Karachi, May 05, 2019 (PPI-OT): Emerging challenges to journalism in Pakistan, including threats to independent news media from digital disinformation and financial cuts, were discussed at length in a two-day event in Karachi. The first-ever Sahafi Summit was co-organized by Digital Journalists of Pakistan and Media Matters for Democracy at the Centre for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ)-IBA in partnership with UNESCO Pakistan, the European Union, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Embassy of Sweden in Pakistan, and the DW Akademie in Karachi on 02-03 May.
The national convention brought together journalists from the print, digital, and broadcast media working for a variety of mainstream and independent news publications all over the country. UNESCO Representative Pakistan, Vibeke Jensen welcomed the participants at the event and reiterated the importance of independent media to build inclusive societies.
The summit generated robust and inclusive discussions on current challenges faced by the news industry in Pakistan, including the coordinated and malicious spread of disinformation, the crisis of media literacy, regulation, and the broadcast media’s struggling business model for revenue generation. The summit’s breakout sessions tackled diverse themes and issues related to the media, such as the effects of disinformation on credible journalism, verification in the digital era and the need for media and information literacy.
The challenges faced by Pakistani women reporters were also discussed, along with Pakistan’s media economy including the issue of mass layoffs, investment in digital news and services, and the role of news media owners.
H.E. Jean-François Cautain, the Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan, delivered the concluding remarks on the first day. H.E. Ardi Stoios-Braken, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Pakistan, delivered the closing remarks at second and last day of the summit. They both recalled the key role of free media for any robust democracy. The convention ended on 3 May with a message to stand united against digital, physical, and financial threats to journalists in Pakistan.
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