Media Gufa, a digital cave for experimental reporting and writing is an open gold mine for any journalist, writer, or content producer with the potential and the hunger. “Gufa” in Nepali language refers to a cave, which is symbolic of the wisdom of the sages, a place for contemplation. As the name suggests, MediaGufa is an event carried out in seclusion, that seeks to refresh journalism, to engage journalists with new tools and approaches in the changing media environment, and to reconnect them with the communities that need their services.
The clock is ticking and the moment has finally arrived for the “Gufa” dwellers to emerge out of “gufa” and we, at SoftNEP, will make sure that we fulfill their vision and help them achieve their optimum caliber.
Mr. Sunil Rijal (CEO of SoftNEP) was entertained as an “atithi” to Media Gufa’s 5th Edition, held between September 5-8, 2014 along with Honorary journalist Mr. Rabindra Mishra and was visibly humbled by their generosity.
As the event took off, it was announced that 5 journalists from Baitadi, Gulmi, Dolakha, Parsa and Kathmandu were entering the digital cave to take up the reporting and writing challenge. That the contestants had to remain in a makeshift cave at Hotel Mandap (Thamel) for 72 hours, secluded from everything but computers or handheld devices with uninterrupted access to the internet, made it undeniably fascinating. Meanwhile, they are supervised and observed by a research team and are prohibited from direct human communication.
Based on the recordings of the events, the experiences and findings along with the stories are compiled and published. The challenge is to conceive news stories relevant to rural Nepal, and to report and write those stories following Gufa Style, a rigorous reporting and writing approach based on journalistic standards. The mission is to find out the actual value of new media and their content in the development of news stories on issues that matter to the everyday lives of ordinary citizens in a developing country.
The concluding ceremony was presided by atithi Mr. Rabindra Mishra on September 8, at 10:00 am.
The event ended with new hopes and dreams for everyone.
Best of luck to the participants.
The author is a Communications & Support Officer at SoftNEP.