Key definitions

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In the written materials for this course you will come across a number of terms related to radio programs. In order to ensure that everyone starts with a common understanding of key terms, we have taken a stab at defining them as related to this course in the context of programming for smallholder farmers.

Farm radio program: This is a regular, usually weekly, program produced and broadcast by a rural radio station to serve the needs and interests of its smallholder farmer listeners by covering issues of importance to them. It is usually half an hour long, or longer, and is broadcast at a time when smallholders can listen. The program is often a "magazine" which means that it uses material in different formats. A farm radio program both provides farmers with information, through formats like weather reports and market information, and also gives farmers a voice through such formats as such as call-in shows and panel discussions.

Radio piece: We use the word "piece" in the way that a newspaper uses the word "article". It is a self-contained item that deals with one specific issue of interest to smallholders and is broadcast within one farm radio program.

Story-based radio piece: Radio pieces are much more attractive to farmers if they contain a brief, dramatic story about a farmer who encounters a problem or complication and overcomes it through his or her own actions. The radio piece might also include statistical information and an interview with an expert, and other material essential to understanding the issue.

Radio script or script: This is the written document which includes every word in the radio piece, and identifies every person who speaks those words and when they say them. It also identifies all sound effects used in the piece.