Two women journalists in a three day training on ethical journalism organized by TNN for 12 female reporters are recording their voices for checking the audio quality of their interviews.

Sana Gul

An obvious goal as a student is, of course, to earn a university degree. My overall goal is no different than any other student. However, I have several personal goals to achieve while attending University. Some of these goals are to acquire new skills and enhance my abilities, to apply what I learn in the classroom to forward my career, and to feel personal satisfaction of finishing something I started.

The proverb “where there is a will, there is a way” (means that if someone is strongly determined to do something and achieve his or her goals, he/she will find a way to accomplish it regardless of difficulties) carved my passion to serve and contribute and to be useful towards the society and be a source of change for the people. My passion led me to avail the training opportunity provided by Tribal News Network (TNN), a radio and online news service based in Peshawar, the capital of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.

The training aimed to train 12 aspiring female reporters on the basics of journalism and how to apply these skills in future work while reporting women issues for a radio magazine program which will be broadcasted from TNN owned radio station in Takhtbhai. A British award-winning journalist Andrew North was the instructor of the 3 and 5 days workshops held in October and November 2020.

The training was a virtual one in which we were facilitated by TNN staff including Mr. Said Nazir, Ms. Naheed, and Ms. Khalida. There were some important aspects of the training program that I would like to mention.

An insight into the technological world

As the world is facing the challenge of Covid-19, most of the activities and official work shifted to the virtual workplace. The same was the case here. We had a new experience of distant learning by having an insight into the technological world. There are very few spheres of our routine lives that are not influenced by technology.

The virtual learning thought us how internet frees us from geographical constraints and bring us to a diverse community with different culture and different backgrounds that are not tied to any specific area. Online communications set a networked globalized society that connects with new technologies. Thus, we got an opportunity for online communication across the globe.

Understanding of the role of women in journalism

The importance and role of media are necessary for the 21st century as it is playing the role of gatekeeper and watchdog. In this age of globalization, media influences life, thoughts, actions, and emotions. Globally, males and females are working together not only in the media institutions, but they are also participating in every walk of life including the army, police, law, medical, business, engineering, etc.

Pakistan being an underdeveloped nation has multiple cultural, traditional, and religious taboos that restrict females from participating in some of the fields and journalism is one of them. I witnessed several girls during the training program who had joined because of their passion and shifted the paradigm regarding females. The role of women journalists needs to be praised in such a society where they have several barriers and limited say in decision making. Young females need to be motivated by the people around them, by providing them security and proper opportunities. I hope joining of media by more and more women will help increase their participation in politics and decision making.

I hope TNN will be continuing its efforts for encouraging and training more females in the field of journalism.

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The writer is a trainee reporter from Nowshera working on TNN weekly radio show is a reporter. She among 12 other aspiring women journalists have recently been trained by TNN to produce more inclusive programs for TNN’s newly established Watan Radio in Takhtbhai Mardan.