UNESCO organizes training of trainers (ToT) for journalists
The UNESCO Office in Kathmandu organized a five-days long training of trainers (ToT) for working journalists on 'Right to Information (RTI) and Investigative Journalism' in partnership with the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ). The training organized from 15 to 19 February 2014 in Nagarkot as a part of the European Union funded project "Empowering people to enjoy their rights to information for greater accountability of Nepal's power holders" was attended by twenty working journalists including seven women.
The objective of the training was to help journalists to understand Right to Information Act and it's utilization for investigative journalism.
Speaking at the opening session, Amita Vohra, Officer-In-Charge of the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu said, “The Right to Information allows journalists play a better role as a fourth state thus closely watching the actions of government and proactively seeking and publishing correct and timely information to the people through the media”. "We believe that this training will help journalists to know more on issues related to right to information subsequently imparting that knowledge to the local journalists through trainings and mobilize them to conduct investigative reporting and make state agencies accountable”, she added.
During the opening session Yosada Timisina, Vice-president of the Federation of Nepali Journalists highlighted the importance of Right to Information Act for investigative journalism in Nepal while Tanka Aryal, the executive director of Citizens' Campaign for Right to Information (CCRI) pointed out that civil society organizations have been working to ensure right to information as a fundamental right of people, and advocating to make state authorities responsible to provide information.
The training sessions led by Miranda Patrucić, an international trainer was also facilitated by a group of national experts. Patrucić facilitated sessions on contemporary issues for investigative journalism and RTI, while Ram Krishna Timalsena, an RTI expert facilitated session on importance of public records and its link with RTI, Vinay Kasajoo, a former chief commissioner of National Information Commission of Nepal dealt with national and international practices of RTI as a tool of investigative journalism, Taranath Dahal, an RTI activist discussed on RTI scenario in Nepal , and Laxman Datt Pant of UNESCO Office in Kathmandu facilitated the training with his presentation on protection of news sources and safety of journalists. The event was coordinated by JB Bishokarma, project coordinator of the UNESCO implemented RTI/EU project.
The participants will organize the trainings for 250 journalists in the Eastern Hills and Central Terai to enhance capacity of local journalists on RTI and Investigative Journalism. The trained journalists will utilize the RTI act for their investigative journalism which will support strengthening democracy and accountability of the state.
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