Media can only be strengthened and fully advance with its aim as the fourth pillar of a democratic state by fulfilling its responsibilities especially with regards to national issues. The Institute of Communication Studies, organized a seminar on ‘National issues and responsibilities of the media’. Eminent media professionals and columnists were invited at the seminar to share their views with the students. The speakers included Ajmal Jami (news anchor and host of the program ‘IN SESSION’ at Dunya TV), Yasir Pirzada (son of renowned columnist Atta ul Haq Qasmi and one of the youngest columnists of Jang news group), Syed Irshad Ahmed Arif (former deputy editor of Nawa-i-Waqt and renowned columnist of Jang news group) and Arshad Ansar (president of Lahore Press Club). The seminar was presided over by the director of the Institute of Communication Studies (ICS), Prof. Dr. Ahsan Akhtar Naz. In his introductory remarks, the director of ICS asked the students to actively participate in such though-provoking sessions as this was the only way for them to interact with and learn from those who are actually working in the media.
The discussion opened with a presentation by Yasir Pirzada. Few news items were shown to the students and they were questioned about the objectivity of the headlines of the news reports. He was of the view that media is portraying violence in the name of terrorism. Yasir Pirzada told the students that praise and criticism should be balanced and ethically practised.
Ajmal Jami shared his experience of hosting a program at a popular TV channel. He said that the race for attaining high ratings impedes the media personnel from presenting an objective and impartial analysis of national issues. He advised the students to have a critical approach, but also to be equipped with proper knowledge and skills.
Arshad Ansari, asked the students to pay attention to positive reporting as well. He was of the view that this type of reporting can also furnish good journalists for Pakistan.
Syed Irshad Ahmed Arif, expressed his opinion in a very lucid and rational manner. According to him, the nation has suffered from moral demise which in turn has led to political, economic and social decline. Referring towards Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, he said that: ‘there was a man who worked tirelessly to create an independent state for the Muslims of India and today our state of affairs are so abysmal that we are conducting debates about whether his decision and action was appropriate. We are least concerned about the right and wrong side of our actions and their consequences’. Providing a comparison of the past journalistic practices and the present situation of media, he told the students that in the past reporters of print media were considered to be credible and responsible. According to him, today the politicians were lying without any shame let alone those who are reporting their statements.
The seminar was concluded by the director of the Institute of Communication Studies, Prof. Dr. Ahsan Akhtar Naz, who suggested the students to learn and practice what the speakers had taught as the future of the media is in their hands. At the end he expressed his gratitude towards the speakers and appreciated them for their literary views.
Note: This category will contain reports of all the seminars that are held at the Institute of Communication Studies, University of the Punjab, New Campus, Lahore.