Webinar engages next generation of South Asian journalists

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The ‘Future of Journalism in South Asia’ webinar series successfully concluded its third webinar on October 6themed ‘Engaging the Next Generation of Journalists’

Over 50 journalists and media persons from Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka participated in the webinar which attracted the younger generation of the South Asian journalists.

The webinar series was organized by the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) Sri Lanka and Media Unlimited Pakistan supported by the Meta Journalism Project.

The panel comprised Paavan Mathema, chief correspondent for Agence France-Presse (AFP) bureau in Kathmandu, Talha Ahad, CEO of Centrum Media, Pakistan and Raisa Wickrematunge, Acting Editor of Himal Southasian based in Sri Lanka. The session was moderated Zafar Sobhan, Editor of Dhaka Tribune.

 Strategic Partner Manager of the APAC News Partnership of Meta, Yu Yu Din started the proceedings by introducing the Journalist Safety Hub to participants and explained on how to use available tools and resources for a safe online experience.

In his opening remarks, Zafar Sobhan highlighted the importance of making voices heard in the challenging media environment.

Paavan Mathema spoke about reporting with a global outlook. She said that it is important to understand what the younger generation expect from the media.

Mathema engaged more with reporting to an international audience said that portraying the correct information of country is very challenging.

“It is very important to elevate media literacy among the next generation of journalists. One has to have a proper awareness on how to check the credibility of a source, how to investigate persons uploading social media posts and how to counter disinformation,” said Mathema while answering several questions from the participants.

Talha Ahad in his comments stressed on the need to elevate media literacy among the younger generation and said that the lack of clarity in information in media is a challenge. He recounted the steps he and his team innovated to attract the younger generation to the information posted in his media start up.

“Generation Z is the most misinformed generation. This is where the responsibility falls on the new media to fill the gap and make accurate information available with evidence,” he added.

Raisa Wickrematunge shared her experience in migrating from print to digital platforms and said that transformation demands considering moving on with creative paths. “We have to adopt videos, infographics, podcasts and such initiatives to engage the next generation,” said Wickrematunge.

In the lively question-and-answer session, participants asked about various challenges and issues that young journalists of South Asia are facing.

Sobhan summarized the session by saying “While we are concerned about the challenges modern media poses to the next generation of journalists, it is vital for them to adhere to responsible reporting irrespective of the platform they work on.”  

The next webinar will be the last of the series and will be focusing on fact checking and future of journalism. It is scheduled to be held on October 20, 2022.