Citizen Journalism training here is very good. Knowledge and skill we learn during the training is not only applicable to Citizen Journalism development but also to community empowerment in the field,” said Erwansyah, regency facilitator coordinator of the National Program for Rural Community Empowerment (PNPM-MP) of Kapuas Regency.
REDD+ Joint Secretariat (Sekber) in Central Kalimantan in cooperation with Central Kalimantan PNPM-MP facilitated Citizen Journalism (CJ) Training in Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan, November 5-9, 2012. Some 132 participants attended the training. They were derived from sub district head, sub district apparatus, and Local Fire Brigade (TSA) from 15 sub districts in five regencies in Central Kalimantan. Some were from local community and PNPM-MP facilitators from Kapuas and Pulang Pisau Regencies.
The training was divided into two categories. First category was for CJ system management on November 5, 2012 which was attended by 20 participants from PNPM/Community Learning Working Group (RBM) and REDD+ Joint Secretariat staffs. The other category was on Information Broker training which was grouped into two batches. Some 54 participants took parts in the first batch. They were from 15 villages with Community-based Forest Fire Management (CBFFM). In the second batch, 58 participants from PNPM-MP elements of Central Kalimantan Province, Kapuas and Pulang Pisau Regencies.
Erwansyah said that this training provided him added values in terms of community empowerment. One important point highlighted from the training was about the way an information broker or citizen journalist factual observation and reporting, instead of concluding or making their own personal opinion. “Let the readers conclude the facts we deliver,” he said.
“Citizen Journalism training here gives us understanding on how to report fact. I will report when there is forest fire so as to urge more efficient coordination of fire management in the field,” said I Wayan Bimo Seno, a participant from TSA in Bukit Tunggal Sub District, Palangka Raya.
Meanwhile, another participant, Sulastri, the member of PNPM-MP Executive Unit (UPK) of Kahayan Hilir District, Pulang Pisau Regency, impressed with small group discussion session in which participants were supposed to figure out some cases. The discussion should decide newsworthy case among the other cases. “This really trains us to identify the relevant news based on fact through proper observation,” said Sulastri.
However, the training and its implementation might face challenge. A participant complained for failing to send short message service to CJ system due to the poor cellular phone signal. Rena,of the Women KPMD organization, in Tambak Bajai Sub District, Dadahup District, in Pulang Pisau Regency, grumbled, “Cellular phone signal in our village is poor. So it would be hard for us to send news.”
The training which was kicked off by the head of Central Kalimantan REDD+ Joint Secretariat, Mursid Marsono, presented keynote speakers from Central Kalimantan’s Rural Community Empowerment Agency, Tabengan Daily managing editor, and Kalteng Pos chief editor. The training was led by senior journalist who currently focuses his work on citizen journalism, Harry Surjadi. He was assisted by Yuventius Ivie and Alim of the West Kalimantan’s Ruai TV, and Agus Triwanto from Air Putih local organization. There were also observers from Kendari TV and Palu TV reporters during the training sessions.
In his opening speech, Mursid Marsono, stressed out the importance of conveying accurate information from public to help support development. As to him, valid information is the one that is based on fact and data. “Public participation in information improvement and development monitoring is very important. Public is encouraged to provide positive as well as negative news provided that it is based on the valid fact and data,” he said.
Participants specialized in CJ system management learned the materials on CJ system management using Frontline SMS as the supporting system for CJ development. They will be fully responsible for being manager of CJ system. Meanwhile, the other participants trained as information brokers were expectedly to deliver report or news through short message service for public dissemination. They learned about responsibility and information standard worthy to deliver to public.