To make information more relevant and accessible to farmers, Shivaram Pailoor launched the first “farm journalism” course in India that targets farmers and journalists.
Through a Fellowship program, his organisation, the Centre for Agricultural Media (CAM), creates a common platform for journalists to gain on the ground knowledge of farming practices and helps farmers develop journalism skills. The year long experience starts with a unique one month period of intensive learning where farmers and journalists live together and exchange success stories, agricultural issues and other information. Since 2003, hundreds have enrolled in the course, and after a rigorous training, 106 course participants have been awarded the CAM Fellowship. A number of these fellows have gone on to publish agricultural books and write regularly for mainstream media. In addition, CAM has established a “knowledge hub” of agricultural books and journals available to farmers, journalists and research scholars. It also organizes events to foster learning between farmers and the media.
The Fellowship has improved the way media and organizations present information to farmers and other agricultural stakeholders. Farmers have also immensely benefited by sharing success stories and practical knowledge with each other and the media. Shivaram who is currently engaged with Doordarshan, plans to continue to run the CAM Fellowship.
Note: This was updated in June, 2014. Read on for the ELECTION profile.