A ‘Workshop on Community Journalism’ was organized by the Ecumenical Christian Centre (ECC) from 8th to 10th December 2016 at ECC Campus, Whitefield, Bangalore. Co Media Lab was the knowledge partner and facilitated the various sessions in the workshop. Around 20 participants attended the workshop and were from varied backgrounds, educational qualifications and different parts of the country.
The first day of the workshop began with an introduction to ‘Media Landscape’ by Meera K of Citizen Matters who highlighted the different types of media, and discussed different elements affecting the media space including access, tabloidisation, infotainment, ethics and paid news, revenue model, news in proportion, diversity of voices, and press freedom in India. This was followed by a session on ‘Community Media’ by Shilok from Radio Active, who talked about identifying issues of various communities and their needs.
The next session was an introduction to news and journalism. Meera elaborated on the elements of reporting and introduced some tools and resources for gathering news.
The last session of the day was on the Whitefield community. Nitya Ramakrishnan, one of the founders of “Whitefield Rising”, explained about some of the issues and challenges faced by Whitefield Rising during its initial stages and the measures taken to resolve the issues and challenges faced by the team. Pravir Bagrodia, journalist turned book editor, used the context set by Nithya to cover writing and style, and shared a copy editor’s checklist for news reports.
On the second day, Shibu Joseph, senior editor, Economic Times talked about ‘Critically evaluating/assessing credibility of news’; he talked about the Code of Conduct for journalists. Prof. Fr. Jerry Kurien, a theology professor at UTC, Bangalore, was a guest lecturer who gave a theological reflection on Community Journalism. Samyuktha Varma of www.brokentoilets.org led the session on ‘Visual for stories’ and ‘Digital Story telling with Images and Videos’.
In the afternoon, field visit was organized to four different places around Whitefield, such as ECC Campus, Whitefield Inner and Outer Circle, Nallurahalli Lake and ITPL. The participants were divided into 4 groups with each group visiting the spots allocated to them and meeting some of the people there.
Each of the groups presented a story from their field work on the concluding day of the workshop with their presentations being evaluated by media lab team. The workshop concluded ended with distribution of certificates to the participants by the Very Rev. Cherian Thomas, Director of ECC.