Ganderbal: The Department of Convergent Journalism (DCJ), Central University of Kashmir (CUK) Wednesday observed the “World Press Freedom Day” by organising a lecture on “New Media and Standalone Journalism,” by Prof. Dev Vrat Singh, former Head and Dean, Deptt of Mass Communication, School of Mass Communication and Media Technologies, Central University of Jharkhand.
Addressing the participants comprising the faculty members and the students, Prof Dev Vrat Singh, said the occasion emphasises the importance of unrestricted journalism and advocates for the fundamental right of freedom of speech.
He said the day serves as a reminder of the critical role that journalists play in holding the powerful accountable as well as ensuring that the masses have access to impartial information.
In his presentation, the speaker discussed changes in journalism in the light of Information Technology and highlighted the significant role played by social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube in highlighting public issues instantly.
He however maintained that the newsgroups on social media platforms should necessarily get the official version, before uploading the news content.
“There have been several instances wherein the credibility of the social media news groups has taken a hit as they failed to follow the ethics and principles of journalism in letter and spirit,” he said. After the address, the speaker also interacted with the faculty and staff.
Speaking on the occasion, Dean of Academic Affairs and Dean School of Media Studies, Prof. Shahid Rasool, described media as an important pillar of democracy and said the day is being observed to emphasise the value of press freedom and the difficulties faced by journalists in their work.
“The purpose of the Day is to raise awareness about press freedom, the necessity of defending journalists’ rights, and the need to support independent, free media,” he said. He further added that the freedom of speech should not be misused by anyone for their vested interests.
Head DCJ, Dr. Arif Nazir Zargar, who conducted the proceedings said the World Press Freedom Day serves as a reminder of the significance of the right to freedom of speech, which is a basic human right recognised in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He said the theme for the year 2023 is “Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of Expression as a Driver for all other human rights.” Sr Asst Prof. Dr John Babu Koyye, proposed the vote of thanks.