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Cotton Tree News - Sierra Leone

Cotton Tree News (CTN) ist ein 2007 von der Stiftung Hirondelle im Rahmen der Partnerschaft mit der Universität von Sierra Leone in Freetown, der wichtigsten Hochschule des Landes, lanciertes Hörfunk-Informationsprogramm in Sierra Leone. Das 2007 bis 2011 von der Stiftung Hirondelle umgesetzte Projekt verband die Gründung und die Entwicklung eines Radios eines Universitätscampus mit der Produktion von Programmen, die von Partnerradios wieder ausgestrahlt wurden, und den Aufbau eines Ausbildungszentrums für junge Journalisten.

Six months after its launch in early 2007, Cotton Tree News was recognized for its professionalism in the coverage of the August 2007 national elections, which helped strengthen the transition to peace and democracy in Sierra Leone. After only one year of existence, CTN was on the list of radios nominated by the BBC for the "Special Award for Development Media". An independent audience study indicates that one in four Sierra Leoneans listened to its programs (Audience Survey conducted in August 2010 by the Graham Mytton Institute).

In its initial conception, the team of journalists, including freelancers and student volunteers, worked under the supervision of an editor-in- chief. Every day, it offered six hours of programs in English and in the 4 national languages, in three prime time slots. CTN's programs were broadcast on Radio Mount Aureol (the University's student radio) and on partner radio stations across the country. Most of its programs and newsletters were available on its website, which drew an average of 26,000 visits per month in 2010.

At the beginning of 2011, due to lack of funding, Fondation Hirondelle suspended its involvement in the development of a new phase of the CTN project. The University of Fourah Bay decided to maintain CTN and continues the management and production of programs, in a more modest way.