KARACHI: Federal Minister for Power Khurram Dastgir Khan on Sunday emphasized on dissemination of true and verified content through media, especially social media.
Like politicians, the media has its own barriers and challenges in revealing certain truths.
“Social media has erased the line between truth and lie, and this in my view is extreme reporting,” he stated.
Having sufficient power and resources, one can alter reality,” he regretted while delivering his keynote address in the concluding session of two-day conference on ‘Extreme Reporting: Conflict and Peace in the Digital Age’ held at the Centre of Excellence in Journalism, at Institute of Business Administration.
Minister of State for Energy Dr Musadik Malik, United States Consul General Mark Stroh and IBA’s Executive Director Dr S. Akbar Zaidi were prominent amongst the participants.
The minister said that the extreme reporting was an endeavor that required strength and courage.
If one looks at Pakistan’s history there had been courageous men and women who had tried to express the truth, for which they suffered a lot, the minister added.
For example, the minister said, journalists were shot in broad daylight and kidnapped—not only they but their families also suffered.
He maintained that the media had failed to save the public from lies. It might be an exaggeration to say but the erasure of the line between truth and lies was endangering democracy worldwide.
But in this country, the democracy was treated as a soft target and as a leaf of plant to be crushed, he asserted.
He agreed that the media had many challenges like the elected lawmakers because there were certain truths that could not be revealed in the country.
The minister touched upon the civil military relationship and how it impacted the economy, the 2018 elections which he said were managed.
United States’ Consul General in Karachi Mark Stroh, after distributing awards, in his brief comments said that it had been a really fascinating couple of days – workshop and two-day conference on digital media held at IBA-CEJ.
The US was supporting the said centre and training because they were committed to supporting journalists in Pakistan.
“We are proud to support this training programs at the CEJ-IBA,” he held.
A strong professional press was important – especially in conflict – and it was through such trainings and conferences the journalists could learn to play their instrumental role in shaping the discourse, he advocated.