Rural Media Network Pakistan with the collaboration of UNESCO is launching its project entitled “Safety of Journalists Training Working in Hostile Environment in Rural Pakistan”. Under this project, beginning October 18, 2014, six two-day long training workshops are being organized in three districts of South Punjab: MuzzafarGarh, RahimyarKhan and Bahawalpur.
President RMNP Ehsan Ahmed Khan Sehar informed that a total of 90 rural journalists will benefit from the six training sessions. A training manual related to safety guidance will be delivered to participants, while in all six training sessions lectures will be delivered on safety issues and how to operate in a hostile environment. Participants will also discuss how media people can monitor attacks on press freedom, and support journalists and media organizations that have been victimized. They will be given knowledge on practical guidelines for monitoring and investigating violations of freedom of expression, as well as on writing effective action alerts to report press freedom violations.
Rural Media Network of Pakistan (RMNP) had earlier successfully trained more than three hundred rural journalists and district correspondents in sixteen training sessions from 2011 to 2013 on safety issues. It also held a safety conference and has re-launched its website, with the main aim to provide information related to the latest developments of freedom of expression, including freedom of the press, in Pakistan. The Rural Media Network Pakistan (RMNP) website is also functioning as the platform to build a database on the monitoring of any kind of freedom of the press violation. Any violent acts, including killings, against journalists are being reported regularly on the website.
According to President Ehsan Ahmed Khan Sehar , this monitoring and database is very important, taking into consideration the high numbers of attacks, threats and killing that have been faced by journalists in Pakistan, especially in the rural and remote areas that are the main focus of RMNP’s work. Based on RMNP’s records, 10 media persons were killed during the course of 2013. The number up to mid September of this year has already reached eleven, including seven media workers.
Photo – courtesy of RMNP and UNESCO