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‘Everyone wants to be a journalist today, but not everyone can’

  • Published at 10:35 pm September 25th, 2021
Representational photo portraying Bangladeshi news channels Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

DW Akademie’s Local Media Hub Fellowship kicks off with 28 Bangladeshi students

Twenty-eight of the brightest journalism students from across nine public universities in the country gathered virtually this Friday, to step into a two-year fellowship that promises to turn their professional aspirations into a bright future.

Addressing the students at the daylong "Local Media Hub Fellowship: Induction Workshop" held via Zoom, celebrated Bangladeshi journalist Khaled Muhiuddin, currently serving as editor of German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle's Bangla service, said: “Everyone wants to be a journalist today; but not everyone can. At the end of the day, a journalists’ role is that of a watchdog, and it is a difficult task. It is good to see so many of you are ready to take that pain of being a journalist.”

DW Akademie, the media development wing of Deutsche Welle, launched the Local Media Hub fellowship in Bangladesh earlier this year, to train and equip journalism students in the country with necessary skills to become a ‘complete journalist’ who can contribute independently from their own localities for mainstream media. 

Applications were sought from second-year students of journalism at all public universities where the course was offered, and 28 were awarded the fellowship after a rigorous selection process. Friday’s “Induction Workshop” was the first activity of the fellowship.

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In the next two years, fellows will train in and practice various skills and techniques of journalism under guidance of top journalists and trainers from home and abroad, and contribute across multiple formats for mainstream media and their university’s own portals. 

Priya Esselborn, program director (Bangladesh) at DW Akademie; its senior consultant Lutfa Ahmed; Radio Bhumi Station Chief Shams Suman; and DW Bangla Service journalist Arafatul Islam also spoke at the workshop.

DW Akademie has been working in Bangladesh since 2014 with an aim to improve journalism education and practice in the country to strengthen the country’s free media.

They have worked with public universities to reform journalism curricula, developed capacity of community radio journalists, facilitated internships at leading newsrooms for journalism graduates, developed an online course for practicing and citizen journalists with free speech advocates Article 19, organized three networking conference that bring together educators and professionals to discuss issues of journalism, and held numerous skill training sessions with university teachers, journalists, students, and top media outlets of the country.