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.