UNICEF launches development journalism classes for teachers
Representational image

Kolkata: To create future journalists adept at covering developmental issues, UNICEF on Saturday launched a training programme here for college and university teachers from across the country.

More than 45 teachers drawn from various colleges and universities in West Bengal were present for the offline mode while over 60 such teachers from across the country will be participating in the online format of the 8-day training programme, a UNICEF release said.

“Reaching the last mile in development is always very difficult and that is why UNICEF has partnered with various stakeholders in society, including the media. Many students pursuing journalism and mass communication today under the tutelage of these teachers are going to be tomorrow’s mediapersons,” Mohammad Mohiuddin, chief of UNICEF office in West Bengal, said after inaugurating the programme.

Press Club Kolkata is partnering UNICEF in the programme and St Xavier’s University is facilitating the training.

Mohiuddin said that UNICEF joined hands with Press Club Kolkata after realising the need for more evidence-based, reliable and credible data-backed reportage in newspapers, television news channels, radio stations and web-based media to highlight the causes of children and mothers towards ensuring their rights of survival, growth and development, protection and participation.

In the last two years, UNICEF has been organising workshops, trainings, and other media sensitisation programmes to promote the quality of news reporting among journalists, the release said.

The teachers of journalism and mass communication departments would receive classroom, online and hands-on training on using data from various national surveys and findings to use as evidence in news reports to make it robust and appealing to the readers and audiences.

“Stories backed by evidence help to present realities of children. The decision-makers also find such stories helpful to take administrative steps to bring in more benefits for the people,” the release said.

“The trainers and professionals will learn the need to seek consent of children and their guardians before taking their photographs or recording audio-visual contents or even using their quotes in newspapers,” Mohiuddin said.

Praising the initiative, Vice-Chancellor of St Xavier’s University John Felix Raj stressed the need for overall development involving all sections of the society and said that developmental journalism was a vehicle to reach that end.

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