An innovative Peace Journalism program called MediaCorps Fellowship has been
launched by Sri Lanka Development Journalist Forum (SDJF) in order to facilitate
dialogue amongst youth from diverse backgrounds into one common platform where
they can share not only the grievances of each other’s communities, but also the
wealth of their culture and traditions for the awareness of a wider audience.

The purpose of the phase 2 of this initiative is to educate and empower the university
students who are studying Media and Journalism to transcend conventional barriers
in reporting and to become highly capable of applying gender and conflict sensitive
storytelling techniques, in producing collaborative multimedia stories.

The overall goal of MediaCorps is to use media as a platform to promote national dialogue and reconciliation in Sri Lanka.

Nearly 92 young journalists, storytellers, short film makes, web journalists benefited
from this program in the last 2 years. SDJF has extended the program to twenty five
undergraduates from Sri Jayewardenepura, Jaffna and Eastern Universities will be
included in the first intake of the program which will be held from 3-7 January 2020 in
Negombo.

This MediaCorps Fellowship programme will include a five-day residential training
and a field production activity. Discussions on diversity and pluralism, peace and
conflict sensitive journalism, gender sensitive journalism and social media for
journalism will be offered to trainees, followed by a comprehensive practical training
on Mobile Journalism (MoJo), an emerging trend in the field of journalism in the
world, which can be used as an effective tool to capture stories of marginalized
communities. The trainees will spend one day in the field visiting a nearby
community to capture a MoJo story, followed by a story editing session.

The Fellows will also have the opportunity to interact and network with editors of leading
newspapers in Sri Lanka who will be present for a panel discussion during the
training.

The training is facilitated by a panel of well experienced resource persons including
Dr. Wijaya Jayatilake Director, South Asia Center for Legal Studies, Mr. T.M.G.
Chandrasekara, Specialist, Strategic Communications, ICTA, Mr. Shan Wijetunge,
Director Communications, Sri Lanka Parliament, Mr. K.C. Saranga, General
Manager News, TV Derana and Mr. Mohamed Fairooz, Editor, Vidivelli, Mr.Kapila
Ramanayaka (Manager, Sri Lanka Unites Reconciliation Center Matara) and SDJF
staff. A team of story mentors consisting of senior AV experts will also provide
continuous support to these trainees until they become competent of producing their
own Mojo stories.

In Phase 2, Fellows are expected to work in pairs and produce collaborative stories
on issues affecting a community other than their own that have hindered the
achievement of inclusive reconciliation. Their stories will be shared across a wider
audience with the aim of fostering cross-cultural dialogue. Each Fellow will also
receive a complete MoJo toolkit including a smartphone and financial assistance to
support their fieldwork and story production.

The program is implemented by SDJF as a part of Media Empowerment for
Democratic Sri Lanka (MEND) program supported by IREX and USAID. For more
information on the program, please visit www.ldjf.org or call us on 011-2806265.

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