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DW adds a new dimension to cooperating with African media

Across Africa from Kenya to Nigeria, a new media-savvy generation is emerging along with a new demand for opportunity, development and quality journalism. By reaching out to individuals, creating new partnerships and actively encouraging media development, DW has created a foundation for success in different African markets, while at the same time giving value back.

By adding value to partnerships and cooperating with local media in different regions, DW can help improve people’s lives with information and help set examples of transparency, legitimacy and professionalism in media.

DW’s international media development organization, DW Akademie, is very active in Africa and has been for over 50 years. DW Akademie’s first international project was a radio training program in Rwanda. Their newest initiative is a recently-signed partnership with Aga Khan University Graduate School of Media and Communications (AKU-GSMC) in Nairobi, Kenya.

The university is focused on developing media professionals for the Kenyan media market. DW is there to help guide and educate them with world-class standards of journalistic practice. In return, DW will gain valuable insight into the nuances of the local media landscape. The six-year agreement centers on the development of professional education and training standards for communications experts in East Africa. Through exchanging experience, competences and ideas, both sides will benefit. DW gains visibilty in an important media market and the courses at AKU-GSMC can improve and develop with the expertise and experience provided by DW Akademie.

Kenya is one of the quickest growing media markets in Africa and there is a burgeoning interest in media education amongst young Kenyans.  The market is growing more competitive and innovative.

DW recently produced a journalism competition for young journalists in Kenya. They were asked to create a journalism project that profiled a local hero in their region. Local heroes are people who make a difference in their communities and help those around them. The competition was organized in cooperation with The Standard Group, which is the largest media company in Kenya. The competition showed how through cooperating with partners, DW can affect the lives of people in African target audiences while gaining valuable partners and a positive local image.

Nigeria is another important market for DW in Africa. DW has been expanding its presence in the region after adding two foreign correspondents last year in Lagos and recently signing a deal with Channels TV, the largest news broadcaster in Nigeria. The deal includes direct DW reports from the Frankfurt Stock Exchange produced exclusively for audiences in Nigeria. This example of coproducing and sharing technical capacity is a model for the future of how DW will provide international quality journalism to local audiences.

Programs like Focus on Africa and Crossroads Generation emphasize individuals who help to set examples and serve as role models. They provide examples that turn away from the image of the continent as only being beset by turmoil and focus on positive actions from a younger generation.

DW will succeed in African markets by working with partners, reaching people where they are, educating media professionals and promoting journalism education. These are all very positive steps with the consistent goal to improve the overall media landscape in African countries.


2015-07-24 | 1:19



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Partnering for the greater good


DW’s Crossroads Generation has found another great partner with Mxit. The South African social media app goes beyond providing easy access to online social networks by actively aiming to improve lives through information and education. Aside from technology, they accomplish this through social activism.

Mxit Reach is an NGO run by the company, which seeks to improve lives by providing innovative mobile solutions. An estimated 1 million users access educational, counseling and health services through Mxit Reach. And with Crossroads Generation, DW has created a radio soap that tackles tough social issues with the help of a love story. It covers issues that are important for African youth like drug use, pregnancy and domestic violence – and does this in a fun and entertaining way to keep listeners coming back for more. Mxit can help the program do its job even better.

One of the Mxit app’s core strengths is “tailoring features for original localized content targeted at emerging market youth”. Crossroads Generation, the educational radio soap, is targeted to this market – African youth who will greatly benefit from having the program on such an accessible platform. Mixt enables users to gather around the content to react, discuss and develop their own ideas and this will surely expand Crossroads Generation’s effectiveness.

DW’s educational content for Africa is produced to enlighten and educate young Africans and is an ideal complement to the Mxit mission. With DW doing a lot of other work in media education and social awareness, it would be a positive development to see this partnership develop in the future.

Find out more about DW’s partnership with Mxit here.


2015-01-23 | 1:50



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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.”


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.



2013-11-14 | 9:53



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