Karachi: Media outlets in Pakistan continue to afford less coverage to news related to corruption and women empowerment, an aspect that calls for immediate reconsideration as these areas remain key for socio-economic and democratic progress in the country.
This was one of the main points discussed at a media training workshop on journalistic skills and thematic reporting conducted by the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF).
The workshop, part of the media development programme supported by Denmark’s government, was aimed at improving media professionalism through inculcation of better journalism practices.
Former minister Arif Abbasi, addressing the participants during the certificate distribution ceremony, said the media was playing a vital role in ensuring a check on institutions and the government.
He said that a proactive media could prove invaluable in alleviation of issues related to the common man.
Ranga Kalansooriya, a trainer from Sri Lanka, said that media house owners needed to draw up policies related to safety of reporters, photographers and all other staff members. He stated that safety of media personnel must be seen as more important than any news, particularly in a country like Pakistan where, since 2001, the industry’s rapid expansion coincided with an increase in conflict and terrorism.
While reporting on issues related to democratic values, Kalansooriya said, the media focuses on electoral reporting, and excessively on political affairs and political leaders.
The coverage of assemblies, similarly, focuses on disagreements between political personalities, and matters of legislation were not duly highlighted.
PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali said that journalists should understand the seriousness of reporting on conflict, democracy and gender issues.
Without understanding these basic and core issues, balanced and responsible reporting could never be possible, said Ali.
It was also noted that reports regarding social empowerment of women were not highlighted in the mainstream media as compared to domestic violence reports. Similarly, it was said that newspapers were more prone to placing gender-based stories in their city pages only.