When Drik’s “Rural Visual Journalism Network” (RVJN) grabbed a Manthan Award in the “e-news and media” category, at a gala ceremony in the Habitat Centre in New Delhi, India on 1 December 2012, we were jumping for joy in Dhaka.
The citation on the award for RVJN said: “for publishing online the stories of locally based citizen journalists about human right violations, good governance and livelihood options.” Recognition gets the adrenalin flowing and confidence spikes. We hope it will boost sales of the multimedia stories and can boost the income levels of these hard working rural journalists.
There was no doubt in our minds that this project was innovative. Last year we were taking off with our first training – we had a hard time selecting and bringing the rural journalists to Dhaka. None had seen an iPod, no one had ever handled a movie camera and they had no previous experience of making movies. As I sat listening to DJ Clark, our first trainer at and the brains behind the program, I picked up the tagline “Moving News to Digital Platforms.”
One year down the line RVJN has trained thirty journalists. They use the new technology imaginatively to rewrite old issues faced by media and give voice to rural citizens of Bangladesh. The Network focuses on the disadvantaged representation of women and children in the media sector and generating employment for the district correspondence through sales of the multimedia stories. The topics currently covered include environmental issues, governance, gender issues, human rights, cultural and religious festivals, and livelihood. Over the next three years the trained correspondents are expected to produce multimedia (photography, video, text) stories from the 64 districts of Bangladesh. The stories are distributed by DrikNews .
The training course is an intensive, comprehensive multimedia workshop. The course includes an introduction to the iPod touch, the main device for producing and editing the multimedia visuals, basic video skills, basic audio skills combined with journalism, and news-reporting techniques.
RVJN is a component of the Press Freedom 2.0 programme in Bangladesh and is supported by the World Press Photo. http://www.worldpressphoto.org/news/rural-visual-journalism-network-launched-bangladesh
For Rural Stories from RVJN: www.driknew.com/site/rvjn