In its professional studies courses, MDI lays a lot of emphasis on Journalism and Mass Communication, being a sister institution of PACT Radio. PACT Radio produces a popular day-to-day Pashto radio serial drama – Da Pulay Poray drama – along with ‘storyline reports’ that ‘research, report and reinforce’ the themes that crop up in the radio drama. PACT Radio is thus able to induct students of MDI’s Journalism and Mass Communication department into its reporting team, giving them an avenue of employment.
Along with becoming reporters with PACT Radio, MDI graduates also constitute the entire audience research team of PACT Radio. As with other subjects taught in MDI, Journalism and Mass Communication is taught from the perspective of classical Islamic learning. A unique feature of the MDI syllabus is a module entitled Modern Journalism Based on Principles of Classical Islamic Scholarship. One may call this module Modern Journalism Based on Principles of Hadith Study. In this module, the principles of modern journalism – factors such as the identification and cross-checking of sources – are looked at in the light of the principles of collection and classification of Hadith literature. This is a new method of approaching journalism, much needed in this age of social media and fake news, that is the unique domain of – and has been researched and refined by – PACT Radio.
Another hallmark of JMC in MDI is the alignment of modern journalism with traditional storytelling, in which it is not only the details of the story that are important; it is also the moral of the story. In fact, the most important part is the moral of the story. Again this approach is rooted in Quranic storytelling – ‘in their stories are lessons for men of understanding’ (Al-Quran, 12:111) – and marks MDI and PACT Radio journalism out from conventional journalism.