Bhadrak radio journalist awarded by UNICEF

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Bhadrak: Eight young radio journalists from the state were awarded by UNICEF under the “Empowering Adolescent and Youth through Community Radios in Odisha” for their endeavours to make the youth in the state more socially responsive to bring about effective changes at the grassroots for a more engaged society at a State-level Community Radio Workshop held in Bhubaneswar at Hotel Excellency on 25 November, 2019.
Sk. Riyaz (Raja), an enterprising young reporter from Radio Bulbul in Bhadrak district, was one of the eight journalists who were feted by UNICEF for their insightful and sensitive coverage of “distress”, “dislocation”, “growing sense of social responsibility” and “positive impact of the campaign among the youth” in the state.
The workshop, organized by Young India in collaboration with UNICEF, was attended by more than 100 young journalists, radio professionals, community radio broadcasters and journalists from 14 radio stations across the state.
Speaking at the workshop, Dr Monica O. Nielsen, chief UNICEF-Odisha, said the “radio was a window to the world for the youth to become critical and creative thinkers to tackle challenges” and the media had an important role to play in bringing about a positive change in the society through the young agents on their way to becoming leaders of the future.
She presented the case studies, impact assessments and creative ideas of young people in their societies that set an example for others and encourage them.
Dr Lopamudra Tripathy, C4D Officer, UNICEF, Sandeep Sahoo, senior journalist, BBC, Shantanu Rath, Former Station Head, AIR-Cuttack, DD-Bhubaneswar and Itishree Singh Rathode, News Editor, All India Radio, Cuttack addressed the workshop.
Dr Tripathy said priority should be given to “focused field level narrowcasting sessions by community radio stations”. She said “the community radio was a mid-day medium” which had the “expandable capacity to reach the communities” at the micro-level. N.A. Shah Ansari, President of the Community Radio Association, India. “highlighted the works and innovative practices of the community radio stations across the world”. He said Orissa would very soon have at least 50 radio stations and become a hub for Community Radio in South Asia. India now has 265 community radios and 17 functional community radio stations in Odisha.
Shantanu Dash, former station head, AIR-Cuttack and Doordarshan-Bhubaneswar highlighted “some innovative practices” that he had initiated during his tenure at the All India Radio. He said the “community radio had evolved to cater to the local voice and it was the regional version of the national radio”. Community Radio Broadcasters must be very careful “while presenting and broadcasting information”.
Elaborating on the advantages of the Community Radio in making the media space economically sustainable, Rudra Prasanna Rath, State Communication chief of UNICEF said community radios had to expand their “outreach, visibility and contribute to bringing financial sustainability” in the smaller community media by involving local people.”
Proposing the vote of thanks, Sk. Mohd Niyaz, Secretary, Community Radio Association, Odisha, said the Community Radio should be an integration of all the digital platforms in the community media and social networking places for deeper outreach with the use of the latest technology.
A booklet, “Community Radio for Change”, was released by the guests.
The eight journalists who were awarded by UNICEF include Rojalin Pradhan from Radio Namaskar, Konark, Puri district, SagarPattanayak from Radio Smile, Balasore district, Smita Rani Sahoo from Radio Surabhi, Nayagarh district, Sk Riyaz from Radio Bulbul, Bhadrak district, Anita Khilar from Radio Swaraj, Jajpur district, Meenakshi Sabar from Radio Janavani, Gajapati district, Muskan Suar from Radio Muskan, Kandhamal district and Sabnam Sirin from Radio SOA, Khordha district.
Their campaign, “Empowering Adolescents and Youth through Community Radios in Odisha” last year by Young India in collaboration with UNICEF aims to generate awareness among communities on thematic issues like “child marriage, protecting children from violence, adolescent health, immunization, complementary feeding, anaemia, school dropouts, continuing education, hygiene & sanitation.
Eighty-three Community Radio members and youth reporters have been trained to report on the thematic areas that are vital to the development of their communities in areas of leadership, communication skills as change makers and champions of children’s rights. A large collection of radio programmes and jingles on thematic issues have been produced and broadcast to disseminate information to maximize the awareness.
The campaign “Community Radio for Change” has reached more than 27 lakh people across 13 districts through 5,477 hours of broadcasting and 543 narrowcasting sessions. The campaign involves 483 radio listeners’ group nad has raised 1,358 issues in communities out of which 611 issues have been resolved, estimates by UNICEF and the Community Radio Association cited.
Community Radio reached listenership of 2.7 million people last year.

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