Training on digital media outreach stressed

ISLAMABAD: In response to the shifting dynamics of digital media, discussions have emerged around the necessity for extensive training within civil society organizations (CSOs) across Pakistan.

Attention has been drawn to the diverse challenges faced, with an emphasis on the need for CSOs to strengthen their social media outreach, particularly in reaching rural communities and addressing the digital divide, said a press release issued here on Tuesday.

Development practitioners calls for the promotion of gender-sensitive and inclusive content to be disseminated across digital landscape in the #SocioCivil meetup.

The event organized by the Global Neighbourhood for Media Innovation (GNMI) in collaboration with the United States Department of State, engaged prominent figures from civil society and digital media influencers to explore the evolving landscape of digital media in Pakistan and its potential for driving social and civil change.

The event discussed various aspects of leveraging digital media for soc
ietal impact, ethical considerations in digital advocacy, and strategies for effective collaboration between civil society organizations (CSOs) and digital influencers.

Najia Ashar, Senior Broadcast Journalist and President of GNMI, highlighted the InfluenceUP program’s success in training local social media influencers to create meaningful content that resonates with audiences and promotes positive social narratives.

She emphasized GNMI’s commitment to promoting peace journalism, environmental journalism, and gender-sensitive reporting through innovative media approaches.

Diverse perspectives on the digital media landscape were presented by attendees. Zulfiqar Shah from the Sindh Human Rights Commission noted that social media has catalyzed significant change, challenging bigwigs of Pakistan. He stresses the importance of bridging the gap between traditional civil society and digital media organizations.

Mushoud Ali from Individual and delineated digital media as a multifaceted platform that extends beyo
nd social media, highlighting the complexities of content moderation and platform algorithms. He emphasized the need for nuanced understanding and targeted content strategies.

Yusra Ilyas from the Council for Participatory Development (CPD) emphasized the role of digital media in amplifying diverse voices and promoting social perspectives. Sameer Khan from Collective Pakistan emphasized the challenges posed by the digital media landscape and the importance of exploring its complexities.

Addressing the issue of collaboration between digital media and civil society, Muneezeh Khan from Aurat Foundation stressed the need for CSOs to enhance their social media outreach and engage with marginalized communities. She urged digital media outlets and influencers to avoid disseminating content that perpetuates gender biases and promote human rights of marginalizes vulnerable groups.

Hasnain Raza, Director of GNMI, highlighted the challenges of identifying and engaging digital content creators who tackle taboo topics.
He emphasized the importance of targeted content strategies and engaging formats to maximize content reach and impact.

Syed Masood Raza, Senior Broadcast Journalist, advocated for subtle messaging and engaging content formats that incorporate controversy, emotions, and glamour (CEG) to drive social change. He urged the importance of ethical reporting and content creation training for CSOs. Authenticity boosts credibility, leading to partnerships and increased earnings for influencers, he added.

Sufyan Khan from TAAR Media recommended following trends and producing attractive content to promote social issues effectively.

Ahmed Shabbar from The Environmental emphasized the importance of staying within content niches while infusing unique elements to promote social themes virally.

The #SociaCivil meetup concluded with a commitment to establishing greater collaboration between civil society and digital media influencers to leverage the potential of digital media for driving positive social change in Pakistan.