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Curriculum Development on Online Journalism

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This project aimed to address current media inadequacies of women as media professionals and opinion makers through partnership with a women’s university that has a journalism school and a campus radio station run by women students and faculty. The Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU), based in Rawalpindi, adjacent to Pakistani federal capital Islamabad, is uniquely positioned as it works for women’s education and empowerment.

It has the South Asia’s first campus and community radio station with women producers and journalists, and its journalism school prepares future women journalists in a country where media suffers from gender inequity. However, FJWU does not had the capacity needed to undertake an advanced initiative on the thematic issues facing women through new media and social networks that can help highlight issues and for women to emerge as leaders in their respective fields by interacting with and learning from the wealth of resources and support that comes from the virtual, global exposure of the internet.

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This project enabled the university to become the first in Pakistan to offer new media courses and skills for female journalism students so that a cadre of the women journalists versed in online journalism and new media starts developing which can raise the profile of women within new media frontiers in Pakistan considerably. For this, FJWU required journalism and technical assistance to launch this initiative entailing expert orientation on the theme for the students and faculty of the university involved in production of content for a new media portal that will both act as a platform for online journalism and community reporting as well as social networking to consolidate the opinion and presence of Pakistani women on the web as a force for social change and gender empowerment.

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This proposed project aimed at the following:

Theme: Strengthening voices and opinions of Pakistani women through new media technologies and tools.

Format: Building an online journalism portal that showcases content generated by female students trained in new media skills and digital tools to produce news, opinions, weblogs, moblogs, podcasts, vlogs, etc.

Goal: Building a cadre of female students and journalists active in using digital media technologies to raise the voice and profile of Pakistani women in the new media realm.

Target audience: Potentially thousands of women university students and Internet users.

Beneficiaries: Students, teachers, universities, campus communities, activists and organizations working on women’s issues, women students pursuing careers in media and community leadership, policymakers, etc.

ACTIVITIES:
Orientation Workshop on New Media and Women

An orientation workshop was conducted for teachers, students and staff associated with the university’s journalism school on understanding and using new media and social networking websites and their potential and contribution to raising the profile of women and their perspectives on issues.

The workshop was designed to produce clarity on the vision of a new media/online journalism portal for the university, the roles in management and administration, the content and content producers -responsibilities on generating material for and regularly uploading and updating new media materials on the online portal.

Developing University Curriculum on New Media and Online Journalism Course:

A principal short course was designed on online journalism and new media that will be taught by the journalism school of the university. This course aimed to teach women to use new media technologies and generate online content. The course was offered to both university students and to current women journalists, or to women who want to adopt media as careers.

project-c-04The course is developed by Mishal Core Team in consultation with renowned educationists and IT and online media experts. It consists of ten modules, each

covering a unique aspect of online journalism. The course is comprehensive, broad and thorough with introduction of latest tools and techniques. Once approved by senior educationists of different renowned universities, the course will be sent to Higher Education Commission for approval and implementation in universities.

Creating a New Media Platform:

A special web portal was created for the journalism school (Department of Media Sciences) of the university by Mishal that served as a platform supporting the output of students and associates of the new media and online journalism course.

The platform showcases various new media content generated by students and graduates of the new media course, as well as friends/associates of the university, especially women across Pakistan (and even abroad) who can participate in online dialogues, discussions and debates on issues with women’s perspectives. The website will feature text stories, blogs, photo galleries and slide shows, moblogs, audio and video clips incorporating multimedia/new media tools into reporting.

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Training of Trainers: A training of trainers (ToT) was conducted for faculty, reporters, producers and selected students associated with the journalism school as well as staff associated with Voice of Women campus radio station on teaching the new media and online journalism course.

The trainees were also taught how to administer the web portal through new media tools such as HTML text structure, identifying mandatory tags in a webpage, creating hyperlinks, inserting and formatting pages and multimedia content, applying color to webpage elements, using style sheets for formatting, moderating content, uploading and regulating content, etc.project-c-07

The training included focus on reporting all facets of multimedia – text, photos, slideshows, video and audio clips, interactive online content, online writing etc. AGAHI GOLD MEDAL – A STEP AHEAD Though not a part of project deliverables, Amir Jahangir, CEO Mishal Pakistan announced and sponsored three gold medals for the students who will secure First positions in Masters and Bachelor programs; the honor was named “AGAHI GOLD MEDAL”.

The announcement of Gold Medals was actually an effort to encourage the students who want to mark some difference in the field of Print and Electronic as well as Digital Media Journalism. Announcement was largely welcomed by students as well as management of FJWU.

Chairperson Department of Communications and Media Studies appreciated the efforts of Mishal Pakistan for nurturing the capabilities of students in their field of studies and added that this activity will definitely create a positive competition among students to excel in their respective disciplines.

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Vice Chancellor FJWU also welcomed the announcement of Gold Medal Awards and thanked Mr. Jahangir for going a step forward in promotion of Journalism studies in Pakistan. She further honored the efforts of Mr. Amir Jahangir by requesting him to personally award AGAHI GOLD MEDALs to winning students at the eve of upcoming Convocation of the university so that other organizations can follow the example of encouraging students, set by Mishal Pakistan.

ACHIEVEMENT:

25 Faculty Members and 100 Students Trained from 10 Universities

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