Brief summary of activity

This activity will look at different types of sources that can be used to research specific topics for radio programmes.

Aim of the activity

To identify different kind of sources available outside the ‘experts’ being used by mainstream media.

Expected Outcomes

The following activity will make the group aware of the different research sources that are available and important to community radio producers.

experience and skills required

Broad knowledge of research sources and an understanding of the community radio ethos when it comes to define relevant information sources.

infrastructure, setting, resources

training room with chairs.


About 40 minutes


Flipchart and markers, writing Materials for Learners (not for vision impaired)

How the activity should take place

Ask participants to imagine they are in a shop and they are going to buy a new laptop. What would you ask the shop assistant? Take note of how the questions are being asked (are participants using the What, Where, Why, Who, When and How). Point out to participants that they have experienced what research is all about. Offer participants a definition for Research: “To Collect information on a subject” and point out that Research does not have to be an academic task.AS participants to brainstorm places where they can access information. Explain that these sources are part of the research process. Ask participants tools to find information, and list them on the flipchart. They should include Dictionary Encyclopedias  Contact Book Cuttings Directories InternetAsk participants what they think it is important when researching for information. Prompt them if necessary: Take notes carefully Use Key Words Check source is up to date Scan info and then pick relevant material Be selective Acknowledge all sources File your notes Double check facts!!Give brief definition of secondary and primary sources. A primary source provides direct or first-hand evidence about an event, object, person, or work of art. Primary sources include historical and legal documents, eyewitness accounts, and results of experiments, statistical data, pieces of creative writing, audio and video recordings, speeches, and art objects. Secondary forces are the ‘experts’ that offer an interpretation on the events, as they haven’t witnessed or experienced them. For a story of a local football match - Primary sources could be interviews with players and fans, match programme, statistics on the two teams. Secondary Source could be the newspaper report on the match.

Recommended max. number of participants and trainees to trainers ratio

10 to 14 to 1 for Vision Impaired/Blind learners and trainees with learning difficulties.

Risk and possible adaptation

For vision impaired/blind participants and trainees with learning difficulties, the trainer could play some news reporting and ask the trainees to identify the information sources and discuss whether they are primary or secondary.


The trainer could play some news reporting and ask the trainees to identify the information sources and discuss whether they are primary or secondary.

Tips for Trainers

This workshop has a media literacy lining , as it is also worth briefly returning to the definition of Community Media here - pointing out that community radio considers that individuals that live specific situations are the real ‘experts’. Also that community radio tends to draw their sources from the community and organisations and groups under-represented in media outputs.

Analysis and evaluation

Have participants identified all sources, and qualified them as primary or secondary? Are they aware of the way media select its sources and how this can impact on the audiences ‘world vision’?


Before interviewing.
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