Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) – In collaboration of IPDC (UNESCO) “Producing News & Current Affairs Program” June 6-8-2012

Karachi: A Three Day training workshop on “Producing News and Current Affairs Program” was organized by Pakistan Press Foundation in collaboration with IPDC (UNESCO) from June 6-8-2012 at a local hotel of Karachi, for Radio Journalists of Sindh province. Three females among 18 Radio journalists from different districts of Sindh, participated to learn the production of news and current affairs programs. They belonged to FM stations and Radio Pakistan as well.

Participants of the workshop were mostly young journalists who have spent couple of years in reporting and producing content for their respective FM Stations. They have been reporting and working in production sections. They were given an advanced training on production, scripting, recording, editing and usage of various tools in production.

They were also explained to understand difference between News, Feature and Current Affairs. Through Lecture, Group, Discussions, Demonstration of News and Current affair Programme. The Training Programme provided the opportunity of interaction to young Journalists and they shared their experiences and difficulties. Mock exercises of interview techniques were also conducted.

What is News & what are its components:  

Participants were asked to write News, trainer gave them some   points to make news. They wrote news on colour cards and then they were asked to read their card one by one.

They were told about 5Ws, 1 H, Pyramid structure

Dos and Don’ts for News:

Trainer gave points for News and asked participants to make a News story. All participants read in the plenary one by one followed by discussion. This way the participants were engaged in discussion and it provided them to make corrections if any.

News Sourcing:

This part of the course helped them to define various kinds of sources, their importance, how to develop sources. Double/Triple Sourcing of facts and protection of sources was also given special emphasis during that session.

How to prepare coverage:

In this Part Trainer explained the essential items in a coverage plan   (idea, detail, persons to be contacted,) the participants asked to develop various story ideas, and write content notes/coverage plans for them.

Quotes/Sound-Bites:

Facilitator defined the importance of quotes also known as clips, from basic meaning of Quotes, its written and spoken types, and how they can bring life to simple news, how they are used to create clarity, accuracy and reality in a Radio news or Radio feature or current affairs programs, why its usage is not considered professional in the lead/.

Participants share their experiences of usage of quotes.

What is Production?

Participants were given the example of work from various Radio programmes to give them an idea learn conducting and developing a current affairs programme as well as scripting the news and current affairs programme .

Facilitator explained the various types and diversity of the current affairs programming.  The ways to conduct a live interview and how to remain focused on the topic and agenda  while dealing with various kinds of interviewees/guests while conducting a current affairs  program for Radio listeners.

Participants assigned to produce a segment of the current affair programs, which can either be a news feature, a panel discussion or a combination of both. Participants divided into 5 groups.

They developed idea, research the topic, decided the list of panelists then produce it using the recording devices, telephone lines, console, and edit them on adobe.

Laws of Defamation/Contempt: Through this session participants were introduced with the law of defamation (section 499 to 502 of PPC) and Contempt of Court law so that they should keep these and other section of law and the articles of constitution dealing with the fundamental rights.

Guest Input:

Senior journalist from BBC Wusatullah Khan shared his views and experience on Second Day of the Workshop in which veteran journalist told participants that a public message can be broadcast in between the lines. He appreciated the motivation and passion
of young journalists and said that despite facing many challenges radio journalists were committed with their work.

On the concluding Day of Workshop, Advisor to CM Sindh Ms. Sharmila Farooqi was the Chief Guest. She was very critical on some section of the media reporting and said that journalist should not toe line of any group and he shouldperform his duty as a neutral referee to present true picture of anyevent. She said that since her childhood she had listen radio program and still love to listen different program aired on radio. She awarded certificates among participants.

Sindh Information Department Secretary Mr. Qazi Shahid Perwaiz said that despite launching of various TV channels still people love to listenprogram on radio and said that FM radios were more popular than anyother Medium. He observed that Press Club should consider radio professionals as journalists and they should be given membership in Press Clubs like TV channel professionals.

Mr. Owais Aslam Ali, Secretary General of PPF said that PPF had been supporting freedom of press and freedom of expression and striving for promotion of standards of Journalism. He said our main focus was capacity building of the Journalist as to promote responsible journalism. Mr. Owais said impunity to the perpetrators of attacking Journalists should be stopped. He said participants, who will submit news packages will be invited in next workshop.

Conclusion: Most of Trainee radio journalists never hosted a current affair Programme and they   avail  opportunity  in a training and they shared that  one before joining radio journalism taught them writing , editing and other tools of reporting which they learnt in a Three Day Training  Workshop  . They added that it’s had not only enhanced their capacity of writing scripts but also gave them confidence how to host a live radio programs and from demonstrations sessions they learnt lot. They prepared 18 news packages and four current affairs program during 3-day workshop.

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