Working Group 2021
February 17-18, 2021
Digital media ecologies are continuously evolving and posing complex challenges and creating opportunities simultaneously. To meet these changing scenarios, humanity requires new attitudes, approaches and skills. In this milieu the current challenges in the field of media and communication are fundamentally different from the past. Digital media ecology is the study of the ecosystem, working within, around, and through technological, political, economic, social, and cultural contexts. Digital media ecologies go beyond the traditional boundaries, stepping into the digital realms of the borderless world. It is more inclusive, humanistic, holistic, and empathetic in conceptualizing issues across disciplines.
Contemporary media environments created by digital technology have the potential to influence and to be influenced simultaneously at micro and macro levels. These influences are changing the dynamics of politics, transforming operations of governance, introducing new models of economics alongside diminishing the current business practices, and cultivating new social and cultural norms. All these impacts have become more significant in the Covid and post Covid (new normal) world that tends to change the human perspective on every aspect of life.
The emerging tech giants, rising digital empires, growing digital hegemony with its consequences for digital privacy, digital media policy, and interpretation of big data demand new ways of thinking. Equally challenging are the growing ethical concerns about fake news, data security, transparency, and data abuse for both developed and developing countries. The growing vulnerability, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of the world making these concerns more opaque.
To address the above mentioned issues, academia and professionals across all disciplines need to move forward with a collaborative and participatory spirit. There is a need to draw and develop liaisons of scientists, from the pure and social sciences, industry, governments, and NGOs to tap the potentials of digital media for a better future. The ultimate goal of knowledge generation is the improvement of quality of life for society as a whole. The focus should be on how to devise consensual solutions of intricate interwoven complex social setups through mutual dialogue for more humanistic digital media ecology.
AMCAP-FJWU International Media Conference 2021 aimed to go beyond a media-specific approach and opted for a holistic strategy to address common concerns related to digital media ecologies.
With a focus on challenges faced by Media and Communication academicians in the country during this changing technological landscape, focus group meetings were arranged by AMCAP and FJWU along with the AMCAP-FJWU International Media Conference at Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi. Media academia cannot underestimate the penetration and impact of the flow of ideas and information through digital technologies. At the same time, they cannot even ignore the challenges and opportunities presented to media education through these technologies. The Working Groups aimed to initiate points of discussion to look into future challenges of teaching in media and communication and how media academia needs to work for collaborative networking skills to work in national and global societies.
Furthermore, the discussion also tried to look into possible teaching strategies that need to be worked on to enrich the learning experience of students of media and communication. The objective of the Working Groups was just not to do situation analysis but to see how media technologies can complement our efforts to make a better future for ourselves through media education.
In this context, academicians from universities across Pakistan, offering education in the field of media and communication, were invited to the discussions. Around 50 academicians joined the discussions and were divided into 3 groups. The participants were asked to share their ideas of how they envision the university education of media and communication in Pakistan, what obstacles they face and what they suggest for a better teaching and learning environment in the higher education institutions in Pakistan.
The need to revise the curriculum was felt unanimously by all tha discussants. They stressed upon the need to make prominent changes in the curriculum so that it conforms not only to the modern market demands but also to local culture and contemporary needs of the society. The universities need to produce not only degree holders but learned individuals that are prepared to contribute to society. A need to focus on a human centric approach in academia was expressed by most of the discussants. Apart from that, the need to de-westernize the current curriculum and make it comply with indigenous context was highlighted. They insisted that media education should be more focussed on language proficiency, digital media literacy, big data analysis and use of relevant softwares keeping in mind rapidly changing artificial intelligence technology . The teaching methods should enhance their intellectual abilities to do critical thinking, creative thinking and collaborative thinking. At the same time, focus on personal development should not be ignored. Moral values like Truth, Compassion, Honesty and cooperation should be an essential part of the curriculum.
Provision of more technological facilities to the students and teachers, increased linkage between media industry and academia and introduction of more entrepreneurship based courses were strongly suggested by the working groups. Apart from training of students, the discussants also stressed upon the training of teachers from time to time to keep them abreast with the latest techniques to teach in the rapidly changing technological environment. Development of Media Literacy Centers and Media Council, which have been demanded at many other forums too were once again brought to the discussion table.
The need to make media academicians be part of the policy making process was highlighted. The media academicians, coming from all over Pakistan also asked for more international exposure for students and teachers.
Media and Communication Academicians from all over Pakistan were invited to the Working Group Discussions.
The participants were divided into three groups with 15 discussants and a moderator in each group.
Around 50 academicians from various universities of Pakistan, representing all the provinces, joined the working group discussions.
The discussions were joined by three international faculty members.
The discussions were joined on line by three faculty members from IAMCR.
In the first round of discussion each discussant was given a chance to share his/her vision of higher education in media studies, the obstacles they face during classes, and suggestions to overcome those problems. In the second round of discussion there was exchange of ideas and all the ideas were recorded on the board.
PARTICIPANTS: Working Group 1
Prof. Dr. Bushra Hameedur Rahman SCS, University the of the Punjab
Ms. Qurratul Ann
International Islamic University Islamabad
Prof. Dr. Claudia Lago (Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil)
Prof. Dr. Fatma ElZahraa ElSayed (Cairo University, Egypt)
Prof. Dr. Zafar Iqbal (International Islamic University, Islamabad)
Prof. Dr. Anjum Zia (Lahore College for Women University, Lahore)
Professor Dr. Memon Bashir Ahmed (University of Sindh, Jamshoro)
Dr. Haseeb (Foundation University Islamabad)
Dr. Saqib Riaz (Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad)
Dr. Altaf Ullah Khan (Forman Christian College University, Lahore)
Tariq Mehmood (BUITEMS Quetta Pakistan)
Rehan Hasan (Riphah International University, Islamabad)
Sadia Anwar Pasha (Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad)
Kamal Siddiqi (Center of Excellence for Journalism IBA Karachi)
PARTICIPANTS: Working Group 2
Dr. Abida Ashraf (ICS, University the of Punjab)
Dr. Ayesha Siddiqua (National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad)
Dr. Vaia Doudaki (Charles University of Prague, Czech Republic)
Dr. Bakht Rawan (Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad)
M. Junaid Ghauri (International Islamic University, Islamabad)
Dr. Mudassir Shah (University of Sargodha)
Kiran Karamat (Kinnaird College Lahore)
Dr. Firasat Jabeen (Forman Christian College Lahore)
Dr. Wajid Zulqarnain (SZABIST, Islamabad)
Dr. Sobia Abid (University of Okara)
Amir Zia Raja (National University of Modern Languages, Lahore)
Naila Rafique (International Islamic University, Islamabad)
Ayesha Sadaf (Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad)
Sahifa Mukhtar (Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad)
Naveed Iqbal (Lahore College for Women University Lahore)
Raja Kamran (National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad)
PARTICIPANTS: Working Group 3
Dr. Shabbir Hussain (Bahria University)
Ms. Aniqa (International Islamic University Islamabad)
Prof. Dr. Masroor Alam (Riphah International University, Islamabad)
Dr. Faiza Abid (Lahore College for Women University Lahore)
Dr. Muhammd Amir Bajwa (Lahore Garrison University)
Dr. Muhammad Ramzan (University of Sindh, Jamshoro)
Dr. Muhammad Zahid Bilal (University of Okara)
Dr. Rashid Ali Khuhro (University of Sindh, Jamshoro)
Dr. Haseeb Sarwar (Sialkot University)
Dr. Saleem Abbas (Forman Christian College, University Lahore)
Dr. Salma Umber (Government College University Faisalabad)
Dr. Zaeem Yasin (Lahore College for Women University Lahore)
Dr. Waqas Ejaz (National University of Science and Technology Islamabad)
Ms. Attia Zulfiqar (NUML Islamabad)
Muhammad Ali (Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi)
Prof. Dr. Murat Akser (Ulster University, UK)
Prof. Dr. Nico Carpentier (Charles University of Prague, Czech Republic)