Monday, 2 April 2012

[creative-radio] Radio Djiido looks to English Pacific for more media training

Title – 7885 REGION: Radio Djiido looks to English Pacific for more media
Date – 3 April 2012
Byline – Magalie Tingal
Origin – Pacific Media Watch
Source – Pacific Scoop/Pacific Media Watch, 2/04/12
Copyright – PS/PMW
Status – Unabridged
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By Magalie Tingal of Radio Djiido

DUEBA, Fiji (*Pacific Scoop/Pacific Media Watch*): Radio Djiido – the
"voice of the Kanak people" that was founded as a station supporting
independence for Kanaky – is branching out into the English-speaking region
with a training focus at the University of the South Pacific.

The radio was established by Jean-Marie Tjibaou, the late leader of the
Kanak independence movement (FLNKS), on September 24, 1985. September 24
is the date France formally colonised New Caledonia in 1853.

The objective behind the creation of the radio station was to
"counterbalance" biased information spread by the anti-independence
political groups in New Caledonia.

For two years, the announcers and the journalists of Radio Djiido were not
paid. This early period, when the FLNKS supporters were struggling in the
mid-1980s for independence from France, was called the "les Evenements".

RDK (Radio De Kanaky, which is another name for Radio Djiido) was guarded
24 hours a day by volunteer militants to prevent attacks from the
pro-France opponents or the police.

Later, when the political situation had calmed, the FLNKS structured RDK
more formally. Many of the activists stayed on and became "professional"
broadcasters by gaining field experience.

RDK struggled to stay afloat, first because of its political beginnings and
objective but also because running a radio station is just expensive.

*Leading station*
However, Radio Djiido has grown to become the leading radio station in New

Following continuous restructuring, Radio Djiido now has a new station in
the heart of Noumea, three offices in the North, one in Lifou and it has
launched the Mare office earlier this month.

While we are growing well with improved technical capabilities, we have a
new struggle.

For any media company, upskilling workers is important. We have had
journalists going to France for further studies.

But upon their return, they either stayed for a short time or left for
greener pastures offered by the state broadcaster RFO or French television.

If all journalists trained by RDK had remained with the company, the radio
station would have had the largest pool of trained journalists in our
newsrooms and give an effective voice for indigenous people.

Today we are able to broadcast live from all over the country, as long as
we have an internet connection.

*Radio passion*
Several villages only have Radio Djiido in their homes and this is an area
that seriously needs to be addressed.

For us remaining workers, the passion to keep the station alive is the sole
motivating factor of why we continue to work for the company.

To counter the brain drain, our board has decided to change our training
policy, where the University of the South Pacific in Fiji has been chosen
as the training ground.

I am a product of that policy.

RDK has decided to train its staff here in the Pacific region simply
because we are all colleagues, brothers and sisters.

We face similar issues and challenges. We also envisage having a greater
presence in the region.

This is not the last time you will hear of Radio Djiido.

*Magalie Tingal is a journalist with Radio Djiido and also a journalism
student at the University of the South Pacific. This article was adapted
from her speech at the PINA 2012 Pacific Media Summit in Fiji last week.*
* *
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