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Libyans Engage With Officials On Air

IWPR helps radio stations reach out to a wider audience.
By IWPR Libya

An innovative radio series in Libya is allowing people to connect with members of parliament and other public officials, and increasing the scope for dialogue around critical issues of political transition.

The programmes, designed by IWPR and broadcast by partner radio stations around the country, are breaking down barriers between elected officials and a nation which for decades has been excluded from national and local politics.

IWPR trainer Khaled Gulam, a veteran of Libya’s media sector, is working with radio stations to provide them with the skills both to engage effectively with officials and to expand their programming to include a wider range of voices.

The basic concept is about bringing members of parliament, government officials and civil society advocates into the studio to discuss topics ranging from safeguards for gender equality and ethnic minority rights under the future constitution to the limits of freedom of expression, and people’s expectations of local government 

The audience can participate by calling in or posting questions on social media networks. The programmes also feature original reporting on the subject at hand, and pre-recorded street interviews which the studio guests are asked to respond to.

For many Libyans, this offers a unique opportunity to reach elected or government officials, and is a chance to raise issues that concern them.

“Radio stations – especially those outside of Tripoli that haven’t been exposed to these kinds of programming ideas – have been really appreciative of the project, because it allows them to really expand the type of programming they do,” Gulam said.

By the end of June 2013, 19 programmes will have gone out. IWPR has partnered with the National Democratic Institute on some of the programmes, which are being funded by USAID and the British Foreign Office.

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