Technology changing and expanding journalism
ISLAMABAD: Advancement of technology and easy access to it have opened new avenues for producing and disseminating information and even changed the standards of traditional journalism.
This was the crux of the workshop on ‘International Best Practices in Journalism’ organised by the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (T.JSEFP) here on Thursday.
Over 45 journalists from print, radio, TV and internet media participated in the workshop.
The main speakers on the occasion were International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) vice-President Patrick Butler and the center’s senior pro. gramme director, Johanna Carrillo.
Mr Butler, who has been associated with the International Center, for Journalists for over 10 years and also re-mained a journalist trainer in South America, shed light on media ethics and what all practices were being adopted by journalists to obtain and then spread information to the public, however, keeping in view journalistic norms and values.
However he did say that ‘greenlight’ journalism which fulfilled all ethical conditions and promoted responsible dissemination of information should be promoted, instead of the ‘redlight’ journalism which simply blocked news from reaching the public.
Mr Butler said technology had made information accessible, and gave example of Wikileaks, which had made classified information public.
He said bloggers played an important role in spreading information particularly in countries where restrictions had been imposed on media. In some cases, he said, blogs were even competing with mainstream media.
Another form of journalism he spoke about was the relatively new but effective ‘citizen journalism’.
He said citizen journalists had played an important role in-providing information on the recent floods in Pakistan and how certain images and visuals, made available by the affected people from areas which were not accessible by journalists, were aired by TV channels and carried by newspapers, showing the magnitude of the devastation.
However he also informed the participants of the disadvantages of online media.
He said the amount of information available online was overwhelming which made verification difficult and at times impossible.
In depth and investigative journalism had also suffered because of online media, adding that due to dearth of funds in this branch of media, journalists could not be hired who focussed on investigative reporting.
He pointed out that the youth were turning towards the internet for quick and accessible information and in the process were turning away from mainstream media.
Earlier, Johanna Carrillo, who had also worked as a broadcast journalist in Chile, informed the participants about various training and exchange opportunities that existed worldwide for journalists, and explained in detail how mediapersons could benefit from online courses.