- Truth and Journalism in Pakistan
- Media trainings — a must for capacity building of journalists and students
By Irum Saleem
“Without education, there can be ‘no personality development and social change,”
University of Okara Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Zakria Zakar told the students and participants of a media training workshop the other day.
The UO has 18,000 students which Prof Zakar describes a leap forward into the future. “If that much students are getting enrolled from such districts of Punjab the future of Pakistan is bright,” believes the VC who has offered scholarships to the students who cannot afford fee.
The workshop was organized primarily for the working journalists and students by the Department of Media & Communication Studies of the University of Okara under Prof Dr Zahid Bilal.
Known journalists Salman Ghani, Zulqernain Tahir, Umm-e-Farwa and Muhammad Talha delivered lectures related to media challenges the working journalists are facing today.
Giving example from the Western world, Prof Zakar was of the view that the most important agent to alter is ‘Education’. “It is possible to alter the attitudes and values among people and build in them a desire for progress. Education makes you different from the uneducated. Education can help increase contemporary knowledge and within the dissemination of data on current facts, scientific ideas will be spread among people through education,” the VC said.
VC Zakar said education provides knowledge, training and skills as well as inculcates new thoughts and attitudes among the young. “Many of the old superstitious beliefs and absolute values which prevent progress, through Education can be changed in the favour of enlightened ideas.”
The VC also encouraged the working journalists to impart their knowledge to the students of media studies so that they contribute effectively in the sector. He said the students could learn journalistic skills from professional and seasoned journalists better than merely the classroom lectures. He urged the students to follow the reporting, writing and speaking patterns of the renowned media professionals to embellish their capabilities.
Keynote speaker Salman Ghani applauded the efforts of the UO administration for the development of an institution of higher learning at the regional level. “To me, journalism is a state of mind rather than a profession. Journalists should work for the welfare of the society at large by setting aside all biases.”
He further said: “Our journalists should give priority to our national interests while reporting and speaking. They should always focus on highlighting the positive aspects of our society, especially before the international community.”
Zulqernain Tahir, who works for local and foreign media, stressed for ‘telling the truth’ in journalism. “Come what may, no matter what happens, a journalist must not compromise on truth. He/she must go after the truth and dig it out for the public as it is his/her prime job.” Mr Zulqernain also urged the students to develop reading habit if they want to excel in journalism profession.
Mazhar Sahi, a renowned social worker from Okara, appreciated the VC for his untiring efforts to rapidly develop the university and he also thanked the local community, especially the journalists, for supporting the university administration in this cause.
Dr Zahid Bilal and Dr Sobia Zahid highlighted the achievements of the Department of Media & Communication Studies of the University of Okara and the initiatives it has taken up in graduate and post-graduate programmes.
At the end of the workshop, shields and certificates were distributed among the guests and the participants. PAK DESTINY