BBC Media Action
Maha Taki, Project Manager, BBC Media Action
Ahead of World Refugee Day (20 June 2015), Maha Taki explains how short films – shown in information centres in Lebanon and Jordan - are helping to give education, legal, health and safety advice to Syrian refugees.
Senior Production Manager, Kenya and Somalia
Watch a film about BBC Pop Up in Kenya.
The BBC’s roving bureau ‘Pop Up’ did exactly that in Nairobi last week. Kenya was its first destination outside of the United States and timely too, arriving on the cusp of US President Obama’s visit to the country.
The idea of Pop Up is to talk to ordinary people about stories they think the BBC should be covering in their country. I saw this as an opportunity to crowd-source information for a new piece of research which BBC Media Action is about to begin on the drivers of extremism in East Africa. We want to understand more about radicalism in Kenya: what’s the role of the media, who in society is most susceptible, what motivates them and how can people be persuaded to stop.
So my colleagues and I joined the Pop Up audience to ask a few questions. Pop Up ‘Face of Kenya’ presenter Anne Soy handed over to our moderator Victor Muyakane, news anchor from our broadcast partner KBC (Kenya Broadcasting Corporation), and the floor was ours.
Sadly, Kenya is no stranger...
Olabisi Olu Garrick
Mariama Mansaray is interviewed about her views on early marriage
Skipping home from school one day, a 10 year old girl named Mariama found her dad in an unusually happy mood. Ushering her inside, he ordered her to remove her school uniform and change into plain clothes – he had something to tell her. Despite his smiles, his news was devastating. He’d arranged for Mariama to be married to an older man she didn’t know, and despite pleading with her father about not wanting to get married so early so that she could stay in school, his decision was final.
Now aged 73, Mariama Mansaray was at a pre-recorded interview held in Kabala (northern Sierra Leone) recounting the day she found out she’d never go to school again. She had wanted to share her story for decades and had finally found her opportunity on Leh Wi Know, a BBC Media Action radio show that discusses women’s rights and access to justice in Sierra Leone.
That week’s episode addressed the issue of early and forced marriage in Sierra Leone, where despite changes in the...
Trainer, BBC Media Action in Nigeria
In Nigeria, brown envelopes have a special significance.
For Nigerian journalists brown envelopes suggest money. Cash collected after an event or an assignment to cover ‘transport costs’.
It’s always been this way. At the start of my career as a journalist, before I got to know about the implication of cash or other gifts on my profession, I found it odd that often colleagues would stay back after an assignment to collect their brown envelopes.
Despite my unease with this practice, it was normal and even I picked up a brown envelope on occasion.
It’s easy to see why I felt troubled. Hidden behind the ‘harmless’ brown envelope is a silent expectation of positive coverage for the organisation that gives out the fattest brown envelope. It has serious implications for a journalist’s editorial independence – and trust in Nigeria’s media as a whole. This is why the term ‘brown envelope journalism’ is used among professional journalists in Nigeria to describe unbalanced, biased and...
One of the MOELJO trainers, Jack, playing the role of a party candidate whilst being interviewed by trainees
One good thing that came from an unsuccessful grant application last year was the seed of an idea for what became our MOELJO course (mobile phone skills and election reporting for journalists).
It was prompted by three big developments in Myanmar’s (also known as Burma) reform process: the opening up of the telecoms market, which seemed set to improve mobile and internet access across the...
Project Manager, BBC Media Action
An elderly man, one eye milky blue with age, peers into the camera. Immediately behind him lie neat rows of white tarpaulin shelters, walls flapping in the wind.
“Each person builds his own shelter,” he says matter-of-factly, “Once he’s done, he goes on to help his neighbour.”
Standing tall in the dusty courtyard, he explains why; “We’re all Syrians here, and we’re all one.”
Satisfied with the...
Project Officer, BBC Media Action
A lady asks a question during a community debate in Zambia
A sea of serious faces looked to the front of the local council chambers. Shuffling in anticipation, the crowd exchanged excited whispers.
Looking like they were attending the start of a high-profile court case, over 100 residents of Katete District in Eastern province of Zambia turned out for Mphangwe Community radio’s first ever live, public debate to question local leaders – including the...
Senior Production Manager, BBC Media Action
Tea Cup Diaries - cast, crew and donors
There’s more to a cup of tea than meets the eye - it’s not just wet, hot and thirst quenching, it’s also a media vehicle for promoting tolerance and social inclusion.
This week, BBC Media Action Burma proudly launched its new weekly radio drama, The Tea Cup Diaries (in Burmese La Pa Ye Ta Kwe Ye Diari), to an audience of 120 people including the media, our donors, USAID’s Office of...
Director, Policy and Learning
I was prompted to write this post by Brian Levy, the rightly respected governance guru of the World Bank, now Senior Adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins University. Brian is the author of Working With the Grain: integrating governance and growth in development strategies, one of the most influential books on governance right now. We met at the OECD DAC Governance Network last week, which is...
Project Manager, BBC Media Action
A few months ago as I pulled into Songambele village in Dodoma region, Tanzania, a soft drizzle was setting in. I pulled my jumper on as I stepped out of the car – it was unusually chilly for September. But the village residents were not fazed, in fact they were thrilled – it was the first rain they had seen in months. For the last few years, rains have become more and more unpredictable, and...
Director of Communications and Fundraising, BBC Media Action
People queue at the airport in Kathmandu after the earthquake
When Saturday’s devastating earthquake struck, I’d just finished filming with Sajha Sawal, BBC Media Action’s debate programme in Nepal.
I’m now safely back at home in the UK, having negotiated the chaos at Kathmandu airport yesterday to get one of the few flights out. I was with the family of a Nepal-based colleague being pushed along with a crowd of hundreds when the second quake hit....