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February 26, 2017

‘Today in Fake News’

Lahore

February 26, 2017

Lahore

A session “Today in Fake News” was held at the Lahore Literary Festival at a local hotel on Saturday where many aspects including agenda setting, accountability of media and social media were discussed.

Nermeen Shaikh, a broadcast news producer, pointed towards "biased media coverage" during the US election. According to her, 350 out of 1,000 minutes were given to Donald Trump while only 20 minutes were given to his opponent during the election. "The US media remained biased all the time and aired fake news.

Unfortunately, it is happening frequently. The US president is using tweets for his major communication that is not good," she added.

"Moreover, Trump’s tweets produced huge problems for refugees. It also distracted attention from their suffering and horrors of the war they were subjected to. Their entry was banned and they returned to their countries," she added.

Ahmad Rashid, a noted journalist and writer, said authorities were using social media like Twitter instead of press conferences or briefings to public their policies that was depriving journalists of questioning. "Deprivation of questioning opportunities led to running fake news. Common narrative could not be built by tweeting, he said. "Dependence on modern technology is good but it has shrunk crafting tradition of news. Communication between media and public is becoming lesser and politicians and authorities are going away with their responsibilities," he added.  

According to Max Rodenbeck, media’s attention was repetition. "Media did not pay heed towards representation. Latest technology has given birth to inundation of news. The flow of news created many problems.Airing of fake news is new doctrine. Now, the media has gone away from censorship and self-assumed responsibility."

Talking about social media, he said it was repeated in India. He pointed towards Modi App. "A person who downloaded the app could know trends about likes and dislikes of Modi. The use of twitter is narrow-casting instead of broad-casting," he added. 

Qasim Ahmad said, "No one can make media accountable as media organisations are strong in Pakistan."

Fasih Ahmad said there was confusion among the masses and it was the responsibility of the government to build narrative.