Using Media

A video-text Bible product
Published by: WatchWORD Productions

"My daily appointment with my Bible has come alive since I discovered this video Bible. God not only speaks to me as I see the words of scripture but hearing them read keeps me concentrating."

The WatchWORD Bible is an example of a video-text Bible product, where you hear can the Bible read and see the text on the screen against the background of quality video photography.

The combination of seeing and hearing aids concentration and memory.  [more...]

Listening to the translated Scriptures: a review of today’s digital audio players
Author: Richard Margetts

Third Edition - Revised for 2014

This in-depth review (46 pages) compares a range of today's digital audio players including the Proclaimer and Mini-Proclaimer (from Faith Comes By Hearing), the Envoy S and Story Teller (from MegaVoice), the Saber (from Global Recordings Network), the Papyrus (from Renew World Outreach) and the Audibible (from Davar Partners International).

The review is presented in several sections, illustrated with photos and giving a summary of the key features, prices, pros and cons of each player. Also mentioned are feature phones, smartphones and locally available MP3 players.

The first edition of the document was published in 2008 and compared the Proclaimer, MegaVoice Ambassador and Saber. In the past six years we have seen:

  1. New entrants to the digital audio player world: the Papyrus, the Audibible, the Story Teller, Mini Proclaimer, the Herald and the Shofar.
  2. Significant development of existing players: The MegaVoice Ambassadors were retired and replaced by the Envoy. A solar-powered version of the Talking Bible is available, as is a new version of the Proclaimer. More internal memory was added to the Papyrus.
  3. New battery technology: Most players now use newer Lithium Ion Polymer or Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries rather than the NiMH type.
  4. Digital file sharing: Almost gone are the days of cassette tape. In most countries of the world, people are interacting with digital media and are increasingly familiar with memory cards and MP3 files.
  5. Mobile phones: The incredible growth in mobile phone ownership and use over the past six years means that most of the world’s population now have their own personal audio player.
  6. Download the full report as a PDF document.

  [more...]
Communicating effectively to non-readers
Author: Rick Brown
Published by: International Journal of Frontier Missions (21.4 Winter 2004)

In seeking to free ourselves from the biases of a print-oriented culture, we need to consider, not only the kinds of media and discourse genre (e.g. narrative) that are most appropriate for oral cultures, but also the most effective ways to use those genres and media. What do non-readers like to see and hear? What do they enjoy listening to? Their choices will not necessarily be the same as those of print communicators. If the styles of presentation are ones which oral communicators prefer, then they will be more likely to listen, to understand, and to remember what they hear.

In this paper, Rick Brown argues that oral cultures have their own preferences for ways to communicate truth, and that these are often different from what print-oriented people prefer. In order to share the message most effectively, we need to find out what media and methods work best for them. In most cases this will include a multi-media approach with an emphasis on memorizing the Scriptures with the aid of high-quality recordings from skilled actors or voicers.  [more...]

Author: Viggo Søgaard
Published by: Lausanne World Pulse, September 2009

The issue of non-readers is an issue for all countries, as we see reading declining even in countries with high literacy rates. It has been estimated that in some African countries printed scripture only reaches around ten percent of the population. The challenge is therefore to develop translations that are relevant to the media, productions that are appropriate, and distribution systems for scripture that reach the non-reading population.

Viggo Søgaard argues for the kinds of Bible translation needed for non-reading populations, conforming to "the rules and requirements of spoken rather than written language". He describes the differences between oral and written communication and highlights some of the areas translators need to pay attention to when producing translations for audio media (emphasis, direct speech, intonation, context information).  [more...]

A training manual for planning, producing, and presenting radio programs
Author: Al Shannon
Published by: SPARK, www.vernacularmedia.org

The listener controls the radio. He can turn it on or off. That is why you not only need to acquire an audience, but also know how to maintain one. Radio is one-time communication. The message needs to be clear, simple and precise for a one-time hearing. Don’t be afraid to repeat the information in different ways.

There are increasing opportunities for Scripture to be broadcast on local radio stations. But how can we produce interesting programs that people will want to listen to and hence engage with God's Word?

This manual was developed to explain how to plan, present and produce radio programs.

The material presented here is basic and fundamental. It is designed to train indigenous speakers. It will teach them how to reach their people through the medium of radio. An experienced media trainer should present the material to them. Anything new can then be fully explained to the student.  [more...]

Some implications of mobile phone technology for Scripture distribution
Author: Richard Margetts

"When it comes to audio and video products, the mobile phone can be an effective method of getting the Scriptures to people... who then pass them on to other people... who then pass them on to other people..."

This article discusses some of the implications of mobile phone technology for encouraging the sharing of audio/video Scripture products. Questions raised include:

  1. Who is your target audience?
  2. What are the best Scripture products for the phone?
  3. How will people get their first copy of the media files which they can then share with their friends?
  4. Are there any copyright issues involved?
  5. How could mobile phone technology become an obstacle to people engaging seriously with God’s Word?
  6. What are the most positive aspects of using mobile phones for Scripture distribution?
  [more...]