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18 Countries, 1 Question: How Free is Media in Asia and Africa?

School of Media and Communication Studies of the Galgotias University organized an international conference in collaboration with Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi on March 26, 2019. The conference focused on “The Challenges of Media, Democracy, and Development in the Afro-Asian Context”. 19 participants from 18 countries presented their research papers at the conference.

KG Suresh, the Director General of IIMC, in his keynote speech focused on democratic practices in journalism and said that media must question the government on behalf of the people but should not act as opposition. He reiterated that in a democratic country the government is elected by the people and hence media must respect the mandate.

Prof. Pradeep Kumar, PVC, in his presidential address emphasized that while while media sets agenda in a democracy, it should play a positive role in the society.

Earlier the Chancellor, Shri Suneel Galgpotia welcomed 19 participants from 18 African and Asian countries to the campus in a written message. He urged upon the participants to explore a new model of development for Afro-Asian Asian nation and think about de-westernizing the models of development and democracy. Vice Chancellor, Prof. Renu Luthra inspired the international participants in the morning session.

Prof. Debashis Chakrabarti, the Dean of School of Media, in his valedictory address said that the media persons in Asian and African countries must rethink that whose development the media talks about. He asked the media protects whose democracy- for a handful of elites or for millions of masses in the countries?

He stressed that Asian and African journalists are far brighter than the rest of the world but they enjoy little freedom in questioning the system and advocating on behalf of the people in practice.

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