Srinagar: Kashmiri journalist Sajad Rasool has been selected for a four month long programme on digital security under the Berlin Scholarship Program Empowering Journalists in Digital Field.
Out of 507 candidates across the world, eight journalists have been selected for this program to be held in Berlin, Germany by Reporters Without Borders.
The program is funded by the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Publc Enterprises and supported by ProtonMail.
The aim of the scholarship is to provide holders with practical knowledge on how to protect themselves against digital threats such as surveillance and hacks. In addition, they will also receive training on how to teach others in their home region about digital security.
Rasool is a journalist based in Kashmir. He founded Kashmir Unheard in 2014, the first of its kind community news platform, supported by Video Volunteers India.
Kashmir Unheard is a local news space which reports issues from 16 districts of Jammu and Kashmir. Issues related to development, corruption, human rights violation, gender, environment etc are produced by Community Correspondents on regular basis.
The work of Sajad has been covered by Magnum, Al-Jazeera, Huffington Post, Tehelka, Firstpost.
“I believe the internet and smartphone can be used for bringing out the narratives which mainstream media often neglects, that’s what we do at KU. But at the same time, the state control over free media and internet has increased in the past one decade across the globe, and censorship, monitoring, and harassment has become a routine for journalists,” Rasool said.
He added, “this program is designed to help people like us to deal with digital threats related to our work including surveillance. I hope to gain knowledge on this topic and spread it further with the journalists in Kashmir, which remains a place of internet shutdowns and other digital threats.”