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Connecting media and development
"Media should engage in development activities. It should act as a catalyst in the process of development," opined Naveen Zha, Director of Programs, Deshpande Foundation, Hubli.

He was inaugurating a one-day workshop on farm and rural journalism organised by the Centre for Agricultural Media and Vidyabharati Foundation's Institute of Mass Communication and Research (IMCR) in Hubli on December 12, 2008. Naveen stressed the need for people who could take on challenges, implement developmental ideas and realise dreams into actions for the welfare of the society especially the rural community.

Development journalist and resource person Addoor Krishna Rao lamented that the concern towards positive rural and farm journalism had declined in the recent past. "More writers have become impersonal and cut off from ground realities, and base their research on matter collected from the internet pages as the gospel truth. Articles should be based on personal experience. One must be aware of the responsibility of leading a farming community, while writing articles," he advised.

Budding journalists should have a foresight into the topics, and articles written should reflect not just information about a certain topic but also the conviction, and the belief of the writer, he added.

Journalist and resource person Shivaram Pailoor felt that media should create awareness among farming community on the recent developments in the agricultural sector. Hence, journalism that disseminated need-based information, new issues in agriculture, and innovation centres developed from and for farming community was the need of the hour. Information should deal precisely with cultivation, their management, developing procurement centres, and marketing facilities, he opined.

The workshop introduced various dimensions of farm and rural journalism to media students at IMCR and journalism colleges in Hubli. Around sixty enthusiasts participated in the programme. The sessions dealt with important values of development journalism - dedication, commitment and preparation. Dean of Institute of Business Management and Research Prof. P.N. Katawakar gave away the certificates to the participants. IMCR Principal Dr. Nayana Gangadhar welcomed the gathering. CAM Fellow and Assistant Professor at IMCR Harshavardhana V. Sheelavant proposed vote of thanks. Editor of Krishi- Kamadhenu Shri Virupaksha Badiger and cartoonist Ashok Joshi were present. An exhibition of books, magazines and journals on farming and rural life was also organised.

Workshop Series
This workshop was first in a series, which the Centre would conduct in different institutions with the support of Hubli based Deshpande Foundation. Workshop's objective is to sensitise media students on the pros and cons of new developments in the farming sector. If focusing farmer success stories inspire many, disseminatingfailures would save few farmers. Better awareness on the ground realities would result in more in-depth stories. CAM believes that media plays a significant role in achieving sustainable development. The workshop is designed to inform and inspire young writers.
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