Intermedia, BHC arrange workshops for journalists
* Journalists to be trained for election reporting
PESHAWAR: Intermedia, a Pakistani media development organisation, and the British High Commission (BHC) conducted a series of training workshops on issue-based media coverage of elections for print journalists across Pakistan in August 2007 in all four provinces.
According to a statement issued here on Friday, the workshops were held at Quetta, Karachi, Murree and Nathiagali, and were participated by journalists from various newspapers from all over the country. The training was aimed at developing the capacity of Pakistani media to improve reporting of election issues and to raise awareness of political, electoral and legislative issues, besides educating voters through the media. In the second phase of these workshops, the statement added, 20 journalists selected from amongst the first phase participants were given advance training in Islamabad from September 8 to 12.
The coming elections will be the first in Pakistan’s history to be held in the presence of a vibrant private sector broadcast media — radio and television — and is expected to impact people’s political choices in a major way, it said, adding, “In such a situation, print media’s role becomes more important to focus on issues through research-based reports, features and analysis.”
During the five-day workshop, senior journalists and academics gave their presentations on electoral processes, election monitoring, political parties, investigative reporting and journalists’ role in highlighting the issues related to electoral processes. Mehnaz Rafi, Nilofar Bakhtiar, Sarwar Bari and Zaigham Khan also addressed the workshop, in which participants visited offices of several political parties where politicians including Nayyer Bokhari of the Pakistan People’s Party, Siddiqul Farooq of the Pakistan Muslim League-N and Nazeer Dhoki of the PPP informed journalists of their parties’ manifestos.
British High Commissioner Mr Robert Brinkley attended the workshop’s concluding ceremony. In his address, Mr Brinkley said he was pleased to see the enthusiasm of all reporters, who were eager to write on political issues that helped voters make the right choice. “I am pleased that the British High Commission was able to arrange this training. We are eager to support efforts to promote impartial and investigative journalism in Pakistan.”
Intermedia Director Muhammad Najeeb said, “Active participation of journalists exceeded our expectations during the workshops. We were asked to select 60 reporters from all over Pakistan and received 228 nominations, with full support of editors.” “The feedback and participation of the trainees have been excellent and we hope that they will now report on elections and political issues from new and different angles, and with an investigative approach,” he said Earlier in his speech, Intermedia Project Manager Muhammad Ali Khan welcomed the guests and discussed the background of Intermedia and the series of election reporting workshops.
Source: Daily Times