COPAIR webinar- “Role of Media in Creating Narratives”

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Center of Pakistan and International Relations (COPAIR), Islamabad organized a virtual conference title “Role of Media in Creating Narratives.” The panelist of the webinar includes professional experts, journalists, and scholars on the pertinent topic. Several people from different fields, such as media practitioners, digital transformation leaders, academia, and students from across the country joined the riveting discussion. The two-hour-long session was organized to gather inclusive insight about the essence of media in framing narratives and also draw plausible strategies for the capacity building of media houses, digital media platforms, and media professionals that can eventually assist to subvert the propaganda warfare perpetrated by the adversaries.

 Dr. Talat Shabbir- Director CPSC, moderated the session and after the introduction of speakers, he set the baseline of the webinar by sharing views that Media has become a powerful tool. The evolution of media to its omnipresence in the world has brought a massive transition in the way people interact, build narratives, and share stories. The distinctive feature of contemporary media- shaping narratives, being accessible to a wide audience, and a prime tool for narrative shaping, business, and warfare makes it an extremely important platform that could have a large impact on the opinions of the masses.

Amir Zia – President of BOL Media Group brief participants on The Power of Narratives. Media have a unique and sophisticated ground to play on as it can build or tarnish the image of the country. He made a point that current trends of Pakistani media are, fragmented, and non-coherent with national goals. The responsibility of media not only confined to the media only, other ties of state also holds collective responsibility for the promotion of national narrative. There is a dire need to denounce the over obsession of the western media discourse to formulate indigenous-based media aspirations’ of narrative promotion.

Amir Jahangir –CEO of RINSTRA Technologies expressed his views on the topic The Digital Transformation of Media and its Impacts. He extensively elaborated on the evolution of media.in addition, he opinionated that Social media is the “new power” medium for news engagement, generation, dissemination, and consumption. While highlighting the impacts of the digitalization of media, he was of the view that individuals will matter more Impacting the collective consciousness of the society by influencing key individuals, influencing masses will not be the effect.

Puruesh Chaudhary – Founder and President AGHAI on ‘The Future of Journalism and Story Telling’ stated that despite the mediums of journalism has changed dramatically but the sense, trust, and innovation will remain the key imperatives for shaping the future of journalism.

Ibrahim Sajid Malick – Director Online Programs, Iqra University on ‘The New Science of Data in Media Narrative Building. He stated that journalists have to revamp their reporting model,    it is about confirming the credibility of sources or assessing an incident, a journalist should know how to weigh a situation critically. Sound judgment to verify the information before drafting the story is equally significant. While elaborating the technical aspects of narrative building, he urged to follow the comparative reality check mechanism through visualizations.

Aniqa Nisar – Senior Anchor Person Capital TV on gave an inclusive insight on ‘Contemporary Media and Narrative Building. She suggested that the state should be taken as a brand without a story in itself. Conventional and contemporary media are the two biggest modes of promoting narratives. Digital media is thriving as it has become an important tool for digital diplomacy. We need to make our masses realize that their interests are enticed by the image of the state. She further highlighted that Imposing regulations would give a wrong impression. However, society must be provided guidelines for the society for self-regulation. She recommended that there should be red boundaries for the media as well. She also mentions the regulators must be self-sovereign and independent, irrespective of regime change. The narrative building is not the job of the government, as a nation, all the masses hold the responsibility to build the narrative of Pakistan aligned with our core interests.  

President COPAIR Ms. Amna Malik in her concluding remarks stated that clear distinction and keeping a balanced approach between Media and national interest is a missing link in Media policies, therefore this gap must be fulfilled to ensure coherence for farming the narratives aligned with national interests. She also suggested that at the national level, Pakistan’s real image promotion potentially necessitates the state-driven capacity building of media houses, digital media platforms, and media persons to present Pakistan’s narrative and put forward a strong case fighting against hybrid warfare.

Approximately 200 people from Pakistan and abroad, including representatives of the public and private organizations and students attended the two-hour-long session virtually.

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