April 28, 2007

Children too can be journalists!

Our summer time Journalism Camp has completed its second week.
Every morning, we start the class with a reading from the day's newspapers.
Anitha Ramachandran chose a story which excited me.
It was a news report in 'The New Indian Express' of April 27. It is a story about how 20 children from the tsunami-affected hamlets in Nagapattinam district are running a monthly magazine.
It is called 'Neethilee Times'.
And it not devoted to fishing operations and fish species.
The magazine covers issues that affect the children, their locality and their hamlets.
And some of the reporting has even yielded results.
As young E. Gomathy has been telling the Express reporter. The magazine reported on the quality of the drinking water - it was just not potable - and the unbearable stink from the septic tanks. The Nagapattinam Municipality took notice of the latter issue and addressed it.
A local voluntary organisation called REAL ( Rural Education and Action for Liberation) is guiding this young bunch of journalists in this venture.
I have not yet seen a copy of this pubication but Anitha and the rest of the group at our journalism class imagined it was a great effort.
This year, students at our journalism camp have moved on to use technology tools available to them to demonstrate their work.
One such is the blog.
These young people post some of the assignments they do in their neighbourhood.
The stories on ice-cream parlours and Jaipur handlooms and a local bakery have been the obvious choices in the first round of blogging.
Some of the participants are hoping to post 'hard' stories. And interesting features.
But this will need practice, guidance and effort.
I realise that most children in this metro are insular. They have not been encouraged to explore their neighbourhoods. Or to ask questions in the outside world. To be curious and learn things beyond the classroom.
It is time we had more little and local publications which encouraged children to edit them. And hence, allow them to explore the world. And reality.
If you wish to take a look at the blog of our journalism class, log on to www.mtjclass.blogspot.com.
Positive comments are always welcome.

1 comment:

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Yes, indeed, children can make wonderful journalists. I have a freind by the name of Deepti. We share the same interest in literature. She is now thirteen, and one day I asked her if she writes articles. SHe replied that she had written compostions and poems. She showed it to me. The lanuaguage usage was of the perfect journalistic style, written is such a lucid manner. Her poems implied a deep philosophical meaning. I think children are definately capable of producing good english. In the present day system, they make us study advanced english. I studied shakespearan english for three years. Today's kids are reamkrbaly responsive and they will definately emerge as good journalists in the future.