Chandragadi. US Embassy Youth Council (USYC) Nepal 2018/19, Connecting Classrooms and Newsrooms (CCN) has successfully conducted a media literacy workshop in Jhapa.
It has organized a media literacy workshop on June-August, 2019. The workshop is a part of a yearlong civic engagement project held at Jhapa. The program aimed to arm students with media literacy skills which they could directly relate with their studies.
A survey was conducted in Sigma English School and Shree Mahendra Madhyamik Bidhyalaya, Haldibari, Jhapa in June which aimed to understand if the students aged 12-16 years were able to distinguish fake news and genuine news. Based on the survey 40 students from the private and government school were selected to participate in one of the first media literacy workshops held in the region for students.
In the second phase, the team of USYC members conducted a workshop in July which focused on fake news and disinformation.
Senior journalist Uma Kanta Khanal was the key resource person for this workshop who trained the students. He conducted an interactive sessions with the students in which he taught them how they need to verify their sources to distinguish fake news and disinformation.
Karuna Devkota, a team member presented about the right to information and how as students they can make use of it. Another team member, Kripa Shrestha facilitated a session on the importance of vital registration. The team prepared a skit on the topic to make the topic more interesting for the students.
In the third phase, a final workshop and graduation ceremony was held which was followed by end line survey and mentorship program on August 1.
Barsha Shah, Photojournalist at Deshsanchar introduced the students about Digital Media Manipulation. Deependra Poudel, Director of Kanchanjunga FM, discussed about how fake news and disinformation is disseminated through radio and its trend.
According to GopalGautam, Social Studies teacher, Sigma English School, “Media literacy workshop like this helps the students understand their potential and be motivated to do well in their academics as well.”
The ward secretary of Haldibari village municipality, Bishal Kafle also elaborated the participants about vital registration. The students asked them questions regarding the technical aspects of vital registration and how it can be done online.
“From now onwards, we will be more conscious while consuming news and information,” shares Abhyas Siwa, student of Shree Mahendra madhyamik Bidhyala.
The organizers plan to continue to support the students by mentoring them in the long run. They have created media literacy clubs in the schools and named them, “Suchana Club”. In January, 2020 the students will do an event where they will share their experience about the workshop and their works.
“Conducting a project with limited resources in limited time was challenging. Since, all the team members are professionals as well as students it was an uphill task to manage to come up with an impactful project. However, our team work created synergistic effect and we were able to do it”, says Abhilasha Rayamajhi, focal person, USYC-CCN.