the first two-week module was held in June.

In India, DW is working with the Robert Bosch Foundation to train Indian journalists about reporting in Germany. DW Akademie will host a select group of Indian journalists in Germany from September 10 to October 26, 2012 and provide them with comprehensive coverage of Germany and valuable  knowledge for reporting on Indian-German issues.  Journalists selected for the program will receive intercultural and journalistic training, as well as insight into Deutsche Welle’s  editorial teams.

Date

2012-07-12 | 8:42

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