Training in Local Languages Will Help South Indian Journalists Use Social Media


ICFJ trainer Pierre Kattar works with participants from ICFJ’s 2015 Roadblocks Along the New Silk Road program for South Asian journalists. Photo credit: Frank Folwell

Vernacular journalists and bloggers often are at a disadvantage as news outlets around the world increasingly rely on social media and digital tools to engage audiences. They may lack the language and skills needed to meet the demands of an online newsroom.

To help address this technology and information gap, the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) is creating a cutting-edge curriculum that will help media professionals and journalism educators learn to use social media to connect with audiences in three South Indian states. The curriculum will be tailored to local needs and languages in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It will cover the use of social media and digital tools and how journalists and news organizations can use them to improve the way they report and interact with citizens.

The curriculum will include international and local social -media applications, journalism ethics for professional and citizen South Indian journalists and bloggers. ICFJ will present the draft curriculum to journalists and academics in each state so they can learn to use the new tools and skills outlined in the online material. They will also be asked to help make the information more relevant for the local context.

The ultimate goal: to expand the use of social media and digital tools, improve the quality of journalism, and increase audience engagement in the target regions of South India. This program is supported by the U.S. Consulate General in Chennai Public Affairs Section.