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 13, 2019 through September 15, 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 had visited different press clubs and media houses in Multan district to interview and shortlist the candidates who had showed willingness to join this training.
This was the second of the two such trainings planned by Media Foundation 360 for 50 working journalists and bloggers hailing from Multan. These 21 trainees were represented by journalists working for different national and local TV channels, newspapers, radio channels, news websites and micro-blogging platforms. The target group was also represented by females which was quite encouraging.
It was heartening to note that these journalists had a good understanding of the concept of promoting peace through constructive and responsible journalism. They were also clear that journalists shall never become a tool to spread hatred in the society and must observe restraint when and where it is necessary.
The lead trainers of the program were Mubasher Bukhari, President, Media Foundation 360 and Reuters Correspondent in Punjab, Shehryar Waraich, a senior journalist and CVE expert, and Shahzada Irfan Ahmed, a senior journalist and CVE expert with specialization in media laws.
The trainers engaged the participants in an interactive conversation on different areas covered during the course of the training. To name a few, these were Peace Journalism, Contours of Violent Extremism, Media as Human Rights Defender, Ethics of Journalism, Impact of Irresponsible Journalism, Media Laws and Different Codes of Ethics framed for journalists from time to time.
The participants produced excellent group work and developed story ideas around the concept of peace journalism on which they will work during the next couple of months. These stories will be published, aired, broadcast and uploaded by the respective organizations or platforms they represent.
Normally, the concluding sessions of multi-day events like this are not much action-packed but here it was a totally different experience and for an obvious reason. Senior journalist and former Chairman of Pakistan Human Rights Commission Mr IA Rehman who spoke to participants about role of media in Human Rights. Mr Rehman said that journalists work for the greater good of the greater people. One of journalists responsibility is to work towards a pluralistic society and all difference should be valued. He also said that women play a vital role in contributing to a country’s economy, hence while reporting women issues, words should be used carefully. He said journalists should work towards improving greater unity in diversity so that no internal conflict should live amidst people and he distributed training completion certificates among them.