New Delhi, 08 Feb 2015: The two-day national workshop on Media and Public Relations began this morning here at the headquarters of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind. The program being attended by media secretaries and other public relation officials from Jamaat zones is being organized by the central Public Relations Dept. of the Jamaat.
In his inaugural speech, Ameer-e Jamaat Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari emphasized on preparation of media professionals from within the Jamaat to counter negative reporting in media about Islam and Muslims.
“Earlier schools, madrasas, colleges and universities would play key role in shaping people’s mind and thoughts and public opinion. Now media has taken over that role. This is the importance of media,” said Ameer-e Jamaat.
“Islam is negatively reported and presented in media globally. We do not have enough skilled manpower to counter that negative campaign. There is a need to effectively and clearly present Islam as solution to social and other issues like atrocities on women and neglect of weaker sections,” said Maulana Umari.
Ameer-e Jamaat said that we should also introspect ourselves as to why we are unable to influence media.
“We can complain that media is ignoring us but we should also find out where we are lacking and why we are not influencing media. It is duty of Tehreek and its members to raise questions on issues and also offer solution. We are in primary stage in the field of media,” said Maulana Umari.
Earlier in his opening remarks, Mohammad Salim Engineer, National Secretary, Public Relations, talked about the purpose of the workshop and how the participants can benefit from it to spread the message of the Jamaat effectively.
“The purpose of this workshop is to aware ourselves of the tools that can help us make effective use of media and public relations to further the purposes of Jamaat in the present situation,” said Salim Engineer.
“Media and public relations have become far more important today than ever before. We want our media officials at state levels become professionally equipped to spread the message of the Jamaat,” said he and briefed the theme of the two-day workshop Connect, Communicate and Collaborate.
“During the workshop, we will discuss how to connect with people who formulate policies and media that influence people. We will also learn how to communicate our message to the world in people’s language and language of the time,” said Salim Engineer.
“We want to collaborate with media and others to spread our message to the world. We need them as they need us. We should find out creative and positive collaborations with media,” he said.
The inaugural session was also addressed by senior journalists Iftikhar Gilani and AU Asif.
Highlighting the importance of communication, Iftikhar Gilani, National Bureau Chief of DNA English daily said: “We (Muslim community) have ignored communication while it was our mission. One big reason of Muslims’ fall is leaving the communication. We left sea route to Vasco da Gama in 15th century and we have since been falling.”
“Prophets were sent to Palestine as it was the central point of sea route to spread the message,” said Gilani.
He also said that community organizations should give more importance to local media.
“Today media has become force multiplier. We have no control on them. We should give focus on local media, then national and international media. We need to create profile of local reporters at district level,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Associate Editor of bilingual weekly Chauthi Duniya said: “When Jamaat was founded there were only newspapers. Now platforms of media have changed and we have to adopt them in the changing times to present our message effectively. We should present our message professionally, in a simple way, effectively and not in heavy tone.”
He gave a brief history of publications and newspapers run by Jamaat since its inception. He also advised that Jamaat media outlets should share their contents with each other.
Some important topics of the two-day workshop include:
- Building relationships with media professionals
- Transforming Society: How to play an effective role through Web and Social Media
- Managing and Conducting Press Conference
- Effective Participation in TV Debates
- Building Effective Media Skills
- Tools and Techniques for Effective Use of Social Media
- Alternative Media, JIH Network for Citizen Journalism
Senior journalists from mainstream media including TV news channels and newspapers have been invited as resource persons for the workshop.