Citizen Journalism redefines communication
The just concluded Citizen Journalism training has opened new avenues for women and girls in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe to use the power of information and communication technologies to reshape and redefine communication.
The 21 day training that started on May 6, 2013 and ended on June 21, 2013 availed information and communication technologies, including internet training and access, to disadvantaged women and girls so that they actively participate in setting the global agenda.
The training was attended by 24 women and girls and four men. The average age for the participants was 33 with the youngest aged 18 years and the oldest aged 65 years. Two participants had tertiary qualifications while six participants had gone to school up to Zimbabwe junior certificate and 20 had gone up to Ordinary Level. We reached participants from Kingsdale (19), Queens Park (7), Cowdry Park (1) and Saurcetown (1). The participants were drawn from a radius of 40 kilometres from Montgomery Hall where we are located.
The training emphasised on empowering ordinary citizens to report on what is happening around them. Recent strides in the development and diffusion of communication technologies has contributed to the shift in the power to shape local and global views and perspectives from government, opinion leaders, government and trained journalists to ordinary citizen who have access to the internet and have an opinion.
Participants in the training learned how to how to use a computer, write news and blog on the World Wide Web. All trainees opened new emails, created personal blogs and shared news with a global community of what is happening in their community.
Trainees wrote 36 stories that covered issues related to HIV/AIDS, Gender Based Violence, violence against women, crime, poverty, HIV/AIDS and child abuse. The writers blogged the stories on Pulsewire, an interactive space where women worldwide, including those using Internet cafés in rural areas, can speak for ourselves to the world and collaborate to solve global problems.