Monday, June 22, 2009


Travelling Chobi Mela

Photography is a powerful tool for expression especially in a country like Nepal where the majority of the people are illiterate. Even in Photo Journalism we study that what you cannot convey in 1000 words, you can convey with a single picture. For most photojournalists and citizens alike, photography is one of the few universal languages that can be shared and understood with common feeling. International Festival of Photography, Travelling Chobi Mela V was held at Nepal Art Council, Babar Mahal with the same concept of universality. The festival began from May 22 and lasted till the 28th. Artists from nine countries participated in the festival that showcased 12 exhibitions. The festival included several presentations and workshops that enlightened professional as well as amateur photographers and photojournalists on several notions and issues related to photography
Chobi Mela, meaning photo festival in Bengali, is the first festival of photography in Asia, and was conceived in December 2000 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Western photographers were receiving world-wide fame when South Asian countries were not even aware of photographers in their neighboring countries. Non-western photographs were not given the due recognition they deserved. The concept of Chobi Mela was born to bridge this gap since in Bangladesh, like other South Asian countries, majority of the people cannot read or write and photography is one of the few ways to reach the average person.

When I think of Radio Nepal, I think about RJing!!

From last seven years my day starts with the national anthem at five which I listen when my grand parents switch on to Radio Nepal early in the morning to listen Bhajans( Except in case of loadshedding)! Sometimes I get irritated but its interesting some other time to listen to ‘Prawachans’. I remember myself listening to Balkaryakram at the age of 8 which used to ( I think it is still running…) get broadcasted from Radio Nepal and there was a section where Bal Samachar was aired in voice of kids like us. I quarreled with my parents to take me there as I was really interested in listening my own voice in radio!
With the flow of time, childhood interests were gone and even my desire of listening myself. But then when I reached the premises of Radio Nepal some days back, I was tempted to listen my voice in recording room. As soon as we passes through the corridors of Radio Nepal and entered in recording room, few of my friends were already speaking through microphone in such a professional manner that I didn’t dare go around them again! Then I consoled myself saying that I would fail in voice testing anyways. I was taking pictures of Radio Nepal premises and also of my friends after which Alina took my picture in front of recording room where the red light of ‘ON AIR’ was still on. After returning back from the trip, I kept the same picture of Radio Nepal as my profile picture in Facebook and many people actually thought I was a RJ!! It was already burning my desire of being RJ and now, after the completion of media project under the supervision of Mr. Stan Brand and his comment on my recordable voice(His line- “You have got really nice and professional voice for recording and RJing” ) I can’t stop thinking about RJing!
Though I am not sure to pass the voice testing of Radio Nepal!

Development Journalism

The day when there was lecture on Development Journalism at Martin Chautari by scholar Laxman Dutta Pant, I was panicking in my bed due to the leg cramp. I couldn’t attend the program but still there were some questions regarding Development Journalism inside my mind. The best way to get informed about the missing lecture was either from my friend’s blog or from the hands out which the speaker had provided. So, I have tried to sum up what I have understood about Development Journalism from those sources!
Most of the time Development Journalism is mistaken for infrastructural development or advancement related reporting. But in core, Development Journalism refers to the human development. It is related to human rights and freedom of expression. Development journalism focuses on the needs of the poor, the deprived, the marginalized and emphasis their effective participation in development planning. Development is about ‘highlighting what people are doing to help transform their lives. It is seen as humanity’s common objective and a means to eradicate poverty and protect the environment. There are three reasons of poverty- because of conflict, due to natural disasters and due to recklessness of government. Media has done reporting in these three causes. Besides these, development projects and plans should be reported in critical way. There are many global issues but we are not being able to criticize these issues.
According to Laxman Dutta Pant, Nepal still is lagging behind in the professionalism of journalist as a whole. Journalism has become a hobby rather than job. He added people from other profession can join journalism and this is creating some sort of snag for Journalism to grow as a profession. He gave his analysis about development journalism emphasizing national identity, integration, creation of public awareness, promoting people’s participation and rural development. Pant provided a good overview on how effectively development communication can provide a strong base for the development of the 3rd world countries like Nepal. As a tool for social justice, development journalism can be very valuable. By speaking for those who cannot, a development journalist can inform the rest of the world about important issues within developing nations. Looking at the strengths and weaknesses of a country may also help identify ways in which the nation can be helped. This style of development journalism is a tool for empowerment.