Department of Journalism and Mass Communication (DJMC), Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST), in collaboration with PACT, an international development organisation on Wednesday organised a day-long media conclave titled ‘Comm Con: A Conclave for Communication and Journalism Students’.
Dr Ruheela Hassan, Head DJMC, said that the purpose of the event was to bridge the gap between the aspiring and professional journalists. “We always try to find new ideas to provide the best platform to our students with professional journalists working in the field,” she said.
Vice Chancellor, IUST, Prof Mushtaq A Siddiqi, Dean Academic Affairs Prof Mushtaq Ahmad Qureshi, Investigative Journalist Saikat Dutta among others spoke on the occasion.
Saikat Datta, talked about how investigative journalists can obtain information through Right to Information (RTI) Act. “A journalist should file repeated RTIs to minimise the chances of rejection. Even if his or her plea is rejected, that too shall make a story,” said Datta, who has an experience of two decades in journalism.
Sharing his work experience, Datta said, many government officials were arrested after his series of stories. “Government is a huge body, where left-hand does not know about the right hand. As journalists, you can take an advantage of that,” he said.
Deliberating on Crowdfunding for individual journalists and organisations, Bilal Zaidi, Founder and Community Coordinator of CrowdNewsing, said, nowadays social media has an influence on the opinion-making. “A decade back, when I began working in the media industry, Television was the only source to shape the public opinion. Now, however, even a HashTag can do the same,” Zaidi said.
Vice-chancellor of the university, Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Siddiqui said the mentorship is the most important thing required in any field, particularly for media students. He made a special mention of healthy teacher-student interactions around the world and stressed upon having such interactions in Kashmir as well.
Speaking on the occasion, Dean Academic Affairs, Prof Mushtaq Ahmad Quraishi, IUST, said the event was an interface between the academia and media professionals to “lend value addition to media studies.”
Dedicating the event to journalists, who have sacrificed their lives for people’s sake, he said, reporters work fearlessly to gather and share information.