16 June, 2011

Preparing future women journalists of Pakistan

Published in Pakistan Observer (16 June 2011)
Sana Jamal

Islamabad – In order to polish the new generation women journalists, Women Media Centre (WMC) Pakistan in collaboration with SZABIST University arranged a practical training workshop in Islamabad. Senior journalists and cameraman were at hand to share their professional experiences and media ethics with the future women journalists of Pakistan at a five-day Television course on “Combating Corruption and Misuse of Public Funds” supported by National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
The mentors included senior journalists Nazir Leghari and Qazi Asif; Zafarullah Khan, Executive Director of Center for Civic Education; Mohammad Farooq, cameraman and producer. Around 30 participants attending the workshop were mainly students of Mass Communication departments of different universities of Islamabad as well as fresh journalists.

Wilson Lee, Program Officer of NED told Pakistan Observer that “even if majority of the participants do not adopt journalism as their future career, the workshop will certainly encourage them to prefer public interest first in any filed.”

Fauzia Shaheen, Executive Director of WMC explained that “the workshop is particularly aimed at improving the students’ skills in television reporting, camera-work, and editing.” The idea behind the workshop was to train the media women to achieve the professionalism in Pakistani media.

Irene Sabrina Harris, a Software engineering student at SZABIST told that she enrolled in the workshop “to be more creative” in her field. “In three days we have learned about news packages, script writing, voice over techniques, basic camera-work and in the next two days we will do the fieldwork and make news packages.”
Students thoroughly enjoyed and learned from the lectures of Zafarullah Khan who gave a detailed explanation on existing corruption cases in the country and suggested steps towards a corruption free-future. 
Qazi Asif taught the students about the basics of script-writing and common mistakes that reporters make while writing scripts - the essence of the news packages. Mohammad Farooq trained the students about basic camera understanding, techniques and handling, understanding of visual and audio medium in terms of TV frame sizes.


Matiullah Jan, and Talat Hussain, veteran journalists also joined in as the guest speakers at the workshop and advised the students that “media is not just a profession but a passion and a very challenging field.” Mati added that, “journalistic ethics are far more superior than any rule but unfortunately majority of the journalists lack professionalism.”