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Journalism workshop enthuse news correspondents

By Fr. Francis Xavier & BIS
Organisers and participants of the workshop on Journalism Skills in Bangalore
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Panjim, Oct. 10. .   Bangalore:  A workshop on Journalism skills was held at Don Bosco Provincial House, Bangalore, for a group of Salesian Family and Networks personnel from 6-10 October. Bosco Information Service (BIS), a news agency of the Salesians of South Asia organized the workshop for the 17 participants who arrived from Bangalore, Hyderabad, Panjim, Mumbai and New Delhi.
The main resource person for the workshop was the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) Social Communication Office Secretary Fr George Plathottam.  ''The sessions by Fr Plathottam on composing news, features and stories have given me insights to improve my writing skills, to communicate more specifically and effectively,''  said Br Pinto, a Mumbai Salesian at the conclusion of the workshop.

The four-day workshop was coordinated by Salesian South Asia regional director for social communications Fr Antony Earathara.  A healthy blend of theoretical inputs and practicals was the chief characteristic of the workshop, according to him.  Fr. Plathottam dealt with topics such as writing styles, composing of leads, filing reports, journalistic termnology, writing human interest stories and conducting interviews.  

Salesian South Asia regional webmaster Fr Cleophas Braganza assisted him, covering topics on technical skills such as creating blogs, uploading of news to personal and province blog sites and mass mailing of news letters. He presented also a session on Social Media and Catholic take on the use of communication media to promote gospel values.

''Although I have participated in several communication and media courses up to now, this workshop has truly helped me to sharpen my journalistic skills, and to focus better on relevant issues,'' said Chennai Province  Salesian Sister Philomena Rani.

Karnataka Province Sister Devamani Gummadi claimed that the workshop helped her to differentiate between journalistic reporting and chronicle writing, a big eye-opener for her, she said. Several other participants too corroborated this view during the evaluation of the workshop.

Hyderabad Province Salesian priest Kalyan Kumar Yandava expressed that the programme was a refresher for him as it helped him to brush his writing skills, while young Salesian Dilip Gnanaprakash from Don Bosco Aluva, Kerala,  pointed out that the training gave him a proper methodology for writing, reporting as well as reading.

''The inputs were beneficial, but the challenge now is to go back to our communities and implement the training,'' said Binny Ethelbert, a young Salesian of  Chitradurga, Karnataka Province.

The workshop concluded with the distribution of participation certificates by the chief guest Rector, Don Bosco Provincial House Fr Ittira Mondoth. ''You now have a greater responsibility towards your community, your province and Salesian India in spreading the message of Jesus Christ and Don  Bosco through the tool of mass media,'' reminded  Fr  Mondoth, himself a veteran jounalist and writer.

The Provincial Delegate for Social Communications of Bangalore Salesian Province  Fr. Gilbert Choondal and Provincial House administrator Fr Toney Kalariparambil, both of who had actively collaborated in the execution of the workshop, were present at the valedictory function.

As a fruit of the workshop the participants have resolved to exercise their journalistic skills by being active correspondents of BIS, contributing at least two news stories every month for the news agency. They have proposed to prepare also several feature stories to be published in the coming six month period.



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