DAYLONG CONSULTATIVE SESSION HELD TO INCLUDE “CONFLICT COVERAGE AND CRISES COMMUNICATION” COURSE IN MASS COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT OF THE UNIVERSITIES
Pakistan Peace Collective (PPC), a research and communication project of the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting & National Heritage in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission (HEC), organized a daylong consultative session for developing a three credit hours’ course titled “Conflict Coverage & Crisis Communication” for the Master and Graduation level students of Mass Communication and Media Studies department of various universities across Pakistan. This first consultative session held today at Higher Education Commission Islamabad, more than 30 experts representing the academic, government and media circles attended that. The experts delivered their professional, technical and subject related input in accordance with their knowledge and experience.
Mr. Mukhtar Ahmed – Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, Mr. Ibsar Alam Chairman PEMRA and Ms. Marium Khan Director General (Counter Violence & Extremism) National Counter Terrorism Authority – Pakistan graced the consultative session as the guest of honors and presented their views on the subject.
While appreciating the initiative Mr. Mukhtar Ahmed expressed confidence that the proposed course would ensure the required support to fulfill the needs of knowledge development on critical thinking, emotional intelligence, peace building and sensitization on conflict reporting.
It is our duty as journalists to report as accurately and responsibly as possible on this issue. We cannot use our platforms to glorify, sensationalize or traumatize, as the words we use and the images we show have an enormous impact on our viewers/readers. We do not want to further the aims of the terrorists by terrorizing the people through the images we show, said Ibsar Alam Chairman PEMRA.
This national consultation brought people on board from broad spectrum from the industries, This is also one of the mandated tasks of the nascent National Counter Terrorism Authority of Pakistan (NACTA) to develop course on Conflict Coverage and Crisis Communication that will eventually benefit the National Narrative to be presented to Federal Government sooner forming the policy on Counter Terrorism & Extremism”, said Ms. Marium Khan.
The representatives from Universities of Punjab, Baluchistan, Sindh, Peshawar, International Islamic University, University of Central Punjab, Karachi University, Federal Urdu University Karachi, University of Sargodha, and Lahore College of Women University have incorporated their recommendation for curriculum, also representation from mainstream TV Channels like GEO TV, NEO TV, SAMAA TV, PTV NEWS and other senior journalists were there for their technical input as media practitioners.
This consultation will resultantly help in developing a holistic view of conflicts and violence in the society and educate the students on means and methods to reflect the same through various mediums of communication including formal media. The three credit hours’ course will help to sensitize the Pakistani students on issues concerning violence and crises including those resulting out of extremist tendencies. It would expectantly provide the students with the national and international perspective on the subject. The consultative process is also aiming to foster the integration of the entitled course in the revised curriculum of discipline namely ‘Mass Communication’ and ‘Media Studies’ for all the universities in Pakistan.