3.5.3. Best practices

In selecting programmes that represent best practices for this chapter, their contribution in the creation of an enabling environment for content development was taken into account. Even though the specific objective of the programme might not be the formulation of local content but rather the strengthening of Indigenous broadcasters, the way that programme was created and implemented incorporated all the key elements needed for an enabling environment for content development. In addition, the design met other key elements with respect to regulations pointed out in this section.

The Indigenous Radio Stations Strengthening Plan (2008-2010) of Colombia's Ministry of Information Technology and Communication derives from the Indigenous Broadcasters Appraisal carried out in 2008 in coordination with the Ministry of Culture and the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (NIOC), which among others, identified the following issues:

  • Stations´ lack of consistency with the plans of life of their communities.
  • Lack of knowledge of, and support for, Indigenous councils and other traditional authorities.
  • Weakness in the stations´ organizational and administrative structures.
  • A lack of local radio production.
  • Of 29 stations (26 stations and three Indigenous community broadcasters in Indigenous zones), 20 stations broadcast programs in their native language, three do not broadcast programs in their language, and five belong to communities without their own language.

Based on this analysis, a Strengthening Plan was agreed between the NIOC, the Ministry of Communications and the Ministry of Culture. In executing the plan, formative and self-formative processes were put into practice, utilizing the construction and adoption of an Indigenous radio format. The plan also called for regional broadcasters' meetings, strengthening of the Indigenous radio network and formulating Indigenous broadcasting policy guidelines.21 In the same vein, the Mochila a la Palabra programme was produced, whereby samples of radio programs from 24 indigenous radio stations were collected. There was also radial training focused on the recovery of Indigenous peoples´ folk memories.

As can be observed, this programme incorporated many elements of the key content-generation aspects identified in this module. It arose from an appraisal developed jointly with Indigenous peoples, and it was linked in implementation with Indigenous peoples´ institutions. It strengthened the design of the content plan in accordance with community life plans. At the same time, it strengthened their production capacities through direct training, as well as through the exchange of experiences, and it provided a means to share and disseminate content while strengthening the scheduling of local media. These elements can be adapted to a program of content formation in access centers in many Indigenous communities.

It should be noted that various experiences indicate that content formation takes place primarily when the community access centers are associated with other local media, such as a radio or television station, or when there is a content strategy for the strengthening of the community’s presence outside its limits.22

21One of the networks is the Asociación de Medios de Comunicación Indígena de Colombia Red-AMIC, which works with 10 Indigenous radio stations in the Department of Cauca http://www.amcic.info/?q=node/2

22See The Evaluation of UNESCO Multimedia http://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/files/22129/11477736959CMC_Evaluation_Final.pdf/CMC%2BEvaluation_Final.pdf