Title: Radio Journalism Toolkit
Author: Franz Krüger
Year of Publication: 2006
Reviewer: Daniel Moalosi, former National Community Radio Forum project officer is currently operating an entrepreneurial ICT and marketing enterprise called Dikeledi Marketing.
Published by the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism (IAJ), Radio Journalism Toolkit is a book worth reading for people interested in developments made in the field of radio journalism. The toolkit consolidates some good aspects of this field by providing the reader with valuable information about the institutional memory of the radio sector and journalism debates including good references from prominent print and radio journalists within media.
Overall, the book prioritises public radio more than community radio, however, most of the solutions in the book were developed by the community radio movement. As an avid follower of developments with the field of radio, I think the toolkit does not put into perspective the reality of community radio practice for public services models and citizen radio journalism i.e. blogging and investigative journalism for radio.
Although, the toolkit is intended to categorise “radio for development” and its principles informed by the vision of the three tiers of sound broadcasting, i.e. community, public and commercial sound broadcasting services, it fails to outline the ideological principle of the 3 tiers of broadcasting.
As an ICT for broadcasting activist, I tend to disagree with the name toolkit because the word misleads the converted. In general I would argue that this “toolkit” does not empower new media practitioners to be radio journalists.
There is still quite a lot of work that must be done before the IAJ can attempt to write a second edition of this toolkit. It is my hope that future editions will address the action points of the radio journalism toolkit. Unfortunately, the current edition does not provide us with application software to be used to edit or apply the courseware provided in the book, the inserted CD ROM can not be used to advance radio journalism online for the reasons that it is proprietary and not open standards programmable.
For this reason, I would advocate that the second edition must be available online. We need to continually advance skills development in order to enhance radio journalist’s ability to meet the conditions of digital sound broadcasting. The lack of an online version of the toolkit is a major pitfall and needs to be reviewed. There is a need for an aggressive ICT and online radio journalism kit.
In conclusion, the book is a good starting point for anyone interested in this field, but there is still work that needs to be done to give the book an online presence to ensure that it provides for radio journalists and media practitioners. In its current hardcopy format, it accommodates the academics rather than media practictioners and community media journalist.