Capacity Building and Human Resource Development in a Resource-Limited Island Nation
While the FSM does have some semblance of a mass media in the form of limited newspapers and international cable television, radio remains the most effective, affordable and accessible media forum for the majority of the population in the FSM, including Yap. Yap has only one government-run radio station, which also operates a free television channel provided to the State government through a cable television agreement with the FSM Telecommunications Corporation. Both the radio (AM and FM) and the television channel are operated by the Division of Media, which, for the most part, is free to create its own programmes and is responsible for the content and delivery of those programmes. However, the efficacy of those programmes is what is lacking, because they are put together by a largely inexperienced staff, which for the most part learns on the job without much formal training. In fact, the newly elected Governor, cabinet and the Yap State Legislature have committed to the idea of transparency, accountability and ethics. In effect, the radio/TV station is free to broadcast as it wishes, provided that it follows accepted norms of responsible journalism that contributes to nation building. It is hoped that funds from this grant application can be used to upgrade the rudimentary skills and knowledge of existing personnel and future recruits (summer youth job corp. trainees) to make the Yap State Division of Media more effective in its coverage of local, national, regional and international issues of importance, and also to be able to relate how world events impact our local economies. Essentially, the Yap Division of Media has limited resources in all aspects of radio media functions (minimum qualified manpower, old and failing equipments, annual budgetary cuts etc.). If basic elementary equipment could be purchased under this project, this would help current efforts to produce more meaningful programmes on various social, political and economic issues within the State. Therefore, new equipment (listed in the budget) is requested to replace the obsolete items being used now. If given the opportunity to inject outside, expert technical assistance to provide training on the role of media as a tool for positive social and economic change, including provision of basic radio broadcast / production equipment and proper training on how to fully utilise current audio-visual equipment, this will enhance our efforts to inform, educate and entertain the people. The project is suggesting one weeklong training workshop to cover three areas: (1) Tools and strategies for effective media management; (2) Programming (production and relevant content); (3) The role of media and its workers in a free and democratic society. The primary objective is to upgrade the knowledge and skills of the Yap radio station personnel.