NEW DELHI: Media icon from Pakistan Najma Sethi said the media in the subcontinent is playing a negative role and has become a part of the problem rather than creating an environment of mutual understanding in the south asian region.
Speaking at a conference organised by the South Asian University, Mr. Sethi also talked about various challenges the media is facing these days. The conference was attended by senior editors and journalists from around the SAARC region including Siddharth Varadarajan, Lakshman Gunasekara, Ashok Vajpeyi, Vijay Naik, Cartoonist EP Unny, Vijay Satokar, Subina Shrestha, Suhasini Haidar, Prashant Jha, Elita Karim, Sonam Pelden and Mehmal Sarfraz, to mention a few.
Many aspects of the media including the role of the media in promoting and strengthening regional consciousness in South Asia, the pattern of news coverage and the changing dynamics of the mediascape due to social media and popular culture were discussed in the conference. The need for rising above nationalistic feelings while reporting issues involving the South Asian countries, the necessity for initiating informal interactions between media practitioners from different countries and creating a common South Asia TV channel and a portal for cartoons catering to the whole region were some of the ideas mooted at the conference.
Issues like India and Pakistan not having even a single correspondent in each other’s country and how news is sourced from the western news agencies was underlined.
The two day conference attended by mostly academicians, students and representatives from the high commissions of the SAARC nations in Delhi was inaugurated by Jawhar Sircar, Prashar Bharti CEO.