P-FIM as a production tool for journalists

People First Impact Method

When it comes to productions, creativity really matter, sometimes it won’t hurt to borrow a leaf.

P-FIM means People First Impact Method. It was created by Gerry McCarthy and Paul O’Hagan who are the Co-Developers and Directors of the exercise.

The P-FIM exercise engages the communities directly by listening to their issues. Just like any other interview done by a journalist, listening and reporting are principles which applies in this exercise. The big difference: with P-FIM there’s no room for interpretation; you report what is said. The skill of listening is wanted here. Ask yourself: When was the last time you listened to someone without interfering, interpreting their statements or judging them?

This activity is important in our day to day work. We serve the community through different mediums and Community Radio is one of them. Community Radios are mostly owned by the community to inform the residents on the happenings using the local language of that community.

Radio is the most powerful medium of communication, using P-FIM when generating our programs and productions will bring us closer to the community. Most of our community members do not understand how radio or any other media tool is working. It is our responsibility as journalists to explain it to them so that they do not feel left out in our programming. Our communities need to feel that they own the stations, they need their voices to be heard and their issues addressed in their radio.

Voicing their concerns through their statements is more important compared to interpreting what they could mean. Statements are very powerful and every producer or editor knows quite well what makes good soundbites in different productions.

Asking the communities to highlight those issues which are important to them and advocating for their priorities is more important than having huge development programs in our communities that residents are not interested in and won’t own because they don’t address their real concerns.

Using P-FIM in our productions will not only highlight issues in our communities but it will help journalists to look at different ways of doing a production. It is a skill that will make our productions powerful and it will have direct impact to the communities keeping in mind the media ethics and law.

Trainings on P-FIM will be conducted and through the Community Radios, we will produce different productions, with different approach.  These productions include: Cameo, radio dramas, news items, radio shows, documentaries etc. People use different methods and skills in productions as it advances and as Heraclitus would say, “There’s nothing permanent, except change.”

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