Madagascar elections: ORTM getting ready

Regulation & Policy

The Malagasy broadcasting corporation, ORTM, is gearing up proactively for the upcoming presidential and legislative elections, scheduled in Madagascar for July 2013.

From 15 to 20 april 2013, a journalist from the France 3 Lyon newsroom, Olivier Michel, and another from the Africa Department of RFI, Nicolas Champeaux, shared their experience and know-how of editorial content of election programmes with ORTM.

Gilles Silard, Director of Production at France Télévisions, brought his expert knowledge of team organisation, coordination and resource management to the course.

The training course in Antananarivo was attended by 22 TV and radio directors from ORTM's regional branches, as well as ten coordinators from the head office.

The workshops addressed the basics of putting newscasts together as well as editorial coverage. Interviewing techniques were examined thoroughly, based on many hands-on exercises.

The experts also provided support to prepare two special programmes covering the forthcoming events in the election schedule.
A prime time show has been planned for 1 July, when the final list of candidates is to be announced, followed by a debate three weeks later pitting the finalists against each other.

Preparation includes the production of running-order sheets, prioritisation of subjects, computer graphics and resource implementation.

As Gilles Silard pointed out, "Producing a show based on the editorial brief is my daily job. I am delighted to share my working methods with our Malagasy partners."

Olivier Michel added that "these pioneering programmes are an interesting starting point to test the technical setup and tight editorial. If it functions smoothly, they will be able to use it as a springboard for subsequent improvements .