Pakistan (Citi) recently hosted the first edition of the Citi Financial Journalist Training (CFJT). Citi, in collaboration with the Centre of Excellence in Journalism (CEJ) at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), organized the training for 20 national business and financial journalists.
CFJT aligns with Citi’s commitment to building capacity and taking advantage of its global resources to strengthen the knowledge base in the financial industry across the globe. The course was led by eminent journalist and editor, Mr. Khurram Husain, Business Editor for Dawn.
Topics covered during the 3-Day training included specific challenges in writing business-oriented stories, types of sources and how to use them, understanding economic reports and documents, liquidity and currency markets, important milestones in the Pakistani financial sector, and how to conduct economic interviews.
To bolster the CFJT, several area experts were brought in to additional lectures including CEJ Director Mr. Kamal Siddiqi, a former business journalist himself, on journalistic ethics and reporting, Mr. Shabbar Zaidi, partner at Ferugsons, who shared his expertise on earnings reports and balance sheets, and Mr. Shaharyar Nashat, head of legal for Citi Pakistan, who educated participants on the role of the regulator in the Pakistani economy.
Additionally, Mr. Salim Raza, former Governor of State Bank of Pakistan, facilitated a session on liquidity and currency markets. Mr. Raza’s extensive knowledge and expertise in the economic markets and grasp of Pakistan’s economic realities enhanced an already ambitious agenda for the CFJT course. Speaking on the need for such trainings, CEJ Director Siddiqi explained, “One of the weakest areas in terms of reporting in Pakistan is business journalism due to the fact that business journalists are poorly trained and are sometimes unable to fully comprehend issues related to finance and economics. This also translates into comparatively fewer investigative stories on the financial sector, as well as allied areas like trade, business and industry.
To this end, the Center for Excellence in Journalism tries to bridge the skills gap by conducting comprehensive trainings for media practitioners.” Also on the importance of financial journalism training, Mr. Husain emphasized, “Business and economic journalism differs from other types of journalism because it required journalists to have specific technical skills on business and economic concepts. Without this foundational knowledge, one cannot be successful in this beat.”
The course concluded with a certificate distribution ceremony for the participants and closing speeches from Director Kamal Siddiqi, instructor Khurram Husain, and Mr. Adeel Shahid, Head of Marketing & Public Affairs at Citi Pakistan.
Mr. Shahid thanked the Centre of Excellence in Journalism at IBA for collaborating with Citi in ensuring that the 3-day training was as informative as it was engaging. According to Adeel “The investing public relies on you [journalists] to provide accurate, time sensitive information which allows them to make informed decisions. Performing this role will bring accountability and help strengthen the financial system.”