Don’t believe in WhatsApp news sans check: VC
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Don’t believe in WhatsApp news sans check: VC

December 22, 2023

Mysore/Mysuru: University of Mysore (UoM) Vice-Chancellor Prof. N.K. Lokanath said “Most of the news received on WhatsApp are far from truth and nobody should believe in them.”

He was speaking after inaugurating a workshop on ‘Children and Change in Weather’ organised by the Department of Studies in Mass Communication and Journalism, UoM in association with UNICEF, in city yesterday.

Prof. Lokanath said “Of late, the news shared on WhatsApp have been misleading people and nobody should believe in them, without vouching on authenticity. The growing technology has both advantage and disadvantage, hence we should decide before accepting or rejecting any information shared on social media.”

There have been changes in media too with advent of multi- media against print media that was in vogue earlier. But more impetus is given to negative news than positive. The journalists should focus on positive news and the budding journalists too should develop optimism and shed pessimism, he advised.

The children-related issues are not just restricted to Karnataka and India, as it is a global issue. Former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and former President of India Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam had special concern for kids. They had a far-sighted vision with five-year and 10-year plans to address the issues concerning them. Journalists should publish short stories that develop positivity among them, so that they will be inspired to achieve further, the VC said.

Change in weather pattern is attributed to several factors. The gap between people and environment is also growing, unlike how the situation was 20 to 30 years ago, with people dwelling in the lap of nature, especially at villages. Now, the villagers are migrating towards cities, staying away from the nature, he opined.

Despite being aware about using plastic which is considered as an offence, there has been a surge in using plastic. Even the serene Manasagangothri campus, which sees hundreds of morning walkers, is riddled in plastic menace, with some walkers disposing of plastic covers. Ironically, it is the same people who call for removing plastic. These issues can be addressed only when we keep ourselves and the environment around us clean, added Prof. Lokanath.

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UNICEF Representative Prasoon Sen said “Children face issues related to health, education and nutrition. Even poverty, denial of health services, lack of potable water and toilets are also issues to be addressed.”

Journalists should focus on critical analysis of news towards producing a factual report. Media is considered as the fourth pillar of the Constitution. The print media was earlier acting as a wake up call to the Government but now the news with critical analysis are not published, which is a cause for concern, said Prof. N.K. Lokanath, UoM VC.

Prof. M.S. Sapna, Chairman, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Prof. N. Mamatha, Science columnist T.G. Srinidhi, Manipal Institute of Mass Communication, Assistant Professor Dr. K. Padmakumar and others were present.

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