‘‘Internet Portals are coming up as a very strong viable alternative space for journalists’ observed by Nava Thakuria, Secretary of Guwahati Press Club in a Workshop on Grassroots Journalism and Governance, Organized by NEST, Supported by The Hunger Project in Puwati Sahitya Sabha Bhawan, Bokakhat, Assam on 31st May 2009. When the state media get bias to special political party or a special school of thought and journalists find it difficult to get space for genuine stories, he should go for writing in Portals whose reader base is escalating phenomenally.
Ever increasing numbers of newspapers and TV channels have expanded the need of rural journalists in an exponential rate. However, there is very little opportunity for the new incumbents to the journalism to learn the basics of this profession before joining the print and electronic media. There was a good deal of demand from the rural journalists of Assam to have some level of interaction, if not training, from competent personality in this sector.
NEST organized a series of media workshops in this month in rural Assam to strengthen grassroots journalism for women leadership in the institutions of grassroots governance. This was the 3rd workshop in the row. This workshop was organized in collaboration with Bokakhat Mahkuma Sangbadik Sangtha and Bokakhat Press club where 39 journalists from all newspapers and TV channels of the region participated.
In his speech, Tasaduk Ariful Hussain, Executive Director, NEST highlighted the importance of women leadership in the grassroots governance and urged the participants to extend their helping hand to strengthen it. The workshop was inaugurated by veteran journalist Bhabesh Saikia, president of Bokakhat Press Club.
Mrinal Talukder, correspondent of UNI for last 17 years from this region pointed the gap between the potential and actual readers of newspapers in Assam. “When we have more than 2.5 crore population, the volume of newspaper readers is not more than 5 lakhs”. Hence newspaper is failing measurably on building any opinion in the true sense at the moment. Is the citizens of the state is rejecting what we write or the way we write? Is the kind of negativity existing in the newspaper is the hindrance of increasing the reader base in the state? These are some of the unanswered question carried by the rural journalist at the end of the day.