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PPF Journalism Training Workshop, Rawalpindi

Location: Rawalpindi

Date: December 7-9

Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) organised a 3 -day Journalism Training Workshop at Kotli Satyan, District Rawalpindi, for local journalists and women from 7-9 September 2005.

Kotli Satyan is twin sister Tehsil Headquarters of District Rawalpindi. It is a picturesque hill station, about one and half-hour drive from Murree. Despite its cool climate and natural beauty Kotli Satyan is a backyard town where one does not see the glitter and glamour of Murree. However the area is witnessing a number of development projects launched after induction of the local government system.

The workshop held at the hall of a local college was attended by 16 participants. The break up was 9 educated women and 7 men representing various national, regional and local newspapers and magazines. The PPF instructors team consisted of Mr.Fazal Qureshi, Chief Editor PPI & Vice Chairman PPF and Mr. Shafqat Abbasi, correspondent PPI in Murree. Senior local journalist Haji Abdul Ghafoor Satti was the local organizer of the programme. The workshop opened with a recitation from the Holy Quran . Haji Abdul Ghafoor Satti, who is also an elected councilor of the town, welcomed the instructors and thanked PPF for organising the workshop at Kotli Satiyan. Mr Ghafoor said he knew that PPF had organised similar journalism training workshops in other cities and was waiting for the turn of Kotli Satiyan.

Mr. Fazal Qureshi, in his brief opening remarks 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. 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 news values was the next segment. The participants participated in the discussion 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 photo
graphs 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. Finally the participants were given a home assignment to write an article on the subject which they had selected during the practical exercise.

The articles 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 Farida Satti, a college teacher said she found the workshop very useful since it help her polish her writing skills. She wanted PPF to hold similar workshops in nearby towns. Ms. Adiba Khanam , a school teacher said that the duration of the workshop was not enough. It should be extended to at least one week. She also said that if the contents of the workshop had been fully explained many other women would have attended the workshop.

Ms. Sadia Khatoon, a local social worker said she was glad she attended because she gained new writing skills and knowledge about technicalities of writing for newspapers. Mr. Imtiaz Hussain Satti ,correspondent Daily Assas Rawalpindi said that the workshop had helped him acquire the skill and ability to write for newspapers .He said that the subject of journalism should be included in the educational curriculum at the graduation level both for men and women.

Mr. Hassan Akhtar, 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 a local literary personality and author of books Mr.Mohammad Zamir Satti. Mr. Zamir distributed the certificates to the participants. In his speech Mr. Satti thanked PPF for having organized the journalism training workshop in a small town like Kotli Satiyan. He specially welcomed the measure for having included women in the workshop. ighlighting 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.

List of Participants
Name
Designation
Organization
Mr. Abdul Ghafoor Satti
Correspondent
Daily Nawa-i-Waqt Islamabad
Mr. Shahid Iqbal Satti
Correspondent
Daily The Jinnah
Mr. Haji Imtiaz Hussain Satti
District Reporter
Roznama Ausaf (Islm) & Asaas (Rawl)
Mr. Abdul Haroon Satti
Correspondent
Daily Khabrain Islamabad
Dr. Mohammad Naseer Satti
District Reporter
Roznama Sahafat Dupeher (Islm)
Mst. Sobia Rehman
Teacher
Hira Public School
Mst. Hassan Akhtar
Principal
Ghazali Science Academy
Mst. Kausar Naz Satti
Freelance
Mst. Sadia Khatoon
Teacher
Government Science College
Mst. Adiba Khanam
Teacher
Ghazali Science Academy
Mst. Farida Satti
Teacher
Ghazali Science Academy
Mst. Nazia Firdous
Teacher
Government Science College
Mst. Nuzhat Perveen
Teacher
Hira Public School
Mst. Shahana Yamin
Freelance
Mst. Aqila Bibi
Freelance
Mr. Tariq Mehmood
Administrator
Hira Public School

 

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