In Pakistan, DW Akademie supports media professionals by setting up structures for qualification programs and trauma counseling.
Media freedom is limited in Pakistan and was ranked 157 out of 180 countries by Reporters Without Borders’ 2022 World Press Freedom Index. Nevertheless, a wide range of opinions and mediado exist and people openly discuss controversial issues on radio and TV programs, in newspapers and on the Internet. However, the views and voices of some members of society are rarely heard, especially those of women and religious minorities.
Independent reporting is extremely difficult for media professionals, particularly in western and northwestern Pakistan. They often have little formal training and are exposed to dangerous situations and threats, including those from various militant groups. The population in these conflict areas therefore find it hard to get balanced and well-researched information, and local reporting is scarce. Although some journalists' associations and organizations in Pakistan do provide training to media professionals, they often lack proficiency in teaching key topics such as how to verify information and generate income with journalistic content.
DW Akademie supports three local partner organizations in Pakistan: The Centre for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ) in Karachi, the news agency Tribal News Network, and the NGO Individualland (IL) in Islamabad and Quetta. The aim is to strengthen their training skills in the area of fact-checking, and for them to become financially sustainable. Our joint activities focus on local media, media initiatives and citizen media which use Facebook, YouTube and other social media to give the local population a voice. Our goal is to provide those living in the marginalized provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan with more relevant and verified local stories.
In addition, DW Akademie supports the non-governmental organization Individualland in sensitizing mental health professionals based in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan to the special needs of media professionals there.
Funding: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Program Director: Karin Schädler
Locations: Islamabad, Karachi, Quetta, Khyber Pashunkhwa
Local partners: Centre for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ), Individualland (IL), Tribal News Network (TNN)
Focus: Qualification and consulting, further training for media professionals, safety for media professionals, social participation, empowerment and participation of disadvantaged groups
Media, Information, and Participation in Displacement and Migration Settings
The work of journalists can expose them to stress and psychological threats. In Quetta, Pakistan, an NGO provides free counseling to reporters dealing with trauma. One of its clients, a young freelancer, spoke to us. (27.02.2019)
Journalists in Pakistan often suffer emotional problems resulting from traumatic stories they cover or stressful work environments. Counseling is rarely available but two new trauma centres are aiming to change this. (17.12.2018)
Asif Khan is DW Akademie's Country Representative in Pakistan, where the focus is on promoting free and quality media and increasing journalists' safety. Working in media development, he says, was not his original goal. (27.02.2019)