Basic Journalism Training Workshop Organized by RMNP & UNESCO Media Studies Department Islamia University Bahawalpur (IUB) (Nov.16-18, 2011)


Resource Persons:
Khalid Saeed (Karachi) and Nazir Khalid (Lahore)

Assisted by:
Ehsan Ahmed Sehar

Rural Media Network Pakistan
Prof. Dr. Ghulam Shabbir

Department of Mass Media
Dr. Sajjad Ahmed Paracha
Department of Media Studies
Dr. Abdul Wajid Khan
Assistant Professor
Department of Media Studies
Dr. Muhammad Shahzad
Department of Media Studies
Ms. Shumaila Ahmed
Faculty Member
Department of Media Studies
Ms.Shafaq Manzoor
Faculty Member
Department of Media Studies
Muhammad Nauman
District Information Officer
Nasir Hameed
District information Officer
In their first experience of its kind, media students of Islamia University Bahawalpur (IUB) watched a documentary film about a corruption scandal of a local government in Rajasthan (state of India).


After approval of ‘Access to Information’ law, a group of volunteers obtained the local government record and started investigating the development projects. They found that government approved the construction of a number of roads, bridges, water supply schemes and hospitals in the area. Officials of the civic body embezzled the huge funds and made fake record to show that all the proposed public schemes had been completed.


The documentary narrated how the state government took action after the disclosure and started investigation. Those involved were taken to the task. People were happy and resolved to expose corruption scandals in government offices. They celebrated their victory.
In another documentary film, working in electronic media was highlighted with different angles. It showed that how editors decide to send different stories on air and which aspects they keep in mind while finalizing some content of information for viewers and listeners. The documentary also narrated how the TV and radio stations receive ‘users generated content’ and how we should check and recheck authenticity of the material before use.


The total participants of the work shop were 68 but when the documentaries were shown university auditorium had over 200 viewers including mass media teaching staff. Candidates for master’s degree and students in four years BS program were also present.
These documentaries were produced and distributed by Wan-IFRA, World Editors’ Forum, UNESCO, Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA) and International Center for Journalists (ICJ).
Some CDs and books were presented to Mass Media Department of the university, for library including two booklets on basic journalism and safety produced by Rural Media Network Pakistan (RMNP). The total value of this material is around US$ 1,000.


At the concluding ceremony Ehsan Ahmed Sehar, president RMNP announced annual RMNP Award for the best student of the Media Studies Department. The award contains Rs.20,000 in cash. In his remarks Sehar said, RMNP is a press freedom body and working in collaboration with different international forums and training organizations. “we monitor press freedom violations and post all the information on our web site. 17 journalists were killed in 2010 and 15 this year in different areas of the country, but not a single case was investigated” he said. He deplored that Pakistan has been declared the most dangerous country for journalists. Sehar disclosed that many international organizations have expressed their indignation over the killing of a journalist, Munir Shakir in Balochistan. They have mentioned the RMNP as their source which is the recognition of our network. He said.
Dr. Muhammad Mukhtar, Vice Chancellor of the university, in his closing remarks stressed the need to promote science through media and called upon the students to understand modern changes taking place in the world. “Media should refrain from sensationalism and promote healthy traditions in our society” he said. Dr. Mukhtar appreciated the RMNP and said that training work shops should be made a permanent feature for students as they need to be continuously updated about modern technology.
In the opening session of the work shop, Khalid Saeed resource person from Karachi presented an overview before the students. He focused on the challenges for new comers and asked them to be careful in practical journalism. He said media is a delicate subject and unless we study history, economics and international relations it is difficult to play our due role.
Dr. Abdul Wajid khan delivered his lecture on sub-editing and news reporting. The session about disaster reporting was conducted by Muhammad Nauman. Participants were shown a documentary film about floods devastation in a small town of Punjab Province where infrastructure was totally collapsed by the flood water. Crops and live stock was swept away and local population became helpless. It was narrated in the documentary how the human sufferings should be highlighted to normalize the situation and rehabilitate the affected families.
Nazir Khalid, source person from Lahore gave his lecture on the importance of public relations. He said the basic responsibility of a public relations officer is to improve the image of an organization with well conceived strategy and this can be done only through research and sound planning. He was assisted by Nasir Hameed.
In his lecture titled “Working in Electronic Media News room” Khalid Saeed said that in an open society credibility is an essential attribute of a journalistic organization. News programs should offer viewers and listeners an intelligent and informed account of issues that enables them to form their own views.
Dr. Ghulam Shabbir told the participant about sources of news and news gathering. Ms. Shumaila Ahmed briefed the students on article and feature writing while the topic of Ms. Shafaq Manzoor ‘lecture was “Art of Interview”. During the practical exercise participants were asked to write a news story about the work shop. Each session was followed by question answers.



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