PESHAWAR - Pakistan is the most dangerous place for practicing journalism in the world. Journalists working in conflict areas are often targeted by the militant organisations for not complying with their demands or not presenting their point of view. A similar allegation is also sometimes levelled against the security forces.

These views were expressed by experts during a session organised by the Individual-land Pakistan, a research-based consultancy organisation on conflict sensitive journalism with editors and subeditors of different news group in Peshawar on Saturday. A number of editors and subeditors took part in the training. Shaukat Ali Ashraf moderated the event on behalf of Individual-land Pakistan.

The session focused on various issues pertaining to reporting in conflict sensitive areas, including the safety and security of the field reporters. The programme also focused on ensuring professionalism, quality and effectiveness of the news in conflict sensitive areas.

The dynamics of conflict  reporting  are  very different  from everyday  news reporting  and  involved a lot of courage,  commitment  and expertise  on  part of the  journalists.  However, most of the media houses in Pakistan do not cater to the professional training of new journalists.  In conflict areas a number of journalists lost their lives or have been injured or even kidnapped and threatened by opposing groups. The need of the hour is to provide professional training courses to journalists working in conflict areas, so that they can work in a professional manner without jeopardizing their security.

 Shaukat Ali Ashraf moderated the event on behalf of Individual-land Pakistan.

An editor of a newspaper said, “Field reporters lack the training of reporting in conflict areas and that media groups remain oblivious to this.”

Other participants were of the view that such sessions must be organised in future aimed at improving skills of journalists to work in conflict zone.