Misinformation threatens Democracies, David Moyer
Hyderabad: Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) organized a one-day workshop for Urdu working journalists on the topic of countering disinformation as the fake news industry has grown alarmingly in the country.
Addressing the inaugural session as the Chief Guest of the workshop, US diplomat David Moyer said citizens needed to be aware of the ecosystem of false information and combat it with accurate knowledge.
“It was imperative for Citizens to be aware of the misinformation ecosystem and counter it through truthful information. Misinformation threatens democracies across the world, as there is the divergence of opinion and no shared understanding of basic facts,” Moyer said, who is Public Affairs Officer, the United States Consulate General, and Hyderabad.
Moyer further underlined that “There is a need to change the nature of discourse in the media towards positive and factual information on the issues relevant to the public.” The workshop will help strengthen democratic foundations by empowering Urdu journalists with fact-checking skills and provide reliable news to the public, he added.
Training Workshop ‘Countering Disinformation for Urdu Journalists’ organized by the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism (MCJ), MANUU in collaboration with the Department of MCJ, Osmania University (OU) and US Consulate General, Hyderabad. Prof. Syed Ainul Hasan, Vice Chancellor, MANUU presided over.
Prof. Ainul Hasan urged the media to work to build trust by strengthening digital media literacy and empowering individuals to identify, critically analyze and counter disinformation. It is also our responsibility to know whether the information provided is correct or not. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the first Education Minister of Independent India, and Maulvi Muhammad Baqir, who was the first martyr from the Indian journalist community, used journalism as a weapon during the freedom struggle, he remembered.
The Guest of Honour Ms. B. Sumathi, IPS, DIG, Women Safety, Govt of Telangana, Hyderabad opined that countering disinformation may be used for the promotion and protection of women’s rights. Disinformation should not become a pretext to intimidate and harass critical voices, denigrate opponents, or obstruct the legitimate activities of human rights, she remarked.
Prof. Stevenson Kohir, Project Coordinator and Head, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, OU outlined various topics of training sessions conducted by noted fact checkers led by Lead Trainer, U Sudhakar Reddy, Md. Abdul Basith, Media Advisor, US Consulate General Hyderabad.
Prof. Mohammad Fariyad, Dean & Head, School/Dept. of MCJ delivered the welcome address. Prof. Ehtesham Ahmad Khan, Dept of MCJ proposed a vote of thanks. A booklet “Standard Operating Tools” for Urdu Journalists was also released.
The resource persons including Krishna Sastry Pendyala, Ms. Umam Noor, Sudhakar Reddy Udumula, and M. A. Majid provided insights on various aspects pertaining to Countering Disinformation, Visual Content Verification, and misinformation.