Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Afghanistan: June ‘07

Radio journalists from Helmand province learn valuable new skills at Kabul workshop.
By IWPR

From June 24-28, IWPR conducted an intensive radio workshop for 12 of its Helmand trainees in its offices in Kabul.

Radio trainer Gregory Warner, new to IWPR, took the group through the basics of radio journalism, including writing for radio, reporting through sound, and basic editing.

For a week, Helmand’s journalists took to the streets of Kabul, collecting materials, practicing with their brand-new H4 flash recorders by conducting sample interviews, and developing story ideas that they will work on once they get back home.

The trainees were enthusiastic about the workshop, and they all made great progress. Even experienced radio journalists acknowledged that they had learned new and valuable skills.

“This training was perfect for us,” said Sabawoon, who manages a radio station in Lashkar Gah. “I have never seen training like this. It was practical, and the trainers worked with us very closely.”

Such training is particularly important for Helmand, where the security situation has isolated the journalists almost completely.

“Before this training there were no real radio journalists in Helmand,” said Sultan Mohammad Sultani, a freelance journalist in Lashkar Gah. “Now I can see how journalism really is.”

Abdul Aziz Shafe, who has been a radio journalist for several years, also expressed gratitude for the experience.

“I learned a lot of new things in this training, especially in Adobe Audition (the editing software). And the H4 was really interesting,” he said.

Ahmad Aziz Tassal, an experienced journalist who works as an IWPR staff reporter in Lashkar Gah, told the trainers that it was the first time he had heard new things in a radio workshop.

“This training was equal to 14 years’ education for us,” he said.