Pakistan’s First International Social Media Summit

Media has changed its dimensions and the old journalism has now transformed into new mass media. In this time Media is not just specified to newspapers, television and radio but now various other mediums have added into its sphere. The World has become global village with the advancement in science and technology especially due to internet. Now connecting with the world has become no big deal, you just have to switch over to the virtual world and it will take you wherever you want and you can enjoy everything just by sitting in front of your computer screen. Social media like facebook and twitter have made the communication process more easy and quick.
The Pakistan’s first international social media summit has been held in Karachi in which various people from country and also from abroad took part in and discussed the emerging role of social media in one’s life. The summit was organized by the US Consulate in Karachi, PC World, Intel, iRaffles Systems, Newsweek, CityFM89 and the Express Media Group.
There are several people who specially came from abroad just for participating in this summit the names of these people are Mohamed El Dahshan (Egypt), Hanny Kusumawati and Anandita Puspitasari (Indonesia), Rebecca Chiao (Egypt), Ong Hock Chuan (Malaysia), Claire Diaz Ortiz (US) and Karim Osman (Netherlands) few bloggers virtually attended this summit through Skype.
US Consul General in Karachi William Martin said:
“There are over 4 million Facebook users here while the US Consulate Karachi’s Facebook page has over 30,000 fans. The per capita internet-access rate in Pakistan is between 10 percent and 15 percent of the total population – more than double that of India and even at the most conservative estimates roughly 20 million Pakistanis are online – equivalent to the population of 4 Singapore’s. Pakistan has a lively, active blogging community, where over 3 million citizen-journalists can freely report on and discuss any topic. During the last year’s floods, I saw the social media network shining the light on this situation and many others. The social media really does create a global village and it is an honor to be here with so many distinguished citizens. I am struck by the talent, the imagination and the commitment I see. You all validate, you all energize my enthusiasm, my optimism for this great nation Pakistan. From where I stand, the future looks bright. I see leaders and visionaries that will help realize the vast potential of the Pakistani people.”
The summit was well organized and it has really boosted the social media journalists and in future these kinds of summits will boost the youth of Pakistan. The people who came from abroad have also shared their views.
Egyptian blogger Mohamed El Dahshan who was the part of summit has joined social media like six years back and now he has also joined the print media. He has served Egypt by his writings and took an active part in Egyptian revolution. The social media really provides a right platform to everyone and gives the freedom of expression; one has to show responsible journalism by using social media tools.
Egyptian blogger Mohamed El Dahshan said:
“My family isn’t aware I’m in Karachi right now, they think I’m still in Turkey. I would say 2010 was the buildup and 2011 was the explosion. People’s grievances had been building up for a while. Our job was to inform people and go out in small numbers to inform people about issues being faced. Social action is collective action. If the government tells you you’re on your own and everybody is happy, you are afraid of doing things. But social media changed that. It helped bring together people who were upset about the same things. Twitter was super important during the revolution; it helped us get live updates. People had a new found respect social media, even the Egyptian Army has a Facebook page now and they make all declarations through it. They recognize the power of social media.”
Sherbano Taseer was also present in the summit as she is a part of our youth. She was of the view that social media has provided our youth with the forum where they can discuss various failures and weak points of government and no one can stop them.


Sherbano Taseer said:

“During the Japan earthquake and tsunami, for many people Twitter became the mode of sharing news with their family and others. Just imagine that the videos put up by common people in Japan followed by the tsunami received 17 million views in one night. Citizen journalism is good for Pakistan. In the mainstream, all that sells is gore. In my father’s case they took his comments which were about humanity and turned them into something religious.”
So I will say that these kinds of events should be held in our beloved country Pakistan, in western countries these summits are the routine matters but in Pakistan obviously it is something new and different. Our various media organizations should play their roles for making social media an effective voice of masses.

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