LAHORE - The two-day International Journalism Conference 2017 titled “Media and Society, Future and Beyond” kicked off at Pearl Continental on Saturday.

The Punjab Information Department, Foundation for Promotion of Academic Collaboration (FPAC), German Press Foundation (DPV) and the University of Central Punjab have jointly organised the event.

At the inaugural session, Christian Schalldach from the Education Ministry of Spain said, “We use social media to promote science and technology reporting in Spain and globally. In today's world, we need to listen to and appreciate new ideas in order to innovate journalism.”

Dean of School of Media and Communication Studies at the University of Central Punjab Prof Dr Mugheesuddin Sheikh said at the inaugural session that such conferences were vital to media students. He said that media should work for peace, as there is so much chaos and confusion all over. There is a galaxy of international academics at the conference, so it is a good chance to learn from them, he said. He said media students could learn from international academics how to improve the situation at home.

Spokesman for the Punjab Government Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan represented the chief minister and inaugurated the conference. Senior journalists from Germany, Afghanistan, Iran, Spain, India, USA, Malta and Denmark participated in the conference.

Dr Martin Pabst, political researcher and consultant from Munich, Germany, told The Nation it was his first visit to Pakistan. He said that he had been to Istanbul and Tehran as part of his research work. “Visiting Pakistan was my long-lasting wish and it’s been amazing here, as journalists here expressed resiliently,” he said.

Germany opposed shifting of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem because the decision will add to the chaos in Middle East, he added.

At the opening session, the chief guest read the message from Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif who welcomed the participants and delegates and called upon Pakistani universities to learn from experiences of acclaimed foreign journalists.

Malik Ahmed Khan said working journalists go through a lot of problems, as they go out without caring for their lives even during incidents of terrorism. He said the media has a great role in making Pakistan secure. He said social media was serving political and governmental causes and impacting lives in real manner. He praised bravery of Pakistani journalists who even risk their lives while covering incidents of terrorism. He said that number of terrorism incidents had significantly decreased after the initiatives taken by the government. He said the nation will never bow down to terrorists.

Kinnaird College for Women students Noor Moazzam Khan, Misbah Khan, Meeran Saqib and Ammara Khan volunteered for the event.





Talking to The Nation Noor Moazzam Khan shared conference itself provided a fruit for thought on global issues as the experience with interacting with scholars from other parts of world remained ‘tremendous’. 

In panel discussions ‘Emerging Issues in Media; National and International Perspectives’ panelists talked on the challenges faced by the media worldwide.

President German Press Foundation Christian Zarm, Director International Mrdia, DPV Shams ul Haq, Hanns.H. Mielke (Malta), Axel Rahmlow (USA), Klaus J. Stanek Nierenz and Karl-Heinz Roghofer (Germany), Grit Buttner Berthold (Denmark), Bahadury Ainuddin (Afghanistan), Faimah Shokri (Iran), senior professor of Journalism Dr. Mughees uddin Sheikh, Dr. Anjum Niaz and president of the conference Aamir Rafique also addressed the opening session.