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Certified Program in Media Reporting on Public Health Underway


Kota (Rajasthan), Aiming at addressing gap in media coverage on public health program, UNICEF India in a joint venture with George Institute of Global Health, UK and prestigious Oxford University is on the way to develop a certified critical skills appraisal program for media reporting on public health with a particular focus on routine immunization. The critical skills appraisal program developed by Oxford University would be used as a starting point to develop a module which would then be offered to journalists as a ‘certification program’. 
          Chief of UNICEF Rajasthan office, Samuel Mawunganidze told pre and post module on certified program development workshops are being organized across the country. The first of series of pre module development consultations was held in Chennai on September 1, followed by Jaipur consultations on September 19, he further told. Similar consultations would be held in Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Guwati and in New Delhi in upcoming months, he said.
          The state UNICEF chief further elaborated the entire program is being designed as an Oxford University certified program with a scale – up possibility in terms of either a web based course curriculum or modules integrated into the mass media education as a goal and a target at the end of every three year.
          The certified critical skills appraisal program on public health would focus routine immunization particularly and would stress on the need to start immunization and vaccination program as a mission like Polio Eradication Program, said Kannan Krishnaswamy, communications manager of George Institute for Global Health India and added the duration of certified program would be deceived after the series of consultations for the development of modules are over. It is for the first time in the country that a certified program on media reporting on public health is being developed to enable the journalists for accurate reporting on public health with a particular focus on routine immunization, said Sonia Sarkar, communication officer, UNICEF, India.       

          About 35 media persons, media educators and medical professional across the state participated the consultations in Jaipur on Friday and shared their experiences for the development of a certified critical skills appraisal program on public health with a particular focus on routine immunization. Additional director, NRHM Neeraj K. Pawan, Sunny Sebastian, vice chancellor of Harideo Joshi Journalism, Senior journalist Narayan Bartet, Dr. Shipra Mathur, media educator Dr. Sanjeev Bhanawat were among those who attended a day long consultation on Friday in Jaipur. The challenges at grass root level in media reporting on public health were also discussed in the consultation.