Radio Bolingo , Orientale
Radio Bolingo has applied for, but not yet received, registration as an NGO with the provincial Ministries of Communication and Justice.
Kisangani, Orientale province
Sectors of InterventionMedia
In October 2008, several journalists organized Radio Bolingo to train young journalistsand give them practical experience. Several of the founders work at the University of Kisangani,which has a communications program; however, this program offers no practical experience.The founders also sought to effectively use the media to educate the general population aboutdifferent aspects of development and governance; the founders view media as an educational tool.The association has 12 members (three women and nine men), who are all journalists. Radio Bolingo iscurrently constructing a radio station and office in the Mangobo area of Kisangani, which is an areaof high unemployment and crime. Radio Bolingo’s founders intentionally chose this neighborhoodbecause they want to get local youths involved with the radio station, and to train some of them asjournalists. The members of Radio Bolingo are dedicated to improving their community and to advancingthe status and professionalism of journalism in Kisangani, despite many obstacles that plaguetheir profession, including corruption and political pressure.
MissionTrain young journalists, improve the quality of journalism, and advance the socioeconomic status of journalists
- Give practical experience and professional training to young journalists
- Improve the professionalism of current journalists, particularly those who did not have any formal training in journalism
- Call attention to the social and economic status of journalists in Kisangani
Populations ServedThe primary population served by Radio Bolingo’s work is journalists; the secondary target is the general population.
- Research on journalism in Kisangani: In February 2009, Radio Bolingo published a report titled “The socio-professional conditions of journalists in the media of Kisangani.” This impressive report provides an overview of 14 radio stations operating in Kisangani. For each station, the report provides a history, an overview of programs, a list of equipment, and information about staff, including pay. Radio Bolingo completely self-financed the research and publication of the report. In 2011, Radio Bolingo is undertaking an update of this report.
- Construction of Radio Bolingo: The association’s members are currently constructing an office and radio studio in a government building in the Mangobo neighborhood of Kisangani. The members are funding this activity, and when they are able to purchase all the necessary broadcasting equipment (hopefully by early 2012), they will start to broadcast.
Radio Bolingo has a general assembly of the 12 founding members, who serve forrenewable terms of two years. The general assembly meets once a year, approves the budget, andcreates the strategic plan. The general assembly selects the executive committee, which oversees thedaily operations of the organization. The executive committee consists of the president, secretary,accountant, and two other members selected by the general assembly. The executive committeemeets twice a month and implements the directives of the general assembly. There is no paid staff;the organization is voluntary. The 12 members participate in many different ways, from beingdonors to helping with the construction of the new office and broadcasting center.
Radio Bolingo has an account with Rawbank in Kisangani. For financial, administrative, andpersonnel management, Radio Bolingo has:
- A procedures manual with policies for financial management; hiring and personnel issues; and purchasing policies and procedures: NO
- A computerized accounting system: NO
- A clearly defined accounting process: YES
- Clear procedures for management of payroll, petty cash, procurement, and disbursements: YES, but they need to be strengthened
- Staff with the technical expertise to undertake projects: YES
- Has a committed and well-trained group of journalists working for the association
- Has created their statutes and are getting other documentation (strategic plan) in order
- Has avoided any problems with the state
- Uses democratic principles within the organization and are transparent
- Provides training that is unique
- Has the ability to conduct research and publish reports
- Materials for radio broadcasting
- Completion of construction of its office
- Transportation to enable journalists to travel for stories
- Financing so it can pay staff and run its organization properly
Funders and BudgetIn 2010, Radio Bolingo’s budget was approximately $5,000. This money came from three sources: members (who contribute $5 a month, or in some cases more), two small garden plots (it produces and sells rice, beans, and cassava and gives the profits to the organization), and donations (a few people who are not members have donated money).
- In 2009, Radio Bolingo completed and published a unique, quality research report on radio stations and journalists in Kisangani. They sent copies of the report to Institut Panos Paris, to the Ministry of Communications, and to all the media outlets in Kisangani.
- In 2009–10, Radio Bolingo’s members conducted two free trainings on the fundamentals of journalism (e.g., how to find sources, how to present information, how to discuss and debate, how to process audio recordings on a computer) for 24 current journalists (12 journalists in each training).
- In 2011, Radio Bolingo is updating the report on journalism in Kisangani.
- Radio Bolingo has secured a space in a government building in the Mangobo area of Kisangani, where it is currently constructing an office and radio studio.
Organizational VisionRadio Bolingo would like to have an organization that is responsible and will take care of journalists. It would also like to improve the quality of journalism and the quality of life for journalists.
- Training of journalists to report on the elections: Radio Bolingo would like to train journalists in Kisangani on how to collect and disseminate information related to the 2011 national elections in DRC. It proposes conducting two training sessions for 48 journalists (24 in each session) working in radio, television, print media, and Internet/blogs on how to cover the national elections in a way that contributes to debate and informed decision making by voters. Cost: $3,268
- Helping set up a community radio station in Kisangani: Radio Bolingo seeks assistance to complete construction of its radio station and install the necessary equipment that will enable it to begin broadcasting. The association will use the station to educate and train youths from the surrounding Mangobo neighborhood of Kisangani and create a model for responsible, objective, professional journalism. Cost: $20,000
- Inquiry on the viability of media in Orientale province: Building upon its unique 2009 report on radio stations in Kisangani, Radio Bolingo proposes undertaking a comprehensive research project on 58 radio and television stations in Orientale province. Radio Bolingo would assess the operations of each station and evaluate the socioeconomic conditions of journalists. Cost: $4,450