New Delhi: SIO of India organised media workshop “Media Amelioration” on 2nd & 3rd March 2019, for Young Journalist running magazines/portals from all over India.

This 2-day workshop was designed to train participants in content generation, effective utilisation of RTI as a tool of journalism, fact checking and myth busting.

The Workshop began with Quranic Talk by Janab Ejaz Ahmed (Chief Editor, Radiance Views weekly) followed by inaugural address of Br. Syed Azharuddin, General Secretary, SIO of India.

A brief report of the topics covered in the workshop and resource persons is presented below: 

CONTENT GENERATION & ARTICULATION Prof. Shaheen Nazar, Guest Faculty, Dept of Mass Communication, JMI & Sharda University, gave tips on how to generate content and also on articulation. He said that content should be from authentic sources and be verified before granting coverage.  

RTI – A Tool of Journalism: Mr. Afroz Alam Sahil Editor, Beyond Headlines, shared his own experiences and outlined how to use RTI as a tool of journalism to get the exact report and for problem solving. Filing of RTI can draw attention of officials as well as public but will not be enough to resolve the issue. Hence RTI should be effectively used as one of the tools in the process of resolving issues.

Fact-Checking & Myth-Busting: Mr. Umar Jabir Hussain Mansuri Software Engineer, Gujarat said in today’s world fake news has become a new trend, which leads to propagation of misinformation in the masses for the sake of TRP. As a responsible citizens, our work should be to help the people in getting true and verified information. 

Running a Digital Newsroom: Mobile JournalismMr. Shadab Moizee, Senior Journalist, The Quint undertook a practical session to demonstrate how to cover news using mobile, he said that mobile journalism is the easiest way to cover news instantly. He shared some examples of his own field work in this regard.

E-marketing & Monetization: Mr. Hamza Muazzam Ali, Web Master, SIO of India, said that online media is a platform to spread a message about a company’s brand, products, or services to its potential customers and this helps in earning money by allowing google advertisement of portals.   

Video Journalism- Mr. Irshad Alam Falahi, The Quint, elaborated on the utilisation of mobile phones for video journalism. New and aspiring journalists with low budget, can use apps like pictochart, filmoragi, Inshots and KineMaster etc., to shoot and edit videos.

Media & Reporting of Terrorism – Adv. Abdul Wahid Shaik, author of Begunah Qaidi, highlighted the role of media in shaping perceptions of the people. After any attack, media trails starts, creates political tension which pressurizes the police to get hold of the culprits anyhow. In most cases the accused are falsely implicated just like myself, Sheik said. To help the falsely accused or to know the exact state of affair, the reporter shall be required to regularly visit his/her home/neighbours. Daily visit to custody with advocate is necessary to know the role of the police is also necessary.

Panel – Journalistic Ethics in the Post-truth Era:

Zia us Salam, Editor Frontline, Elaborated on the ethical dimension of journalism. He discussed the nuances of information, misinformation and disinformation. In the era of post-truth, it is critical to stem misinformation as well as disinformation and be careful to report only authentic information.

Hasan Ul Banna, New Delhi Bureau Chief Madhyamam, discussed the practical dimensions and implications of maintaining ethical standards in journalism in the post-truth era.

Reporting – Iqbal Ahmed, BBC, spoke about TRP trap that journalists and media portals are prone to fall into.  He stressed the importance and necessity of reporting only authentic and verified news.   

Formation of a National Media Network: RMGP News Group: A pan-India media network was initiated at the workshop. The delegates of the participating portals undertook to form an umbrella for sharing news, content and other resources.  

The workshop concluded with the presidential address of Labeed Shafi President, SIO of India. Hehighlighted the importance of media as the fourth pillar of democracy, which plays a vital role in nation-building. Young journalist have a critical role to play in this regard which will have immediate as well as long-term impact. Shafi further said that the media is there to report the state of affairs as they are and maintaining integrity and authenticity in critical in this matter. Media should not become a tool for promoting misinformation, enmity, perpetuating stereotypes, etc., but rather give the space of voiceless, oppressed and unheard. This work requires courage and moral integrity and we should strive our best to excel in it, Shafi added.