DETAILED CONCEPT NOTES OF PLENARY SESSIONS
Concept Note Plenary Session 1: Transdisciplinary Approach in Digital Media Ecologies for the Challenges Faced by Humanity
Covid 19 pandemic is a clear example of the realization that problems have no boundaries and cannot be contained. Warnings about the looming environmental collapse and catastrophic climate changes induced by human activities have brought awareness about global connectedness. Health, medical, social, cultural, spiritual, technical, energy and educational issues are no longer local concerns they need to be addressed with a global perspective. The growing risks and ethical concerns about data security, transparency, and data abuse is a no less challenging situation. However, in the wake of these challenges, an entirely new way of thinking about science, technology, culture, and society has emerged where the need to move forward with a collaborative and participatory spirit has been realized. Themes of sustainability and global environments have become watchwords. Interconnections between the academy, industry, governments, and non-governmental organizations in knowledge production have become fundamental in today’s world of complex problems and challenges facing mankind. The successful development of networks of global communication, collaboration, and education have surfaced.
AMCAP-FJWU International Media Conference 2021 aims to go beyond a media- specific approach. It aims to go with a holistic approach to address common problems faced by humanity today. It aims to draw scientists from pure sciences and social sciences that would allow us to capture the complex needs of people. It aims to highlight the belief that we all are interconnected with everything in the universe and our survival is in working through integration.
Conference Plenary session1 is organized in such a way where the emphasis on the purposeful and reflective process of designing a planned action through the process of integration of different disciplines is emphasized. Diverse perspectives from varied disciplines with a genuine discussion on issues will be encouraged. The focus will be on how through mutual learning we can devise solutions collectively of intricate interwoven societal problems.
Concept Note Plenary Session 2: Public Health Challenges in New Normal: Role of Digital Media
Developing countries are prone to the perils of numerous challenges, with the current Pandemic being the most ubiquitous adversary faced by the world. The phenomenon of COVID 19 transpired as a situation in which this virus has pushed the entire world into a massive health crisis. The world health organization (WHO) encouraged responding strategically through social distancing, self-quarantine and non- pharmaceutical interventions. In this context, digital media played an important role in mitigating and fighting the exacerbating situation caused by the Pandemic.
Apart from COVID-19, myriads of public health challenges such as Malaria, Tuberculosis, Dengue Fever, Cancer, Ischemic Heart Disease, Stroke, Diabetes, Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, Maternal and Child Health, Acute Respiratory Infection, Hypertension, Asthma, Diarrhea and Mental Health are already affecting the Pakistani population at large. In order to eradicate the perilous impacts of such diseases, the cognizance and sensitization of the general public regarding the causes, prevention, treatment and impact of such diseases on their routine life is imperative. Accurate information, in this instance, can significantly raise awareness levels which will eventually improve the overall quality of life for many in the society.
There is no doubt that awareness can be created by effectively utilizing the networked communication and media technologies but there may be some associated challenges too. In a country like Pakistan, with several health myths and taboos, the dissemination of accurate information is a big challenge for public health experts. The rise of social media has given everyone a chance to share their views online and that may, at times, result in the form of Fake News and Disinformation about health issues. There is, therefore, a need to create a better and more reliable social network of public health
experts, in the form of interactive websites or Online TV channels, with the support and greater involvement of the Government.
There are many success stories that appeared during this pandemic such as the effectiveness of telemedicine in the form of online medical consultation and information dissemination. There is a lot which demands attention in this area as there are many apparent downsides to this like low literacy rate, digital divide, ensuring authenticity, enhancing credibility and accountability for both sides. Lack of knowledge and weak scientific journalism skills are other challenges preventing the access of accurate information for the general public. There is a need to train contemporary Science Communicators to resolve such issues.
The central idea of this plenary is to highlight ways in which Public Health experts
are utilizing media technologies in supporting the overall structure of Public Health in Pakistan. What particular strategies and practical measures can ensure the improvement of health facilities in the New Normal? How can better coordination with Science Journalists be achieved? And how is it possible to support the Policy makers in devising policy with maximum impact taking multiple stakeholders such as the Government, Media, Public health experts, Academicians and Technologists on board?
Concept Note Plenary Session 3: Stand Up for Human Rights: ‘Recover Better’
Systematic inequalities and stark disparities in accessing basic needs of life are the preexisting pandemic of developing countries. This pandemic of inequalities and discriminations is constantly posing a challenge along with COVID-19. Economic, social and health impacts of COVID-19 are affecting privileged and poor differently. Therefore, equally important is to recover from inequalities, discriminations, and exclusion which make human beings more vulnerable. ‘Recover Better’ means addressing inequalities, ending every sort of discrimination, being more inclusive, and promoting sustainable development whole considering human life as the most sacred thing on this planet. This thought brings us together to execute the vision of Quaid-i-Azam based on the Islamic code of liberty, equality, and fraternity which is the crux of Universal Human Rights Declaration as well. Human rights are central to foster a more resilient and just society. It is only by standing up for each other’s human rights; we can lay foundation of a better future.
Under United Nations Human Rights’ call to action “Stand Up for Human rights”, the conference aims to engage the academia, policy makers, social activists, media professionals, and other stakeholders to deliberate how to ameliorate equal opportunities and plan transformative action needed to ‘Recover Better’.
Concept Note Plenary Session 4: Emerging Ethical Concerns in Digital Media Ecologies: Role of Academia and Professionals
The rapid development and spread of digital media technologies have indeed had a revolutionary impact on the media industry and journalistic practices. In this spectacular growth of digital media technologies, there are very few guidelines to address ethical issues concerning subjects like political economy, global citizenship, privacy, distributive justice, representation, sexual contents, state surveillance, fake news, violence, and hate speech. It has become a big challenge to develop an agenda for media ethics in the new global system. This Plenary Session is organized to give emphasis on the purposeful and reflective process of looking at the concerns with how we need to view these challenges and work for an ethical framework together to meet these challenges. The session will be moderated in such a manner where media professionals and media academics, from their varied experiences and academic backgrounds, will be able to generate a genuine discussion on the issue.