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Monday, November 14, 2016

Citizen Journalism



W
ith an easy access to the social media and microblogging sites, majority of us chip in – either knowledgeably or innocently – in sharing the information that are of any sort and gravity.
This circumstance commonly referred as ‘Citizen Journalism’, in which every citizen engage in an act of reporting is a noble phenomenon believed to be nurtured so as to scaffold the democracy’s tongue of empowering freedom of speech. Simply put, in an environment that allows the right to speech, citizen journalism functions like a peripheral limb of a mainstream media business by opening the closed stories, bringing far close, and making the unheard heard. It cultivates the ethos of participating and involving the total citizenry which is generally failed by many mainstream media for endless motives.
Image courtesy: Click LINK
The momentum of citizen journalism is rapid and so easy to pick up. With a dawn of technological gadgets such as smartphones and video cameras, the keyboards have been more like a basement of the printing press to generate news. And as one unfurls the information on the screen of the social media, at times, it is the news which contains less meat of fact that travels at a lightning speed and goes viral. The consumers at the receiving end never bother to measure the calorie of truth it enclose but rather share the already diseased and contaminated information.
Judging by the writing ability of a person, media consumers like us, never question the reliability, validity and accuracy of the content that one posts. Unlike the trained media professionals who are bound with the standards and etiquette of reporting, citizen journalism is likely to have some dusts of falsity, inaccuracy and subjectivity. Thus, getting swayed by the citizen journalism is risky and perilous to a small nation like ours where information can hop from east to west within a heartbeat.
Under the banner of democracy and chanting the verse of freedom of speech, a lot of people with pseudonym are crafting the stories with its origin and depth of severity unknown and immeasurable. Confidential and classified materials are getting enormously exposed. Fraud, rumour and cat fishing are rampant. But as a responsible citizen, realizing what illegal offline is illegal online, we have to be media literate and diagnose the content instead of clicking like or sharing the story that is known to have even an ounce of truth. A media literate citizen would behave online as we would offline.
“I would trust citizen journalism as much as I would trust citizen surgery” – Morley Safer

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Sex is Everywhere



S
ex is everywhere. It has noticeably invaded the public square than ever before. Music is sexually toned while the music videos are highly galvanized with sexually explicit contents. Songs postulated to produce quixotic flavor are genetically mutated with degrading lyrics that would either objectify feminism or reify the supremacy of masculinity. Advertisements and endorsements are increasingly becoming the brothels of obscenity by the growing use of immodest sexual imagery believed to elicit sexual responses and in so doing invite consumers. And almost tolerably, sex has developed itself into a language of the social media that is understood by the culture of any origin.
While sex has openly colonized practically almost every sphere of human space, it has undoubtedly remained injured after the collision of numerous existing cultural and religious taboos in discussing it within a family circle. Restrictions of these measures are highly detrimental that the adolescents are often risked to gather misconstrued knowledge and irrelevant myths from various sources that may be passed down to the generations.     
Attending the National Seminar on Combating Sexual Violence for a Better Society as one of the speakers, I have learnt that the comprehensive sexuality education has to take roots initially at our own home. When the children are bathed with the information on sexuality and reproductive health during that crucial period of transition from childhood to adolescents, its reinforcement later in the educational institutions like schools and colleges can advantage them in making healthy decisions regarding their physiological and psychological wellbeing.
The presenters of the seminar held at Samtse College of Education
Parents are accounted as one of the most reliable influential socializing agents that can shape adolescents sexual behavior, minimize sexual risks and realize the potentials of adolescents becoming sexually responsible. Empirical studies have revealed that the adolescents exposed to early introduction of sexuality education are potentially impacted with positive knowledge, sexual beliefs and attitudes, delay early sexual debut and gather skills to overcome sexual health risks.
However, despite evidences that it is imperative and beneficial, information on sexuality education is largely inaccessible and often limited to discuss within our family premises. Because it is so delicate and sensitive in nature, many parents shy away and nonetheless find it daunting. Literature has it that some parents fear of encouraging early sexual experimentation by triggering sexual curiosity if open discussions on sexuality are initiated by them to the children.
But this is not true because an early parental interventions during the adolescence regarding the sexuality education, even if the teen has not yet encountered sexual experience is worthy in fostering adolescents sexual maturity. As parents initiate sex education to their children at a tender age, when the time grows, it would be easier to extend involving the entire family members. By then, talking about reproductive issues would be a serious family stuff and nothing else. Also, parents shouldering responsibilities such as these can largely help the educators in the schools to share the responsibility in generating the productive citizens. And the productive citizens whose education is sound not only in terms of academics but as well as reproductive issues can save the government coffers in millions specifically in a nation like ours where education and health amenities are provided for free of cost.
Nonetheless, stuffs of this sort may not have been realized if Samtse College of Education financially supported by the UNFPA, Bhutan, dint offer me a privilege to conclude my manuscript and present it. Not only have I learnt a lot, my social circles expanded after interacting with scholars from RUB colleges, UNFPA, RENEW, lawyer, NGOs and the teacher trainees. So, I am immensely grateful to these institutions. Also thank you Ms. Kinley Seday for the encouragement and support rendered beyond measure. No adjective can suffice to describe the inspiration you gave me in making me travel a journey thus far. Also thank you Ms.Bijoy Hangmo Subba for the succinct and timely email correspondence.
“Parents aren’t sex education experts just because they are parents” – Pepper Schwarty.    
Dr. Sonam Rinchen welcoming the participants

Mr Kezang Namgay speaking on Buddhist Spiritual Perspective on Sexuality
Mrs. Karma Chhoden speaking on LGBTI as an Emerging Discourse in Bhutan
Mr. Ugyen Norbu speaking on Implication of Sexuality Education
Mr. Ugyen Phuntsho presenting on Prevalence of Sexual Behavior in Trongsa District.
Presenting my findings on adolescents perception on parental communication about sexuality

Mr. Jangchuk Dorji, a Legal Officer presenting sexual violence based on legal perspectives
Receiving the certificate from the Resident Officer, UNFPA, Bhutan, Mr. Yeshey Dorji
Dr. Tashi Gyeltshen during the wrap up session of the seminar

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