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Story telling comes of age
Digital stories are short personal multimedia pieces made using computers and other digital equipment. To begin, all you need is a story idea - you don’t need to be a computer expert or have any previous experience in the creative arts.

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Story telling comes of age

09-03-2006 (New Delhi)
Story telling comes of age
Digital stories are short personal multimedia pieces made using computers and other digital equipment. To begin, all you need is a story idea - you don’t need to be a computer expert or have any previous experience in the creative arts.
Sounds interesting? This novel technique of creating audio visual content through digital multimedia formats was taught to South Asian community media producers for the first time in a workshop supported by UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).

The workshop was held in Kolar District, Karnataka State in South India, close to the Namma Dhwani cable community media centre, one of India’s first community radio stations.

Between February 20-26, 2006, media producers from eleven community multimedia centres (CMCs) and information communication technology centres supported by UNESCO in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh learned the skills involved in making digital stories.

The workshop characterized by informal games and activities helped participants to think about stories and how we tell them. Over the course of the seven-day workshop each participant wrote a script of 250 words, recorded it at Namma Dhwani’s audio studio, and combined it with images to create a short multimedia piece of about two minutes duration. At the end of the workshop, participants returned home with a compilation of digital stories of TV broadcast quality that could be shown on a screen, television or viewed on the internet.

Rajendar Negi, from Hevalvani Community Radio, Uttaranchal says, “The first time I ever touched a computer was in December 2005 and two months later I am working with digital formats using [photo editing digital authoring] software. It’s been a very motivating experience for me and I will try hard to learn and teach these skills to others.”

All these eleven participants plan to go back to their centres after this workshop and train volunteers and community members in making their own digital stories. These will be distributed internally and outside via various mechanisms like cable TV, community radio, internet radio, DVD, VCD etc.

Deepak Koirala from Radio Lumbini says, “Digital Stories can not only be about personal stories, but also about issues which affect the community as a whole. People who watch these stories can take away a message after seeing them, for example a digital story on HIV/AIDS.”

The workshop also gave participants from across South Asia the opportunity to observe the Namma Dhwani multimedia centre, which offers an interesting model of ICT application for development. The centre, operated with the support from NGO’s MYRADA and VOICES, creates a variety of local content and uses an equally wide range of media to reach local audiences, from bulletin boards to cable FM radio to handheld computers.

One of UNESCO’s key focus areas is enabling local content creation through community- based media, from print to radio to multimedia. Digital stories and other similar formats are another way for people to tell local and personal stories using a range of media production and distribution tools.

UNESCO's International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) is a major forum in the UN system designed to develop free and pluralistic media with a global approach to democratic development.

CMCs combine community radio by local people in local languages with community telecentre facilities (computers with Internet and e-mail, phone, fax and photocopying services).

Finding a Voice is a collaborative project between UNESCO/UNDP and QUT which will foster greater understanding of content as an enabling tool within communities, ICT applications and its role in poverty reduction and achievement of Millennium Development Goals.

Story contributed by: Ramnath Bhat, Trainer/Researcher, UNESCO

Related themes/countries

  • This item can be found in the following topics:
          · India: News Archive 2006
          · 2006
          · News Archives: 2006
          · Content Development: News Archives 2006


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