Lahore, 9 August 2023, Christian Journalists Association
of Pakistan (CJAP) organized a four-day residential training workshop for
Christian media professionals. The workshop aimed to enhance their skills in
environmental reporting, media ethics, right-to-information transparency laws,
digital security, and investigative journalism. Supported by the Pakistan
Partnership Initiative (PPI) and the Diocese of Peshawar, the workshop took
place in Donga Gali, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
On the occasion, the Bishop of
Peshawar, Humphrey Sarfraz Peters, emphasized the significant role Christian
journalists can play in promoting social and religious harmony in society. He
highlighted the importance of such harmony for community development and for
elevating the visibility of the Church of Pakistan, both nationally and
Furthermore, the Bishop urged
journalists to maintain unbiased, factual, and authentic reporting, especially
when covering marginalized communities. He advised against unnecessary
exaggeration and emphasized the importance of social responsibility in
reporting sensitive issues related to religious minorities. Such responsible
reporting, he stated, would foster peace-building and inclusivity in society.
Renowned investigative journalist
and media trainer, Mr. Azaz Syed, delved into the intricacies of investigative
reporting, using famous case studies to illustrate his points. He highlighted
the essential steps in source selection and cultivation and discussed the
importance of rigorous fact-checking. Syed commended CJAP for bringing together
professionals and students in this training, viewing it as a crucial step
towards empowering Christian media professionals in Pakistan.
Expert on Climate Journalism,
Assistant Professor Syed Muhammad Saqib, discussed climate issues and the
environmental challenges faced by marginalized communities. Through group
activities, he encouraged participants to develop stories on topics like
illegal dumping, deforestation, water contamination, and waste management.
Aftab Alam, Legal and Media
Director at the Institute for Research, Advocacy, and Development (IRADA), led
an interactive session on "Reporting on Sensitive Issues and Media Ethics."
He emphasized the ethical considerations journalists must adhere to when
reporting on sensitive topics. Alam also informed participants about reporting
opportunities for marginalized reporters available through IRADA.
Zeeshan Yaqoob, a media trainer
specializing in digital security, briefed participants on the necessary
precautions for securing their digital platforms and devices. He introduced
them to tools that assess and mitigate online risks.
Senior Anchor Person, Sheeba Gill,
focused on gender-sensitive reporting. She engaged participants in discussions
aimed at refining their narratives in the context of socio-gender biases.
Senior Journalist Kashif Nawab
explored the Right to Information and Transparency laws, emphasizing the
benefits of the law enshrined in Article-19 (A) of the Pakistani constitution.
He encouraged participants to regularly exercise these transparency laws to
obtain authentic information and ensure accountability.
The workshop saw participation
from Christian media professionals from various Pakistani cities, including
Lahore, Faisalabad, Kasur, Multan, Wahari, Islamabad, and Peshawar. CJAP also
included Christian media students from the Forman Christian College University,
Lahore's Department of Mass Communication, aiming to enhance their learning,
networking, and professional growth opportunities.