BARAMULLA – With an aim to sensitise journalists about various Central Government schemes meant for the welfare of common citizens, Press Information Bureau (PIB) Srinagar organised a one-day media workshop at Dak Bungalow Baramulla today.
Titled “Vartalap”, the workshop is part of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s media outreach strategy and is conceptualised to act as a bridge between the masses and the government by empowering journalists and making them aware about their responsibilities towards society.
Deputy Commissioner Baramulla, Dr Syed Sehrish Asghar was the Chief Guest for the programme. Additional Director General (ADG) PIB Srinagar, Shri Rajinder Chaudhry delivered the Keynote Address and interacted with the journalists on various issues concerning Media..
The proceedings of the workshop were conducted by Deputy Director PIB Srinagar, Shri Ghulam Abbas. More than 40 journalists from Baramulla and adjacent areas attended the workshop.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Sehrish expressed happiness that such a programme was being organised in Baramulla district. She said that media is the fourth pillar of democracy and no progress can be achieved until the message of development reaches the people.
She opined that social media is a reality that cannot be escaped and people consume a lot of information through the medium. She said this increases the burden of responsibility on the journalists that they report correct and unbiased facts as news spreads very fast in the present times and wrong information can do a lot of damage in very little time.
Commenting that the written word is documented proof of things, she said that journalists must understand their responsibilities before they go ahead with their professional assignments. She reiterated upon them to give preference to humanitarian issues and avoid sensationalism.
Dr Sehrish also gave a patient hearing to the grievances of the journalists working in the district and assured them of all possible help from the administration in mitigating them.
In his welcome address, Shri Chaudhry said that media acts as the eyes and ears of the government and the government comes to know about the effectiveness of the schemes based on the feedback received from the media.
Shri Chaudhry was of the opinion that media needs to maintain checks and balances and that journalists should practice balanced journalism by giving coverage to all aspects of the story. He said that journalists should take benefit from the information shared by various government agencies through social media and help propagate the message of development among the masses.
ADG PIB, Mr Chaudhry also gave a detailed presentation on the occasion about the working of PIB and other allied media units of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. He said that media plays the dual role of taking the message of development from the government to the people and also bringing people’s issue in the notice of the government.
He also highlighted the need to effectively counter fake news and rumours in a quick time.
PIB has created a mechanism to cross check fake news and has created a Twitter Handle to disseminate Information about any such fake news, informed Mr Chaudhry.
In his inaugural address, Shri Abbas highlighted the role that media can play in propagating messages of development and social progress. He said that besides acting as a voice for the voiceless, journalists should cooperate with government in taking the message of development to the citizens.
He said that there are a large number of schemes launched by the government for all segments of the population but they are of no use if people do not know about them. He said that the role of the media is to take this information to the people so that the schemes do not go unnoticed and people remain bereft of their benefits.
The workshop also consisted of a series of lectures given by various experts. Shri Gul Sayed, Chief Canning Officer, Department of Horticulture gave an overview of the various schemes on offer for the benefit of the farmer community of the state. Dr Ruheela Hassan, Professor, Islamic University of Science and Technology Awantipora gave a presentation on Reforms in Higher Education in light of the New Education Policy 2020. Shri Parvez Majeed Lone, Assistant Professor Media Studies, Amar Singh College gave a presentation titled “Keeping pace with the development bandwagon: Challenges faced by media in reporting from remote belts”.
The lectures were followed by interactive sessions in which participants put forward their comments and observations with the experts. The journalists expressed gratitude about the holding of the workshop and wished for more such events to be held in future.
The programme was conducted in collaboration with district administration Baramulla.