Saarc journalists meet to discuss media freedom, responsibility
CHENNAI: Fourteen journalists met during a two-week-long Summer Academy on Freedom and Responsibility in the South Asian Media for young journalists from the Saarc countries, jointly organised by the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai, India, and International Institute for Journalism (GIZ) Berlin, Germany, from March 26 to April 6.
The forum discussed the pressing issues faced by the 14 young journalists from the six countries. The journalists discussed how, in their efforts to change the world by joining the profession, ethical practices were breached. They spoke about the media freedom and curbs on journalists in the countries, the insecurity faced by them as well as the extra-professional pressures faced by them in their daily lives.
The exercise also was an event that led to the realisation that journalists in the region face similar problems, have similar cultures and languages. The delegates gave presentations informing each other of their media systems.
Prominent speakers during the academy included The Hindu Rural Affairs Editor P Sainath, Professor Barbara Thomass from Germany and Panos South Asia Executive Director A S Panneerselvan. The participants included Sachin Kumar from the Hindustan Times, India, Pramila Krishnan from the Deccan Chronicle, India, Elayaraja Webduniya, Online, India, Leela Ghimire from Karobar Economic Daily, Nepal, Prabhat Bhattarai from the Himal Khabarpatrika, Nepal, Tara Devi Rai from Nagarik National Daily, Nepal, Pratima Banskota from the Kantipur National Daily, Nepal, Ibrahim Mohamed, parliamentary reporter from Maldives, Tshering Namgyal, Kuensel Corporation Limited, Bhutan, Prakash Adhikari from the Bhutan Broadcasting Service in Bhutan, Dinidu de Alwis Ceylon, Today, Sri Lanka, Moni Mahmud from The Daily Bhorer Kagoj, Bangladesh, Ahidul Islam from the Ekattor TV, Bangladesh, and Desiree Francis from The News International, Pakistan.
The participants also visited The Hindu and Deccan Chronicle newsrooms, Mamallapuram-a Unesco World heritage site, churches, Marina beach, the world’s largest urban beach, and the local bazars.