Nepal: Engaging Community Journalists to Spread the Word
Confidence, attention to detail, pursuit of truth, an investigative eye and a moving pen - all these are good and fitting descriptions of Ayush and his work.
Inside the studio of Radio Jalpa in Nuwakot district, Ayush is busy doing a recording. Today, he is working on an episode on child rights.
At the young age of 17, Ayush is already following his passion for journalism. He says, “Journalism gives a voice to the voiceless. I have always admired the courage of journalists and believe it is a necessary and noble responsibility to take on.”
Ayush studies in Grade 11 and has been working as a community journalist for around a year after he received training supported by World Vision. On a regular day, when he has finished school work, he goes around his community gathering news for a fortnightly radio programme, Jeevan Rakshya Baal Surakshya.
“Jeevan Rakshya Baal Surakshya is a platform to spread awareness of children's issues such as child marriage, child labour, and child abuse,” he says. “It is also a platform to educate and engage people in the community on disaster risk reduction and community resilience.”
From an early age, Ayush had always been interested in journalism and he has been studying it as a major subject at school. A year ago when World Vision provided selected children like him with the opportunity to become community journalists, he jumped at the chance.
Rabindra Gautam, Advocacy Manager of World Vision Nepal, says, “Community journalists have been influential in making people in the community aware of their rights and duties. They have also sensitised policy-making bodies to reflect on community feedback and promote accountability.”
Another community journalist from the same district, Ishwori, a student of Grade 10, recalls, “I once prepared an episode on the importance of nutrition and cleanliness, where I collected views from children, teachers and parents. I am really proud of that one. The community liked that episode and congratulated me.”
Ishwori's parents also feel proud of her work. “My parents say that I'm giving the community a voice,” she says.
Bhagwati Lama, Programme Coordinator of Radio Jalpa, says, “Children are honest and truthful. They report nothing but the truth. This is why our community journalism endeavours to promote children's voices.”
With support from World Vision, the Association of Community Radio Broadcasters Nepal and Community Information Network have been supporting child-led community journalism in the earthquake-affected districts of Nuwakot, Sindhupalchowk and Gorkha, striving to empower communities in disaster management issues and ensure the accountability of humanitarian responses and rebuilding efforts.
We dream of a future where all community journalists will act as community builders and contribute to Nepal’s development.