Pakistan is one of more than 65 countries where decisive elections will take place in 2024 in what will be the biggest election year in history.
Thomson Media in collaboration with Pakistan Press International (PPI) has just completed a project related to media, media coverage and the participation of women and marginalised communities in elections in four key provinces: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab, and Baluchistan.
Entitled "Enhancing Minority Representation in the Run-up to the Next General Elections in Pakistan." It was funded by the German Federal Foreign Office through ifa (Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations).
The results of the training can be seen in the stories produced by the journalists highlighting the perspectives and challenges of minorities in the election process, women's issues, safety and security problems and hate speech.
A set of training workshops focused on the safety and security of journalists and conflict sensitive reporting were designed to equip journalists with the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate the complexities and potential risks associated with reporting on sensitive electoral processes.
These trainings were instrumental in increasing the journalistic skills, enabling them to report with accuracy and sensitivity, particularly in conflict scenarios. Some of the participants from rural and marginalised areas of the country said that this training was necessary for them as they were concerned about their safety during the election reporting.
Sixty-four people, including 20 women, took part. This diverse group of journalists not only received practical guidance and skills enhancement but also became part of a larger conversation in newsrooms about inclusive and representative journalism from all sections of the community, with special focus on minorities and marginalised communities
Focus groups provided a unique opportunity for women, religious minorities, individuals with disabilities, and transgender people to voice their concerns and experiences especially in the context of the 2024 election.
These discussions were particularly notable for their cross-cutting nature, bringing together various segments of society to collaboratively explore ways to improve minority-related reporting in elections.
The online newsroom is a unique initiative in which journalists get together to discuss story ideas under the supervision of a media expert. In the four newsrooms conducted, the expert encouraged the participants to focus more on the local issues of their community because national and international media organisations tend to ignore local concerns.
"Enhancing Minority Representation in the Run-up to the Next General Elections in Pakistan." is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office through ifa, (Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations).