Wali Zahid

Futurist · Disruptor · Visionary

Institute of Media & Communications (IMC) Pakistan: A brief profile

Wali Zahid
February 1, 2021
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Institute of Media & Communications (IMC) is a Pakistani think-tank devoted to media issues that concern media in Pakistan and Asian region.

The IMC (then Institute of Mass Communication) was set up as a sole-proprietor firm in 1993 in Islamabad, with office in F-7 Jinnah Super Market. Wali Zahid was its founding Executive Director.

The IMC was featured in Dawn and The News, and had The Muslim as the strategic partner. Islamabad-based advertising agency, Orient McCann Erickson supported IMC.

Wali Zahid’s recent media accomplishments

  • Received the 2016 Journalist of the Year Award by Agahi, an affiliate of World Economic Forum (WEF), Switzerland and supported by Australian High Commission in Islamabad
  • Featured by BBC Urdu Service in ‘Who to follow on Social Media’
  • Independence-Day lead articles in The News, Pakistan’s largest-circulation English-language daily on Pakistan of future & Pakistan in 2050
  • 2017 economic and political forecasts published by Express Tribune, the Pakistan affiliate paper of The New York Times
  • Op-Ed pieces in The News and The Nation on Pakistan, SCO, BRI, CPEC and China matters
  • Appeared on Dunya News, 92 News HD, Waqt News, BOL TV, PTV News and Business Plus channels on Pakistan, CPEC and BRI
  • China media: During 2017-21, was interviewed or wrote for People’s Daily, China, Global Times, China Radio International (CRI), CRI English, CRI Online, CRI Urdu, China PictorialChina-India Dialogue, Beijing

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During the 1993-1998, IMC offered short-term certificate courses (8 to 14 weeks duration) in Islamabad in these areas:

  • Certificate in Journalism
  • Certificate in Advertising
  • Certificate in Public Relations
  • Certificate in Cartooning
  • Certificate in TV Journalism

The students and faculty published a six-monthly journal called The Communicator, which carried student writings.

Notable IMC alumni

Many of the alumni are now in senior positions in various media outlets. Some of them are:

  • Saman Ansari (then PTV hostess and FM RJ; now appears in TV plays)
  • Naveed Ahmad (Jefferson Fellow, The News/Geo, now international correspondent)
  • Ahmed Mukhtar (Bureau Chief, Abb Takk News)
  • Dr Leila Mona Ganiem, Indonesian scholar
  • Fariha Tahir Shah (formerly with Nokia, NCR, Microsoft, CAA)
  • Javed Malik (Brandeis alum, formerly with DfID)
  • Ahmad Bilal Khan (advertising guru)
  • Rao Javaid (formerly with Oxfam)
  • Kiran Arif Khan

Notable IMC faculty

A high-powered faculty was arranged to teach these courses. They included big-names like:

  • Syed Talat Hussain (The News then, formerly Geo TV)
  • Ziauddin Ahmad (Editor Dawn, Express Tribune, then)
  • Anjum Niaz (Late, Dawn)
  • Shujaat Ali (The News cartoonist then; formerly with Al-Jazeera TV)
  • Gulrez Mojiz (Interflow, film maker)
  • Muhammad Malick (Interflow & Dawn then, formerly MD PTV, TV anchor)
  • Tasneem Ahmer (then university faculty at QAU)
  • Absar Alam (The Nation then, former Pemra Chairman)
  • Navid Zafar (Late, Director Current Affairs PTV then)
  • Salman Wasay (then Paktel, later Ufone, now Chaaye Khana)
  • Ali Kamal Khan (Late, professor, advertising professional)
  • Mahmood Hashmi (owner, Orient McCann Erickson)
  • Allauddin Masood (DG Public Relations Pakistan Senate then)
  • Prof Zakariyya Sajid (President Press Institute of Pakistan then, formerly Chairman, Mass Communication Department at Karachi University)
  • Wali Zahid (Executive Director IMC then; President IMC now)

IMC participation in notable events | 1993-2003 

Along with public-run courses, IMC also organised these high-profile customised invitation-only events:

  • Led on training of civil-service officers of Information Group and GHQ at Information Service Academy | 1994-95
  • Assisted Press Institute of Pakistan’s Legislative Reporting workshop in Islamabad and Lahore, with chief guest Syed Yusuf Raza Gillani, National Assembly Speaker then, Pakistan Prime Minister later | 1994
  • Participated in Pakistan Foreign Office course on Media Diplomacy | 1994
  • In-house training for the editorial staff of The Muslim, Islamabad with Robert S Mellis, ICFJ Knight Fellow, and an editor with The Miami Herald, Florida, USA | 1995
  • Participated in Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) course in Defence Reporting and field visits to the Line of Control and Siachen Glacier | 1997
  • Represented IMC in International Institute for Journalism’s two-month Training of Trainers workshop in Berlin, Germany (1996)
  • Represented IMC in Pearson Peacekeeping Centre’s two-week workshop in Nova Scotia, Canada | 1997
  • Represented IMC in month-long Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution summer school in Schlaining, Austria | 1998
  • Represented IMC in week-long International Security Seminar at GIIS, Geneva, Switzerland | 1998
  • Worked with the Knight Fellow of International Centre for Foreign Journalists (ICFJ) Washington DC | 1995
  • Worked with the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) Singapore | 1995
  • Visited the International Centre for Foreign Journalists Washington DC | 2001
  • Arranged talks and presentations by Deans of British University media programmes in Pakistan, like UWE Bristol | 1995
  • Made a presentation at the University of California at Berkeley’s annual South Asia Conference on government and press relations | 2001
  • Arranged a week-long Train the Trainer for Journalists workshop for PPI and Pakistan Press Foundation’s editors in Karachi | 2001
  • Attended a South Asian Editors Conference on Media Self Regulation in Colombo, Sri Lanka, at the invitation of Commonwealth Press Union (CPU) London | 2002
  • Contributed to Commonwealth Press Union (CPU) London’s book on Imperfect Freedom: The case for self-regulation in the Commonwealth press | 2003

Recent projects | 2006-2020

  • Arranged a two-day Media Management workshop for GrameenPhone Bangladesh’s general managers in Dhaka | 2006
  • Arranged a 10-day Media outreach workshop for Pakistani and Bangladeshi TV anchors and media people and civil society organisations with Search for Common Ground USA (SCG) in Nepal | 2008
  • Arranged a Train the Trainer workshop in Investigative Journalism for Afghan Master Trainers and journalists in Kabul | 2009
  • Produced A Guide in Investigative Journalism for Afghan journalists in Kabul | 2008-09
  • Produced a Trainers’ Manual in Investigative Journalism for Afghan Master Trainers and journalists in Kabul | 2008-09
  • Created fact sheets on CPEC and BRI and confronted false propaganda on social media | 2015-onwards
  • Made a multimedia presentation on Leveraging social media for the success of CPEC-BRI at Chinese Embassy Islamabad & China Study Centre’s International CPEC/BRI conference at Islamabad Marriott | 2016
  • Project Ignorance: How fake news are spread in Pakistan using photoshops and Whatsapp | 2016-onwards
  • Conducted an online survey on Who are top 10 Pakistani TV news anchors? | 2016
  • Represented Pakistan in Think-Tanks Exchanges meeting at global Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing | 14-15 May 2017
  • Was interviewed by China’s Sina Global Media which owns Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, on China-India Doklam border standoff. Nine Questions | August 2017
  • Analysis: Pakistan after BRICS declaration | September 2017
  • Was invited by China Radio International (CRI) to visit China’s achievements in technology and culture | May 2018
  • Produced an analysis on Shanghai Cooperation Organisation What is in for Pakistan and India in SCO Qingdao Summit? for China-India Dialogue, Beijing | June 2018
  • Analysis and case study for China Pictorial: How 40-year reform has paid off China in economic development | December 2018
  • Analysis and forecast on US-China trade war: If beating US economy by trillion $ every year is an indicator, China to emerge victor from trade war with US | May 2019
  • Covid-19 forecast for China Pictorial: Trust China to overcome Coronavirus epidemic | March 2020
  • Covid-19 analysis for China Daily: How China contained coronavirus breakout | April 2020
  • Book Review for China Today and Beijing Review: President Xi Jinping’s,The Governance of China, Volume III | January 2021

Future projects media and social media | 2021-25

  • Planned ranking of top 10 male and female news and current affairs anchors on Pakistan TV
  • Planned ranking of top 10 columnists in Pakistan print media in English and Urdu language newspapers
  • Planned ranking of top 10 Twitter and Facebook social influencers

Chairman IMC: Prof Zakariyya Sajid

President IMC: Wali Zahid

Web: walizahid.com/

Wali Zahid is an award-winning journalist, futurist, disruptor, blogger, social media strategist, reformer, LinkedIn writer and author of iBook, Great Training in 10 Steps.

He runs a #Pakistan2050 hashtag on Twitter and appears on national TV on issues of significance to Pakistan. His claim to fame is this recent piece: Back to the future: Pakistan in 2050. In 2016, he won Journalist of the Year Award by Agahi. 

On walizahid.com, he’s writing a series called How We Messed Up Pakistan.

As CEO of SkillCity, he coaches several Fortune-500 CEOs on leadership.

He’s founder of a global movement for humanizing medical education and practice. Since 1993, he is founder President of Institute of Media & Communications where top journalists taught print and TV media courses.

He can be reached on Twitter @walizahid and on Facebook where he has over 150,000 fans.

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Wali Zahid

Wali Zahid is a longtime China watcher and a Pakistan futurist. An award-winning journalist, he writes on issues of significance to Pakistan and CPEC & BRI.