Seminar urges media role in creating civic sense -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Seminar urges media role in creating civic sense

* Speakers at roundtable conference on ‘Role of Media in Defining Urban Outlook in Pakistan’ suggest proper training of city reporters, media managers to spread awareness on urbanisation in its true sense

By Shabbir Sarwar

LAHORE: There is a dire need of citizens’ capacity building on civic sense through media as well as proper training and education of city reporters and media managers to spread required awareness on urbanisation in its true sense. This conclusion was reached by speakers at the end of a roundtable conference on “Role of Media in Defining Urban Outlook in Pakistan,” held at the Alhamra Hall on Friday as part of the five-day Pakistan Urban Forum 2011 activities from March 1-5.

Speaking on the occasion, Vandana Mehra of the Hindustan Times, said the issue had remained a crucial one in India as initially no newspaper ever wrote on an urban issue like sanitation.

“I was the first to support the idea of coverage of sanitation issues in the city of Delhi that has 6 million newspaper readers,” she said. Vandana suggested building partnership between media and government institutions to promote civic sense among citizens. She also highlighted various media issues.

Renowned TV anchor Mubashar Luqman, while speaking at the occasion, said that media should not be blamed for all curses in society. Media was not a teacher but a mirror of society as it reports what is happening around us, he stated. Mubashar said that the national media cannot highlight community-level issues as it was the responsibility of metro journalists. He said it was a big problem that religion was being linked to governance in Pakistan.

Prof Dr Mujahid Ali Mansoori, the chairman of the UMT Media and Communication Department, said that the media was not the true mirror of society because it had ignored the major segment of the country that was the rural population.

Dr Mujahid said media had been primarily focusing on events’ reporting and it lacked the capacity to change the peoples’ behaviour. There was a dire need of establishing community and metro media to address community interest and local issues, he said, adding that national TV channels cannot give much space to local issues as they focused on key national issues.

Urban Forum Project Director, Dr Nasir Javed, speaking at the occasion, said that majority of the country’s population was youth but there was no proper coverage of youth and children issues in the mainstream media

Ahmed Ali from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said that media anchors shouldn’t act as judges and the media and government being two pillars of state must be accountable for their wrongdoings.

Rafih Alam, a renowned lawyer, said that media should focus on an issue until its solutions.

28 stalls had been established at the Alhamra Art Gallery where visitors were educated on various environmentally friendly and recycled product used in urban areas. Some prominent stalls included those of the Asian Development Bank, Agha Khan Cultural Services Paksitan, Beaconhouse National University, Child Protection Bureau, Punjab Municipal Development Fund Company, Lahore Waste Management Company, Traffic Network Management and Water and Sanitation Programme-South Asia.

The five-day Pakistan urban forum 2011 would conclude today (Saturday).
Source: Daily Times