The Educationist Special Report
School of Media and Communication studies, University of Central Punjab, Lahore organized a three day international Media Conference from June, 28 to June 30, 2018, with a central theme “Global Education, Professionalism & Commercialism”. Dr. Nizamuddin, Chairman Punjab Higher Education Commission was the chair of inaugural Ceremony and German Ambassador Mr. Martin Kobler, was the Guest of Honor.
Documentary Competition and a round table Conference were also organized on this occasion. Round table Conference was presided over by Shamshad Ahmed Khan former secretary Foreign Affairs and participated by Mujeebur Rehman Shami, Dr. Muhammad Zafarullah Pro rector, Arif Nizami, Prof. Dr. Mugheesuddin Sheikh, Lt. Gen. Ghulam Mustafa, Salman Ghani, P.J. Mir, Abid Salman, Brig. Farooq Hameed, Qyyum Nizami, Sajjad Mir, Rauf Tahir, Tanvir Shezad and Dr. Rahshid Ahmed Khan participated in discussions.
Dr. Manju Mishra, Chairperson, College of Journalism and Mass Communication Nepal, Mr. Zhang Xu from Communication University of China participated in all the sessions of the three days conference. Universities’ delegates from all over Pakistan presented seventy papers in eleven parallel research sessions. In the concluding session Dr. Mughees-uddin sheikh and Zhang Xu from Communication University of China signed a MOU for the linkage program between the Chinese University and University of Central Punjab, Lahore. in his opening remarks (inaugural session) Dr. Mughees-uddin Sheikh, Dean Faculty of Media and Communication Studies shed light on the importance of academic conferences and discussions. He was of the view that this is high time to revisit media theories and curriculum to answer the challenges faced by traditional media after the intervention of new media.
Dr. Manju from Nepal shared her impressions about the conference. Mr. Zhang Xu shared the message of Luo Quing, Dean, School of International Media, Communication University of China who sent her sincere wishes for the conference and faculty of FMCS. Elizabeth Eide, Professor; Department of Journalism and Media Studies, Oslo Metropolitan University, joined the conference through video conferencing and shared her views on “Transitional Navigation Citizenship, journalism and new media challenges”. Hamid Mowlana, Professor of School of International Services, American University, Washington D.C. joined the Conference by sending his paper to be read titled “Human Communication” which was presented by Dr. Frasat Rasool. Pro rector Dr. Muhammad Zafar Ullah appreciated the efforts of FMCS for organizing an international conference and acknowledged the services of visionary leadership of Prof. Dr. Mughees-uddin Sheikh. Inaugural session was followed by 11 parallel sessions of presentations of academic research papers which were divided in 05 following themes.
1. Digital media, curriculum development and teaching method
2. political economy and democratization of media,
3. Media ethics : theory and practice
4. Public relations, advertising, marketing and consumer behavior
5. environmental communication
More than 300 research papers were received from different national and international universities out of which 70 papers were selected for the presentation. Research sessions were chaired by Dr. Manju Mishra, Dr. Shahid Soroya, Dr. Zafar Iqbal, Dr. Ashraf Khan, Dr. Saqib Riaz, Dr. Rukhsana Kausar, Dr. Anjum Zia, Dr. Nosheena Saleem, Dr. Muhammad Khalid, Dr.Wajid Zulqarnain, and Dr. Zahid Bilal.
In second day documentary competition Mr. Ayub Khawar was the guest of honor and Mr. Syed Noor was the Chief Guest. The chief guests and guest of honor distributed the certiﬁcates to the participants and gave shields to the ﬁrst 4 position holders, i.e.
1. Amna Munawar
2.Syed Zeeshan Haider Gillani
4. Naveed Alam.
On the third Day along with round table Conference on “Media and national interest” Concluding session and Grand Dinner was also arranged. Dr. Niaz Ahmed Akhtar, Vice Chancellor of Punjab University was Guest of Honor of this session. Report of the three days of Conference and recommendations were presented in the conference.
THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL MEDIA CONFERENCE
The recommendations of international Media Conference are of two faceted: recommendations for the researchers and recommendations for the media practitioners.
1. About media, it is felt that many unethical practices like sensationalism, distortion of facts, biases in the contents, use of agenda setting and framing techniques for the hidden objectives of financers, owners and journalists are very common in media content, there is a dire need to implement professional ethics by the media organizations with the cooperation of all stake holders.
2. Civil society should play its role to monitor the media and social media by organizing Media Watch groups.
3. Electronic media should care less about the ratings and care more about positive and negative effects of their content on the society.
4. There is a need to focus more on national interest, economic development, behavioral change, water shortage, over population, deforestation, agriculture and health etc., rather than on ratings and readership.
5. Media students and scholars must play a role of true critics of media and build a pressure on media organizations for producing healthy content aligned with national interest.