Government Media and Information Center (GMIC) and the Institute of War and Peace Reporting organized a five-day training workshop for provincial spokespersons on strategic communications from February 04 to February 08, 2017. This workshop was part of the overall GOA efforts to promoting confidence, stability and good governance by strengthening government communications. Provincial governors’ spokespersons from Kabul, Nangarhar, Wardak, Kapisa, Dykundi, Balkh, Jawzjan, Paktika, Herat and Khost Provinces travelled to Kabul to attend the training.
The goal was to build the capacity of the spokespersons, develop their ties to Kabul based media and government departments, and to discuss the application of the Presidential Decree on Information Sharing.
At this workshop, participants received theoretical and practical training on writing press releases and newsletters, preparing for an effective press conference, conducting radio and TV interviews and answering media queries via phone. Participants also practiced running mock press conference.
On the last day of the workshop, seven of the 10 provincial spokespersons appeared in a joint, on-the record press conference to discuss the achievements of their provinces in 2016, and their plans for 2017. There was a healthy media turnout with good coverage in the media; Hasht-e-Sobh Daily wrote a good news report on this press conference titled “Public has a spirit of cooperation with the Government”.
In the afternoon of February 08, 2017, GMIC and IWPR held a Focus Group Discussion for the participants with media heads, civil society representatives, cabinet and ministerial spokespersons, and stratcom representatives from American and British Embassies and Resolute Support. The focus of the FGD was to strengthen relationship between provincial spokespersons and Kabul based media representatives. Both sides discussed issues of mutual interests and had a chance to hold face to face conversation and address their problems. The event ended with a social gathering for all the participants.
Relations between the provinces, the media, and central government will be strengthened further later in the spring when another two workshops are planned.