Strengthening youth capacity through citizen journalism training

Strengthening youth capacity through citizen journalism training

Indonesia - 12 June, 2024

The rapid development of digital technology has made cyberspace a limitless realm open to exploration. The internet and social media become major alternatives for accessing and sharing information. This is also a new platform for ordinary people outside the journalism profession to share various information like professional journalists with the news they produce. The opportunity to become a citizen journalist is wide open to anyone, including young people.

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It is the background to the citizen journalism training organized by Tropenbos Indonesia for young people in its landscape in Ketapang, West Kalimantan. The training, which was held in collaboration with Ketapang Journalist Alliance (AJK), was held on 24-25 May 2024. The daily lives of today's young people who are inseparable from gadgets, made 20 participants who were representatives of young people from villages in Nanga Tayap, Sungai Laur, Simpang Dua and Simpang Hulu sub-districts were enthusiastic about taking part in the training, which taught them how to become citizen journalists so they could produce news like professional journalists through their social media accounts.

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After the training, young people participating in the training are expected to be able to contribute to the dissemination of correct information and take part in the role of social control through posting on social media accounts that apply journalism principles such as checking and rechecking, and writing must be "correct, accurate and objective". In the training, young people were invited to hone their empathy, sensitivity and concern for the issues around them, explore information through interview techniques, and put it into writing.


Participants also learned to identify newsworthy issues, analyzed them, and found local solutions. This includes matters related to environmental preservation, forest protection, natural resource management, decision making regarding various policies, especially at the local level, political affairs, social, economic and cultural development, gender equality, as well as various other issues around them.

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As citizen journalists, especially regarding environmental issues, young people are invited to increase public awareness of nature and the environment, especially those related to the impact of human activities on the environment which can sometimes be very detrimental. As citizen journalists, young people can become active contributors and produce the latest news, report various information, and share phenomenal photos from remote villages, or even from places that may be difficult or impossible for professional journalists to reach.


To maintain the network among participants so that they can continue to connect to each other, and continue to share information, especially regarding forest protection and natural resource management, the training participants agreed to form a forum for young citizen journalists called Ketapang Citizen Journalist Forum (FJWK). This forum will serve as a space to voice opinions, concerns, ideas, and disseminate information related to important issues which, even if there has been no present solution, can possibly be followed up to be resolved by other parties. This forum has also formed a management structure and action plan for the next activities they will carry out.