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PPF Journalism Training workshop, Mardan

Date: January 24,2005
Location: Mardan

Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) organized a Journalism Training Workshop at Mardan, NWFP for local journalists and women from 24-27 January 2005.

Mardan, located at a distance of 60 kilometers from Peshawar, is the second biggest city of North West Frontier Province. With a population of over one lakh people, Mardan is a modern city with a full fledged cantonment, a large number of first class educational institutions for men and women and a business center for the surrounding areas. Mardan is the headquarter of a district spread over a wide area.

The workshop was held at the Sheen Gul Hotel Hall and was attended by 20 participants. The break up was 11 women consisting of school and college teachers, social workers working for NGO’s and other educated women and nine men representing various national, regional and local newspapers and magazines.

PPF instructors’ team comprised of Mr.Fazal Qureshi, Chief Editor PPI & Vice Chairman PPF, and senior journalist from Mardan Mr.Mussarat Aasi.President of the Mardan Press Club Saddiq Bacha inaugurated the workshop. In his speech he thanked PPF and Mr.Musarrat Aasi to organize workshops for the journalists of Mardan.

Mr.Fazal Qureshi remarked that PPF had been organizing similar workshops in a large number of cities in all four provinces of Pakistan. He was happy to be in Mardan where he had studied at High School in nearby Rustam town.

In the first session, definition of news was discussed which followed the explanation of the principles of news writing. Every session was followed by open discussion through questions and answers covering a wide range of subjects relating to news writing. This was followed by a practical exercise on news writing. The participants were given basic material and asked to write a news item with a proper news lead.

A discussion on principles of news ethics and new values was the next session. The participants discussed different aspects of journalism ethics including complaints about blackmailing and irresponsible news reporting were discussed threadbare.

The next session covered article writing from beginning to end, stage by stage. 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 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 last session of the program 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 Kiran, an MA English Literature student at the Peshawar University said that after this workshop she is now prepared to write for a newspaper.

Ms. Hina Kanwal, Programme Officer of Light Home Foundation, Mardan, said that the standard of the workshop was quite high and very clear in understanding and similar workshops should take place often.

Syed Fakhar Kakakhel, Chief Reporter of Mashriq, Peshawar said that this workshop turned out to be the training ground for most of the journalists of Mardan and it will probqbly bring about revolutionary changes in the field of journalism.

Ms Hina Zulfikar, a social worker from nearby historic town of Takhat Bai said the topics were really interesting and those issues got clear in my mind which I haed difficulty to comprehend previously,

Mr. Mohammad Shafi reporter Daily Pakistan proposed that PPF should help train local trainers in this program 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 Dr.Attaur Rehman,Member National Assembly while Maulana Ibrahim Buland Tehsil Nazim Mardan was the chief guest who distributed the certificates to the participants. Mr. Zamir Gul Zahid, Assistant Director Information, Mardan also attended the function.

In his speech Dr.Attaur Rehman appreciated PPF for having organized the journalism training workshop in Mardan. He specially welcomed the measure for having included women in the workshop. Highighting the the importance and utility of the workshop, he said as he heared from participants, they were now equipped with new skills and awareness about the techniques and ethics of news and article writing.

In his speech Tehsil Nazim Ibrahim Buland expressed the hope that as requested by the participants another workshop of a longer duration will be held in Mardan. He promised all logistic support for the workshop as and when requested by the PPF. The Chief Guest then distributed certificates among the participants.

List of Participants
Miss. Robi Akber
Public School
Miss. Kiran
Mardan University
Miss. Imtiaz Begum
Sociel worker
Miss. Farzana
Miss. Saima Gul
Sociel worker
Miss. Azra Wali
Sociel worker
Miss. Farida Begum
Miss. Fozia
Miss. Hina Kanwal
Progrram Officer
Light Home Foundation
Miss .Rana
Sociel worker
Miss. Hina
Sociel worker
Mr. M Shafi
District Reporter
Daily Times
Mr. Syed Fakhar
Chief Reporter
Daily Mashraq
Mr. Yaqoob
Bureau Chief
Mr. Fareen
Bureau Chief
M .Shams Yousufazi
District Reporter
Mr. Saddiq Bacha
District Reporter
Daily Khabran
Mussarht Khan
Bureau Chief
Daily Mashriq
Dr. Matloob Ahmad
Mr. Hidayat-ur-Rehman Hoti
Bureau Chief
Daily Express

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