The social responsibility of journalists

After years of government control, Pakistan’s under-trained media is consumed by stories that are either purely sensationalist or politically motivated. There has been a corresponding decline in investigative journalism. As a result, the vast majority of the country’s news coverage has become either routine or reactionary. Shafqat Munir Ahmad’s aim is to introduce the notion of social responsibility to all journalists in Pakistan in an effort to increase the amount of space devoted to pressing social concerns. He has established several research centers dedicated to democratic governance, women and children’s rights, environmental sustainability, and other social issues. He uses them to provide journalists with the information and training they need to proactively report on vulnerable segments of society.

He has established four centers through his organization, Journalists for Democracy and Human Rights (JDHR). The centers each focus on a particular field and are designed to bring journalists together with leaders in civil society and academia. His program is designed to educate journalists on key social issues and to strengthen their ability to promote a rights-based approach to social policy. He also instructs participating COs on program promotion, media campaigns, and the creation of media information kits. Finally, he has also established a media think-tank to complement his training efforts.


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