MULTAN - During a seminar held at Government Postgraduate College Civil Lines Multan, the students fired a broadside at the government and clamoured for early provision of basic facilities at the college and solution to their problems.

The seminar was organised for the students of Mass Communication for the first time in the history of South Punjab at the college level so as to create awareness about the use of social media.

In the seminar, speakers opined that the future of media is citizen journalism. The seminar was jointly organised by the Higher Education Commission and Government Post Graduate College Civil Lines Multan. It was organised for the students of Mass Communication, for the first time in the history of South Punjab at the college level to create awareness about the use of social media and its connectedness in the highly globalised world for the purpose of news formation and opinion making.

Addressing the audience, Sheraz Hasnat, senior anchor person and special correspondent to Dawn News, guided the students that the discipline of Mass Communication is not only about the theory rather theoretical as well as practical knowledge is equally important in this discipline. He further said that due to the easy access to social media, in future people would rely more on citizen journalism.

He said that people themselves are now acting as journalists through social media giving rise to citizen journalism. The times are changed now, people themselves are reporting and getting feedback of the pieces of information they are spreading across the world through Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms, he added. He said that on social media platforms, people like and share the issues which relate to their personal beliefs and aligns with their opinion. In this way, likeminded people keep sharing the information and ultimately it becomes a truth. It is a reality that if people keep on bashing a thing which is 98 percent rumor and 2 percent truth, it becomes a truth when thousands of people keep on talking about it, he added.

Chairman of Mass Communication Department at Bahauddin Zakariya University Dr Ashraf Khan said that students must be taught about various tools of social media so that they can make effective contribution in their field. He said that students-as the future journalists must be taught the positive use of social media as the society is becoming less tolerant because of the fake news being spread by the social media.

Due to huge influence of social media in the lives of people, truth is becoming rare and objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinions, he said. The phrase "post-truth" is gaining momentum that was declared the word of the year in last week of 2016, he noted.

At the end of the seminar, students asked questions about the scope of mass communication to the speakers during the question answer session. They voiced their reservations that government of Punjab has not even provided the complete faculty of mass communication at Government Post Graduate College Civil Lines and initiated the programme of Mass Communication.

The students demanded the government to post teachers of mass communication at the college. Durrab, a student of Mass Communications, said that every time stress was laid on the practical knowledge, but there is no media lab in the college for practical training of students before entering into the professional life.

He said how a student can compete with the other ones who got practical training during studies in the professional market. they also demanded that the media lab be set up in the college.

Principal of Government Post Graduate College Civil Lines Multan Baqar Hussain Jafri while answering to the students said that the college will conduct media seminars under the supervision of Higher Education Commission. "Moreover, we will arrange educational trips to the nearby media houses and conduct training workshops so that students could have better understanding of the practical field," he said.