The Centre for Excellence in Journalism at the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi (CEJ- IBA) in collaboration with Nestlé Pakistan organized a one-day workshop on Basics of Nutrition and Health Reporting: Nutrition as a source of News for nutrition and health reporters in Lahore. The training was attended by more than 20 mid-level journalists covering health and business beats in print, broadcast and digital platforms from various media organizations.
The workshop was led by Director IBA-CEJ Kamal Siddiqi. The workshop featured guest speaker sessions with nutritionists, policy experts as well as senior journalists including, Public Health Specialist, Dr. Fauzia Waqar; freelance journalist, Zofeen Ebrahim; Mobile Journalism (MoJo) Instructor at Geo TV Network, Muhammad Rahamdil Khan; and Head of Research, Business Recorder, Ali Khizar Aslam.
The training elaborated on the nutrition profile of Pakistan and highlighted the reasons which make nutrition such a crucial issue. There were sessions on Pakistan’s health system and policies, its particular issues with a special focus on nutrition as a source of news in a country where malnutrition is widespread.
According to the Nutrition Survey of Pakistan 2019, stunting is a major problem in Pakistan, with 12 million children having low height for age with severe micronutrient deficiencies including iron deficiency which is the major cause of anemia. More than half (53.7%) of Pakistani children are anemic and 5.7% are severely anemic.
Speaking on the occasion, Director IBA-CEJ, Siddiqi said, “Nutrition and health are very important areas but are generally neglected when it comes to reporting. That is why we need to work with journalists so that they can work on them and do better reporting.”
Commenting on the training, Head of Corporate Affairs Nestlé Pakistan, Waqar Ahmad said, “Spreading awareness about nutrition, health and wellbeing is part of our commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 of Good Health and Well-Being, to ensure that people understand the value of nutrition and physical activity and continue leading healthy lives. Such workshops help us achieve our goal as journalists are the ones who voice their views and extend knowledge among masses.”
Participants examined the existing health and nutrition-related news in media, and discussed the gaps in reporting, and ways to fill these gaps.