Communicating with clarity
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CTA. 1989. Communicating with clarity. Spore 23. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/45131
editing and publication workshop from February 13-24 1989. The work shop was organized in conjunction with the IITA, who hosted it at their headquarters in Ibadan, Nigeria
CTA sponsors workshop on editing and publishing Promoting the transfer of agricultural and technical information in developing countries is CTA's mission. This will be effective only if the media chosen to communicate this information do so with clarity, economy, and precision. That is what journalism, editing and publishing are all about. Publishing in the field of agriculture and rural development lacks trained and skilled manpower. Because transferring information is so vital to extension services and ultimately to farmers, CTA is committed to training agricultural reporters and editors. To this end, CTA sponsored an editing and publication workshop from February 13-24 1989. The workshop was organized in conjunction with the IITA, who hosted it at their headquarters in Ibadan, Nigeria. The course covered all aspects of publications management, and required dedication from the 24 participants from Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Benin. The main topic headings studied were: publishing strategy (the relations between editor, author, and reader; publishing for non-specialists; relations between designers and printers); writing (effective language; interviewing; press releases; capturing the reader's attention); editing; (working with authors; planning newsletters; scientific editing; controlling costs); production and design (designing print in general; designing newsletters and posters, the process of print; using photographs and illustrations); and promotion and distribution (evaluating the publication, effective mailing lists). In addition to this all-embracing introduction to the world of editing and production, the participants were taken round the IITA printing and photographic units (including graphics, typesetting, printing and binding) and given a demonstration of desk-top publishing and computer setting on Apple Macintosh. As an extra-curricular activity participants were divided into groups, and asked to choose a topic of interest, and then write, edit and produce a brochure on it, using the Apple Mac and DTP (desk-top publishing) facilities they had been shown earlier in the course. These were typeset, proof-read, pasted up, printed, and folded in the space of two days - giving real experience of the urgency and pressures of publishing. Success lay not only in the course components and the enthusiasm and dedication of the participants, but also with the sharing of knowledge, problems, difficulties, hopes and joys. In the evenings and durinq free time participants met with the coordinators, Elizabeth Wilson and lan Montagnes, who have developed a curriculum for training scientific editors, and have led three-month training courses for editors from developing countries. Thus participants were given the opportunity to discuss their own publications and problems. It became clear to all concerned that the need for this kind of training in ACP countries is great. Most participants felt that in even such a concentrated course there was too much to learn in a short time, and most asked about follow-up courses. As a result, CTA intends to hold similar courses in the future, also in Francophone Africa and will work closely with other organizations interested in this activity. CTA is also considering adapting and publishing the coordinators' course curriculum for editors in developing countries as part of their continuing mission to train communicators in ACP countries.