National conference discusses emerging media trends
The phenomenon of Islamophobia and postmodernism discussed at one-day national conference titled ‘Emerging Media Trends’ on January 30, 2020, focusing the current media practices and impact of new media.
The discussion revolved around different themes including ‘Islamophobia and Western Media’ and ‘Post-Modernism and Current Media Practices.’ The event aimed at providing a platform for fruitful discussion and to encourage dialogue culture about the developments in media, technology, Islam and the West.
The moot was organized by the Department of Communication and Media Studies in which esteemed media academics including the Vice Chancellor Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad, Dr Abdul Siraj, the Chairman Department of Media Studies, Bahria University Islamabad, Dr Zafar Iqbal, the Chairman Media and Communication Department, International Islamic University Islamabad, Noman Yaser, Incharge Department of Communication and Media Studies Sargodha University, other faculty members and a number of students participated.
In his opening remarks, Noman Yaser said that perception had become more important than reality due to technological advancement and change in patterns from the physical to the digital world, the public attention has been scattered across the many interaction platforms. The spectrum of communication is broader than ever and when we talk about how societies engage with technology, we must take content into account, and vice versa, he added.
Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad stated that all religions are sacred for the Muslims and the world has to think about the rights of Muslims as well. He emphasized to overcome the deficiencies existing in Muslim world from one to another sector by adopting modern scientific approach for resolution.
Freedom comes with responsibility, Dr Ahmad said, adding that the immediacy of new media coupled with the lack of oversight means we must be more careful than ever to ensure and counter check the news from authenticity of sources.
Sharing his findings on ‘Islamophobia and Western Media’ Dr Zafar Iqbal said that despite its pros and cons, Islam was being discussed in more than 150 social media groups and pages which were operating from West. He said that several studies revealed the presence of hundreds of social media groups and pages working against Muslims operating only from the West.
It is of great concern that even 20 years after 9/11, the phenomenon of Islamophobia is not just around, but getting worse while the leadership of Muslim countries does not speak of it enough, he said.
Dr Abdul Siraj talked about the ‘Postmodernism and Current Media Practices’. He said that the phenomenon of postmodernism has brought about a frenzied situation in the world affairs where audience has become the driving force.
Postmodernist media rejects meta-narration and put greater emphasis on the plurality of truths, he said, adding that everything is fragmented and there is no overarching explanation for anything.
The social reality is dominated by the media reality and is littered with video footage, computer games, advertising, film, TV images and photographs whereas the emphasis is given on the style rather than the substance and content.
Question and answer session was also held at the end of the conference and shields were distributed among the guest speakers.