E-News Winner – 2008
Pratibadh (Wall Newspaper)
As a development newspaper targeting rural and low literate with their participation, this product is a very progressive effort. For this over 600 Rural Communicators cum Rural Reporters have been identified. They are building their capacity to be interface between ICT revolution and rural India. The development newspaper, published fortnightly, is pasted on the walls of milk cooperatives and Panchayat buildings in three states, covering around 40,000 villages. This community newspaper uses the strong network of milk cooperatives to ensure that it reaches villages. It has been influencing the lives of over 600,000 milk cooperative farmers. It is perfect two way channel. The van that delivers the newspaper is also used by farmer to send feedback.
Lack of information on scope of development is one of the reasons for underdevelopment of the third world. A vast chunk of rural population has been out of domain of commercial interest of media houses. The Pratibadh initiative is trying to change the scenario. It is simply a thick broadsheet based wall newspaper since 1996 reaching 40,000 villages in three states of Bihar, Punjab and Haryana through its network of 600 rural reporters. Lately, Pratibadh has enabled all its reporters with ICT training and tools for not only collecting information news and reports but also use ICT tools like Emails, PDF, LCD projectors, PPTs to reach out to rural masses in groups and communities. Wiith the introduction of some more business modules like Rural Communication, Rural Research and Rural Market Pratibadh is now growing fast.
93 11 26166402
Hindi and Punjabi
CGnet is a Citizen Journalism platform where the subject is that of development of Chhattisgarh, and its people, who are discussed and then acted upon. The belief is that everyone is a journalist and ICT can help leapfrog many hurdles in the way. It is an effort to start a dialogue between tribal and others with the help of ICT. CGNet is also making all effort for the communities for have their own Community Radio. CGNet is also an ”E Gram Panchayat of the people of Chhattisgarh”. It is also a library and reference point. Here people raise their issues with the help of ICT and discuss debate and act on it. Some literate tribal have been trained on the use of computers, in Hindi, which can be used for writing in the local languages.
With dismally low levels of literacy and large scale poverty amongst tribal populations in Chhattisgarh, TV or newspaper can not be “their own” media. But with their strong oral traditions communities could be trained in the usage of oral media like radio, internet and audio-visual. CGNet has adopted the model of community journalism and citizen journalism where the issues discussed and covered are mostly developmental. So far the interface is web, email, discussion group, but gradually moving towards claiming license for community radio. Efforts towards giving an ear to the grievances of tribal, who are increasingly turning to Maoists is a very thoughtful step in the direction of progress. Development cannot happen until each strata of the country is brought into its fold, and CGNet is working towards that end.
Shubhranshu Choudhary (Freelance Journalist)
Hindi, English, Chhattisgrahi, Gondi