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Workshop for Catholic media houses in Malawi

Lilongwe, August 17th, 2016 (Amecea). The Catholic Media Managers in Malawi met in Salima for a ten-day audience research workshop organized by the Research and Social Communications Commission (RSCC) which is under the Social Development Directorate of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM).

Opening the workshop, Rt. Rev. George Tambala ECM Bishop Chairman for the RSCC challenged Catholic media houses to ensure that they keep the identity of the Church. “This audience research workshop has been organized for us to build our capacity as managers of the Catholic Media Houses. It aims at enhancing an understanding among us the station managers that audience research is very important for enabling the station to flourish by satisfying our audiences and stakeholders,” said Bishop Tambala.

He said the workshop which will end on the 19th August will help the Catholic Media Houses to see linkages between satisfying audience and stakeholders and attaining financial sustainability.

According to Bishop Tambala, the workshop will also give a practical experience of how to plan and do audience research in areas of reach for each Catholic media house. “Let it build our capacity that we can measure, understand and develop our audiences. The aspect of feedback is very important in communication. It is by knowing one’s readers’, listeners’, viewers’ feedback that we as Catholic Media Houses can fine tune our programming to suit the needs of our audience while at the same time suit the magisterium of the Church,” he said.

Facilitator of the workshop Dr. Nancy Booker said the course is designed to equip media managers for community radio stations in Malawi and for the Catholic Church in particular with research knowledge, skills and competencies to enable them effectively carry out audience research. “It will enhance the participants’ skills in planning, organising, executing and analysing audience research data, and using the data to help them make content, staffing, pricing of advertising and sponsorship and other key media decisions,” said Booker.

Dr. Booker said participants will also get acquainted with ethical issues that are likely to arise in their work as they conduct audience research to inform their programming and content decisions and that new technologies and their use for audience research will also be explored.

Rev. Father Gabriel Jana of Radio Alinafe of Lilongwe Archdiocese described the workshop as crucial, eye opener and beneficial to Catholic Media Houses.
The workshop is being attended by at least 30 managers including priests who are Directors of Catholic Media Houses that includes Radio Alinafe, Radio Maria Malawi, Radio Tigabane, Tuntufye FM Radio, Luntha Television, Montfort Media and Likuni Press.

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