AIOU holds seminar on media’s role for peace

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Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) here on Friday held a seminar on role of media for peace that was attended by eminent journalists and scholars, who called for determining a well-thought policy narrative at the state’s level to achieve the purpose.

The speakers at the seminar included prominent anchorpersons and columnists Saleem Safi and Syed Fahad Hussain, defence analyst Major (retd) Amir, renowned educationist and scholar Dr Syed Riffat Hussain and Hilal Magazine Editor Yousaf Alamgirian, a press release said.

The university’s international journal of librarianship and information science was also launched on the occasion. Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Shahid Siddiqui in his address of welcome highlighted the important role of media in nation-building and getting rid of violence and menace of intolerance from the society.

Today the media has emerged as a most powerful institution that could guide the people in adopting a right course of action towards peace and harmony. He hoped that the journalist community would play its due role for a better and positive change in the society.

He also spoke about the university’s recent efforts to develop it as hub of academic, social, literary and research-based activities, and linking the same with the society and the community’s overall welfare.

Saleem Safi emphasized that it was duty of the State to set a rightful guiding perception and narrative for the media’s guidance that help them to be on a same page for achieving the ultimate goal of peace as well as putting the things on right track, keeping high the national interest.

He was of the view that the media persons should confine themselves to their original duty, reporting and analyzing the news to make their role more meaningful for a better cause. The media should inform and guide the nation about the true happenings and the ground realities.

They are required to bridge communication-gap among various sections of the people and the regions. Spreading disinformation, airing hatred feelings must be avoided, he asserted.

He was of the view that state while combating terrorism, should deal all the terrorist groups and criminals on equal-footing. He added that the media’s role should be well-defined towards peace and harmony.

Syed Fahad Hussain said it was unfortunate that currently the media was divided and popularised, and that was the reason it could not set its right direction towards the nation-building.

He said it was the duty of the State to regulate and reform the media’s affairs. In this connection, the role of the State-media is highly important, he added.

He viewed that a divided media, having different perceptions and narratives would not be able to meet the national expectations and having their effective role to achieve peace.

Dr Syed Riffat Hussain making theoretical analysis of the situation said that the State and the Media should work with due authority, belief and logic, keeping in view the ground realities. He spoke about impact on the society about issues-framing and presenting in their TV’s programmes. He asserted that media should steadfastly fight against the social evils, with an equal voice.

The dream of peace, he added, could be realized by properly understanding the ground realities. State media, he added, needed to promote a well-defined policy for other media to follow.

Yousaf Alamgerian said the media should have professional and unbiased role in reporting every-day happenings. He also spoke about the important role of educational institutions In helping the nation to achieve its national targets, particularly peace and development.

The speakers in their address noted that the AIOU has set an exemplary tradition by raising the issues of the society’s concerns through academic and literary activities. They congratulated Dr Shahid Siddiqui and his team for consistent efforts in constructing and disseminating knowledge that relevant to the society.

Underline the vital role of media for peace, he further said the imperialist forces have always been suppressing the voice of the people through cohesive methods. There is need to adopt discursive approach for molding the mind of the people on positive lines.

The seminar was organised by the university’s Department of Mass Communication. Guests were also given shields. Social Sciences Dean Dr Samina Awan presented vote of thanks.