Radio is certainly one of the most effective means for presenting the Good News to the remotest and/or hostile corners of the Earth. Once broadcast, a Christian radio message can transform the most challenging area from forbidding to forgiven.
Now, thanks to our research arm, the Media Research Institute (MRI), we can paint clearer statistical “pictures” of the people we seek to evangelize in our key target areas. Take our results from Niger, for instance. In 2008, the MRI conducted a major field study to evaluate the impact of Words of Hope’s broadcasting partnership with the Evangelical Church of the Republic of Niger (EERN). Preliminary research results indicate that radio is by far the most important means of mass communication. 94.6% of households have a radio. By contrast, just 58% have a television, and only 3.9% have a computer. Listening to radio is the favorite way for people to learn new information. And listeners prefer local FM stations more than any other kind of station. For Niger, radio is the best way to reach the most people.
The Words of Hope programs are reaching a significant audience. 63.7% of respondents had heard the Hausa program, “New Life for All.” Of these, 73.5% thought the program was “good” or “excellent.” This is an encouraging result for a program that is still quite new (launched in 2006). About 30% had heard the Words of Hope French program. This lower percentage is not surprising, given that French is mainly spoken by highly educated people-the target audience for this program. Of those who have heard it, over 70% thought it was “good” or “excellent.”
MRI’s Dr. Robert Fortner is returning to share the research findings with the broadcast team and EERN. Together, they will evaluate the programs and the work of the church, using this important “feedback” to reach more people more fruitfully.