Digital media can play an important role in promoting local news senior journalists said in the virtual Capstone Project Launch Ceremony organized by Global Neighbourhood for Media innovations (GNMI) under its Pakistan Entrepreneurial Journalism Program. Senior veteran journalist Kamal Siddqui said that he was very happy to see the emergence of independent media platforms in Pakistan. However, Monetization and autonomy will be major challenges for these channels. He said he was confident that these platforms would be a mirror of journalism in the future. Social media has also led to an increase in misinformation. This will also be a challenge for these channels. He asked reporters to keep learning new technology and do their work accordingly. The capstone launch ceremony was divided into four themes of startups – gender representation and social media, ethics as core consideration for localised digital news platforms, climate and wildlife protection – necessity, not choice, the relationship between economy, and under-emphasized societal values. In each segment, the participants presented their digital news platforms followed up by comments and feedback from senior journalists, experts working in technology and business. “Journalism matters. It helps citizens inform what is happening around them and in the world. Your work is critical. Such programs empower journalists to find new streams of income. Thanks to the technologies it is easier than before to work independently.” Journalist and anchorperson Amber Shamsi said that the mainstream media lacks diversity and creativity. The digital news platforms allow journalists to cover diversified issues from their perspective. She was speaking in the gender representation and social media section. She said that digital platforms give more freedom to women journalists that mainstream media does not offer. Broadcast journalist and president of GNMI, Najia Ashar said in her keynote address that the objective of the program was to provide essential training to journalists in content production, digital marketing, and monetization as well as resources to help them launch their own news projects independently. “It was a learning process not only for our participants but also for us. A pool of twenty national and international experts in media, technology, and business was engaged in conducting the trainings with us. They also provided them one-on-one mentoring and today we are launching twenty independent digital news startups,” she said. The twenty news platforms that were launched in the ceremony target different audiences. Five news projects in total are focused on climate change and wildlife. Another five projects focus on women and their issues from different parts of the country. Other projects serve different audiences including one for persons with disabilities, parents who have children with special needs, and people working in media and advertisements. All guest speakers appreciated the efforts of participants of the program and gave them suggestions to make their startups better and sustainable. The project was supported by the United States Consulate General Karachi. Deputy Council General Matthew Ference was also present at the ceremony. In his speech, he appreciated the commitment and dedication of GNMI in support of media innovation in Pakistan. He said independent and responsible platforms are very essential to ensure democracy and accountability in a society.