Special Reports

JIH Workshop on “Media & Public Relations”

New Delhi: A two-day national workshop on Media and Public Relations was held here at the Jamaat-e Islami Hind headquarters on 8-9 February. The event was attended by media secretaries and other public relation officials of the Jamaat.  In his inaugural speech, Ameer-e Jamaat Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari emphasised on preparation of media professionals from within the Jamaat to counter negative reporting about Islam and Muslims.
“Earlier schools, madrasas, colleges and universities would play key role in shaping people’s minds and thoughts and public opinion. Now media has taken over that role. This is the importance of media,” he said.

“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 a solution to social and other issues like atrocities on women and neglect of weaker sections,” said Maulana Umari.

 Ameer-e Jamaat further said that “We can complain that media is ignoring us but we should also try to find out where we are lacking and why we are not influencing media. It is the duty of Tehreek and its members to raise questions on issues and also offer solutions. We are in the primary stage in the field of media,”

Earlier in his opening remarks, Mohammad Salim Engineer, National Secretary, Public Relations, said that “The purpose of this workshop is to make ourselves aware 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. Media and public relations have become far more important today than ever before. We want our media officials at state levels to become professionally equipped to spread the message of the Jamaat.”

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 daily said: “We (Muslim community) have ignored communication while it was our mission. One big reason of Muslims’ fall is leaving the communication field. We left sea route to Vasco da Gama in the 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 organisations 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 profiles of local reporters at district level,” he said.

 Speaking on the occasion, Associate Editor of bilingual weekly Chauthi Duniya, AU Asif, said: “When Jamaat was founded there were only a few 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.

Senior journalists from mainstream media including TV news channels and newspapers took part as as resource persons for the workshop.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-28 February 2015 on page no. 13

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