By Harsha Man Maharjan
People were waiting with abated breath on 7 November 2007 at Martin Chautari discussion hall. What they only knew was some one was playing the role of prime minister of Nepal, Girija Prasad Koirala and BBC World Service Trust was supposed to this. Friends at MC had hoped for a simulation of parliament.
Later during the program Narayan Shrestha, radio journalist who left Radio Sagarmatha for the BBC World Service Trust, told us that they were taking interview with the PM after few days and they were rehearsing that interview at MC. Copy Editor Sharad Chandra Wasti acted as the PM. Shrestha and Sushil Sharma, journalist related to BBC Nepali Service were grilling the PM.
In radio jargon they were recording a dummy copy of the program, Sajha Sawal. BBC World Service Trust will air this program and UNDP supported it. Trust is going to air radio programs targeting Constituent Assembly.
During the program organizer requested s to question the PM. They aired recorded questions from different parts of country. They even entertained phone calls from two places outside Kathmandu. The organizer did them from Martin Chautari office. Program host Shrestha encouraged audience to put question though the organizers had managed few people to do so.
I have never heard other media organization making dummy copy of their program. Radio program production manual urges to make dummy copies. It helps in reducing problems that might crop up during the program.
The program at MC showed poor quality of phone call. That means they have to improve it in real program.
The organizer wanted to know question pattern of audience. It sought feedback from audience after the program. It was in dilemma on which to give priority: national politics or individual problems. Audience were for national politics.
Next Sajha Sawal will be with Maoist leader Prachanda.