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PPF /Friedrich Ebert Stiftung(FES)Journalism Training Workshop, Vehari. Punjab

Date: July 19-21, 2005

Location: Vehari

Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) in coordination with FES organised a Journalism Training Workshop at Vehari, Punjab for local journalists and women from 19-21 July 2005.

Vehari, with a population of about one lacs people, is an important market town deep inside Multan Division’s cotton growing area. Located at a distance of 110 kilometres south of Multan it is a well-developed town with signs development visible all around, in its shopping centres, educational institutions, business houses and hotels. It has a high level of literacy and a large number of working journalists representing various regional and national newspapers.

The workshop held at Takeway Hotel Hall was attended by
23 participants. The break up was 6 women consisting of local councillors, teachers and social workers. While 17 males were working journalists representing various national, regional and local newspapers and magazines.The PPF instructors’ team consisted of Mr.Fazal Qureshi, Chief Editor PPI & Vice Chairman PPF. Senior local journalist and PPI Correspondent Haji Abdul Ghafoor was the local organizer of the programme. The workshop opened with a recitation from the Holy Quran. Haji Abdul Ghafoor welcomed the instructors and thanked PPF for organising the workshop at Vehari. Mr Ghafoor said he knew that PPF had organised similar journalism training workshops in other cities and had therefore extended an invitation to PPF to organize a workshop in their city. In his brief opening remarks, Mr.Fazal Qureshi said PPF had been organizing similar workshops in a large number of cities in all four provinces of Pakistan. PPF, he said, had found highly enthusiastic response among the participants .It was now receiving requests from various parts of Pakistan to hold similar workshops. He was happy to be in Kasur, which was an important business and cultural centre of Punjab.

After introduction by men and women participants, the working sessions began. The first segment began with brainstorming about definition of news. This was followed by explanation of the principles of news writing, and the concept of Inverted Pyramid in news writing. Every segment was followed by open discussion through questions and answers covering a wide range of subjects relating to news writing. A discussion on principles of news ethics and new values was the next segment. The participants participated in the discussions and all aspects of journalism ethics including complaints about blackmailing and irresponsible news reporting were discussed threadbare.

The next segment was on article and feature writing. The lecture covered article writing from beginning to end, stage by stage, from how to select a subject, how to write a theme sentence to determine the parameters of the subject, how to collect and sort out the material and how to write the article. The lecture emphasized the need for professional preparation of
a neat and clean manuscript, the importance of photographs and finally on how to market articles and features in the media.

In the practical exercise that followed, the participants were asked to select a subject, write an article on some issue of their area, which could be used for release to the newspapers. Part of the exercise was done as homework. Their output was then discussed in open session and evaluated. The first day closed with a home assignment to the participants to write an article on the subject, which they had selected during the practical exercise. The article were presented and discussed in the opening session the next day. The discussion enabled the participants to increase their knowledge and skill about writing articles for newspapers.

The last segment of the programme was about importance of maintaining reference records on subjects of interest to the writers. Then an open discussion followed. Participants also gave their feedback about the workshop. Ms Hoor Shamail, a social worker said she found the workshop very useful since it helps her polish her writing skills. She said she was now in a position to write for the newspapers on issues relating to local people.

Ms. Saboohi Hassan, of Crisis Centre said she was dealing with women in distress and had many stories to tell. She could now use the knowledge to write articles on these issues. She said that if the contents of the workshop had been fully explained many other women would have attended the workshop. Ms. Shamaila Aslam, chairperson District. Core Group Vehari said despite her previous experience as a writer for newspapers she was glad she attended because she gained new writing skills and knowledge about improving her professional performance.

Mr. Akmal Jandran of On Line news agency said that the workshop had helped him acquire new skills and ability to write for newspapers .He could now improve his professional performance. Chaudhry Mohammad Naseem correspondent Daily Ausaf Islamabad proposed that PPF should help train local trainers in this programme so that the skill of article writing could be continued in surrounding areas through local initiative. Then the participants were given evaluation forms and asked to comment on the quality of the workshop and any suggestions they might have for further improvement. The closing session was presided over by Mian Saqib Khurshid, ex MPA and Tehsil Nazim, Vehari.

In his speech, Mian Saqib appreciated PPF for having organized the journalism-training workshop in Vehari. He specially welcomed the measure for having included women in the workshop. Highlighting the importance and utility of the workshop, he said as he heard from participants, they were now equipped with new skills and awareness about the techniques and ethics of news and article writing.

The Chief Guest then distributed certificates among the participants.


List of Participants
Miss. Shameela Aslam
Chair Person
District Core group Social welfare Dept Vehari
Miss. Saboohi Hassan
Member management Committee
Crisis Center For Women in distress
Miss. Munazza Kausar
Crisis Center for women in Distress
Miss. Hoorshmail
The City School
Mr. Shahadat Ali Khan
District Reporter
Mr. Mukhtar Ahmad Bhatti
District Reporter
Daily Pakistan
Mr. Ch. Zulfiqar Bari
Daily The Nation
Mr. Ghulam Jafar khokar
District Reporter
Daily Khabrain
Mr. Naveed Iqbal Qureshi
District Correspondent
Daily Jang/GEO TV
Mr. Ch. Mohammad Nazim
Bureau Chief
Daily Ausaf
Mr. Gulzar Baig
Dawn group of News paper
Mr. Ghulam Rasool
District Reporter
Daily Express
Mr. Mian Waheed ur Rehman
Chief News Editor
Weekly Khuli Adalat
Mr. M. Ashraf
Daily Ausaf
Miss. Farah Ejaz Baig advocate
General Secretary
Amnesty International
Mr. Zafar Iqbal Bhatti
Chief Editor
Weekly Khuli Adalat
Mr. Mureed Abbas Khawar
Beaurau Chief
Weekly Khuli Adalat
Mr. SH. Ali
Daily Ausaf Multan
Mr. Mujahid Hussain Jutt
District Reporter
Daily Asas Lahore / Daily Sahafat
Mr. Abdul Sattar
Correspondent Khossosi
Daily Jinnah Lahore
Mr. Abdul Ghafoor
Pakistan Press International
Mr. Akmal Jandrom
District Correspondent
Online News Paper
Miss. Zahida Yasmeen Union Council (23)