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Refresher course must for all journalists

Kulsum Mustafa

Emphasizing the great importance of development journalism in today's world, Ms Sangeeta Rajeesh, senior editor, Press Institute of India (PII), Chennai said that it is very essential that we sensitize our journalists towards focusing on issues relevant to development. Ms Sangeeta who is the current editor of Vidura - a magazine on mass communication published by the Press Institute of India (PII) since 1963, was addressing media professionals at the fortnightly 'Media for Children' organized at the UP Press Club by Media Nest with the support of UNICEF. Editor of 'Grassroots'- a journal on development journalism published by PII for the last eleven years, Ms Sangeeta heads programmes for PII.

A pan India body, Media Nest works for the welfare of journalists and their families and these fortnightly sessions are aimed at providing professional insight to media people on development issues.

Stressing on refresher training for journalists, Ms Sangeeta said that it is sad that a lot of money is spent under different heads and programmes but by and large press organizations seem to have no provision for training programmes for journalists.

Emphasizing that every story has a development angle to it she said PII runs special courses on how to approach a development story.

"There is always a development angle to even the so called hard political story," she said adding that the important thing is to ensure that journalists are trained and tuned on how to use information wisely.

"We invite exclusive developmental stories in our journals. They are well researched and written from the field. We encourage journalists to speak the truth," she said.

Ms Sangeeta emphasized that 'Grassroots' is circulated in the government offices and also NGOs and thus is a good way of reaching out healthy criticism to the powers that can make things work.

Speaking on the occasion Mr Augustine Veliath, communication specialist, UNICEF said that UP children need the media. "Uttar Pradesh has the biggest concentration of children. Children have no voice, nor are they the vote bank. Media could become the voice of children."

Earlier Media Nest felicitated the members of newly elected members of the Uttar Pradesh state correspondent committee.

The author is a senior journalist and Secretary-General of Media Nest. She is a Fellow of Citizen News Service (CNS) Writers' Bureau. Website: www.citizen-news.org