Conference: Call for more public debate on media contents

Journalists and university coordinators stress on focus groups.

Sehrish Wasif August 12, 2011


Speakers at a consultation session stressed the need for more interactive platforms, where public can have media-centric discussions.

The one-day conference, titled “Promoting Public Discourse on Media Content in Pakistan”, aimed to bring together media representatives from a wide range of backgrounds as well as the coordinators from some of Uks’s partner universities to share and discuss the progress and findings of media monitoring and focus group discussions.

The speakers said that TV channels broadcast all type of incidents; the Kharotabad incident, for instance, was very disturbing and had a bad impact on viewers, particularly on women and children, a speaker said.

Live coverage of bomb blasts and police operations against criminals generate a sense of insecurity among people. Therefore media should play a responsible role and broadcast news in such a way that it keeps such frenzy at bay.

They said Pakistani media is still maturing; therefore feedback from the public can help consolidate it and come up with content that is acceptable to the viewers.

This will also put an end to the blame game between the media and public, according to one speaker.

On the occasion, participants were informed that Uk has partnered with eight universities from all over Pakistan to promote media literacy and public discourse on media content in Pakistan.

As part of the project, these universities undertook a four-month-long media monitoring exercise at their locations, which included monitoring and analysing different newspapers and TV channels in Pakistan, and conducting focus group discussions with various segments of the society based on this monitoring and analysis.

The event was organised by Uks Research Centre.  Tasneem Ahmer, Director Uks Research Centre, senior journalists including Amir Mateen, Muhammad Malick, Talat Hussain, Asma Shirazi were speakers at the occasion and was attended by  project coordinators from three of Uks’s partner universities: Zafar Iqbal, HOD, Media and Communication Studies from International Islamic University Islamabad, Ismat Waseem, coordinator BS-MS/SS program at Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology Islamabad, and Shujaat Ali Khan, Station Director at Hazara University Mansehra.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2011.


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