Featured Case Study: Broadening Young Minds in Pakistan
Secondary schools are fertile recruiting grounds for extremist groups in Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province, NWFP, the city of Karachi and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Students in state schools and madrassas have no possibility of openly discussing and debating topical issues and lack the ability to rationally analyse problems.
Working with national and local NGOs and national media outlets, IWPR established current affairs discussion clubs and introduced basic journalism workshops in 42 state schools and madrassas in the target areas. Some 4,000 students, both boys and girls, have participated in the discussion clubs and 700 have joined journalism workshops.
Working with partner media organisations, IWPR provided publishing outlets for articles and essays written by journalist trainees from the participating schools and madrassas. Articles produced by student journalists include: provision of water and sanitation, electricity shortages and blackouts, and conditions in high schools and madrassas.
Student journalists have published dozens of articles in local and national newspapers, raising awareness of social, economic and political issues, including lack of clean water and sanitation in NWFP and the deplorable condition of school facilities in the Swat Valley following the ousting of the Taliban.
IWPR journalism students at the government high school Booni, in the remote Chitral region of northern Pakistan, wrote an article in the local Chitral Times on the lack of electricity in their school. Shortly after its publication, the local office of the water and power development authority restored electricity to the school.
Make an Impact
IWPR journalism makes a difference. By following an “arc of impact” — from identifying issues and building local journalism, to reporting news and raising awareness — IWPR can exert influence.
The process is followed throughout our programmes, strengthening local media, linking with civil society, and then engaging with government to improve people’s lives. Solid reporting holds government to account. It sheds light on problems and airs possible solutions. It empowers people, individually and through civil society, to advocate for new polices. It drives change.