The 5 days of MediaCorps orientation and training program for young peace journalists was successfully concluded on 27 th August at Hotel Goldi Sands Negombo.
This program was organized by the Sri Lanka Development Journalist Forum (SDJF), as a part of the Media Empowerment for a Democratic Sri Lanka (MEND) Program, being implemented by the International Research Exchanges Board (IREX) with the support from USAID.
25 Young journalists (7 girls and 18 boys) belonging to different ethnic and linguistic backgrounds (Sinhala-12, Tamil-11 and Muslim-2) who comprised the second batch of MediaCorps Fellows, took part in this event.
On day 1, the inauguration of the event began with the welcome remarks by Prof. Padmasiri Wanigasundera, chairperson, SDJF. Speaking of the program, Prof. Wanigasundera noted, The MC fellowship has given a hands- on experience to critically look at their cultural barriers, empathize with the diversity of different people and to find a common ground and to use their journalism skills to foster reconciliation in the country.
That was followed by the address of Mr. Mohamed Azad, Program Director, SDJF. In his speech, he explained the objectives of the MEND and MediaCorps fellowship program.
The participants were trained on peace and conflict sensitive journalism, gender sensitive journalism, ethical and factual reporting, using social media for story dissemination, storytelling, basic shots types, sequences, camera angles, one third rule, free mobile apps, MoJo editing with KineMaster, and mobile storytelling techniques by the experts in the respective field.
The fellows also had an opportunity exchange their experience with veteran editors and senior journalists.
Ms. Dharisha Bastians, Editor in Chief, Sunday Observer, Mr. Janaranjana, Editor in Chief, Anidda newspaper, Mr. T.M.G. Chandrasekara, Additional Director General, SLRC participated as guest lecturers to the training program and spoke a wide range of topics from ethics in journalism, fact checking and responsible reporting to using journalism as a tool to foster reconciliation.
On day 4, fellows were divided in to 3 groups and they made a field visit to the areas of Basiyawatta, Weralakanda and Sri Murthi in Negombo to get experience and apply the class room learning of producing MoJos on marginalized communities. As a result, the fellows produced 25 MoJo stories.
On the day 5, the MC process was explained step by step and a field plan was developed with MC fellows. At the end each fellows signed the MC fellowship agreement and received a field note book. The program was concluded with vote of thanks by Ms. Hasarel Gallage, Project Officer, SDJF.