Nestlé Pakistan, in collaboration with the Centre for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ), organized a one day workshop for nutrition and health reporters on “Basics of Nutrition and Health Reporting: Nutrition as a source of News”. The training was attended by more than twenty print, broadcast and digital journalists from various media organizations.
The workshop was led by CEJ Director Kamal Siddiqi with a host of guest speakers including nutritionists, policy experts as well as senior journalists. The course targeted entry and mid-level journalists covering health and business beats.
The training elaborated on the nutrition profile of Pakistan and highlighted the reasons which make nutrition such a crucial issue. There were sessions on Pakistan’s health system and policies, its particular issues with, a special focus on nutrition as a source of news in a country where malnutrition is widespread.
According to the Nutrition Survey of Pakistan 2019, stunting is a major problem in Pakistan, with 12 million children having low height for age with severe micronutrient deficiencies including Iron deficiency, which is the major cause of anemia. More than half (53.7%) of Pakistani children are anemic and 5.7% are severely anemic.
Commenting on the training, Waqar Ahmad, Head of Corporate Affairs, Nestlé Pakistan, said,
Spreading awareness about nutrition, health and wellbeing is part of our commitment to United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 of Good Health and Well-Being, to ensure that people understand the value of nutrition and physical activity and continue leading healthy lives. Such workshops help us achieve our goal as journalists are the ones who voice their views and extend knowledge among masses.
Speaking on the occasion, Kamal Siddiqi, Director CEJ, said:
Nutrition and health are very important areas but are generally neglected when it comes to reporting. That is why we need to work with journalists so that they can work on them and do better reporting.
Participants examined the existing health and nutrition-related news in the media and discussed the gaps in reporting and ways to fill these gaps.