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KOHIMA, Nov 16: The National Press Day has been observed on Friday at the Conference Hall of Directorate of Information & Public Relations, Kohima with a large media fraternity attending it.
The Press Council of India has chosen “Journalism Ethics and Challenges in Digital Era” as this year’s theme for observance of the National Press Day.
During the last two decades, the media environment has become increasingly digitalized, where the rate of information exchange and sharing have gone extremely high, the line of demarcation between the sender and the receiver in a communication has become blurred. Online journalism faces the crisis of attribution, authentication, credibility and error control perhaps its rules and procedures are still evolving.
With social media becoming the major platform to access news in the absence of a gatekeeper, anything and everything is going by the name of news. Therefore, to maintain credibility and accountability are the two hallmark of journalism.
With improved technology for creating and distribution of media content and social media providing easy platform at a global scale, anybody can create news or what appears like news. Fake news has become prevalent. This precisely is the reason for the prevailing of fake news is eroding the credibility of news.
Digital technology has made copying and distributing content easier. This has raised serious questions on issues like copyright, source credibility and authenticity. These have been challenging journalism in the last two decades, in the context of the “digital age”.
During the observance, there were panel discussions with four panelists, Dr. Moalemba, Editor, Morung Express, Tongpang L Jamir, Project Coordinator, NSLSA, Michael Yhome, OCCyber Cell, PHQ and Yanpvuo Kikon,Founder, The Naga Blog.
Editor, Morung Express, Dr. Moalemba while discussing on the topic “Journalism Ethics and Challenges in Digital Era” mentioned the challenges faced by the media and said that people preferably use social media as a medium of communication. Many a times people giving headlines news to undeserving ones and media people act a laptop rather than a watchdog, he added. He also mentioned about the role and responsibility of media in this digital age saying that objectivity and impartiality are the hallmark of communication as fake news is becoming more and more in this digital age. He also asked the media agencies to verify the news items before being disseminated.
“Every profession has its own ethics” said Project Coordinator, NSLSA, Tongpang L. Jamir while discussing on the topic “Journalism Ethics and Challenges in Digital Era”. He also mentioned that media is the watchdog and guardian of the society and its credibility depends on its ethics. He urged the media people to know the legal provisions and asked the media fraternity to ensure that they are independent and free from political interference.
OC Cyber Cell, PHQ, Michael Yhome while sharing his thoughts said that everybody has become a journalist in one way or the other. He cautioned the participants to refrain from sending fake news or rumors without its credibility being checked. He said social media has an immense impact in sensitizing and creating awareness to the general public irrespective of good or bad. He also suggested the need to have strict regulations and its mechanism in order to address the menace of fake news circulating in public domain.
Founder, The Naga Blog, Yanpvuo Kikon while discussing on the topic mentioned the difference between social media and news media. He specifically said that social media is used to communicate between people to people about the issues confronting our daily lives so as to bring constructive criticism. Whereas, here in Nagaland we use social media as news media instead of using news media, he added.
He also suggested the need to have regulations/mechanism so that there will be no infringement of rights and responsibilities between social media and print media as both of them are part of the digital revolution.
Earlier, Director, IPR, Limawati Ao welcomed all the members and conveyed his greetings to all the media and non-media personnel who attended the program. He said their presence and participation on this auspicious occasion made the day more eventful and meaningful.
He further said such gathering brought encouragement and motivation amongst the media fraternity. Stressing on the importance and impact of digitalization, he said the department had chosen the relevant topic and engaged knowledgeable persons as panelists for discussion. He also thanked the Press Clubs of Kohima, Dimapur and Mokokchung for attending the program.
The program was chaired by Former President KPC, H. Chishi. Vote of thanks was proposed by President MPC, Limalenden Longkumer. Special song was presented by Mezanuo, Symphony Academy of Music Kohima. During the discussion session, many participated and questions like internet blackout, social media regulation act, media accountability, ethics of journalism, website updating, credibility of media, source authenticity, media bias, etc. were asked and answered by the panelists.
The moderator for the Panel discussion was Deputy Director (Training) ATI, Dr. Hovithal Sothu was moderator for the Panel discussion. He also wrapped up the discussion with some important points like checking the accuracy and authenticity of the news, learning to differentiate from the important news from trivial news, interactive accessibility, knowing the difference between social media and news media.
Editors and officials from different newspaper agencies attended the program. On the occasion, Governor of Nagaland, P.B. Acharya and Chief Minister of Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio also conveyed their greetings to the media fraternity.