For the first time in the history of Tamil language media in Sri Lanka, a comprehensive investigative reporting training session of international standards was successfully completed, with journalists receiving training through real world events.
The six-day long immersive training, organised by the Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR) for member journalists of the Tamil Speaking Women Journalists Organisation (TSWJO), targeted Tamil-speaking women in media institutions, but included even some non-Tamil language journalists who benefited from the comprehensive session.
The 18 women journalists who participated were from a range of multi-media outlets, from Tamil language newspapers of Virakesary, Thinakkural, Navamani, and Thinakaran, to journalists from TV, Radio and online news portals.
The course was organised by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), an independent not-for profit organisation that works with media and civil society to promote positive change in conflict zones, closed societies, and countries in transition around the world.
The course was conducted in the Tamil language by eminent journalism trainer, Reuters Colombo Bureau Chief Shihar Aneez. Aneez led trainees to produce investigative reports on several real world incidents, using the international guidelines introduced by him. The session was followed by a small grants scheme award to some participants, who would embark on challenging investigative projects in future.
Tamil Speaking Women Journalists Organisation (TSWJO) founder Krishni Kandasamy, a veteran Tamil language investigative reporter and a Lankan woman journalist, said that this is only one such projects by TSWJO. “Other training programs too are in the pipeline. These are open to our members and even non-members. We welcome all Tamil language women journalists to participate in the upcoming training programs and events. It is time to collectively lobby to make a positive change to enhance the status of Tamil language journalism in Sri Lanka. We thank IWPR and its Director Vasana Wickramasena for the valuable assistance given,” Kandasamy said.
Founded in 1991, IWPR is currently implementing the «Reporting for Change: Making Investigative Journalism a Reality» project in Sri Lanka, an initiative to strengthen capacity and institutionalise media support for the practice of high quality journalism.