Govt officers urged to use social media responsibly

Published January 4, 2020
SAPM Awan says role of information officers is highly significant in disseminating information about policies. — AFP/File
SAPM Awan says role of information officers is highly significant in disseminating information about policies. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Special As­­­­­sistant to the Prime Min­ister on Information and Broad­casting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Friday said that social media was taking over electronic media and government officers needed to adapt to the changing scenario.

Addressing information officers at a function held at the Information Services Academy (ISA), the special assistant said that electronic media had witnessed its boom around a decade ago, but now the fast-growing social media was dominating screens.

She added that in the 24/7 environment of news flow, the role of information officers was highly significant in disseminating information about policies and activities of public importance.

“The current era is about social media and it is helpful in disseminating news and information,” Dr Firdous said, adding that the situation had also led to the spread of fake news as well as twisted news which needed to be countered.

She said that in modern times, the importance of media had grown enormously.

The special assistant said people should be sensitised regarding fifth-generation hybrid war that was being launched by the forces against the country.

“That is why capacity-building of media persons is essential to cater to the requirements of modern age as journalists hold the power of pen that is very powerful,” she said. “But media should be more responsible and move away from speculative and anarchist approach,” the government’s spokesperson added.

She regretted that the race for higher ratings had led to speculative journalism and such approach adopted by anchors, as their salaries were linked with viewership ratings, should be curbed.

“We support constructive criticism that would lead to pitching solutions to problems so that we may look towards media and understand the alternative options for seeking solutions to national issues,” she added.

Dr Awan said the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had been tasked with creating a framework that enabled the professional working of journalists while harnessing modern technology.

She asked senior officials of the Information Service Academy to engage students of mass communication departments in various universities of the country to sensitise them over issues of national importance.

“The students and journalists should understand the sensitivities related to national security issues as it is the need of time too,” Dr Awan said.

The event was attended by Information Secretary Zahida Perveen, ISA Director General Zahoor Barlas and DDG Samina Farzeen.

Published in Dawn, January 4th, 2020

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