1st International Media Conference (IMC-2022) titled “Balancing the Expression: Exploring Antagonism in World Media Ecosystem” kicks off at Lahore Garrison University (LGU). The conference is being organized by the University of the Punjab (PU) Department of Communication & Media Research (PU-DCMR), Lahore Garrison University (LGU), Lahore College for Women University (LCWU), National University of Modern Languages (NUML) and other institutions.

Speakers at the international media conference have highlighted the significance of balance in freedom of expression as it can play an important role in creating national and social harmony in Pakistan and strengthening the country economically. They were of the view that the revival of the economy was one of the most important issues of the country at present and in this regard, the media should play its role in providing an environment conducive to foreign direct investment and building a positive image of the country.

Senior Defense Analyst Lt. Gen. (r) Ghulam Mustafa was the special guest of the conference while Vice Chancellor Lahore Garrison University Major General (r) Shehzad Sikandar, Dean Social Sciences LG and Dr Noman Majeed, Senior Journalist and Analyst Ali Sajjad, Director Punjab University School of Communication Studies Prof Dr Noshina Saleem, Chairman LGU Department of Mass Communication Dr Amir Mehmood Bajwa, Focal Person Assistant Professor Seemab Far Bukhari, eminent media persons, faculty members, researchers and students participated in the conference.

In his address, Maj Gen (r) Shehzad Sikandar said that international media conferences are unique because they explore national and international opinions on several issues. He said that our country was facing a very critical situation due to fake news, misinformation and disinformation. He said that there was a need to strengthen the institution of media. He urged the people to take various measures to prevent false news.

Addressing the conference, Lt Gen (r) Ghulam Mustafa said that we should refrain from believing in any one-sided information and should do research to verify facts. He said that we would live on the things that were taught to us from childhood. “In order to bring change in the society, it is important that we continue to learn and give up things that are harmful to us,” he said, adding that Pakistan was not a poor country but we needed to fix our problems and media must play its role in this regard.

In the inaugural session of the conference, Dean Social Sciences Lahore Garrison University Dr Noman Majeed, DG PEMRA Punjab Ikram Bakht, Dr Sobail Ikram and Dr Humble Ikram along with anchorpersons Mohsin Bhatti, Najam Wali and PJ Mir expressed their views. The speakers said that first of all we have to decide whether the media changes our society or we ourselves. They emphasized that our society was largely being affected by the spread of fake news. They said that it was unfortunate that some media owners and journalists encourage irrational and fake news in certain circumstances which also damages the reputation of the journalism profession. The speakers said that the trend of giving “breaking news” first had eroded quality and ethics in electronic media reporting.

Dean School of Media & Communication Studies (SMCS) University of Management and Technology (UMT) Prof Dr Anjum Zia, Punjab University School of Communication Studies (SCS) Professor Dr Hanan Mian, Dean of Humanities FC College (FCCU) Lahore Prof Dr Altafullah Khan also spoke on the occasion. On the first day of the conference, researchers presented their papers.

The closing ceremony of the conference will be held on Thursday (today) at Al Raazi Hall, Punjab University New Campus at 3pm.

Related: PU, LGU to organize international conference on antagonism in media
Author

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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