Photo Essay

Congolese Stations Battle On

Radio stations in DRC, short of funds and equiipment, are determined to stay on air.
  • Like many radio stations in eastern DRC, RTNC is seriously under-resourced, with limited means to produce and broadcast programmes. Equipment and working conditions are rudimentary. (Photo: Mélanie Gouby)
  • Despite the difficult challenges they face, station staff are enthusiastic and passionate about their work. (Photo: Mélanie Gouby)
  • Although the stastion employs a number of women, they are seldom given journalistic assignments. (Photo: Mélanie Gouby)
  • For women, it is a lack of confidence that is the greatest obstacle in their career. Training and networking with other aspiring female journalists can help them overcome this psychological barrier. (Photo: Mélanie Gouby)
  • The editorial team has only one computer.  In typical Congolese humour,  it's been dubbed the editor.  (Photo: Mélanie Gouby)
  • The station's studio. (Photo: Mélanie Gouby)
  • The RTNC studio manager. (Photo: Mélanie Gouby)
  • Bukavu is a vibrant,  sprawling city on the hills surrounding lake Kivu. (Photo: Mélanie Gouby)
  • A  Bukavu street. (Photo: Mélanie Gouby)

Radio, like print, requires little basic equipment, and most radio programmess can be produced fairly cheaply. But even inexpensive digital recorders, computers and mixers can be beyond the means of  a radio station in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The pictures above were taken in Bukavu, South Kivu, during a visit to the RTNC Bukavu radio station. Although it is supposed to be supported by the Congolese state, it has to rely on foreignl donors to finance and modernise its equipment. Salaries are rarely paid.

Since the visit in November 2010, RTNC Bukavu has become an IWPR partner and benefits from our development programme. One of the main goals of the IWPR project in DRC is to develop the capacities of local radio stations. We train reporters to give them the necessary skills for the production of balanced reports on human rights issues and also provide the stations with equipment. There is no use producing an interesting report if the sound is inaudible.

Mélanie Gouby is IWPR’s DRC multimedia producer and a freelance writer and photographer.

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