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Hostile environment training offered for Pakistan journalists

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Written by Muhammad Sajjad

To equip journalists with the skills required to cope with the dangers involved in reporting from hostile and sensitive areas, Rural Media Network Pakistan (RMNP)  has re-launched its training programme for media persons of South Punjab.

In collaboration with UNESCO, these trainings sessions are  focusing  upon print and radio journalists and will enable them to report on conflict constructively and in a manner which does not jeopardize their own well-being.

Through a variety of sessions, the journalists will be sensitised about local social issues and how those local voices need to be incorporated in the media. The second phase of three training sessions will be held in RahimyarKhan and Bahawalpur districts, while the first training workshop will start 21st February in Liaquatpur, district RahimyarKhan.

Earlier three training session were held at  Khanpur, Jatoi and Yaman sub-divisonal head quarters.

Highlighting the background of the training, President RMNP Ehsan Ahmed Khan Sehar said that reporting on conflict requires courage and dedication.

“We are making sure that those who choose such a daring job also have the assurance of their safety,” he said.

He said that these training sessions will endow the journalists working in religious- and feuda- dominated areas with necessary survival mechanisms to continue their work unhindered.

“This initiative will certainly improve the overall condition of media personnel in these areas and will assist them in adopting a set of precautionary measures that are necessary to survive in hostile environments,” he added.

Since January 2011, RMNP has organized nineteen training sessions in different districts of South Punjab, which were attended by more than 400 journalists. Sehar said that Pakistan has a long history of conflicts and presently hostile environments exist in some areas of South Punjab .

“Apart from the nature of the conflict, reporting of the ground realities becomes a daunting task, particularly when the parties of the conflict are altogether acting against the democratic forces including the media personnel/journalists working in these areas.”  said the RMNP President.

He further explained that a team of trainers and resource persons headed by former Research Coordinator, Tokyo University Japan’s Khalid Seed, will conduct a two day long training session in Liaquatpur. Participants will receive training manuals in the beginning of training workshop and a certificate giving ceremony will be held on 22nd February at 5 PM.

photo credit: Men @ Spectators @ “Lowering of the flag” ceremony @ Wagah Border @ Pakistan via photopin (license)

About the author

Muhammad Sajjad

Assistant Coordinator, Rural Media Network Pakistan

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