A weeklong training on Audience Research was successfully completed at the Art Gallery in Honiara.
Training sessions were conducted by the BBC Media Action as part of its ‘Media Strengthening in Solomon Islands Project’ phase two.
Project Director, Dipak Bhattarai said: “Nineteen participants representing various sectors such as government, media, civil
society, and youth were equipped with essential skills in media audience research during these sessions.”
“The objective of this training is to narrow the information gap between voters and media organisations, particularly in preparation for the upcoming National General
Facilitated by Rosiana Eko, BBC Media Action’s Research Manager, the training also aimed to foster lasting partnerships with freelance researchers in the region.
It was also conducted to up-skill the research capacity of participants as well as serves as a way to select passionate and talented researchers.
According to Dipak Bhattarai, six participants are selected as freelancer researchers after the training. The six researchers will go to communities and gather information needed around elections with feedback provided to MASI and the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC).
They will also gather rumors and mis/dis-information around elections in communities. The six researchers have so far completed one Focus Group Discussion and four key interviews last week.
Launched in 2023, the ‘Media Strengthening in Solomon Islands Project’, funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, aims to strengthen public interest and engage with journalists and media professionals across the media sector in Solomon Islands.
Some training/mentoring workshops were held on the first phase and various media organisations including SIBC, the Media Association of Solomon Islands and others participated in the events.
On its first phase the project also resulted in in-depth nationally representative media landscape study that was disseminated and received very positive reception amongst stakeholders from media, civil society, development partners and the government.
The second phase of the project is focusing on election coverage and bridging the communities from different provinces. With the support from BBC Media Action, MASI is recruiting journalists in every province to report for news organisations.
At the BBC Media Action project launch last year, British High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, His Excellency Thomas Coward said he was pleased to have rekindled the partnership with the media in Solomon Islands.
“Quality media is important to engage the people of Solomon Islands and keep them informed. There are great journalists in Solomon Islands, and we are grateful to be in partnership with them.”