By Odrix Mhiji, Martin Paradzai & Dambudzo Mhishi
Chitownews, a project of Chitungwiza Community Development Network held a citizen journalism workshop over the weekend at Leisure Centre in Chitungwiza under its free expression programme. The workshop which saw teachers from primary, secondary and private schools attending was aimed at empowering teachers with citizen journalism skills so that they will be able to impart the concepts to their pupils during clubs and society time.
In delivering the official opening address to the participants at the workshop, CCDN Director Eddington Shayanowako said that the training of citizen journalists is part of CCDN’s Information Communication Technology which aims at providing platforms that promote access and right to information and freedom of expression among the citizens of Chitungwiza.
“This is part of free expression project which seeks to provide platforms that promote freedom expression, access and right to information and citizen engagement,” said Shayanowako.
CCDN project manager Admire Mutize in a statement said the workshop which brought together 30 teachers from different schools in Chitungwiza was aimed at training the teachers on journalistic skills so that they will nurture students in their schools on news gathering and news writing techniques.
“Our main aim as an organization is to provide teachers with skills on citizen journalism for them to impart on their students” said Mutize.
“We want the students not only to be news consumers but to be journalists themselves, gathering and sharing information in their communities” added Mutize.
The training was facilitated by Gumisai Nyoni, a Sub-editor with the Zimbabwe Independent who took the participants through different topics in citizen journalism which includes introducing citizen journalism, news gathering skills and news writing.
The workshop also involved plenary session whereby the participants were put in different groups to discuss different topics and write short stories.
Admire Mutize took the participants through a session on Using Social Media Application on smartphones and laptops. He mentions the use of Whatsapp, twitter and facebook in citizen journalism. Mutize also emphasized the importance of photos and videos in citizen journalism.
The teachers were happy to partner CCDN and hoped that the partnership will bring in a lot of collaboration between the teachers and the organization in addressing community challenges affecting Chitungwiza.
“Thanks for inviting us for such a noble cause. Hope it’s the beginning of a fruitful journeys,” said Mr Miji a teacher at Zengeza 7 primary school.
CCDN is a community based organization which works with young people in Chitungwiza.