By Action Setaka
One can write a book about the significance and valuable content gained on Day 1 of MMX17. Especially in this day and era where it is not a hunky-dory for media practioners.
Media has for a long time fought side by side with the people in their struggle against injustice, in their search for truth, ensuring that leadership is accountable and in ensuring that people are informed on what is happening around them on things/information which they will not possibly get from anywhere. Throughout human history Media has being responsible and reliable corporate citizen trusted by societies and known for truth. The first day of Duke University MMX 2017 deeply, profoundly and incredibility dealt with issues which can be enforced or practiced by media houses to ensure that it continues to enjoy trust from our people, adjusting to digital era and its challenges while fulfilling its traditional purpose of voicing concerns of the voiceless reaching diverse audience.
The first day was as Duke University’s Michael Schoenfeld describes this exchange “inspiring and exhilarating” in a sense that novice in media were able to grasp inspiration from experienced and credible colleagues in the industry on plethora of subjects. Knowledge was transferred from one generation to the other which aided in forming intergenerational bonds and identity in the fight for justice. These shared perspectives on issues media faced armed delegates with inspirational principles to be relentless in the advancement of information sharing and knowledge. The exhilaration and energy on this day caused by newly imparted skills from peers and experts in the field was clearly visible.
As a young person with development orientated psyche, I learnt a lot from the workshop on “solution-based journalism” presented by Krivani Pillay. Her presentation was vital in this age where media is often accused of always providing information which is dominated by complaints and focuses only on the problems. Her presentation and role in protecting the principles of journalism grabbed my undivided attention. It is applaudable for Duke University to have gave us an opportunity to learn from such an astute intellect who brilliantly widened our knowledge on Solution Based Journalism. The subject was informative especially on noting the role journalists can play in responding to some of societal issues which include, but not limited to, HIV/AIDS, Poverty and Social Cohesion. In my own view, her presentation possessed how – in our effort to inform – society can concurrently act as agents of transformation in society while to coming up with solutions to some of quagmire of challenges we are facing.
In his closing remarks, Nic Dawes also brought a lot of important issues to the attention of delegates in attendance, notably urging journalists to continue informing the world through their noble journalism calling so that the world makes informed opinions on issues surrounding them. In his input he raised awareness that all of us in media space have a task to revive and restore the trust our people have in media through truthful and trustworthy content based on scientific facts and content. If we do this without fail our people will join us in the fight against intimidation by corrupt and demagogic populists masquerading as patriotic authorities protecting intelligence of the countries by wanting to regulate media and taking away its freedom.
Activities of day one reminded us of our responsibility to amplify news honestly, safeguarding, educating and acting in the best in the best of our people to restore their trust. That our instant task is to denounce and expose fake news whenever its rears its ugly head which demeans the media’s integrity. The challenges media facing will be short lived if it gets organised and united towards a progressive common agenda.