Training session: Journalists taught to play it safe

Reporters provided tips on covering stories in conflict zones


Our Correspondent July 25, 2016
Saifi added reporters should know their limits and not put their own lives at risk. Certificates were also distributed among the participants during the concluding session of the event. PHOTO: FACEBOOK

PESHAWAR:  

A two-day training workshop on safety and security for journalists concluded on Sunday.

The event was held at a hotel in the city and aimed to sensitise the media on measures to be taken when reporting in a conflict zone.

The workshop was titled ‘Policies, Security Mechanism, and Best Practices for Media’. It was organised with the support of various local and international organisations working towards the safety and security of journalists.

The event was attended by reporters, camerapersons, photojournalists, editors and other technical staff from various media outlets operating in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. In the two days, media men were briefed on the necessary standard operating procedures to be followed when reporting in a conflict zone.

Trainers Tauseeq Haider and Sundus Syeda engaged participants in various sessions, asking them to come up with ideas that could be included in developing a security policy for media houses.

Muhammad Irshad, a reporter at a private news channel, said such trainings needed to be provided by media houses so people are less at risk.

The participants also developed a mock security policy with recommendations for news organisations, press clubs and journalists’ union bodies.

Speaking on the occasion, Professor Altafullah Khan, who heads the journalism school at the University of Peshawar (UoP), said no news is more precious than a reporter’s life. He said a media policy must always be formulated for news organisations.

He asked reporters to be careful when writing the copy for a story. “The vocabulary reporters use in news stories should always be objective so it doesn’t hurt any side or party mentioned in the story.”

Altafullah demanded the establishment of a trauma centre at media houses as journalists are vulnerable to witnessing crimes and are stressed due to work pressure in this region. For therapy, he urged reporters to use the trauma centre established at UoP with the support of the psychology and journalism departments.

Khyber Union of Journalists President Saiful Islam Saifi said reporters should always follow ethical codes of journalism and make their reporting objective. He urged reporters to use safety tools like helmets and lifesaving jackets during coverage.

Saifi added reporters should know their limits and not put their own lives at risk. Certificates were also distributed among the participants during the concluding session of the event.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2016.

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