A wall newspaper is a hand-written or printed local newspaper that is pasted to a wall or a notice board in public places. It is very popular in Nepal and India, particularly in places where access to conventional newspapers is limited. Wall newspapers are usually locally produced on large sheets of thick paper. They sometimes incorporate illustrations and photographs as well as text. Wall newspapers feature local information and news that is useful or interesting to the villagers. Some include space for advertising. Advantages of Wall Newspapers The main advantage of wall newspapers is that they offer ‘a voice’ to the community. People have easy access to the editor and local journalists and this means people’s stories and opinions can be published, and the content is locally relevant and interesting. It can be produced in the local language It is free to the reader There are no high printing and distribution costs. How to Use Wall Newspapers To produce a wall newspaper it is Preparing a wall newspaper, Dharan, Eastern Nepal necessary to identify or train local people to become editors and reporters. These people should be able to accurately represent the views of their community, especially the most disadvantaged people whose views are seldom heard. Determine the frequency of publication, the newspaper name, and the number of copies to be produced. Calculate the costs involved in production. Consider presentation and layout - use simple language, large bold type and plenty of images such as photographs and cartoons. Collect local material for publication e.g. success / failure stories, ideas for local development initiatives and local news and events. Display the wall newspapers in locations where different community groups feel welcome (this may differ between men, women and children or between castes) The audience require some literacy. Some journalism and editorial skills are required in production.
Nepal Press Institute
Constraints of Wall Newspapers
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Real Life Story Children Journalists for Protection and Promotion of Child Rights A group of children in Dharan in Eastern Nepal is very much involved in producing wall newspapers. The children are raising awareness concerning child rights issues as part of a project involving Dharan Municipality, Sunsari Communication Development Centre and UNICEF. Thirty-five children, aged 10 to 15 were given basic training in wall newspaper production, and there are now 19 groups in Dharan’s seven wards. The children cover true stories of drug abuse, child labour and many other children related issues. The wall newspapers produced by the children have proved to be very successful in creating positive impacts in the community.
"When I first wrote about a child who is working as a servant I was badly scolded. Four or five times we have been chastised for writing such stories. We once wrote a story called 'Abhishekh cannot go to school' and now his parents do send Abhishekh to school. We felt very happy when he started going to school. My confidence that newspapers can change the attitudes of people has grown." Somu Thapa, 'Bal Awaj', Dharan
Nepal Press Institute
Girl in Dharan displays a wall newspaper
Real life story edited from a Nepal Press Institute workshop report for UNICEF - April 1998
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Practical Action The Schumacher Centre Bourton-on-Dunsmore Rugby, Warwickshire, CV23 9QZ United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)1926 634400 Fax: +44 (0)1926 634401 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://practicalaction.org/practicalanswers/ This document is based on the Micro Media Card Pack: A Tool Kit for Community Development Workers produced by Practical Action in October 2003. Reproduced as a Technical Brief in October 2007.
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