In­for­ma­tion and me­dia of­fi­cers to bridge the gap be­tween the gov­ern­ment and the me­dia

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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.

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