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Cablegate: Success Stories Take Media Beyond Visas

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 ABUJA 002207

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/PD, AF/W, AF/RSA, IIP/G/AF, IIP/T/D, HR,
IIP/T/GIC, IIP/T/PS, IIP/T/SV
ABUJA FOR PAS, POL, ECON, FAS, FCS, DAO, FBI, USSS, DEA,
CONS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECPS KPAO NI OEXC OIIP OPRC
SUBJECT: Success Stories Take Media Beyond Visas

Ref: A) State 93896

1. Summary. Dozens of PAS success story placements over
the last six months broadened Nigerians' perception of USG
involvement in southern Nigeria. Beyond the routinely
negative visas stories, audiences now see, and want more,
stories on the positive USG programs in agriculture, health
and education. End Summary.

2. Description of Activity: Over the last six months,
Nigerians in the country's southern states learned that
visas represent only one small part of U.S. involvement in
Nigeria. Audiences of the dozens of PAS success stories saw
USAID health, education and agriculture projects, Defense
Department school material donations, special Embassy rural
outreach programs and USG aviation and law enforcement
efforts. Dozens of editors, producers and reporters worked
with PAS from July to September to identify, research, visit
and report on key USG humanitarian and development programs.
With IIP and PA funding, PAS supported the journalists'
logistics costs.

3. Results: The education programs generated so much
interest in rural education, girls schooling and parent-
teacher involvement that a reporter for the Muslim-focused
Star FM/Murhi TV had to set up a regular procedure to answer
requests for more information. She said her program on
education turned her into a recognizable resource for
accurate and positive information on the USG. In the
eastern Cross River state's television station, a reporter
said that her education programs have prompted neighboring
state television stations to look into doing stories of
their own.

4. Focusing on HIV-positive persons and their caregivers,
the HIV/AIDS programs generated a similarly large audience
response. DAAR Communications, the largest independent
media house in Nigeria with markets in Abuja and Lagos, as
well as a recent entry in the international satellite
market, got so many requests for more information on
partnership with USAID and access to implementing partners
that it had to restrict incoming calls.

5. Lastly, the agriculture and aviation programs generated
praise from industry experts and consultants who thought the
programs were not only well produced but also a positive
reflection of progress in Nigeria and cooperation with the
USG.

6. Success Stories by Category:

EDUCATION
---------

TELEVISION:
Literacy Enhancement Assistance Program (LEAP): September 13
(3-minute news report) on Star FM/MiTV, a Muslim-focused
private station. Featured interviews with LEAP students,
parents and officials cooperating in a community-based
education forum to improve rural schooling.

RADIO:
LEAP: August 25 (5-minute news report in English) on Ogun
State Broadcasting Corporation, the public radio station for
Lagos satellite towns. Featured the LEAP program in several
Lagos schools, including participants and organizers.

LEAP: August 15, 16 and 22 (two different 3-minute programs
in English and one 3-minute program in Yoruba) on Tiwan
Tiwa, the Lagos state radio station and primary outlet for
Yoruba-language listeners. Featured LEAP organizers,
participants and school officials.

NEWSPAPER:
LEAP: August 20 (full-page article) in This Day, which is
one of the most prominent private papers and also has a
branch in South Africa. Featured LEAP participants and
organizers as well as photos of a rural community education
forum. Follow-up related story on October 1.

LEAP: August 28 (full page article) in Champion, the biggest
eastern-focused private newspaper. Featured LEAP
participants and organizers as well as photos of a rural
community education forum.


EDDI/Girl's Scholarship
-----------------------

TELEVISION:
Community Resource Centers: September 25 (20 minute feature)
on Cross River State Television, a southeastern state's
television station. Featured the opening of a Community
Resource Center for the entire region, including
explanations by US officials and implementing partners of
the center's benefits for education and rural outreach.

Ambassador's Girls' Scholarship Program: mid-August (news
reports) on Ondo State NTA, a powerful southwestern
transmitter of the Nigerian Television Authority. Featured
interviews with scholarship recipients at Benin City schools
for orphans and the physically disabled as well as the
teachers who work with them. Explained how the students'
education has improved since the girls received the money.

Ambassador's Girls' Scholarship Program: September 13 (3-
minute news report) on Star FM/MiTV, a Muslim-focused
private station. Featured recipients and officials of the
program, including lengthy explanations of what the program
is, how schools participate and how girls are chosen.

Ambassador's Girls' Scholarship Program: September 22 (20-
minute feature) on Cross River State Television, a
southeastern state's television station. Featured 50 girls
receiving their scholarships, their stories and the
projected benefits of the program for their education.

RADIO:
Ambassador's Girls' Scholarship Program: mid-August (news
reports) on the Radio Nigeria network several times and once
on the Enugu State broadcasting service. Featured interviews
with scholarship recipients and the teachers who work with
them.

Ambassador's Girls' Scholarship Program: August 25 (5-minute
news report in English) on the Ogun State Broadcasting
Corporation, a state-owned station for Lagos satellite
towns. Featured the scholarship program, including rural
recipients in Abeokuta, a town near Lagos.

NEWSPAPER:
Ambassador's Girls' Scholarship Program: September 3 (half-
page article) in This Day, which is one of the most
prominent private papers and also has a branch in South
Africa. Featured scholarship recipients, including several
blind girls who gained access to an education through the
program.


HIV/AIDS
--------

TELEVISION:
Internews, Family Health International and Johns Hopkins
University programs: August 24 (20-minute feature) on
Superscreen, a major private Lagos television station.
Featured interviews with USAID partners and local officials
extolling the values of the USAID HIV/AIDS programs,
specifically their work with radio education and the Johns
Hopkins University education outreach.

Internews, CEDPA programs: September 11 (17-minute feature)
on Minaj Broadcasting International, a southern Nigerian
broadcast network. Featured interviews with USAID partners,
especially those involved with community education and
outreach to women and children.

Family Health International and Internews programs:
September 12 (3 minutes) on African International
Television, which is the biggest private network in Nigeria
and which also broadcasts to other African countries and the
US. Featured interviews and work on community outreach with
a group that operates an HIV testing center.

RADIO:
Internews programs: August 24 (10-minute feature) on Eko FM,
the English-language station of the Lagos State radio
corporation. Featured prominent USAID education outreach
programs, discussions with participants and explanation of
the programs' benefits.

Family Health International and Internews programs:
September 12 (3 minutes) on African International
Television, which is the biggest private network in Nigeria
and which also broadcasts to other African countries and the
US. Featured interviews and work on community outreach.

NEWSPAPER:
Basics, Internews and Johns Hopkins University programs:
September 22 (full-page article) in Punch, which at the time
was viewed as the largest circulating newspaper in the
country. Featured three USAID partners and their work in
Nigeria regarding child survival, HIV prevention and
education.

Pathfinder and Johns Hopkins University programs: August 26
(full-page article) in This Day, which is one of the most
prominent private newspapers and which also has a branch in
South Africa. Featured the work of two USAID partners that
work with HIV/AIDS patients, prevention and education.
HEALTH
------

RADIO:
Africare/USAID child survival programs: September 2 (2-
minute news report) on Rhythm 93.7, the most popular
southern radio station. Featured interviews with
implementing partners of USAID child survival programs in
the Niger River delta region, an area important to U.S.
commercial and political interests. The report featured a
USAID partner that helps communities through donations of
books, mosquito nets and small grants to HIV/AIDS orphans'
caregivers.

AVIATION
--------

TELEVISION:
Nigerian-U.S. cooperation on aviation: During the week of
September 18 (13-minute documentary) on two channels of the
government-owned Nigerian Television Authority network as
well as on African International Television, which also
broadcasts by satellite to neighboring African countries and
the US. Featured U.S. and Nigerian officials explaining the
various advances in U.S.-Nigerian aviation and aviation
security advances since 1999. Examined the relaxation of
Nigeria-U.S. flight restrictions, expansion of air links and
the donation of security equipment. Spoke with travelers
who cited the work of the USG as improving flying and flight
safety in Nigeria.

AGRICULTURE
-----------

TELEVISION:
Rural Sector Enhancement Program (RUSEP): September 24 (20-
minute documentary) on Galaxy Television, a network with
stations across southwestern Nigeria. Featured interviews
with US officials, implementing partners and local
recipients of USG assistance.

RUSEP: August 24 (5-minute news report played twice) on the
powerful Abia State transmitter of the Nigerian Television
Authority, reaching at least four states. Featured USG
agricultural assistance in action, including shots and
interviews with village recipients of improved agricultural
tools and inputs.

RADIO:
RUSEP: September 2 (3-minute news report played twice) on
Rhythm 93.7 FM, the most popular private radio station in
the south. Featured interviews with officials and
recipients of USG agricultural assistance, including
individual farmers who saw direct benefits from the work.
For example, farmers praised the improved prices for their
new cassava stems and for the processed cassava they can now
produce under the program.

AMBASSADOR'S SELF-HELP PROGRAM
------------------------------

TELEVISION:
Community training and meeting center: September 1 (5-
minute news story) on the Ondo State transmitter of the
Nigerian Television Authority. Featured a rural project
dedicated to boosting a community's ability to network,
learn computer skills and plan political strategies for
further empowerment.

Women's palm oil processing center: September 23 (5-minute
news story) on the Enugu State television station. Featured
ongoing work on a rural project to empower women through the
installation of a palm oil processing center, including
interviews with those working on - and likely to benefit
from - the project. Some of the women said economic
empowerment is one of the first steps to democratic
participation.

RADIO:
Community training and meeting center: August 31 (3-minute
news story in both English and Yoruba) on Ekiti State
Broadcasting Corporation's station. Featured a rural
project that boosts a community's ability to network, to
learn computer skills and to plan political strategies for
further empowerment.

LAW ENFORCEMENT
---------------

TELEVISION:
U.S.-Nigeria Law Enforcement Cooperation: during the week of
August 18 (40-minute documentary) on Nigerian Television
Authority affiliates in Kwara, Kaduna, Kano, Abuja and Benin
states, twice on Minaj Broadcasting International and once
on Lagos State Television. Featured interviews with several
U.S. officials, many Nigerian counterparts, videos of police
in training and the cooperative nature of fighting terrorism
by also fighting crime. Highlighted USG support to fight
fraud, boost police training, improve airport safety and
fight drug trafficking. Followed by selections of USG-
produced material on neighborhood watch programs.

OFFICE OF DEFENSE COOPERATION
-----------------------------

TELEVISION:
School materials donation: August 24 (3-minute news report
played twice) on the powerful Abia State transmitter of the
Nigerian Television Authority, reaching at least four
states. Featured interviews with recipients of a Defense
Department container filled with educational and
recreational materials.

RADIO:
School materials donation: August 28 (3-minute news report)
on Rhythm 93.7 FM, the most popular southern radio station.
Featured interviews with recipients of a Defense Department
container filled with educational and recreational
materials.

COMMENT
-------

The result of the success stories has been much good press
for USG programs affecting the lives of ordinary Nigerians.
USAID in particular has seen heightened public awareness and
appreciation for USAID projects in the country. Public
Affairs staff will be working more closely in the coming
year with USAID's implementing partners to ensure that the
success story concept of engaging the media will continue.
We must take care, however, that the success story approach
maintains USG commitment to a thoughtful and independent
press. End Comment.


ROBERTS

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