CEJ hosts National Media Conference
CEJ hosted the National Media Conference 2017 at the IBA City Campus on April 20th and 21st, with an opening night dinner on the 19th. Modeled on the successful PUAN/ICFJ alumni conference held in July 2015, the two day event had two tracks – a public session for panel discussions and screenings open to the public and a private track for selected applicants.
The private track was a mix of intensive training sessions interspersed with panel discussions with a focus on digital media and journalist safety. Six trainers, a mix of international and Pakistani journalists, offered intensive 90-minute classes covering topics related to the conference themes. The following classes were offered:
- Multimedia/Smartphone Reporting by Craig Duff (Medill School of Journalism, Chicago)
- Social Media Outreach by Amber Rahim Shamsi (Dawn News, Karachi)
- Digital Security for Journalists by Farieha Aziz (Bolo Bhi, director, Karachi)
- Physical Security for Journalists by Dilrukshi Handunetti (The Weekend and Daily Express, Consultant Editor, Colombo)
- Digital Rights by Nighat Dad (Digital Rights Foundation, founder, Lahore)
- Data Journalism by Esra Dogramaci (Deutsche Welle, Berlin)
- Keynote Address by Hannah Bloch (National Public Radio, Washington DC)
In addition to the training sessions, the conference offered a number of speeches, panel discussions, and live-streamed the Panama Papers verdict. Senior journalist Muhammad Ziauddin gave the opening speech about the challenges to the Pakistani media, after which he and Zubedia Mustafa were presented lifetime achievement awards for their contributions to the field of journalism.
Panel discussions included Women in the Media, hosted by Elisa Tinsley of ICFJ; Reporting from Conflict Zones hosted by Mubashir Zaidi of Dawn TV; and the Future of Digital News, hosted by Amber Rahim Shamsi.
Smaller panel sessions, talks, and screenings were held in the auditorium for members of public. This included the Panama Papers screening, a panel on the challenges of regional language newspapers, conversations with Muhammad Ziauddin and Ghazi Salahuddin, and a screening of 'Good Night and Good Luck'.
At the close of the second day, CEJ announced the founding of the Memorial Wall project, which will honor the more than 70 journalists killed in Pakistan while doing their jobs. The announcement was accompanied by a short four-minute film created by CEJ about the dangers journalists in Pakistan face, and highlighting some of the many who have given up their lives. The conference then concluded with a speech from former Senator Javed Jabbar, who is also a member of the CEJ board of advisors.