Brief summary of activity

Split into groups and assign the groups topics and ask how they would go about researching for this topic. Ask the groups to think about how they will research for an interview on the topic from a community radio perspective. Allow the group’s time to interview each other on said topics. Discuss.

Aim of the activity

The aim of the exercise is for the participants to understand the meaning of research & interviewing:
• To understand different sources where producers can undertake research such as primary and secondary.
• To understand that community radio can produce a very different interview on the same subject as commercial or state radio. For example, if it is a segment on immigration a community radio producer might speak directly to an immigrant whereas a state broadcaster might only interview law makers or representatives of immigrants without going straight to the source.
• To discuss where research can take place. Such as online, libraries, newspapers, newsletters, direct from the source
• To discuss open and closed questions
• To allow the participants to interview each other on pre-planned topics.

Expected Outcomes

The participants understand key principles of community radio, such as accessibility, diversity of content and equal opportunities.
They understand the principles of research such as finding sources and where to conduct research such as online, newspapers, primary sources, libraries, newsletters etc.
They get an initial understanding of being an interviewer and an interviewee, by taking part in a mock interview which is recorded and played back for discussion.

experience and skills required

This is a discussion, recording and listening based exercise. The Trainer needs to be experienced in group facilitation. The trainer needs to be very clear on the expected learning outcomes to lead the discussion towards the expected outcome.
Facilitator needs to be familiar with conducting research for community radio and of doing interviews on radio.

infrastructure, setting, resources

A spacious room, a studio, recordings from community radio (this can be interviews conducted) to allow participants to discuss
Audio player equipment (i.e. laptop and speakers)


Depending on the number of participants trait could be 2 hours including a 10 minute break.


Recordings from community radios
Laptop and speakers

How the activity should take place

A general discussion on the subject of research begins. With the trainer asking the participants what their understanding of research is. Research form a community radio perspective is also discussed – 10 mins
Trainer splits the group into three smaller groups, they are given the topics: Homelessness, Christmas and Facebook. Give each group 5 minutes to discuss where they would do their research and who they might invite for interview. – 10 mins
Group comes back together and trainers plays tracks from community radio interviews for discussion. At the end of the discussion, trainer will ask the participants where they think the interviewer did his/her research. – 10 mins
Trainer gives a short session on open and closed questioning – 10 minutes
Break – 10 minutes
Trainer splits groups again and this time gives harder topics: for example mice, porridge and stapler. The groups are asked to think of their research and interviewees and write questions. -10 mins
Groups of two use the studios and take turns to interview each other on the topics discussed while the larger group listens back in another studio. Then there is a playback of interviews at the end for discussion among the group. – 60 mins

Recommended max. number of participants and trainees to trainers ratio

4 trainees to 1 trainer for vision impaired/blind and learning difficulties participants.


• Choose specific recording according to participants. I.e. community radio interviews.
• This activity could be adapted to media literacy by exploring the content of specific programmes.
o Ask them to look for similar or different content on news bulletins from different mainstream radio stations and debate who is deciding what is news in mainstream media (news agencies, lobbying groups, authorities) vs. editorial freedom in community radio. Who is dictating the agenda?
o Check where the information is coming from on one radio report and discuss sources of information, highlighting the use of ‘experts’ (academics, politicians, professionals) or secondary sources by mainstream media vs. people who experience the situation or primary sources by community media. I.e. migration issue, where politicians and academics are always invited to speak, but migrant voice is absent from the debate).

Tips for Trainers

Prepare well in advance, be familiar with the tracks and hint to those aspects that the participants will be missing. Give plenty of time

Analysis and evaluation

Ask the participants to help you to summarise research and interviewing key terminology and techniques including sources, primary, secondary, open and closed questions.


Before media literacy and production values
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