Mutasim Qazi on BIFD-NED workshop on Media, Democracy and Human Rights Friday, Apr 30 2010

Mutasim Qazi, a student of Media and Journalism, University of Balochistan, attended the second workshop on media, democracy and human rights. He expresses his views about what he learnt at the workshop organized by Balochistan Institute for Future Development with the collaboration of National Endowment for Democracy at Quetta Press Club on April 26-28, 2010


Friday, Apr 30 2010 

Mathiullah Achakzai, a Chman-based journalist who participated in a three-day long media workshop on democracy and human rights held by Balochistan Institute for Future Development (BIFD) with the collaboration of National Endowment for Democracy, shares his experiences.

Rahma Mohammad speaks about the second BIFD-NED workshop Friday, Apr 30 2010 

Rahma Mohammad, a Karachi-based journalist, tells about her experiences as an instructor at a three-day long media workshop on democracy and human rights held by Balochistan Institute for Future Development (BIFD) with the collaboration of National Endowment for Democracy.

Second BIFD-NED Workshop on Media, Democracy and Human Rights due on Monday Friday, Apr 23 2010 

Balochistan Institute for Future Development is organizing the second three-day workshop on “Media, Democracy and Human Rights – Journalists Capacity Building in Media Tools”  with the collaboration of National Endowment for Democracy (NED) from Monday April 26 to 28, 2010 at the Conference Hall of the Quetta Press Club.

The event would be attended by the following 22 participants from 15 districts of Balochistan.

1 Maqbool Nasir Kech Correspondent Samma TV 2 Zahir Achakzai Qila Saifullah Associated Press of Pakistan 3 Allah Noor Nasir Loralai Correspondent Daily Duniya 4 Naseer Bugti Dera Bugti Correspondent Daily Azadi 5 Mathiullah Achakzai Chaman AFP 6 Khalid Ayaz Washuk Express News 7 Naseer Masthoi Naseerabad Online New Agency 8 Barkat Baloch Panjgur Bureau Chief Daily Intekhab 9 Abdul Raziq Quetta Balochistan Express 10 Wahid Shahwani Khuzdar Daily Bakhabar 11 Watan Yar Khilji Zhob Radio Pakistan 12 Younas Baloch Khuzdar Daily Azadi 13 Karim Dad Sherani Independent News of Pakistan 14 Mirza Jalil Ahmed Quetta The Baloch Hal 15 Khadam Bugti Kohlu Daily Jang 16 Javaria Tareem Quetta Weekly Express 17 Mutasim Qazi Quetta University of Balochistan 18 Amjid Ali Quetta University of Balochistan 19 Rohma Altaf Quetta University of Balochistan 20 Farah Saleem Niazi Quetta University of Balochistan 21 Noor Mohsin Gwadar Freelance Journalist 22 Rehmatullah Jhal Magsi Daily Express

The program schedule is as follows:

Sunday, 25 April 2010

06:00 p.m. Arrival of participants

(All Participants will stay in Islamabad Hotel, Jinnah Road, Quetta)

08:00 p.m Dinner  (From BIFD at Usmania Resturant)

Day-1: Monday, 26 April 2010

Facilitator: Malik Siraj Akbar

09:30 a.m. Introduction of participants.

10:00 a.m: Introduction to Balochistan Institute for Future Development (BIFD) and the workshop

10:30 a.m: Understanding Relation between Media and  Democracy

Speaker: Siddiq Baluch, Editor-in-chief Daily Balochistan Express and Daily Azadi

11:15 a.m: Participants’ Questions/Remarks

11:35 a.m:              Tea Break

12:00 p.m:      Forms of Journalism & Role of Journalists in Human Rights Promotion.

Speaker: Rahma Mohammad, Journalist, Express Tribune, Karachi

12:45 p.m: Participants Questions/Remarks

1:20:   Introduction to Handbook on Media and Democracy with Special Reference to Balochistan

Speaker: Malik Siraj Akbar, BIFD Project Manager/ Editor The Baloch Hal

1:45: Participants’ inputs on the handbook

2:00 p.m: Lunch Break

03:00 p.m: Modern Media Tools – Impact on Democracy Development and Women Rights

Speaker: Shahid Rind, Bureau Chief  Samaa TV, Quetta Bureau

03:45 p.m: Participants’ Questions/Remarks

04:00 p.m: Work Groups:

WG I:                Democracy & Media

WG II:              Media & Human Rights

WG III:              Digital Communication & Awareness

WG IV:              Media and Conflict Resolution

05:00 p.m: Day 1 Closing

DAY – 2, Tuesday 27 April, 2010

Facilitator: Malik Siraj Akbar

10:00 a.m: Pakistani Media – Issues & Prospects

Rahma Mohammad, Journalist, Express Tribune, Karachi

11:30 a.m: Participants Questions/Remarks

11:45 a.m:              Tea Break

12:00 a.m:              Media as a Watch Dog- The Case of Pakistan’s Lawyers Movement (How Media supported mass mobilization for the restoration of Rule of Law)

Speaker: *Ali Ahmed Kurd, former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association

12:45 p.m:            Question/inputs/Remarks

01:00 p.m: Introduction to RTI/FOIA

Speaker: Malik Siraj Akbar, Editor The Baloch Hal

02:00 p.m:                         Lunch

03:00 p.m: Journalism & Best Practices

(Covering human rights issues in the media)

Speaker: Shahzada Zuliqar, Senior journalist AFP/ Herald

03:30 p.m: Participants’ Inputs

04:00 p.m: Work Groups

WG I:  Writing a Focused Press release on Women  Rights

WG II:  Preparing an Interview Questioner on Democracy and Human Rights issues in Pakistan.

WG III: Writing a story on Women Rights abuses in Balochistan.

WG IV:  Writing a feature on non-violence

05:00 p.m: Day 2- Closes

DAY – 3, Wednesday 28 April 2010

10:30 a.m: Introduction to BIFD Journalists’ Network, blogging and social networks (Joining the official BIFDJN blog, Facebook Group and Mailing Group)

Speaker: Malik Siraj Akbar

11:30 p.m: Tea Break

12:00 p.m: Reporting on Conflict and humanitarian issues

Speaker: Mujeeb Ahmed, Balochistan Bureau Chief Aaj TV

12:30: p.m: Participants’ Questions/ Inputs

01:00 p.m: Field trip: Visit to a  private TV channel’s  Quetta Bureau. Presentation to the visiting journalists about the functioning of a bureau office and its expectations from District Correspondents.

2:00 p.m:                        Lunch Break

03: 00 p.m. Effective Reporting of Democracy and Human Rights from Districts from a reporter’s perspective

Speaker: Saleem Shahid, Balochistan Bureau Chief Dawn

03:30p.m. Participants’ inputs/ Questions

03:45: Balochistan Journalists Network Formation

04.00 p.m. Evaluation of the workshop

04: 30                                Certificates

05:00 p.m:                      Conclusion

*This speaker still has to confirm his availability for the workshop

Humphrey fellowship 2010-2011 Monday, Apr 19 2010

Scripps Howard Semester in Washington Internship Program Monday, Apr 19 2010

cripps Howard Semester in Washington Internship Program

Posted on: 10/03/2010

The Scripps Howard Foundation Semester in Washington internship program brings two international students per year to Washington, D.C., to work at the Scripps Howard News Service for a semester. The internship is designed to give international students an opportunity to cover events in the U.S. capital, as well as to report and write feature stories for the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire. Stories written by Scripps Howard interns may be published in newspapers across the United States.

The internship is open to undergraduate journalism or communications students who intend to pursue careers in journalism after graduation. Interns must be fluent in both spoken and written English. Interns who are selected in the program will work in one of two periods: January to April or September to December.

The internship is sponsored by the Scripps Howard Foundation, which strives to advance the cause of a free press through support of excellence in journalism, quality journalism education and professional development. International participants in the program are recruited and selected by the International Center for Journalists, which provides training and other assistance to journalists across the globe.

Interested journalism students apply online starting March 1.  The deadline to apply is April 30 (for the September to December term).

PFUJ concerned over killing of journalists Monday, Apr 19 2010 

PFUJ concerned over killing of journalists

Monday, April 19, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Expressing grave concern over killing of two mediapersons in a short span of 24 hours, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has urged the government to come to the rescue of journalists as situation is getting worse in Balochistan and Pakhtoonkhwa. It is getting more difficult for mediapersons to perform their duties without fear.
Journalists and mediapersons’ lives are at stake and time has come that all stakeholders and the government take measures for their safety and protection. Referring to Saturday’s incident at Kohat in Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa, the PFUJ said that Azmat Ali Bangash, a correspondent of a private channel for Orakzai Agency was among those killed in the blast at the IDPs camp. The slain correspondent lost his life while performing his professional duty.
Expressing concern and sorrow over this incident, the PFUJ pointed out that the killings and injuries to mediapersons warrant government attention and it had become imperative that while they are performing assignments in such a terrible and odd environment, they should be provided training and protection.
The PFUJ said in a hostile and harsh environment, the mediapersons are forced to perform their duties but in case of their death media owners play the role of a silent spectator, which is a most condemnable act.

Balochistan’s depressed Press Saturday, Apr 17 2010 

The Baloch Hal Editorial

Daily Asaap. Abid Amin. Khuzdar Press Club. Malik Arif.

All these tags lead to divergent but equally disheartening conclusions which narrate an abysmal state of the press freedom in Balochistan. These tags help us to understand various dimensions of the threat journalists operating in the volatile Balochistan province constantly face. Consider:

Daily Asaap, an Urdu daily, was one of the most vocal and popular newspapers of Balochistan. It spoke against former military dictator General Pervez Musharraf’s antagonistic polices in Balochistan. The newspaper gave a dissenting voice to the people of the province. It encouraged the masses to dream differently by standing away from the mob. The newspaper gave birth to a generation of young Baloch writers who started writing about the problems of the marginalized section of the society. Understandably, the newspaper awfully perturbed the government. Its office in Quetta was besieged by the Frontier Corps (FC) in August 2009. The siege lasted for two weeks. Threats intensified as a military tank was stationed outside the newspaper office.  Guns were brandished over the newspaper staff. Disappointed over the increasing threats faced by its staff members, the newspaper finally decided to shut down. That was the end of Asaap.

Abid Amin is the Bureau Chief of Balochi language satellite channel, Sabz Bath Balochistan (SBB) in District Turbat. Like so many of his peers, he had been threatened not to cover the first death anniversary of three Baloch leaders— Ghulam Mohammad Baloch, Lala Munir and Sher Mohammad— who were allegedly kidnapped and subsequently killed by the Frontier Corps (FC) personnel last year.  Amin defied. Two weeks ago, he went on to cover the anniversary celebrations for his news channel. Soon, he was picked up allegedly by the FC as a punishment. The reporter went “missing” for three long days. Not a single “national” newspaper or news channel reported his disappearance. The poor reporter resurfaced after concentrated protests from the local communities. He had ended up as a “gentleman” once he was released by his captors.

The third story comes from Khuzdar District. Here, the local press club has been threatened in the recent weeks by a shadowy organization identifying itself as the Baloch Defense Group. The underground outfit has warned to “punish” all those journalists who venture to report the activities of Baloch nationalist parties and the armed groups. Thus, the fresh dictation restricts the reporters from filing stories about bomb blasts, target killings and political rallies of the nationalist parties. The local journalists say they do not know much about the command and structure of the newly formed organization. Nonetheless, they take the organization very seriously as it had recently claimed responsibility for a firing incident on a political rally in Khuzdar which killed two Baloch students and then a bomb blast at a Balochi cultural program inside Government Degree College Khuzdar that killed two more students.

Once the threats were reported in the media, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) officially expressed their concern over the situation facing the journalists in Khuzdar. On their part, the pressmen in the district say that they deem it their professional responsibility to report every event that takes place in their district regardless of the fact who masterminds these events. It is unethical to dictate journalists what to report and what not.

The fourth story is that of Malik Arif, a senior television journalist, who lost his life in Friday’s suicide bomb blast at Quetta’s Civil Hospital while performing his professional duty. He was covering an impending protest by the sympathizers of a prominent Shia bank manager at the hospital when a suicide bomber struck. Malik died on the spot while five more television journalists sustained severe injuries in the attack. Late Malik Arif undoubtedly spent a secularly gallant journalistic stint expanding fore more than thirty years. His was indeed a hero’s martyrdom.

The description given above shows the troika of threats the journalist in Balochistan face. Living between the proverbial devil and the deep blue sea, media men in Balochistan are currently confronted with threats from the government, predominantly its rogue force called the Frontier Corps (FC), the underground armed groups and the sectarian organizations. Fear, insecurity and uncertainty shroud Balochistan’s journalistic scene at the moment. Reporters find themselves trapped in a situation where almost every party in the conflict wants to dictate them and expect overt backing of their policies in the media by the journalists.

Balochistan government’s response to the tragic murder of Malik Arif in the suicide bomb blast was disgusting. The big guns in the provincial capital simply exploited his killing as a golden opportunity to make headlines with their statements of condemnation in the local newspapers. Out of 50 ministers in the provincial cabinet, no one turned up to attend the funeral of the slain journalist which indicated the provincial government’s lack of interest in fighting terrorism or admiring the media’s courageous role in bringing the truth to the masses. The journalists’ community in Quetta has been outraged over the little amount the chief minister has announced as compensation for the dead journalist and the injured reporters.

Criticizing the government perhaps will not help at this occasion, nor is it the biggest issue at the moment. There is a need for integration among all media organizations and groups striving for the rights of the journalists to cope up with the emerging challenges the journalists are facing in the wake of the war-like situation that has engulfed the whole country in its grip.

Media organizations, mainly the news channels, must arrange safety training programs for the journalists in order to acquaint them with techniques to grapple with emergencies. Similarly, groups striving for the rights of the journalists should press the owners of the media houses to give full insurance to their employees so that their families do not suffer too much in case of a journalist’s untimely death or injury.

In the current unchanged circumstances, the days ahead seem to entail more hardships for the pressmen of Balochistan and less relief from the other side(s).

(The Baloch Hal is the first online English language newspaper of  Balochistan )

Journalists protest against Malik’s killing Saturday, Apr 17 2010

The Baloch Hal News

QUETTA: Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ) and Quetta Press Club staged a protest rally on Saturday, condemning the suicide attack in Quetta Civil Hospital on Thursday morning.

They took out a procession from Quetta Press Club and after marching in various parts of the city held a protest demonstration in front of the Quetta Press Club.

Protestors were carrying placards inscribed with their demands seeking protection for journalists working in Balochistan. They chanted slogans against the provincial administration for its failure to maintain law and order situation.

Journalists, hailing from different parts of the province, participated in the protest.

While addressing the protestors, President of Quetta Press Club Rashid Baig, President of Balochistan Union of Journalists Abdul Khaliq Rind and others criticized the government and said it is the responsibility of government to protect the lives and property of the people.

“Regrettably, not a single minister from the government bothered to pay a visit in hospitals to ask the injured about their health conditions,” the BUJ president complained.

Journalist demanded foolproof security arrangements for the journalists who work in conflict-zones.

The BUJ announced 3 days mourning for those who lost their lives in blast. A larger number of journalists also visited the residence of TV journalist of a private news channel who lost his life in Friday’s suicide blast to offer fathea for the departed soul. They also visited the injured journalists at Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in the Cantonment area to inquire about the health of the hospitalized journalists who sustained injuries while performing their professional duty on Friday morning when the blast occurred.

The Baloch Hal is the first online English language newspaper of Balochistan

Pictures of journalists’ protest against the killing of TV Journalist Malik Arif Saturday, Apr 17 2010 

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