Bahawalpur District Correspondents Basic Skills Development Programme 21st December to 23rd December 2009

Refreshar Course 7th to 8th January 2010

NewsWriting CashAward Ceremony 24th Jnuary 2010

Bahawalpur(Rural Pakistan)Rural Media Network Pakistan(RMNP) with the assistance of UNESCO organised three days long District Correspondents Skills Development workshop which was attended by seventeen rural journalists Shabbir Ahmed Qureshi,Rafique Safdar,Syed Sarfraz Hussin Zaidi,Hameedullah Aziz,Mohd Sajjad Ghallu,Rana Mohd Saleem,Yousaf Ghani Qureshi,Mehmood Saleem(AhmedpurEast Press Club),Shahid Bashir Chaudhry,Mohd Faheem(Chanigoth Press Club)Mohd Akmal Sheikh,Dr ZiaulHaq Shehzad,Abdul Ghani Langha,Syed Azhar Ali Rizvi(Uchsharif Press Club),Rao Mohd Farooq,Mazhar Rasheed,Mubashar Hassan Syed(Mubarakpur Press Club)of Bahawalpur District.Two senior journalists from Karachi Mr Asif Noorani (Author and Consultant Dawn Media Group)and Mr Ziaulislam Zuberi (Director Communication Siemen Corporation and Clounmist)conducted twelve sessions on What is news,source of news,types of news writing,the structure of newsitem,body of a newsitem,press release handouts,the art of interviewing,feature writing,ethics of journailsm,the law and the journalist,maintenance of refrence record.A special press freedom monitoring session was also conducted inwhich participants learnt the techniques of monitoring press freedom violations and designing of action alerts.They were also briefed about the constitution of press freedom monitoring committees.Director Information Government of Punjab Mr Nazir Khalid,District Programme Manager NCHD Lodhran Syed NajamulHassan,President RMNP Ehsan Ahmed Sehar and Professor Shehzad Ahmed Khan also delivered lectures in three days long workshop.Every part of the programme was followed by practical excercises and discussions.

Training Manual in Urdu Language,Rural Media Network Pakistan with the assistance of UNESCO published training manual on basic skills for rural journalists in country Urdu language which copies were delivered during the training workshop,Director Information Government of Punjab termed it very useful for district correspondents.He declared that training manual is the exact requirement of rural journalists,he proposed to deliver its copies to all press clubs and unions of journalists in rural Pakistan .

Inaugural Ceremony.RMNP-UNESCO Bahawalpur District Correspondents Basic Skills Development Workshop was inaugurated by PPP MNA Arif Aziz Sheikh in Jinnah Hall AhmedpurEast on 20th December.Addressining impressive ceremony,MNA lauded thr role of the Rural Media Network Pakistan(RMNP) and UNESCO for the capacity building of district correspondents and expressed his hope that new trainees would highlight the development issues confronted by the rural populace.Ex-MPA Sahibzada MuzzamilurRasheed Abbasi,Former Chairman Muncipal Committee AhmedpurEast Mian Mohd Ilyas Ayaz,President Markazi Anjuman-e-Tajran AhmedpurEast Mian Mohd Ilyas Ayaz,City Nazim Makhdoom Syed Hussnein Askari,District General Secretary PML(QA)Bahawalpur Syed Salahuddin Ahmed Jeelani,PPP leaders Alhaj Rasheed Hussein Hashmi,Moin Asad,President Sarafa Association Mehr abdul Rehman Anjum,President Press Club Uchsharif Mohd Akmal Sheikh,Presient PressClub Mubarakpur Mazhar Rasheed,Secretary Information Rana Mohd Saleem and President RMNP Ehsan Ahmed Sehar also addressed the ceremony.Karachi based trainers Asif Noorani and Ziaulislam Zuberi in their speeches highlighted the role of print and electronic media and said that there is great need to raise the status and standing of rural journalists who are generally treated very poorly.They told the audience that UNESCO backed training will improve the quality of news coverage from this impoverished region of Pakistan.

Certificates Giving Ceremony.Certificates giving ceremony was held on 23rd Deceber 2009,inwhich Political Assistant to Chief Minister Punjab Engineer Mohd BalighurRehman MNA was the chief guest.Addressing the cermony,MNA said the building capacties of district correspondents and promoting mutual understanding between elected represetatives and the media would improve the quality of free flow of information to the public,develop greater awareness of rural issues by the rural populace and encourage better governance and democracy.Political Assistant to Chief Minister Punjab appreciated both Rural Media Network Pakistan and UNESCO for making the distict correspondents concsious of their responsibilty to reflect the project the hopes,aspirations,and needs of rural people,men and women, for a better life through broader awareness.Karachi based trainers Asif Noorani and ZiaulIslam Zuberi stated that they had imparted training to seventeen district correspondents in news writing,news gathering,article writing,ethics of journalism,ethics of journalism,maintenance f reference records and other related subjects including how to defend press freedom?Every part of the programme was followed by practical execercises they maintained.Senior Journalist and trainer ZiaulIslam Zuberi announced to give Rs ten thousand cash award to a group of trainees out of total four, who would write a best story containing one thousand words on the subject given to them.Later on MNA Mohd BalighurRehman gave the ceriticates to all 17 participants.

Two Days Long Refreshar Course.Two days long refreshar course was organised on 7th and 8th January 2010 in Jinnah hall AhmedpurEast as the followup of three days long training workshop.Professor Shehzad Ahmed Khan,District Programme Manager NCHD Lodhran Syed NajamulHassan Bukhari,former editor Daily Maghrbi Pakistan Bahawalpur Bashir Hussein Ansari and President RMNP Ehsan Ahmed Sehar run this course.Participants wrote stories related to rural development,human rights,administrative mal-practices,women issues,crimes and politics.They also wrote fresh features and interviews.A session was allocated for monitoring press freedom violations.Participants divided in four groups designed action alerts for its circulation to national and international press freedom organisations.Representatives of four press rural press clubs handed over their four written stories to President RMNP Ehsan Ahmed Sehar for Rs ten thosand cash award who mailed it to trainer Mr Ziaulislam Zuberi for final selection.

Cash Award Ceremony.Karachi based trainers Asif Noorani and Ziaulislam Zuberi declared Chanigoth Press Club group as winner of the best news writing contest while Uchsharif group stood second and AhmedpurEast obtained third position.Cashaward ceremong was held n 24th January in Jinnah hall AhmedpurEast inwhich former Chairman Muncipal Committee AhmedpurEast Mian Mohd Ilyas Ayaz gave Rs eight thousnd net cash award to two members winner Chanigoth group while Uchsharig group four members received Rs two thousand cash award.

Media Coverage.Major Urdu and English national newspapers Nation,The Frontier Post,The Daily Times,Daliy Jang,Daily Nawa-e-Waqt,Daily Pakistan,Daily Khabrain,Daily Ausaf,Daliy Express gave good coverage to the RMNP Unesco training course while reginal newspapers Daily Tasalsal and Daily Nawa-I-Ahmedpursharqia also made the headlines of this training event.Two independent TV Channels Waqt News and Dunya News also telecasted the concluding ceremony news.Similarly Krachi based trainers got publihed RMNP UNESCO training workshops reports in Karachi English dailies Business Recorder,City News and Urdu dailes Qaumi Akhbar,Riasat and Beopar.

Recommendations. The three days long course was designed to train a cadre of 15 rural journalists but due to the pressing demand two more journalists were included.They were selected for their capacity to mentor others with hom they work,reinforced by RMNPs’ committment to rural readership.A lively rural media is the best of bulwark against corruption and eventually help to forge that vital relationship between an informed citizenary and more responsive elected officials ,which is essential for the sustainable development and the achievement of the UNITED NATIONS Millennium Development Goals. Pakistan Parliament members of ruling PPP and main opposition party PML(N) who attended this workshop in inaugural and concluding ceremonies demanded to organise more training programmes on basic skills for rural journalists due to the mushroom growth of rural publications.Legislators urged RMNP and UNESCO to equip rural journalists of feudal dominated South Punjab in its first phase as rural journalists representing 65 percent of the country population but they are untrained while no media house in Pakistan has launched any training programe for them.Rural Media Network Pakistan agreed with them that in two years at least 24 workshops be organised fo rural journalists.Workshop strength be increased to 25 so the maximum journalists of small towns and rural areas be benifitted.




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