Individual Shafqat Munir Ahmad

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Individual Shafqat Munir Ahmad

Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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Shafqat Munir Ahmad has introduced the notion of social responsibility to journalists in Pakistan, in an effort to increase the amount of space devoted to pressing social concerns. He has established several research centers dedicated to democratic governance, women and children's rights, environmental sustainability, and other social issues, and uses them to provide journalists with the information and training they need to proactively report on vulnerable segments of society. He aims to create a functioning interface between journalists and leaders in civil society, so that both parties can effectively network and share information with one another.

About Project

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By introducing social responsibility to journalists in Pakistan, Shafqat provides them with the information, training, and contacts they need to proactively report on the country's most neglected segments of society. After years of government control, Pakistan's under-trained media is now consumed by stories that are either purely sensationalist or politically motivated. In response, Shafqat works to bridge the gap between journalists and civil society by creating a space for members of both circles to share information: Converting expert findings and civic understanding directly into public information. By establishing an increase in relevant media coverage, Shafqat aims to mobilize public opinion to better support women, children, farmers, and other vulnerable groups in Pakistan. Shafqat has established four centers through his organization, Journalists for Democracy and Human Rights (JDHR). The centers each focus on a particular field and are designed to bring journalists together with leaders in civil society and academia, to sensitize them to particular issues relating to democratic norms, people-centric governance, poverty, and sustainable human development. Shafqat's program is designed to educate journalists on key social issues and to strengthen their ability to promote a rights-based approach to social policy without disturbing regular political news reporting. While his primary focus is on training journalists, Shafqat also instructs participating civil society organizations on program promotion, media campaigns, and the creation of media information kits. Shafqat has also established a media think-tank to complement his training efforts, conducting independent research on democracy, human rights, and media developments. In this capacity, JDHR has produced in-depth studies ranging from forest management to human trafficking, which, along with collected articles and background from key sources, are used as the basis for its media training programs.