Fact Checking a Must in Digital Media News, avers experts during an International Conference on Emerging Media Paradigms at Amity University

New Delhi: To familiarize the students about the rapid changing media landscape driven by technological advancement and furthermore, setting the stage for academia-industry engagement, Amity School of Film & Drama (ASFD) & Amity School of Communication (ASCO) commenced with two day International Conference on Emerging Media Paradigms (ICEMP) at Amity University Noida.

The aim of the International Conference is to bring together an eclectic mix of thinkers, innovators, and leaders from academia and industry to discuss, debate and reflect upon the complex tapestry of narratives that explore the changing media paradigm, focusing on four verticals including Intermediality; Prosumer Culture; Futuristic Media; Narratology and Techno culture.

Addressing the gathering, Mrs Pooja Chauhan, Chairperson, Amity School of Film and Drama said, “the vision of Amity is to create a strong, vibrant, diverse and dynamic community of future leaders, especially in the field of media and entertainment, who stand for integrity and excellence of the sector.” She mentioned that the objective of the conference is to bridge the gap between industry and academia, furthermore understanding the needs and nurturing the budding professionals with synergized perspective. Mrs. Chauhan shared that the conference has received over 150 abstracts from across the world and has witnessed participation of numerous International delegates from UK, USA, Lithuania, Iran and Malaysia amongst others.

Delivering his keynote speech during the inaugural session, Prof Arvind Singhal, Endowed Professor and Director, Social Justice Initiative, University of Texas, El Paso talked on ‘The Power of Transmedia Storytelling’ wherein he talked about transition in story telling through different platforms emerged over the years. He mentioned that transmedia storytelling is about engagement which helps in dissemination of information or important social message or even, for influencing for a cause that has shaped the society, through the years. He shared about serialization of narrative fiction which was started by Charles Dickens through ‘Pickwick Paper’ and is known as the father of Narrative fandom. He further apprised about the exemplary narrative persuasion conducted by Mahatma Gandhi which lead to Dandi March. Prof. Singhal said that through newspapers and newsreels, a multi-prolonged viral campaign was designed, at a scale, that allowed people to be aware about the movement and participate in it.

Speaking on the new-age concept of storytelling, Prof. Singhal remarked that we have shifted from big screen to small screen through digitization and now the access to information is just a click away. He laid emphasis upon the impact of social media, social influencers etc on the choices and opinions of young minds.

Sharing her views, Prof. Kate Williams, Dy. Dean, Faculty of Arts, Science & Technology University of Northampton, UK reinstated that journalism is about storytelling to audience and pointed out that people expect journalists to tell the truth, hence, it is their responsibility to fact check every story they publish. “With the rise of social media accessibility, every person is turning into a Journalist, but one must be cautious of what news they are offering or consuming. “she averred.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ashish Joshi, CEO, Lok Sabha pointed out that the need of the hour is to have a paradigm shift in media industry which must focus it’s working towards Nation building through every news they share. He mentioned that in today’s time, the breaking news are not through news channels or radio but by the means of digital media. He stressed that social media has changed the way we consume news. Multiple opinions and angles of a single news are reflected online. He underlined that it is the responsibility of journalists to present 360degree view of the news, so that the common man can be well informed before forming any opinion. “Journalist’s prejudice shouldn’t harm the news.” Mr. Joshi said it has become a trend to protest just for the sake of it without having the complete knowledge of the issue. He urged the youngsters to refrain themselves from forming an opinion with limited knowledge. He advised them to develop the habit of reading and researching.

Dr. Alok Kumar Mishra, Joint Secretary, Association of Indian Universities. emphasized upon unravelling the truth in news and cautioned the gathering to share only that information which is factually correct.

During the day, a plenary session was organized on topic ‘Digital Cultures’ wherein eminent personalities such as Ms Shazia Ilmi , BJP Spokesperson; Mr. Milind Khandekar, Digital Editor, BBC India; Mr. Akash Banerjee, Co-Founder NAB Digital Media; Mr. Akash Banerjee, Co-Founder NAB Digital Media Mr. Satish Kr. Singh, Head -Digital, News 24 amongst others.

Ms. Shazia Ilmi remarked that digital media has provided platform to diverse voices and given opportunity to nurture one’s individuality which was lacking in traditional mode of Journalism. She urged the students not to have binary state of mind and urged them to explore the opportunity of accessibility to abundant information that will help them form their individuality.

Mr. Milind Khandekar informed that the mode of consumption news has shifted from newspapers to television to digital over years. “Digital media has given the power to users to watch news which they credible and are of their interest.” He remarked that despite change in platforms, the concept of journalism shall not change, which is, speaking truth to the power.

Mr. Satish Kr. Singh said, “it is important to be aware about the difference between media and news media.” He opined that however, there are been increase of different kinds of news platforms, but they are not competitors but complementary to each other. The only differentiation they hold is of credibility and accessibility.

During the second day of the conference i.e on January 10, 2020, a plenary session will be conducted on topic, “Entertainment for New Millenials” wherein industry doyens including Ms. Ambika Khurana, Director, Public Policy at Netflix, Mr Murtaza Ali, Internet Vlogger and Influencer, Mr. Priyansh Jora, Bollywood Actor & Alumnus, Ms. Shonali Bose, Film Director and Prof Somnath Sen, Amity School of Film and Drama will share their views with the students.