Reporting on Corporate Governance: An Interactive Media Workshop for Journalists from Bangladesh and Pakistan
Journalists from Bangladesh and Pakistan attended a training workshop, organized by the Global Corporate Governance Forum and the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), in Dhaka on April 16–18, 2012. Designed to build capacities among business journalist, the workshop also served as a platform to pilot the partners’ upcoming training manual, Who is Running the Company: A Guide to Reporting on Corporate Governance.
Based on its conviction that “better companies make better societies,” the Forum has provided training opportunities for journalists to learn more about corporate governance for over six years. Similar workshops have taken place in Almaty, Belgrade, Cairo, Delhi, Mumbai, Santiago, Sao Paulo, Vietnam, Jordan, and Zambia. To enhance this experience, the Forum partnered with ICFJ in developing the Media Guide, a reference for journalists interested in furthering their corporate governance reporting skills. The final version of the guide will be available to the public in June 2012 at the Forum’s Media Practice Group meeting in Vienna.
The Guide and the workshop series aim to:
Explain and illustrate what corporate governance is, and why it is important to individual companies and national economies;
Help journalists recognize and cover corporate governance stories;
Improve journalists’ skills in investigative business reporting;
Examine major issues in various types of businesses, such as publicly listed companies, family-owned enterprises, and state-owned enterprises.
Jeeva A. Perumalpillai-Essex, Regional Business Line Manager for IFC Advisory Services in South Asia, opened the workshop in Dhaka. She highlighted the importance of the media’s watchdog role in promoting good corporate governance practices in individual businesses as well as informing the public of company activities that have significant impact on society.
Philip Armstrong, Head of the Forum, explained corporate governance in greater detail, with particular emphasis on its importance for emerging markets. Using two well-known cases for illustration, he discussed the damage that the absence of good corporate governance can cause.
Other presenters included Adeeb H. Khan, FCA, Senior Partner at KPMG Rahman Rahman Huq, who spoke on “The Story behind the Numbers: Examining an Annual Report,” and Aniek Paul, Head of Kolkata Bureau of Mint, who co-facilitated the sessions and provided the essential local perspective. According to Aniek, “The Guide is an excellent resource, which encourages reporters (including myself) to think objectively in terms of corporate governance.”
Anis Sheikh, Head of Business Desk, Dunya Television of Pakistan, also commented on the workshop and Guide. “I am sensing a new dimension is about to be opened as far as my journalism skills are concerned,” he said. “I understood the true scope for reporting on corporate governance and where to look for red flags.”