MCU and UNICEF to roll out Critical Appraisal Skill training programme for media educators, students and journalists in MP

Training to focus on awareness on Covid-19 vaccine

Bhopal, 12th December, 2020: Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication, Bhopal and UNICEF will jointly launch ‘Critical Appraisal Skill’ training programme to sensitize media educators, students and journalists on reporting related with health issues, especially misinformation and disinformation being spread on Covid-19 vaccine. The training programme will be held in three phases for journalists of Noida, Bhopal, Khadwa and Rewa, media students and teachers for December, 2020 itself.

On Thursday, a joint online meeting, chaired by University Vice Chancellor Prof KG Suresh, decided to launch the CAS in Madhya Pradesh, considering it as the need of the hour. Prof Suresh said, fake content and disinformation related with Covid vaccine is spreading fast and it has become a challenge for the media persons to prevent it. The training will sensitize them in this regard. Training modules developed for public health reporting under the CAS will be reoriented and reframed for creating awareness particularly in this pandemic time.’

Health communication expert of UNICEF Shri Anil Gulati underlined the need at present to create awareness on reporting on health-related issues especially among media persons. Senior journalists Shri Pramod Joshi said basic skills for fact-checking should be imparted to media persons working at small towns. Senior journalist Sanjay Abhigyan pointed out relevance of the training today and quoted a case of a state, where pamphlets carrying misinformation about Covid vaccine were distributed with a newspaper. Shri Sanjay Dev said such training is required for stringers. Shri Gyan Prakash, a senior journalist covering health reporting in Delhi, suggested that health experts should also be invited in this training.  Shri Ajay Kanchan said journalists should be imparted training to check the quality of evidence.

Communication officer, UNICEF, Smt Sonia Sarkar and Dr Vandana Bhatia also made important suggestions. All experts and journalists have been associated with the CAS, implemented in the country in 2014-15. Senior Assistant Professor Dr Lal Bahadur Ojha conducted the online meeting. Registrar Dr Avinash Bajpayee proposed the vote of thanks.