Center for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ) at IBA, Karachi organized a certificate distribution ceremony where 93 journalists and media students received certificates for participating in reporting and editing classes, and qualifying in the standardized test, both in English and Urdu, respectively.
The trainers of these courses were edition in-charge at the main desk of the Dawn newsroom Nizamuddin Siddiqui and columnist at Daily Express, Professor at the University of Karachi, Tauseef Ahmad Khan. In his opening remarks, Director CEJ-IBA, Kamal Siddiqi said that this initiative had been taken to bring some standardization in the profession. “In Pakistan, anyone can become a journalist regardless of their educational qualifications and work experience. We need to introduce standards in the industry,” he mentioned. He informed the participants that this initiative had been supported by the British High Commission.
The event started with a panel discussion on free speech, hate speech and regulation; panelists included Lahore-based lawyer Waqas Mir, journalist Ramsha Jahangir, and was moderated by digital rights activist Farieha Aziz.
The panelists spoke in length about the kind of environment, prevalent in Pakistan right now with regards to freedom of speech and legal rights that the citizens are entitled to. They also discussed the government’s efforts to crackdown on the content of Twitter, Facebook and Google.
“As citizens, lawyers and media houses, we should talk about the importance of counter speech. We, as citizens should realize that, solutions can be achieved through talks and debates, and we shouldn’t turn our faces to the problems. Unless we get involved in the push back, we won’t be able to bring about positive change,” said Mir.