The Faculty of Humanities, Forman Christian College University (FCCU), in collaboration with the department of Journalism and Media Studies (JMIC), Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet), Norway, hosted a three-day workshop on “Peace Journalism” on the topic of “Surviving the social media onslaught: Mainstream journalism, peace, and democracy in the transitional societies.”

On the first day, academics, students, and expert journalists, plus representatives from over 40 top-tier national and international universities attended the workshop. Anne Hege Simonsen, the head of department of journalism and media studies at Oslo met, Muhammad Feyyaz, Khalid Khattak, multimedia journalist and Founder at Data Stories, and many other notable personalities attended the workshop. The presenters discussed major differences between mainstream media and social media, trying to find various channels to tackle the unethical aspects of news dissemination via media, and how to promote peaceful journalism via these platforms.

Dr Altaf Ullah Khan, Dean of Humanities at FCCU and organizer of the event, inaugurated the workshop with a presentation on “New Market; Maintaining Truth in Social Media Dominated Societies”. In his session, he addressed social media rise, media literacy, the boom of social and social apps, and the ethics and practices of mainstream and social media in the world right now. Regarding this he added, “Journalists remain committed to the truth in journalism”. Furthermore, while discussing social media he said, “You have to use the social media platform instead of being used by it”.

This session was followed by a tea break after which Dr. Muhammad Feyyaz presented on “Differentiating between Counter Insurgency and Counter terrorism, and peace building.” In this, he discussed the various aspects of terrorism, what behavior should be adopted while facing it, and his experiences and findings on the topic. He added, “Develop a resilience, transparent structure against terrorism.”

After lunch, Dr Firasat Jabeen, presented her research on “A Juxtaposition of Urdu-English Press in Pakistan and the likelihood of Peace Journalism”. Her session was met by an interesting Q/A session where participants not only put forward questions but also gave helpful critique and suggestions on her work. This research addressed the state of Urdu and English print media in Pakistan and the difference between them in the country.

The last session of the day was by Khalid Khattak on “Technology and Peace Journalism” in which he presented his statistical findings and research on social media and its users and peace building using technology. The Day-1 of the workshop concluded with remarks by Dr Altaf.

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Arsalan Haider is a reporter at Academia Mag and has worked with leading national dailies and news channels. He tweets @arsalanhaider14

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