Lahore: A three-day training cum consultative session on “How to Promote Peace through Constructive Journalism” was organized by Media Foundation 360 in Lahore on September 06, 2019 through September 08, 2019. There were 21 participants in total who belonged to Multan and had been selected for the training after a long-drawn and competitive selection process. A Media Foundation 360 team visited different press clubs and media houses in Multan district to interview and shortlist the candidates who had shown willingness to join this training.
Session 1: Peace Journalism by Mubasher Bukhari
The session discussed the importance of peace journalism, key elements, and ethics and values of Peace journalism. The session concluded with examples of peace journalism and group work by participants. Senior journalist Mubasher Bukhari facilitated this session.
Session 2: Violent Extremism by Shehryar Warraich
This session covered dealing with violence, radicalization, and extremism. Different factors and elements of violence were discussed to make the participants understand the core definition and actual meaning of extremism and radicalization.
Session 3 and 4: Media as Human Rights Defender by Shahzada Irfan
This session dealt with the contribution of media in human rights education, gaps challenges, and breakthroughs. The session concluded with recommendations to Human Rights Educators.
Session 1: Ethics of Journalism & Group Work by Shehryar Warraich
In this session, the trainer discussed journalism ethics with participants. He discussed the checklist of practices that should be avoided while reporting a story. The session concluded with an assignment to the participants to find first-page stories from National newspapers in Urdu language and point out stories that were reported in an unethical way.
Session 2: Irresponsible journalism and Group work by Mubasher Bukhari
This session focussed on journalism practices that are considered irresponsible. For instance, a list of trigger words was shared with participants that should be avoided. Other practices that account for irresponsible journalism were also discussed such as hate speech, concealing fats, lack of research, and twisting statements. At the end of the session, participants were given the assignment to find examples of stories from Urdu newspapers and discuss them with rest of the participants.
Session 3 and 4: Media Laws by Shahzada Irfan
The last two sessions discussed media laws and laws of the country regarding hate speech. The session also discussed the difference between hate speech and freedom of speech. The session also discussed how media professionals should follow media laws while reporting stories.
On the last day of session, story ideas were shared by the participants on inclusiveness. They were also told how select credible sources and a group work was done by the participants.
The last session was conducted by senior journalist and anchor Sohail Warraich who spoke on the role of media in Human Rights and extremism. and spoke to the participants about importance of sensitive reporting and spreading peace and harmony through news. He also spoke about the role of Human rights and extremism and role of media in this regard. He said media is the defender of human rights and it was media that fought the first fight with extremists by exposing their agenda. Mr Warraich also appreciated the work Media Foundation 360 has been doing with respect to training of journalists. He also appreciated the effort that Media Foundation 360 put in conducting this training on “Promoting Peace Narrative through Journalism”. He said promotion of such activities among journalists is the hour of the need to spread harmony and peace in the society, since news have a powerful impact on masses. However, he was of the view that the same training is much needed for newsroom officials as well since they not only train the reporters but also filter their news stories. He said it is important for them to know which terms and words should be avoided while publishing or airing sensitive news stories.