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Cablegate: Podcasting Hits the Congo

VZCZCXRO7283
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0716 2421138
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 291138Z AUG 08 ZDK CTG 0026W
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8365
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS KINSHASA 000716

PARIS FOR USMISSION UNESCO

SIPDIS

//CORRECTED COPY - PARAS RENUMBERED//

E.O.12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM KPAO CG UNESCO
SUBJECT: PODCASTING HITS THE CONGO

1. Summary: Embassy Kinshasa introduced a dozen radio journalists
to the concept of podcasting, focusing on IIP's French website
(http://www.America.gov/fr). Media representatives made a number of
useful suggestions about how this multimedia tool can be used in the
Congo and were clearly interested in using IIP podcasts as part of
programming on local radio stations. The event showed that
podcasting can be a valuable medium in the DRC for projecting
American values and to raise issues of interest. End Summary.

2. Public Affairs Officer Katya Thomas and Deputy Chief of Mission
Sam Brock gave a presentation August 25, 2008 at the Mission's media
center to introduce the concept of podcasting to representatives of
local broadcast media, particularly radio. Using a powerpoint
presentation in French developed at post specifically for this
event, they covered the development of the term and how the concept
of podcasting differs from other types of broadcasts. Assistant PAO
Robert Keith demonstrated several different types of iPods. He also
played a recent IIP/AF product ("Elections 2008: les jeunes
electeurs et la politique") as an example of what the USG produces
and makes available to the Congolese media. Note: Because of
underdeveloped Internet infrastructure in Congo, Public Affairs
plans to download new podcasts onto CD's and send them to local
radio stations at regular intervals, as well as to monitor usage of
this material. End note.

3. Questions demonstrated the journalists' positive response to the
event. Brock explained that IIP podcasts are part of our public
diplomacy effort to promote U.S. culture and values. Participants
suggested holding longer programs discussing issues using a podcast
as a point of departure. They also suggested holding focus groups
to get active participant feedback. They noted that they would like
to send ideas back to Washington for future podcasts, and would also
welcome training on how to make their own podcasts to use on their
own websites. They also suggested that it would be useful for them
to have a podcast about podcasting and other new media outreach
Tools, such as webchats and blogs that are not well known yet in
Congo.

4. Comment: This PD event confirmed our view that podcasting is a
new concept here, albeit one that will undoubtedly grow quickly as
journalists in attendance showed great interest in the new
possibilities this tool offers. They were engaged and eager to know
more about the subject matter. We believe their interest represents
an opportunity to respond to the media's curiosity about U.S. issues
through podcasting and to build on it. Their understanding of the
usefulness of IIP podcasts and their willingness to use them as free
content for radio broadcasts will increase our ability to promote
democratic practices and mutual understanding between the U.S. and
the Congo. Embassy Kinshasa is happy to make available its
powerpoint presentation on podcasts in French to other interested
posts. End comment.

GARVELINK

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