Sambridhi Gyawali, Executive Director, Nepal Republic Media, addressing a session on the second day of the Asia Pacific Summit 2018 - Nepal at Hyatt Regency in Kathmandu on Sunday. Photo: Dinesh Gole/Republica
KATHMANDU, Dec3: Media entrepreneurs as well as media persons have said that fake news has been a major challenge seen in the media sector in recent years.
Speaking at a session on the second day of the Asia Pacific Summit 2018 organized by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) in the capital on Sunday, they expressed concerns over the growing instances of 'fake news' which has "contributed to eroding the credibility of media".
In his remarks at the session titled “Addressing the critical challenges of our time: Interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values”, chairman of Washington Times Tom McDevitt said the social media had greatly eroded the credibility of media in recent years.
President of Sekai Nippo, Japan, said fake news had appeared as a major challenge for the media in recent years. “In recent years, fake news has surfaced as a major challenge,” he said, urging the media to be responsible while disseminating any news.
Speaking at the session, executive director of Nepal Republic Media, Sambridhi Gyawali said digitization had changed the media business completely in terms of human resource, skill set and revenue source. “On the one hand, it has helped in reaching out to places, people and information quicker where access may not have been easy in the past. On the other hand, it has given equal access to 'citizen journalism', wherein individuals and startups with no prior experience or educational background in journalism report news,” she said.
Gyawali also noted that the changes brought about by digitization had created a danger as the content disseminated through citizen journalism may not have editorial oversight and may not necessarily follow norms such as objectivity and accuracy.
Also speaking on the occasion, President of Segye Ilbo, Korea, Jung Hee Taeg argued that the media has an important role in establishing peace.
Similarly, deputy chairman of Karangkraf Media Group of Malaysia, Dato' Muhammad Nasir Hamzah said although the restriction on media has decreased significantly in recent years, the importance of traditional media is gradually coming down. He shared that with the rise of the new media, newspapers and magazines have stopped drawing the interest of readers.
Padhmashri Alok Mehta of Pathfinder Publishing, New Delhi, BBC Foreign Correspondent Humphrey Hawksley, and Claudia Rosett of the Independent Women's Forum, USA, also shed light on the challenges and opportunities for the media in recent years.