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Saturday, September 22, 2012


JOURNALISTS from ASEAN member states participated in the “Reporting on Regional Integration in Southeast Asia: History, Institutions and Policies of ASEAN” programme held in Jakarta said that it has enhanced their knowledge and understanding of ASEAN.

A total of 15 participants comprised mid-career journalists from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia, Vietnam as well as Timor Leste, attended the 12-day training.

Among the objectives of the programme was to deepen the understanding of the journalists on ASEAN history, policies and objectives. The course included lectures and briefings as well as interviews, including one with Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa.

Wisnu Dewabrata, 37, of Indonesia’s Kompas Daily, said that the programme provided him with useful information and background such the history and current developments of ASEAN.

In his 10-years of reporting in different parts of Indonesia, he said that the course “forced” him to go back to learn about the basic information on ASEAN, which actually could benefit him. “I hope there will be a continuation to the programme as it also creates a platform to exchange views and share ideas among fellow participants,” said Wisnu, who has been covering foreign affairs in the past three years. He said journalists have the privilege of recording history and by attending this course he would be ale to monitor the progress towards a One ASEAN Community by 2015.

Another participant, Nan Tin Htwe of Myanmar Times said that this was her second time attending an overseas workshop since she became a journalist in 2010. The course, she added, has helped her gain new knowledge on ASEAN issues.

“After the course, I will write more on the human rights issues that have been brought to the attention of people in ASEAN,” said 27-year-old Nan.

Cambodian Kounila Keo, 24, a correspondent at Singapore-based online news Asia360News.com, said that she did not have good knowledge on ASEAN, but the programme encouraged her to learn more as it is very relevant to her career. “I like the programme because they have very experienced journalists coming in mentoring young journalists from different ASEAN countries,” said Kounila.

Jose Amelio, a journalist from Timor Leste, said the course taught him how to write better stories. “Thanks to GIZ (the organiser of the training) for organising this course and giving me the opportunity to gain new knowledge to support my career,” said Jose.

The course was organised by the International Institute for Journalism (IIJ) of GIZ in cooperation with the ASEAN Secretariat. It was sponsored by the Federal Foreign Office on behalf of the Government of Federal Republic of Germany, said Jorg Meier, Advisor for Capacity Building for the ASEAN Secretariat.

Pichai Chuensuksawadi, the trainer of the programme, expressed hopes that the journalists would use what they had learned to write stories on how ASEAN is relevant to their readers.The Brunei Times

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