Freedom Forum (FF) has conducted 5-day ‘Public Interest Reporting’ training in two different locations amongst 32 mid-career working journalists from 14 earthquake most affected districts. This main theme of this training was focused on the issue of public concern on post- quake reconstruction and rehabilitation.

The first 5-day training was held in Sindhupalchowk, Chautara from November 17-21, 2017 comprising participants from 7 districts (Sindhupalchowk, Dolakha, Makwanpur, Ramechhap, Sindhuli, Kavre and Okhaldhunga). Again, Second lot of the training was organized in Nuwakot, Bidur from December 16-20, 2017 gathering aspiring journalists from next 7 districts (Dhading, Gorkha, Nuwakot, Rasuwa, Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur).

Even though, huge chunk of money has been invested from the central to the local levels in the name of quake victims and reconstruction works, weak performance of governance and service delivery mechanism has posed the threat of corruption.

Hence, those trainings were conducted to capacitate journalists keep constant vigil whether the transparency is maintained in reconstruction work .The contents of training were focused on post-earthquake reconstruction works and related issues of public concern.

Senior Journalists Dharmendra Jha and Hasta Gurung facilitated training program, where they taught about the skills of identifying public interest issues of reconstruction works and reporting skills following the tools and technique of investigative reporting. Additionally Right to Information (RTI), data journalism, and Public Expenditure Tracking Study (PETS) and rapport building techniques, field works were other major components of the training.

Furthermore, Chief Executive of Freedom Forum Mr. Taranath Dahal, Asst. Spokesperson of National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) Dr. Bhisma Kumar Bhusal and rehabilitation and disaster expert Mr Anirudra Neupane delivered their presentations on different topics as guest lectures.

The training programs witnessed total 28 male and 6 female participants.