Visit of Islamabad Based Journalists to IBA-Karachi
December 8th, 2016: A group of 18 journalists covering the Education beat in Islamabad-based newspapers and television channels, accompanied by Director Media, Higher Education Commission (HEC) Mrs. Aayesha Ikram visited IBA Karachi, City Campus. The trip is a part of a series of visits to different universities across the country to provide the journalists an overview of the inner functioning and developments of higher learning institutions/sector over the years and the significance of government's increasing support to higher education sector. And to highlight the proactive role of universities in socio-economic growth of the country.
As one of the leading institutions of higher learning in Pakistan with 61 years of producing quality managers/ directors and heads of leading organizations, IBA Karachi's credibility in the academic and professional world speaks volumes.
A thorough tour of the campus was given to the delegates. Newer facilities such as the Aman Tower and Jahangir Siddiqui Auditorium were showcased in their full glory. The journalists were also given a tour of the Center of Excellence in Journalism (CEJ), where they were shown the journalism labs, editing suites etc.
A presentation was given by Christie Marie Lauder, Program Manager CEJ, who welcomed everyone and enlightened everyone about the role of the CEJ department and its proud partners; IBA, International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), US Department of State and Medill School of Journalism Northwestern University. She proudly spoke about how the CEJ started with barely any staff in the beginning and how far they have come from that. The CEJ was inaugurated on February 27, 2016 and she also said that without the efforts of the former Dean, Dr. Ishrat CEJ would not have been a reality. She briefed the audiences about various courses being offered at the CEJ, such as Advanced Reporting, Health Reporting, Photojournalism, Feature Reporting etc. Ms. Lauder also said that the courses at CEJ were determined through a nationwide survey and include programs such as the "Medill Program" in which journalists were brought in Karachi for 2-3 days from USA. She also emphasized that the CEJ wants to groom journalists from the grass root level to improve the overall journalistic practices in Pakistan and it makes an effort to recruit reporter from all over Pakistan; and an emphasize on including female journalists in its trainings to improve the female representation in mainstream media. The presentation came to an end after a question/answer session in which reporters inquired about the offered programs and the growth of the department. In order to facilitate journalists from other cities and remote areas, the CEJ pays all travel and accommodation expenses for outstation participants.
Building on the Momentum, Dr. Huma Naz Siddiqui Baqai, Associate Professor and Director Communications & PA, IBA introduced the IBA Social Sciences faculty panelists; Dr. Nausheen Anwar, Dr. Tiago André Ferreira Lopes and Dr. Sheba Saeed. All the journalist introduced themselves and interacted with the panel. Dr. Nausheen shed light on the immense potential of media and research in Pakistan and said "One of the things that I would really love to see happen in Pakistan as far as the media is concerned is investigative journalism".
Then Dr. Sheba Saeed discussed the importance and impact of a powerful documentary, she also showcased a clip of the documentary made by her, named "Beggars of Lahore". Dr. Tiago André Ferreira Lopes continued the session by educating the participants about the ethnic diversity, which he has experienced in Pakistan and his journey at IBA.
Dr. Huma Baqai spoke about the different media activities conducted by IBA as the Jung Forum and recording of current affairs news programs at IBA. Several hard hitting questions were asked by the visiting journalists such as CEJ and other institutions play their role in instilling media ethics but at the end of the day the editor and the media owners demanded sensational news from their reporters.
Mrs. Aayesha Ikram thanked the IBA team on behalf of HEC for such an interactive and enlightening session. She also extended an offer that HEC was willing to host the CEJ team at Islamabad, in order to reach out and train the journalists that are based in areas other than Karachi.
Lastly the Dean & Director IBA, Dr. Farrukh Iqbal interacted with the reporters and talked about IBA's partnership with other institutions and faculty development. Dr. Farrukh said that IBA is much more than a good business school and alongside Business Administration, IBA also offers programs in Computer Science, Accounting and Finance, Economics and Mathematics, and Social Sciences & Liberal Arts and a Master's program in Journalism will also begin at CEJ in 2017. All participants received tokens of appreciation from Dr. Farrukh Iqbal at the end of the session.
The session was comprehensive and helped to further establish the IBA image as the leading institution for higher education in Pakistan. IBA is an institution that does not deny a student admission due to lack of finances, every student who clears the IBA test is accommodated through some form of financial assistance as we believe in merit and giving an opportunity to all deserving candidates.