Inclusive media forum (IMF) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK)

• A launch meeting of “Inclusive media forum (IMF) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) was organized on 13th May 2017 in Peshawar where JDHR representatives shared the main objectives of IMF and TORs of the Forum for participants.

• The session began with a brief introduction of JDHR and the project by Mehboob Jibran, the Provincial coordinator of JDHR in KPK. This was followed by an introduction session of the IMF members.

• After the introduction session, Mr Khalid Jamil gave a brief overview of the Inclusive Media Forum which he declared as a means to motivate and encourage media professionals to re-think their existing ways of working, identify gaps and make changes to improve objectivity, responsibility and inclusivity of their work. He stated that there are two major end goals; First, being the technical training of media personnel to help them recognise issues and bring them into the mainstream. Second, the creation and expansion of media space for raising the issues of marginalised groups.

• Shafqat Munir expanded in details the characteristics and responsibilities of the forum. He stated that the Inclusive Media Forum (IMF) will be a mix of responsible, open-minded members especially promising young professional which tend to bring a fresh perspective to the table. He also stressed the importance of reports and news articles from within marginalised communities and groups to promote better journalism and more accurate reporting on the issues. Mr Munir stated that media professionals will be taught and encouraged to write articles and stories to promote interfaith harmony as well as cultural exchange. He also mentioned that JDHR will provide Journalist trainings on how to report issues, such as minority rights along with mentoring of journalism students aspiring to become journalists in the future.

• Tony Singh and August Jacob, both representatives of the Sikh and Christian communities respectively brought up the issue of a marginal quota for minorities in the educational field and requested help in bringing this matter to the attention of concerned authorities. JDHR representatives and the local Media personnel agreed to help them by providing them the necessary technical guidance and support to reach to the concerned parties and by publishing articles and stories highlighting the issues confronting the minority communities.

• Tony Singh also brought forth another issue being faced by the Sikh community – i.e: the absence of a “Shamshan Ghaat” in Peshawar to perform their rituals and cremation. They have to travel to Attock for cremation. Travel to Attock along with body and all relatives cost heavily to the bereaved family.
• Since the issue was raised at the IMF launch meeting, the members of IMF from media raised the issue through their reporting of their respective media outlet. In response, Ms. Nasreen Jabeen, a reporter in daily Jang and IMF member covered this story in daily Jang (Press clipping attached).

• The meeting finished on a positive note with Forum members agreeing to stay in touch and support each other on minority issues. The members also appreciated the networking opportunity provided by JDHR’s IMF Whatsapp group and expressed the need for more communication between different social groups.