Posts Tagged ‘ Journalists ’

Future of Journalism

Media practitioners, journalists, communication professionals around the world need to build consensus to realize the significance of globalization, in the context of the socio-political gaps, economic interests, cultural and religious values, to strengthen the fundamental rights of individuals and societies.

Needless to say, efficient and transparent mechanisms need to be developed, which can help in determining the quality and implications of what is ‘good’ content and which is ‘bad’. Bringing the debate in the public domain will bridge the unnecessary gaps that are reasons for creating knowledge deficit in the society. Therefore enabling a healthy debate of reasoning and rationale.

In emerging economies, early adaptation of the ICT tools will connect communities pertaining local relevance with those ensuring best practices at a global playing field, hence raising the bar of journalistic standards encouraging not only an effective but an appreciative-well-informed society. It is through this transition, which gives an individual or the society to question and demand response playing a vital role in the newly formed democracies of the world. And because this industry on its own is so rapidly evolving, most fearing change will not able to adapt, compete and coexist in the digital space.

So as Adrian, suggests in his video, that the future of journalism, is for the digital savvy group of people having the ability to analyze massive amounts data; but then the question arises in what context does one critically evaluates such information…

 

Dear Journalist,

When you cover a story, or chase a lead hot or cold is this the way you’re looking for it to be…can this be the way how journalism should be done and offered to the masses or does this framework seem one-dimensional?

Future of Journalism – The Way Forward

Journalism in emerging markets have a unique opportunity to reinvent its traditional model, re-identify challenges, and manifest its achievements in form of knowledge in the public interest at the policy as well as at the grass-root (individual/community) level.

The Boston Globe and the MIT’s Center for Civic Media acquired a grant worth $250,000 dollars from the Knight Foundation, in order to build tools for newsgathering and reader engagement. This is one of the prime examples how new journalism trends will emerge from environments of mutual collaborations.

The industry, at least in Pakistan would need to go back to the Academicians, establish linkages that are very so often discussed but not processed into tangible results. In other words, and very right put by the Secretary of State’s Advisor on Innovation, Alec J Ross ” Innovation comes from taking risks, accepting failures” reason why we see so many venture capitalists investing in start-ups are thriving in the US.

The dynamics of the thought processes with the future generations to come will not be determined by shady propagandist tactics used by special interest groups that encourage fear-mongering that teased the less-informed segments of the society.

As the society is becoming increasingly informed; the ability to navigate through large amounts data by rationalizing with objective narratives will determine the credibility of the journalists. The industry-academics will need to ensure that the concept of journalism in the public interest is not lost in implied tactics of the external factors acting as the influencing force that challenges the credibility and the authenticity of the profession. One methodology of evaluation can be based on the following indices:

1) Content reflecting diversity.

  • Reports that highlight the issue and content that reflects an unbiased viewpoint.
  • Article that are thoroughly researched and well written and are edited by a professional news outlet.
  • Articles that mention people with contrasting viewpoints.

2) Content should serve the need of all groups in the society: public, private and community based.

  • Identify stakeholders: government, security establishment, political parties/groups, minorities, religious groups, cultural groups
  • Understand the history and be familiar with coverage of diverse groups in society. Usefulness of the news information for the public at large
  • Accessibility of the content

3) Content displays culture of self regulation.

  • Applied ethical guidelines and practices that govern the profession and the legal implications and considerations that inform the profession
  • Including information about sources, accuracy estimates, possibilities of bias and voluntary retractions

4) Communicating with fairness and impartiality.

  • Articles that demonstrate the ability to apply tools, concepts and technology appropriate for the presentation of images and information on diversity
  • Minimum 2 or more contrasting views in the story. Use of neutral (unemotional) vocabulary

5) Content displays high-level of trust and confidence with the civil society organization/academia.

  • Credibility can be measured by the number of readers or subscribers of the professional news outlet

6) The content should also reflect the linguistic diversity of the targeted issues.

  • Credit reports that discuss regional (and not national issues) in less commonly spoken languages and that interact with minorities in their local languages
  • The report includes interviews and/or information from linguistically diverse segments of society

7) The content should represent the views of the entire political spectrum and the wide spectrum of the social interests including the weakest segments of the society.

  • Is there a political bias or not?
  • Choice of a topic (or topics) that highlight a minority (or underrepresented) group. Major piece on a minor political group

Although this methodology is/could potentially be debatable, and is open for constructive critique, yet it covers variety of elements that an informed material, in whichever form that may be, can be evaluated and assessed over its quality. The amalgamation of the framework and the assessment criteria of creating quality content ensures the credibility of the content-originator/journalists.

In times where it may seem that the journalism in public good no longer matters, it only reinforces the behavior which will provide favorable circumstances to the bulging youth populations in the emerging economies to challenge the existence of monstrous infrastructure and traditional revenue models by exploring and innovating new wheels of the game.

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‘what a terrorist is, what a terrorist does?’

Continuous broadcast of news covering death, destruction and chaos is leading to a much radicalized – intolerant society.

Rukhsana, mother of a 6 year old, I met at the airport says her daughter knows what a terrorist is, and what a terrorist does. I will not digress from what I heard and it’s impact. Nor am I not going to into the politics of Pakistan nor our Media Industry.  But to point out that our media has gradually desensitized and misled our society into a debate, which is neither in their socio-economic wellbeing nor in Pakistans’ national interest is a fact – far from generalization.

A perspective we fail to acknowledge are the voices that don’t burn our tubes at 8PM every night.

Since the deregulation of the Media and Telecommunications in 2004 in Pakistan, we have become a very informed society. So we know whats happening, why is it happening and now thanks to the breaking news diarrhea we also know exactly when it is happening. But what it has also led to, is that we are unable to process, channelize and transform that information into knowledge either online or offline. The consumption of information is not resulting into any actionable value derivatives.

The fact that everyone wants to see credible, relevant and ethically sound journalism happening in Pakistan or anywhere else in the world, is a reality!

During our course of Media Development Initiative in Pakistan, we have come across several journalists from all over the country,  demanding to be trained and exposed to opportunities where they can connect their content to the global agenda. Content that not only promotes a healthy democracy; but also stand up for public interest, and campaigns for appropriate reforms.

Relevant content development creating knowledge footprint and clusters of information both online and offline, which not only supports but also encourages pluralism and diversity of reportage in Pakistan will play a critical role in the fundamental development of a progressive nation.

Aid that matters and Aid that has no meaning…

Possible set of emotions and psychological struggle that are caused by an abortion are; regret, anger, insomnia, guilty feelings, shame, isolation, impaired self-confidence, suicidal thoughts, depression, eating disorders, anxiety. When a foreign policy fails, and a drone strategy only infuriates the masses, the natural symptoms of a country suffering from the complexities of a supposed war gone wrong would only go through what a woman may face post-abortion. Then, would ‘Billions in Aid, with No Accountability’ matter when almost over a hundred-and-fifty children have been killed due to drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal belt since June 14, 2004? And when a country that spends billions on another country still battles between ‘Aid that matters and Aid that has no meaning’.

How Many Dead Children for Profit?

When the Pakistani population fail to see the effects of the aid given – the drone strategy will naturally create hatred and desire for revenge. In Pakistan’s case, the impact is strategically displayed very successfully through Anti-US rallies. But how does any of that justify the killing of a 7 year-old Syed Wali Shah.

So as these strikes have increased to more than two-hundred since the Obama Administration, occurring at a frequency of one every four days – the thought of loss, anger and suffering caused on the ground is a constant reminder of a lost future for FATA’s innocence. Five children and five women were killed in a village of Spinwam in North Waziristan this April. Now, imagine the intensity of monstrous emotions being created as a result of these strikes. Despite enormous funding to the Pakistani elites for protecting US interests, the question then boils down to; does the US truly understands its ally? Vice versa would be, does Pakistan really thinks its an ally beyond the US war in Afghanistan? May 02, 2011 left many questions unanswered and brought a lot of clarity on the state of relationship between the two countries.

Prof. Anatol Lieven, a Senior Research Fellow with the New America Foundation and a Professor at the Department of War Studies in King’s College London explains in his interview to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism that the drone strategy of taking down the Taliban Commanders has had no noticeable effect than US believes it has.

So as the United States ruled out any unilateral action against militant safe havens in Pakistan, a high-level delegation including the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Central Intelligence Agency Director David Petraeus and General Martin E Dempsey, the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff meet Pakistan’s political leadership, Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and the Inter-Services Intelligence Director General Lt Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha in Islamabad discuss a way forward to end the war in Afghanistan.

All this *RHETORIC*, yet the tribal journalists continue to suffer and remain disconnected with the rest of the country.

Mishal Pakistan and Tribal Union of Journalists to Highlight the Social Face of FATA through the AGAHI Initiative

FATA has significant development needs;

  • Per capita income in the region is just $250 per year
  • 60 percent of FATA’s 4-5 million residents live below the poverty line
  • Female literacy in the FATA is 3 percent
  • Widespread Unemployment
  • Weak rule of law
  • Difficult terrain limits access to markets, health services, industrial activities

AGAHI in collaboration with the Tribal Union of Journalists aims to identify and build the capacity of the journalists on social issues and economic opportunities encouraging diversity and pluralism of the Media in FATA and FR.

And with these facts in place effective assistance to Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas still remains a challenge for DC, let alone the drone strategy.

21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers

…is the theme of 2011’s edition of World Press Freedom Day, on May 03 which will once again mark the Windhoek Declaration for promoting free and pluralistic media. Media & Communication analysts believe that the role of internet, new media and social networking sites may become a vital tool for journalists living in countries prone to frequent chaos and conflict.

Death toll shows Pakistan as new hotspot

Pakistan has become the world’s most dangerous country for the press. Journalists remain most vulnerable to Pakistan’s internal conflict, repression and violence. Leading journalist protection agencies have quoted Pakistan as one of the deadliest countries for journalists, despite a significant drop in fatalities from 72 in 2009 to 48; Pakistan has lost almost 12 journalists this year alone from a previous 8.

(figures vary on Reporters Sans Frontieres and Committee Protect to Journalists)

On the Press Freedom Index 2010, Pakistan scored an alarming 56.17 points and was ranked 151 out of 178 nations; Eritrea was last with 105 points. Much of the blame goes to the surge in militancy for putting the country into lower ranks. This year the trends or the reasons of fatality have slightly changed, threats to journalists come more from the militant groups rather than from the Government or the military.

Suicide bombings, abductions and cross-fires are making it all the while difficult for the journalists to practice their occupation. Meanwhile, media houses in Pakistan continue to fail in providing adequate security to their staff in form of trainings, safety equipments, flak/bullet-proof jackets…

2010 : 48 journalists killed, Press Freedom Barometer 2010

Faces of the fallen from 2010 to be remember through 2011 and through many more years to come;

 

Muhammad Khan Sasoli, 36

December 15, 2010

Correspondent Royal TV and INP news agency

Khuzdar, Balochistan

Sasoli, President Khuzdar Press Club was gunned down in the city outside his residence. According to colleagues to Reporters Without Borders, Sasoli was a “serious and professional journalist”. The district is considered highly volatile due to frequent armed conflict between the security forces and baloch nationalists.

 

Pervez Khan

December 6, 2010

Correspondent Waqt TV

Ghalanai, Mohmand Agency

Khan was among 50 people killed in a twin-suicide bombing during a tribal jirga at Ghalanai’s administrative centre over the formation of an anti-taliban group. Local Taliban group took responsibility for the attack.

 

Abdul Wahab

December 6, 2010

Correspondent, Express News

Ghalanai, Mohmand Agency

Wahab was also among 50 people killed in the twin-suicide attack at the Jirga. Two terrorists wearing police uniforms carried out the attack. The meeting was between the tribal elders and government officials.

 

Misri Khan

September 14, 2010

Reporter, Ausaf and Mashriq

Hangu

Khan, reporter for two Urdu dailies published in Peshawar and President of Hangu Union of Journalists, was shot several times as he entered the press club building in Hangu. Khan had been reporting for over 20 years.

He was survived by a wife, six sons, and five daughters.

 

Ejaz Raisani

September 6, 2010

Cameraman, Samaa TV

Quetta, Balochistan

Raisani died in a military hospital of gunshot injuries he suffered three days earlier when a suicide bomber detonated explosives aimed at a Shiite demonstration, triggering gunfire that killed more than 60 people and left over a 100 injured. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for the violence.

Raisani was married with two children.

 

Ejazul Haq, 42

May 28, 2010

Technician, City-42 TV

Lahore, Punjab

Haq was killed while reporting from the scene of an armed attack on Ahmadi mosque, which was in his neighbourhood, according to news accounts gathered by CJP.

Haq was survived by a wife, a daughter, and a son.

More than 80 people were killed that day in sieges that lasted for several hours.

 

Ghulam Rasool Birhamani, 40

May 9/10, 2010

Reporter, Daily Sindhu Hyderabad

Wahi Pandhi, Sindh

Birhamani’s body was found outside his hometown of Wahi Pandhi on May 10, day after he was reported abducted. According to Pakistan Press Foundation, Birhamani’s body showed evidence of physical torture. Birhamani’s family believe he was killed because of his reporting on ethnic issues in the province.

He left behind a wife, two sons, and a daughter.

 

Azamat Ali Bangash, 34

April 17, 2010

Cameraman/Correspondent, Samaa TV

Orakzai Agency

Bangash, cameraman and a correspondent for Samaa TV was among over 4o refugees killed in a suicide attack during food distribution in a refugee camp in Orakzai.  He happens to the second Samaa Journalist being killed in such a attack in within 2 days.

Bangash was survived by a wife and three children.

 

Malik Arif

April 16, 2010

Cameraman, Samaa TV

Quetta, Balochistan

Arif was killed among eight others in a suicide bombing outside the emergency ward of civil hosputal in Quetta.

 

Mohammad Sarwar

September 3, 2010

Driver, Aaj TV

Quetta, Balochistan

Sarwar died in violence which erupted right after a suicide attack at a rally in Quetta. According to local reports Sarwar was shot twice. The suicide bombing targeted a Shiite gathering, trigging gunfire and chaos; which left over 60 people dead.

 

Mehmood Chandio, 45

December 5, 2010

Bureau Chief, Awaz TV

Mirpurkhas, Sindh

Chandio was shot by unknown assailants outside is house in Mirpurkhas. Mehmood Chandio was the President for Mirpurkhas Press Club. Reports suggest, Chandio passed after being taken to the hospital. Cause of his death, according to committee to protect journalists remain unconfirmed

He was survived by his wife, mother, and six children.

 

Lala Hameed Baloch

November 18, 2010

Reporter, Daily Intikhab

Gwadar

Hameed disappeared on October 25 while on his way back home in Gwadar. His gunshot-riddled body was found on the outskirts of Turbat. Many of the local journalists believe, the security officials abducted Hameed.

Hameed was known for supporting Baloch Nationalist Movement, one of the possible motives considered for his murder.

 

According to a new RAND Corporation study that examines counter-radicalization programs, de-radicalizing extremists which challenges the “ideology” could be far more important than having them refrain from violence. But as these counter-radicalization or de-radicalization programmes continue to take shape and form in the ever-so secured locations, the fact hasn’t seemed to change much; almost seven journalists lost their lives to these terrorist attacks, three of them pitifully from the same media outlet.

The ideology may need to change in places where its least expected, programmes and research of de-radicalization that influences the belief systems may need to be conducted which may need change mind-sets, develop them in a manner that supports and encourages and invests in safety trainings of media professionals in high conflict zones; which may just mean all across Pakistan.

committed to journalism, or committed to surviving? which one first…

 

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