By Mian Saifur Rehman
The Educationist has grown into a constant source of enlightenment, not only for students but also for its readers from other walks of life. My own experience about this intellectual endeavor is a learning experience and I suggest that journalists especially those engaged in teaching Mass Communication and different disciplines of Journalism must regularly study The Educationist.
It is inspiring as much inspiring is the atmosphere of Institute of Communication Studies (ICS) of Punjab University. The best thing about ICS is that it arranges interaction between the students and ‘field-hardened’ journalists who know all intricacies, ins and outs of media practices. In this manner, the students happen to have complete insight into the newspapers’ and television channels’ actual working patterns and functional modalities and challenges. It means that students are treated here as potential journalists of the near-future.
Another inspiring thing that I observed at ICS a few weeks back was the international conference on “Freedom of Expression: Glocal Politics of Emotions” organized with the participation of foreign journalists and professors. And local literati also participated in the event with devotion, responding to the passionate contribution of VC, Prof DrMujahid Kamran, and ICS head, Dr Noshina Saleem, and her team and students.
The musical dimension of the event ‘Sufi Night’ generated transcendental feelings among the young as well as the old but more inspiring was the topic of the conference that revolved around Glocal emotions. Some journalists didn’t endeavor to grasp the concept ‘Glocal’ and instead, they wrote the term ‘Global’ in their published reports. Glocal is all about the emotions that govern the international relationships. It is a very important subject particularly because the global relationships are facing quite a formidable disequilibrium or imbalance. The mighty ones dictate the weaker nations on the basis of their economic and military might and the situation is like that of master-slave relationships which are giving birth to resentments in turn. The resultant global imbalance is a slur on the face of civilization. The educationists and journalists’ combine has tried to identify the root causes of these imbalanced relationships. And the fact is that once we are able to identify the causes, it means that we have found some solid clue to a solution. The Glocalconference also gave the impression that some steps have been taken on the path of finding the solutions.
The focus of the conference on defining and redefining the right to freedom of expression was more appreciable. A realistic observation was made in this context by renowned intellectual JavedJabbar who said the right to freedom of expression is contextual as it is perceived differently in different contexts. He elaborated that the meaning of freedom of expression for one fraternity might be different from the meaning given to this basic human right by another fraternity.
In all, the conference provided sufficient food for thought and acted as an effective stimulus for the thinking beings.
It is on this account and for many other good reasons that I say that Punjab University continues to be a source of inspiration and enlightenment for all and sundry.
(The writer is a seasoned journalist and media academician. He can be reached at: [email protected])