March 14, 2020
LAHORE—A media conference on "Promoting Peace Narrative Through Journalism" was organized here on Saturday under the auspices of Media Foundation 360 (MF360).
The organization works on professional training of journalists, making them agents of positive change in society. It has completed an eight-month project on promoting peace through mass media.
The event was also an occasion to acknowledge the contributions of the journalists, including trainers, trainees and mentors towards making this peace-centric project a success.
The trainees produced around 100 news stories that promoted interfaith harmony and discussed actual case studies where people of different faiths were living in peace and harmony and challenging the stereotypes that create differences and hatred.
The 50 beneficiary trainees of the project were selected by Media Foundation 360 from Multan division after a competitive selection process. They were imparted a comprehensive three-day training in Lahore by senior journalists.
It was heartening to note during the ceremony that the trained journalists had developed a good understanding of the concept of promoting peace through constructive and responsible journalism. They were also clear that journalists would never become a tool to spread hatred in society and must observe restraint when and where it is necessary.
Mubasher Bukhari, President, Media Foundation 360, said the journalists who produced these stories had established that good news is the news and we must not always look for the bad news. He said they had identified trigger words that create uneasiness among people from different sects and faiths and have advised the journalists to avoid these in their reports.
The other areas covered during the training were peace journalism, contours of violent extremism, media as a human rights defender, ethics of journalism, impact of irresponsible journalism, media laws and different codes of ethics framed for journalists from time to time.
Qazi Ahmed Akbar Khan, a spokesperson for the Punjab Government, stressed that media was the best tool to promote the narrative of peace and improve the image of the country internationally.
Senior journalists Suhail Waraich, Wajahat Masood, Mahmal Sarfaraz, Lahore Press Club President Arshad Ansari, journalist union leaders Gohar Butt, Rana Azeem, Shiraz Hasnat and others also spoke and urged the need for promoting peace through constructive journalism.
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