The trend of digital media started to increase among women journalists of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Sabiha Sheikh belongs to Dera Ismail Khan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Sabiha has a master’s degree in journalism from Gomal University and has been running a Facebook page under the name Burqa Journalist for some time.
Sahabiha says that nowadays it is very difficult to get opportunities to work with mainstream media. Even if you get an opportunity to work as a reporter in a TV channel or a major newspaper, financial or job security is a big problem, while the practice of journalists being asked to work 24 hours a day has also become common.
He said that in the mainstream media very little time is given to the news of the backward areas. Customary regional issues are not properly highlighted. On the contrary, one can work from home as a freelance journalist in digital media. There is time and space to highlight any regional issue and best of all, the effort is well rewarded.
And if you know how to highlight problems. As a woman journalist who is determined to do something for the society, there is no better place than social media where you can work freely with freedom and independence according to journalistic principles. And this is the reason why most of the new generation people and especially women journalists like digital media.
Regarding the verification and publication of news, Sabiha says that news is published on digital media according to journalistic principles. Before sharing any news, it is verified by various reliable sources. If the news is related to an organization, then the position of the head or focal person of that organization must be taken and after going through all these steps, the news is published. goes
When Sabiha was asked whether print or electronic media journalists prefer you like her or not, she said that in the beginning there was a lot of experience problem but when she came to know that I am also a journalist and temporarily But since I am not doing journalism, after that the attitude of senior journalists became very good towards me. They have not only accepted me as a journalist but have also been very supportive. If we talk about government officers, politicians or social workers, all these people respect me a lot as a journalist and cooperate with me if there is any news confirmation or any other journalistic work.
Sabiha said that a joke on social or digital media can cause a lot of trouble for you, so on the one hand, being a journalism graduate, I am very careful. Secondly, I received special training from various institutions in this regard, due to which I got an opportunity to know about these laws and it has become my habit to take care of all these things while giving news.
Farzana Ali, bureau chief of a private TV channel in Peshawar and senior journalist, was asked why the new generation, especially girls, prefers social or digital media instead of mainstream media, she said that the big problem is traditions. Girls shy away from appearing on TV screens. Another issue is time, women prefer to work from 8 to 4 pm than men. The third issue is salary or remuneration. Today newspapers continue to pay very low salaries whereas in TV channels you have to work for 8 hours which makes it difficult for most women. On the contrary, in digital media, if women journalists work from home, they get paid very well. In such a situation, digital or social media is no less than a blessing for girls.
Razia Mehsud, who works on digital media from Waziristan, also explains the reasons why women are not in the mainstream media and says, “In the mainstream media, women do not get financial security. In TV journalism, journalistic organizations expect women as well as men.” They also believe that they will work without pay, which causes difficulties for women. Secondly, regional issues are not given time in the national media, nor are regional issues highlighted in a better way. You don’t have the freedom to work properly, nor can you work from home.”
She says there is freedom to do whatever one wants in social or digital media. There is no limitation of time and place and regional issues can be highlighted in a better way. A major advantage is that regional traditions can be maintained. Issues can be better presented through blogs, articles, text stories, audio and videos on social or digital media platforms instead of a single news story in the mainstream media. Even if working as a freelance journalist on digital media platforms, hard work definitely pays off.
While there are advantages to working in digital media, there are also many disadvantages for a woman journalist to go out and work in the field in an area like Waziristan. First of all, the society does not accept you. Razia Mehsud said that she has received death threats for carrying out journalistic duties in her area, but the support of her family, especially her parents and husband, has kept her morale high, while Razia’s husband, Philad, is working with her as a cameraman. .
Razia Mehsud says that firstly she has the support of her parents and husband to stay safe from security threats and secondly by working in the field according to regional traditions, such problems can also be overcome.
Faizullah Jan, professor of journalism department of University of Peshawar, says that in today’s era, journalism is connected with social and digital media. Any journalist, no matter how new, can build their profile quickly and efficiently on this medium. The main reason is that social or digital media is interactive. A journalist can directly connect with the public even from the early days of his career, all he needs is a social media account and his work further builds his profile.
Disagreeing with the reasons why young people are interested in social or digital media or why women are attracted to it, Nasir Hussain, president of Khyber Union of Journalists, says that women are used as showpieces in social or digital media as well. If there is any journalistic or serious content, it is not seen as much. Very few women have been successful in social media but there are some organizations where women are recognized and paid for creating good content. It also has an advantage for women that if they are capable, they can not only strengthen their journalistic profile by working from home, but also earn a good salary and do not have to face the envy of anyone.
Khyber Union of Journalists not only provides capacity building training to journalists without any discrimination to go ahead in digital media but equipment is also provided to the members of the union to continue their journalistic activities utilizing digital media. could The establishment of digital studio in Peshawar Press Club is a link to make journalists independent so that journalists, whether male or female, can advance in journalism on their own.
The main reason for the trend of women journalists towards digital media is the difficulties faced in offices, workplaces and general public, while economic independence is also a major factor due to which women are now moving towards digital media.
No journalistic organization or information department has any data on the number of women journalists or their role in digital media.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Press Registrar Ansar Khilji said that the government has to take a decision regarding the registration of social media influencers, but so far no social media influencer has given me any application for registration nor has anyone been registered. While most journalists working on digital media are registered with press clubs, the Information Department registers these journalists and issues accreditation cards.
Ansar Khilji further clarified that as a press registrar I look after the affairs of journalists, press clubs, newspapers, advertising agencies and printing presses.
In the report published by Freedom Network in 2017 called “Threat, Harassment and Rejection”, the number of women among the 20,000 journalists in Pakistan is less than 5%, while according to the interviews conducted for women from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 12 women. At that time was working with various TV channels and other outlets which are now in the field to name a few. While most of the women have either gone abroad or are employed in other fields or are trying their luck in digital media.