Pakistan demonstrates a high level of diversity of opinions and media. As such, public debate on controversial issues does occur in radio and TV broadcasts and newspapers, and on the online platforms of the major media companies. However, the media tend to shy away from certain topics. For media workers in western and northwestern Pakistan, independent reporting is especially difficult. Many journalists in these areas are not sufficiently trained. In addition, they often find themselves in dangerous situations and on the receiving end of threats from various parties. Although there are journalists' associations and organizations in the provinces that support media professionals, they have inadequate capacity to provide further training for journalists. Consequently, the people living in these areas have little access to independent information.
One of the focus areas of DW Akademie's activities in Pakistan is conflict-sensitive reporting. Working in collaboration with the University of Peshawar, DW Akademie has established a center for journalists traumatized as a consequence of their work. The trauma center offers affected journalists psychological support, as well as preventive counseling to media companies and journalists. DW Akademie is also helping provincial universities in crisis areas develop curricula that cover thematic areas such as conflict-sensitive journalism, trauma prevention, digital and physical safety practices, and media ethics. Additionally, DW Akademie projects focus on strengthening the network of small, rural radio stations and promote the inclusion of regular news broadcasts in their programming. As part of this initiative, DW Akademie is helping a journalists' association develop consultancy services related to in-house training, organizational development and ethical standards.
Funding sources: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), German Federal Foreign Office (AA)
Country manager: Karin Schädler
Operational locations: Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi
Local partners: Center for Research and Security Studies, Media House Islamabad, Radio Power 99 (Radio News Network), Tribal News Network, University of Peshawar, Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE)