KARACHI: Things are changing rapidly as well as the audience. The consumption of news is different from what it used to be.
Ovais Jafar from a private TV channel said this while speaking on the first day of the two-day National Media Conference, organised by the Centre of Excellence in Journalism (CEJ) to train media professionals on digital media and journalist’s safety. The conference was held at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) City Campus in Karachi on Thursday.
More than 150 participants registered for the training session at the conference from all parts of the country while around 200 participants registered for the open sessions.
As the conference began, CEJ director Kamal Siddiqi told the audience that the conference will focus on different issues but mainly on safety. Talking about a session on security issues that journalists face such as kidnapping or threats, he said that a female journalist from Sri Lanka will be sharing her experiences and tips on how to stay safe.
Talking about digital security, he added that it will also be taught how to protect oneself in the digital world where information is going out very easily. One session in the conference will also focus on how there is a need to reinvent yourself as a journalist, said Siddiqi.
The conference brought together young journalists and senior ones to share their skills with each other. A number of renowned international and local journalists came to share their talents, skills, and experiences with the participants.
The conference began with an address by journalist Muhammad Ziauddin, followed by a conversation with another journalist, Ghazi Salahuddin.
Salahuddin, who was in conversation with moderator Faisal Sayani, shared how he never went for a professional degree but decided to do English journalism and learnt the language. “We should talk to the young journalists,” said Salahuddin, adding that the younger generation has stopped reading their literature. He said that when he started learning English, the British Council library and cinema helped him a lot.
“Books and cinema both excited the imagination,” he said. Answering Sayani’s question, Salahuddin also pointed out that people, when it comes to hope, are very pessimistic about society but are also very optimistic when they think about their own children.
Speaking at a panel discussion, titled ‘Future of Digital News’, Elisa Tinsley from International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) said that the world is now going towards different ways to engage journalists as technology is developing on a day-to-day basis. “To make things work in the future, what needs to be done is [enhancing] technical skills, credible information and training in media,” she said.
Another journalist, Iqbal Baloch, said that we have now digitised news. Digitising makes the broadcaster realise that the minds of consumers are changing, he said. Baloch added that today, consumers are taking news from social media and digital space more than from television screens or print newspaper. “Taking news through digital media is making the future of digital news important,” Baloch said, adding that it will bring new challenges in making news and creating important stories, too.
Meanwhile, lifetime achievement awards were conferred upon journalists Zubeida Mustafa and Ziauddin. The conference also had different training sessions going on simultaneously, with participants divided into groups for sessions on different topics.