Data collection under RTI laws helps in investigation journalism

Share this on:
Data collection under RTI laws helps in investigation journalism

Karachi, Feb 8:  For better investigative stories it is necessary for reporters to gather important data from related departments using the laws of right to information, said PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali.

Speaking to the participants of a training workshop on use of RTI Act, he said these laws have ensured more transparency and accuracy in reporting on issues related to public interest.

Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) and Centre of Peace and Development Initiative (CPDI) in collaboration with Coalition on Right to Information (CRTI) conducted a training workshop on the use of Sindh Transparency and Right to Information Act 2016 for investigative reporting.

It was aimed at to enable midcareer journalists to improve their reporting techniques and promote investigative journalism by using the Right to Information legislation.

It was conducted by Moonus Zehra, project coordinator of CPDI in Pakistan Press Foundation Hall on 7th February in Karachi.

PPF selected 17 reporters from different media channels for training regarding investigation journalism under peoples’ right to information using records held by public bodies to ensure maximum transparency.

They were told that RTI is aimed at to promote transparency, accountability and good governance in government departments and to ensure informed public participation in decision-making process.

The participants discussed all five RTI laws of Pakistan including The Sindh Transparency and Right to Information Bill, 2016, The Punjab Transparency and RTI Act 2013, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Right to Information Act 2013, Baluchistan Freedom of Information Act 2005 and Right of access to information act, 2017.  They were told that record and information kept in government departments is asset of public. Public officials just keep this information as custodians.

At the end of the workshop, PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali urged the participants to use the RTI law for collecting data from different sources. He encouraged them to use online advanced methods to grab information and ensuring follow-ups of their stories.

The participants were also given certification on completion of training.

Earlier, CPDI and PPF held a press conference in this regard at Karachi Press Club (KPC).

Owais Aslam Ali Secretary General PPF said there should be an awareness program for journalists to use RTI in a proper manner as in this digital age the implementation of RTI is an important tool for journalists.

He said in past it was difficult to get even public information, but we now have an information overload, with huge volumes of information available a click away.

He said RTI is a good way to get authentic information for news stories.