By: Ummul Baneen
As an ICFJ alumna, I have felt that the doors of opportunity are closed for many students of mass communication in Pakistan. As part of the ninth cohort to attend an exchange program in the United States specifically designed for journalists, I realized that our youngsters were in dire need of training, similar to the opportunity I had at CBS 4 while on my exchange visit. This is why, on my return, I initiated a six week internship program at SUCH TV for students of mass communication in Pakistan. This initiative is modeled after the ICFJ program so that students in Pakistan may benefit from a global training.
Since its inception on June 27, 2015, the internship program has catered to a diverse group of students of media studies and mass communication from different universities including:
- Bahria University;
- International Islamic University, Islamabad;
- National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad;
- Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad;
- Fatimah Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi;
- University of Sargodha, Sargodha;
- Foundation University, Rawalpindi Campus;
- Margalla College, Islamabad.
Through this internship program we have trained students on different aspects of media and communication including news casting, research, camera work, production, non-linear editing, news room, lighting, script writing and other key techniques and skills that are integral to the development and grooming of professional media personnel.
We are currently training our second cohort of internees, with eight students. To date, this internship program has enrolled 28 promising young minds who will soon join the industry. Our focus is on preparing them for what awaits them in the professional world, so that they are able to fuse their skills and knowledge in an effective manner. Such internship programs also allow us, as industry professionals, to bridge the gap between academia and industry and mentor students from a young age. For the field of journalism to progress in Pakistan, such programs will play a key role in engaging and educating students.
My hope is to ensure that this internship program continues with the same zeal and vigor so that we are able to impart professional skills to students who need them the most. I also aim to extend this program further by engaging more students and stakeholders so that we may mentor and groom tomorrow’s journalists.
About the author: Ummul Baneen traveled to the United States through an International Center for Journalism fellowship program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. She is Assistant Professor of Department of Humanities and Liberal Arts, Foundation University- Rawalpindi Campus. She is also Incharge Intership Program and Co-ordinator for SUCH TV, Islamabad.