Sunday, April 27, 2008

Journalists urged to defuse tension in Fata
By Nisar Mahmood
PESHAWAR: Tribal journalists should work for maintenance of peace and defusing conflicts in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) besides focusing on development activities, social, cultural and political issues.

This was the crux of the third training workshop for tribal journalists on ‘Conflict Reporting’ that concluded at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC), University of Peshawar, here Sunday.

Journalists from Kurram and Orakzai agencies and Tall tehsil of the Hangu district attended the workshop. The invitees from Parachinar could not turn due to closure of Tall-Parachinar Road. It was the third workshop of the series of five, planned by the JMC for the tribal journalists. The newsmen were imparted training in conflict reporting, report writing, journalistic ethics and proper use of journalistic terminologies.

Dean of Faculty of Management and Information Sciences and Chairman JMC Dr Shahjehan Sayed in his lecture urged the tribal journalists to work for maintaining peace and defusing conflicts in their areas while reporting on the events. He hoped the workshop would go a long way towards achieving its stated purpose of training journalists to professionally report on sensitive events in tribal areas.

The JMC chief reiterated the pledge to organise more training workshops of the nature for the tribal journalists and district correspondents of NWFP in future. He exhorted the tribal journalists to focus on development activities, social and cultural values, political issues and people’s problems while carrying out reporting.

Assistant Professor Dr Altafullah delivered lecture on ‘Ethics in Journalism’, Assistant Professor Naeem Gul on ‘Conflict Reporting’ (theory), Lecturer Inam-ur-Rehman on ‘Conflict Reporting’ (practical), Faizullah Jan on ‘Media Framing Conflict’ and Gul Wahab on ‘Conflict Management through Reporting’. The participants were also given practical training in story writing.

The JMC trainers urged journalists to play a positive role in defusing conflicts in the Fata while reporting on events. “Tribal journalists should make reporting balanced and factual to show to the readers the actual situation in the areas,” they said.

Sharing their experiences, journalists said they were facing difficulties and hardships while discharging duties in the restive areas. “We are pressurised by our tribal chieftains, political administration and militants when we do not report news according to their wishes,” they complained.

The participants said journalists working in the tribal areas lacked the basic professional skills, and therefore could not cover events in professional manners. They said only extensive training workshops would end the lacking. JMC is still to organise two similar workshops for journalists from north and South Waziristan agencies in the near future.

(The NEWS ) 21/04/2008

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