September 22, 2014

Research scientists translating to ordinary mortals

There are scientists in Southern Africa doing incredible, ground-breaking research, but their work doesn’t get into the media because scientists talk in their own language – which journalists don’t usually understand.

 To help scientists get their work into the public domain, frayintermedia will present a morning session to scientists at a workshop in Gaborone on March 12, sponsored by SAASTA-NSTF (the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement, and the National Science and Technology Forum).

Michael Schmidt will be teaching scientists how the media operates, how to get their messages into the media, how to break down complex stories and make them easily digestible. Once the scientists understand the media landscape, they are better able to communicate  their innovations and research to the general public.

 Bridging the gap between science-speak and ordinary language and finding the appropriate media outlet are not the only challenges to a scientist in Botswana, however.

 “Botswana has the reputation of having a very stable democracy, but it does not have the type of vigorous media and plurality that it could have,” notes Schmidt. He says there are legal challenges characteristic of the Botswana media environment.

frayintermedia’s Charmeela Bhagowat conducting TV interview training 2006

2006 Nov FHR training_Bilaal and Charmeela teaching TV_400X300 96DPI JPG

Delegates preparing media strategies at a 5-day “Communicating Women’s Rights” workshop 2006

2006 FHR Cape town_400X300 96DPI JPG

2006 FHR Cape town_400X300 96DPI JPG

Getting the message across during the Soccer World Cup


frayintermedia will conduct a two-day media skills programme for GTZ in January 2010, including practical coaching on being interviewed for radio and television.

The massive global media coverage South Africa will receive during the 2010 Soccer World Cup will shape the world’s perceptions of the country and the continent with a lasting effect. Over a billion people in more than 200 countries are expected to simultaneously follow every event of the month-long tournament between the world’s top 32 soccer-playing nations.

The World Cup is thus a great opportunity for projects and organisations to showcase their initiatives and achievements. Knowing and understanding the media landscape will, however, be crucial for project leaders and communicators to get their message across in a way that will ensure their organisation’s future success.

The two-day course consists of a theoretical and a practical part.

Day One

aims at providing a better understanding of media landscapes, reporters’ needs and how newsrooms operate. The course will look at ways to engage the media successfully and address the issue of media laws and ethics and the interviewees’ own rights. It will furthermore provide participants with the necessary tools to formulate key messages, and to get these across convincingly in writing and on radio and TV.

Day Two

will focus on the practical application of all theoretical learning and provide participants with opportunities to handle different types of interview situations. The aim is for participants to gain confidence and become increasingly aware of the importance of self-conduct and speech patterns, in particular on camera.

Aim of this workshop

The overall course aims at enhancing the participants’ understanding of how the media in SA and Germany works and strives to empower communicators to handle media requirements in a professional manner, especially at a time of increased media interest and global focus on the country.

The client

The two-day training course frayintermedia will conduct on behalf of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) will prepare team members and partners of the GTZ Youth Development Through Football (YDF) projects for the heightened 2010 media interest and help communicators to become successful ambassadors for the organization and its project activities.

Outcomes for the media training

By the end of the two-day course, participants are expected to:

  • Understand the local and the German media landscapes in terms of their reach and prime interests
  • Understand what makes news in local, regional, national and international media
  • Understand how newsrooms operate and therefore how media relations can help in terms of getting key message across;
  • Have gained basic communication skills necessary for the production of media tools and the handling of Q&As and media interviews.

Shaping the African media landscape in 2008

frayintermedia is not just shaping the media landscape in South Africa but also in Africa.

This follows the awarding of the second phase of the The Agriculture, Rural Development and Women (IWMF) project to the company.

A four-year initiative to work with news media organisations in Africa to enhance the coverage of agriculture, rural development and women on the continent, will see frayintermedia travelling to countries such as Mali, Uganda and Zambia to identify and train media trainers while also establishing centres of excellence.

“The main objective of the project is to incorporate women’s roles, stories, needs and solutions in the coverage of agriculture and rural economies whilst developing gender equality in newsrooms,” said Michae Schmidt, frayintermedia Civil Society Outreach Manager.

frayintermedia were responsible for the first phase of the project which was concluded earlier this year.