Mass media, including print, radio, television, internet and social media play a crucial role in framing public discussions and debates. Journalists have the power to be the voice and shape public and policymakers’ perceptions. With growing WASH challenges in Bangladesh, WaterAid believers there is a dire need for young journalists to play a meaningful role and have the courage to discuss, debate, and investigate WASH issues.
The Fellowship was launched with an aim to find young and energetic journalists who have the will to set themselves apart by demonstrating courage and commitment to the community. The five-month-long fellowship provided six journalists from leading media channels of the country with an opportunity to take a deep dive into Bangladesh’s multifaceted WASH landscape.
The journalists engaged over a course of five months through knowledge-sharing workshops by subject-specific experts and personalised grooming sessions from one of the leading development media professionals of the country Mr. Shyamal Dutta. Alongside the workshops, the journalists delved into field visits to two of the most climate prone areas of the country – Khulna, and Dacope. Through the field visits, they were able to experience the water and sanitation crisis of people living in Khulna’s urban slums and Dacope’s rural and hard to reach areas. They received opportunities to record one-to-one interviews with community people, mayors and local government institutions – getting direct exposure and unfiltered information on challenges and scope surrounding WASH for marginalised people.
At the end of the Fellowship, the journalists published reports on their experience and henceforth graduated as ‘fellows’ from the Young Media Fellowship on WASH ‘2019-2020.