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VTCL turns farm-rural journalism hub
State level Farm Journalism Awards, instituted by the Centre for Agriculture Media (CAM), was given away to Kishanrao Kushtagi of Koppal district and Eraiah Killedar of Belgaum district, for their writings on farm issues during the year 2007.

The awards were handed over by Dr. R. Balasubramanyam, Chairman, Swamy Vivekananda Youth Movement, at a ceremony held at Viveka Tribal Learning Centre (VTCL), Hosahalli, H. D. Kote taluk on October 19, 2008.

Giving away the awards Dr. Balasubramanyam called upon the farm journalism students and writers to focus on success stories however small they may be and to develop a positive attitude. There is a lot of reporting on failures and negative aspects that the positive events get sidelined and people stay away from pro people efforts.

He regretted for the dependence of rural life on urban economy and stressed the need for reversing it. Recognising the need for conviction and a strong passion for issues affecting people, he opined that passion is the necessity while the writing skills can be acquired eventually.

Narrating his early experiences in farming and social services, he stressed the need for respecting traditional knowledge which has stood the test of time.

Receiving the award Earaiah Killedar regretted the calculative attitude of people. In earlier days people prayed mother earth and never questioned or altered the fertility of spoil in terms of yield. But today the attitude is to first calculate the soil quality and the expected yield. He said this attitude is distancing farmers from mother earth.

The occasion also marked the eight anniversary of CAM, induction ceremony of the sixth batch of Farm & Rural Journalism students and awarding fellowship to the successful candidates of previous batch. A book titled 'Tadroopi Kaadu', penned by G Krishnaprasad and Shivananda Kalave was also released on the occasion.

'Shree' Padre, Editor, Adike Patrike and a renowned Water Journalist advised the journalists not to develop complacency and to keep in touch with rural realities to be a successful writer. Appreciating the efforts of CAM in developing a team of farm writers from the past eight years, he said, it has definitely created ripples in Kannada Journalism as well as farm sector.

Addoor Krishna Rao, resource person of the workshop, said the basic requirements of a development journalist are dream, conviction, innocence and faith.

Sharing their experiences CAM fellows said that this course helped in opening up their inner eye to the smallest things in the world and made them humble and raised their confidence levels.

Farm and rural journalism workshop
"Writers should communicate clearly through their writings. Write for common reader. We should remember that we are not there when the article is read by the reader," advised senior journalist H.N. Ananda. He was speaking at an interactive session during the farm and rural journalism workshop organised by CAM at VTCL. The workshop and anniversary function was organized under the auspices of Swamy Vivekananda Youth Movement at Hosahalli.

He said that, "Whatever the paper prints is for the reader. So we should make sure proper information dissemination through writings. Do not editorialise. Be careful while making comment." H.N. Ananda further suggested that every writer should question himself, "We talk, we write, but do we communicate?"

The workshop is conducted as part of one year correspondence course in farm and rural journalism. Initially development activist Addoor Krishna Rao said that more in-depth articles should be written related to farm and rural journalism. CAM is making efforts in this direction. He suggested participants to take up serious, effective writing. Anitha Pailoor briefed objectives of the course and said that the course is its sixth year. Many of those who have completed the course are contributing to various newspapers and journals.

Critical view on development stressed
"Journalists should carefully observe the impact of globalisation on farm sector and effectively communicate the striking contrast between the two faces of development. We should learn to look at the darker side of a beautifully presented issue. Globalisation has hit India like Tsunami. This has changed the power equation, leaving farmer at the bottom most position. Small scale industries have vanished in the wave of commercialisation. The backbone of Indian society doesn't get rightful opportunity to lead a normal life," said veteran journalist Nagesh Hegde. He was delivering a lecture on the importance of farm and rural writing in the present context and farm and rural journalism workshop.

He looked back at the media trend in the country and said, "Two decades back every newspapaer had a labour correspondent and an agriculture specialist in its desk. Of late we find dozens of business correspondents while agriculture related subjects are given least importance. Unless writers present the concerned case effectively, chances of it getting disseminated are minimal."

He further said that, "Poor-rich and urban-rural divide has reached no bounds. Farmers fate is decided by multi-national companies and scientists. We are going through sad phase of development. A farmer has lost freedom to produce his own seeds. He is dependent on the system for fodder, fuel and even water. Forest gives us food, fodder, fuel, fibre and fertilizer. Special Economic Zones have ripped-off farmers' right for land. Media should keep a watch on such developments both at local and global level."

Shivaram Pailoor, in his session, explained the different forms of writing with examples. He also said, "CAM doesn't have a set course structure. Workshop is designed based on the past experiences which are practical."

In the afternoon session senior journalist 'Shree' Padre taught preparations needed when setting for a field visit. Later on the day journalists Addoor Krishna Rao and Shivananda Kalave delivered lectures on subject selection and photography. Writer Krishnamurthy Biligere sung farm songs.

Thirty candidates from across Karnataka have participated in the four-day workshop started on October 16, 2008. Journalists like Nagesh Hegde, H.N. Ananda, 'Shree' Padre, Addoor Krishna Rao, Shivananda Kalave, Sathya S., Shivaram Pailoor, Anitha Pailoor, G. Krishna Prasad, Krishnamoorthi Biligere, Poornaprajna Belur, Ananda Teertha Pyati guided the candidates as resource persons.
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