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Agahi Award Winners Discuss Media Ethics with a Visiting American Academician

Professor Sherry Ricchiardi shares her views on the importance of “Media Ethics” for Pakistani media.

Islamabad, PK – 17 May 2012 – A “TALK” was held between Professor Sherry Ricchiardi and the AGAHI Award Winners on Media Ethics. Professor Sherry Ricchiardi is a senior writer for American Journalism Review (AJR) specializing in international issues, and a Professor at the Indiana University School of Journalism. She has won many awards and has conducted various workshops and trained journalists all around the globe. Dr. Sherry is currently on her week-long visit to Pakistan and had the first media interaction with the AGAHI Award winning Journalists from all over Pakistan.
Prof. Sherry Ricchiardi in her talk discussed Media Ethics and the importance of code of conduct in Journalism by sharing examples from her experience. A follow up discussion, with an interactive session with the Agahi Award Winners/Participants was also held. Journalists in Pakistan are working in one of the most challenging environment and keeping media ethics intact makes them professionals in their field.

Puruesh Chaudhary, Ambassador to Pakistan by the Center for International Media Ethics (CIME) and President AGAHI welcomed the participants and Professor Sherry Ricchiardi. She commenced the talk with a brief introduction of the AGAHI initiative and its goals and objectives.

Idrees Bakhtiar, senior Journalist with Herald (winner of AGAHI Award for Business and Economic issues) spoke about Media Ethics by elaborating the role of ethics in journalism. “Journalists have responsibility towards society by providing information in a truthful, objective and a balanced form, while respecting the privacy and importance of secrecy of issues related to National Security” said Bakhtiar.

Speaking on the occasion, Safdar Hayat Khan, President, Tribal Union of Journalists from FATA said, that the media stakeholders in Pakistan need to reconsider the role of the media in Pakistani society and come up with a collective ethics and compliance code for journalists from the print and electronic media. Such measures will not only bring a positive change to Pakistani society but also strengthen the media itself and bring more institutional credibility.

Hamid Mir, winner of the Agahi Award’s People Choice for the Journalist of the Year 2012 said, “the biggest issues journalists’ are facing is the security issue, security for life and security of job”.

Matiullah Achackzai, winner of the Agahi Award for Photojournalist from Chaman, Baluchistan said that it is important to have such interactions, especially journalists from the far flung areas of Baluchistan.

The session was concluded with a note of thank to the participants and a presentation of a shield to Professor Sherry Ricchiardi given by Amir Jahangir, CEO Mishal Pakistan and Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum. Jahangir thanked Prof. Ricchiardi for taking time out for her first media interaction with the Agahi Award winners.

Established in 2003, Mishal Pakistan has been engaged with some of the most dynamic organizations, including media enterprises and global development agencies helping them develop their communication strategies and solutions for better understanding and creating synergies with their concerned stakeholders. In March this year Mishal launched the first ever journalists awards in the country. Sixteen journalists from the journalistic community won the AGAHI Awards in different categories across print, television, radio and internet media. The Agahi Awards received enthusiastic response from the journalists across Pakistan.

As a Country Partner Institute of the Center of Global Competition and Performance, World Economic Forum, Mishal is at the forefront of devising and delivering communication solutions for a cross-section of stakeholders and is actively pursuing and supporting initiatives to improve the state of media and journalism in Pakistan.

Mishal has undertaken the task to build the capacity of press cubs and journalist associations in Pakistan by creating a learning platform for the media and journalists across Pakistan. The initiative will build the capacity through interactive workshops, conferences, collaborative thinking and knowledge sharing. It is also focusing on improving the competitiveness of the media by creating competition amongst the various verticals through media and journalism awards for the professionals in the field of communications.

Professor Sherry Ricchiardi-Folwell is an award winning journalist. She has trained journalists around the world, including Pakistan, Yemen, Indonesia, China and Kyrgyzstan. She worked in Pakistan in May-June 2012 and has conducted workshops for Pakistani journalists for the International Center for Journalists in Washington, D.C. She has developed online courses and media manuals for ICFJ to serve media in Latin America, Iran, Armenia, Egypt, and Turkey.

Ricchiardi is a senior writer for American Journalism Review (AJR), specializing in international issues, and a professor at the Indiana University School of Journalism. She has written stories for AJR on media coverage of conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, interviewing dozens of correspondents on assignment there. She serves on the advisory committee of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University and has conducted safety trainings for media working in conflict zones.

Ricchiardi was an investigative reporter and Sunday magazine writer for the Des Moines Register, the largest, newspaper in lowa. She later became city editor for the Columbia Missourian, a newspaper produced at the University Of Missouri School Of Journalism, her alma mater. She received her Ph.D. in 1986 from lowa State University.

She has won the top National Press Club award for press criticism twice, including stories about violence against journalism in the West Bank, Afghanistan and Iraq. She has won numerous awards for excellence in teaching at Indiana University. Her stories from the frontlines of the Balkan conflict appeared in several American publications, including Miami Herald, St. Louis Post-Dispatch and USA Today. She received a courage award from Society of Professional Journalists for her coverage from the war zones.

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