Information and media officers to bridge the gap between the government and the media
More than 35 Information and Media Officers ( IMOs) attended a training from December 1 to December 5 organised by the Department of Information and Media ( DOIM) to provide an understanding and clarity on their roles and responsibilities.
Lyonpo D.N Dhungyel, Minister for Ministry of Information and Communications awarded the certificates of completion to the Information and Media Officers for completing the Media and Social Media Management trainings last Wednesday.
Journalists and IMOs from various government agencies have been invited for the programme to facilitate interaction among reporters, IMOs and the Ministry. The Department of Information and Media (DoIM), Ministry of Information and Communications, conducted a series of trainings on media management, basic journalism, radio journalism and social media management in December 2014.
Around 80 participants, comprising of Information and Media Officers (IMOs) from various Ministries and government agencies, reporters from a few Bhutanese media houses and students from Sherubtse College and Royal Thimphu College, attended these trainings.
The trainings were conducted as a part of DOIM’s mandate to promote the media industry through trainings, seminars, and workshops, particularly targeting media professionals to enable them to produce relevant and quality content. This time, the DOIM also extended the training opportunities to university graduates studying media and journalism.
The media management training aimed to enhance the professionalism of IMOs with particular focus on media relations, writing effective press releases, conducting press conferences, learning different interview techniques, handling media, advertisement planning and management, among others.
Local trainers with media experience were engaged in the training. The trainings provided the participants a good understanding of the local media. Participants also interacted with media professionals who were also invited to give talks during the five-day training program.
By the end of the program, participants were familiar with the importance of writing effective press releases, press conferences, advertising, advertising guideline, important contacts of all the media organisations, media kit and media strategy. They not only understood the role of media better but also gained the knowledge of framing a professional media strategy.
The trainees felt that it would be better if the IMOs’ post could be instated as a full time professional one and not just as an additional responsibility.
The weeklong Basic Journalism course aimed to equip the participants with basic journalism skills, such as report writing, research and interview techniques and journalism Ethics, among a host of others. Around 19 particpants including students and graduates of the Royal Thimphu College and new recruits from Kuensel attended this training. The participants appreciated the practical knowledge acquired which helped complement their theoretical knowledge.
The training on Social Media Management, facilitated by a social media expert from India, Mr. Faisal Haq, aimed at training IMOs on the usage and importance of various social media platforms to enhance their efficiency in accessing information and enabling greater citizen participation, use of social media for development, content creation and dissemination, difference in content uploads, monitoring, managing and developing social media plans and strategies for their respective organizations among others. Around 29 IMOs completed the training.
The Basic Radio Journalism training, conducted by a local radio journalist, imparted basic radio journalism skills, such as the importance and role of radio, writing for radio, practical interviews, knowing the audience, different formats, script writing, language, voice, using studio facilities, recording and editing among others to 19 participants, mainly students from Sherubtse College, RTC and new recruits from BBS.
Some of the participants also expressed their interest to become radio journalists.
There are multiple advantages of providing these trainings.
Journalism trainings will provide an opportunity to develop journalistic skills among job seekers interested to join media organisations or other organisations as media and communication officers. This will also lead to an availability of a pool of trained people in the job market for interested organisations to choose from. Finally, it contributes to media literacy among the young graduates.
With the proliferation of media it is very important for the government to adopt smart media strategies and reach maximum number of people through optimum utilisation of scarce resources. Social media is a powerful tool that can be harnessed for Governance and Development Communication among others.
Media has the capacity to foster the country’s goal of Gross National Happiness .Since it has a significant impact on the Bhutanese population, it is important to produce relevant and quality content that contributes to the creation of knowledge based society.
The training was conducted at Bhutan Media and Communications Institute.