Enabling India's Most Isolated Regions to Produce and Deliver News

Jul 62010

As a Knight International Journalism fellow, I am working on a project that uses mobile technology to enable citizens in India’s most isolated regions to produce and deliver news.

I am sending along a video from a Citizen Journalism Training Workshop we organized in February 2010 in Kunkuri Chhattisgarh. We trained 33 tribal citizens on basics of journalism and on how to report using mobile phones.

In Chhattisgarh there are no tribal journalists or journalists who understand the tribal languages in the state. A survey showed that mainstream newspapers in the state gave only 2% of their space to news related to stories on tribal communities.

After three days of training, supported in part by UNICEF, these new citizen journalists have started reporting about important events and happenings in their villages. They are recording two- minute audio reports on their mobile phones. Once their stories get vetted, anyone from the community can simply call a number and get the latest. Mainstream media are also starting to pick up these reports.

Elisa Tinsley, Director, Knight International journalism Program in ICFJ and Bill Thies of Microsoft Research Lab in India also took part in the training.

To see the program in action, check out this video:

There is also a story on our new network by one of the top TV stations in India called NDTV. It aired on prime time. Reporters interviewed me, Shu Choudhary and Bill Thies of Microsoft Research Lab, India about the program. So check it out, too. http://www.ndtv.com/news/videos/video_player.php?id=1226027