Between 2012 and 2015, six new-media based reporting and writing simulations were held in various parts of Nepal as part of a research project on emerging sourcing practices and story formats. Gufa was an experiential reporting and writing project for journalists, writers and content producers. Its objective was to refresh the craft, re-engage professionals, and reconnect with the local communities. Participants were nominated by their peers or members of the public. Those who obtained the hightest nominations were selected to participate. The event was divided into two complementary parts:
1. Reporting with new media tools only (September): Those selected were invited to the 72-hour event held in Kathmandu. Participating professionals relied entirely on new media tools like mobile, internet, and social media. They were kept in seclusion under the supervision of a research team and are prohibited from direct human communication.
2. Reporting without new media tools (March): Participants from September returned the following year in March to complete the rest of the assignment. During their 72-hour assignment, they took the old-fashioned shoe-string, door-to-door approach to interact with the local community, and to report and write underreported local stories. This event was typically held in a rural village.
Often, side sessions were held on news/media literacy and other important and relevant communication themes. Lessons learned were recorded, and stories from both the complementary events are now being analyzed and compiled with the objective to enrich the professional experience.
The Gufa research team is reading through the massive data and stories collected from the six Gufa sessions held between 2012 and 2015. The materials will be coded and analyzed and the findings will be published sometime in 2017. The Gufa project began initially as a one-time research event, but continued until the sixth edition mainly on participants' demand. More sessions also meant more robust sample of data for analysis. The decision to organize further Gufa events or to wrap up the Gufa research project will depend on the line of i...