Karachi, 21 November 2016: Pakistan Press Foundation and through UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) is completing the last round of trainings in Pakistan on promoting safety of journalists.
116 journalists and media professionals benefited from the last round of trainings held in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh provinces.
The three-day trainings aimed at improving the knowledge of journalists working in conflict and post-conflict areas regarding their personal security at work, at home and during commuting. This project came as response to the daily threats faced by journalists in Pakistan.
The districts chosen for the trainings were either facing conflicts or braving post-conflict situations. Hence, local journalists benefited highly from the training programme. “Journalist in QambarShahdadKot area are facing threats from different groups; during this training we learned how to minimize the risks and deal with the daily threats”observed Mr. Abdul Fatah Channo, a journalist at Nawa-i-Waqt.
PPF as implementing partner of the IPDC project, conductedthese trainings at Sanghar, Shikarpur, Batakhela, Swat, Hangu, Jhang, Rahim Yar Khan, Shahdadkot,Qambar and Jaffarabad district headquarters.
The training sessions also included post-traumatic and stress management courses, as well as, first aid training based on international good practices.
Journalists were trained on conducting risk assessments before carrying out any news coverage and taking appropriate safety and security measures. “Rahim Yar KhanProvince is at the border of Sindh with high risk, through this training I have learned the core reasons why our lives are at risk and how to overcome in an emergency situation”, said Mr. Bilal Habib, a journalist at The Nation.
UNESCO Pakistan started this program for the safety of journalists under its International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).Created in 1980, IPDC is the only intergovernmental programme in the United Nations system mandated to mobilize international support in order to contribute to sustainable development, democracy and good governance by strengthening the capacities of developing countries and countries in transition in the field of electronic and print media.
Pakistan is considered one of the most dangerous countries for media professionals in the world, where proper training for the safety of journalists and media professionals is direly needed.