A session on TRUST in news and information conclude

A consultative session on Trust in News and Information was organized by AGAHI, here in Islamabad today. The session was attended by leading journalists, academics and experts related to information and communications technologies, to share their opinions on how the baseline study can be improved in its scope and approach. The baseline study will be conducted to understand how the audience determines whether the news being delivered to them is trustworthy or not. The study would also focus on exploring digital trends which carry a potential influence upon consumer habits. Speaking on the occasion, Puruesh Chaudhary, Founder & President AGAHI, “it is important for the research community involved in the study of information and communication to develop a macro baseline understanding the varying dimensions of trust in the knowledge ecosystem”.

The level of trust in media, in particular trust involved in journalism and news has been declining steadily over the past few years. The sessions examined the several reasons for the erosion of trust, it can be majorly attributed to information pollution. It is not just the sources of information that can cause the this decline in trust; it is also the content and the context of the news as well. Trust in news and information is directly correlated with the credibility of the sources, this in turns is also depends on the distribution channels of the information and consumer patterns. Most studies conducted up till now have primarily emphasized on lack of trust in media outlets, sources, and channels.

The quantitative aspect of the study involves development of News and Information Trust Indicators, where factors influencing perception are being considered, including demographic data, news consumption patterns, ideological strength, interest in news, and news platform availability. Dr. Najma Sadiq Head of Department of Mass Communication NUST said, “the trust constructs used in the study are discussed with their respective trust indicators and the scale has been used to measure their validity”. She further added, “the constructs include research, credibility, predictability, fairness, balance, relevance, contextualization, and presentation”. The qualitative aspect of the study involves the development of a questionnaire set to be posed to a pre-identified panel of interviewees as to the role played by each trust indicator in developing trust among audiences regarding information sources and news media. The indicators included in the questionnaire are research, credibility, predictability, fairness, and relevance.

Dr. Najma Sadiq Head of Department of Mass Communication NUST, Sadia Tariq Research Associate Sanjan Nagar Institute of Philosophy and Arts, Tanzeela Mazhar Current Affairs Anchor GTV, Ashraf Malkham Senior Correspondent GEO News, Dylan Gelard from the French Embassy Pakistan, Waqas Ahmed Reporter Express News, Reema Shaukat Communication Strategist Institute of Regional Studies, Dr Muhammad Rafique Executive Director Ministry of Defence, Dr. Ausima Sultan Head of Department of Humanities Institute of Space Technology, Moinuddin Corporate Director Aga Khan Development Network, Saima Sayed Director General Strategic Communication Division Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Iqra Ashraf Director General Strategic Communication Division Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ali Haider from the British High Commission Pakistan, Fatima Akhtar Director JAZZ, Fakhira Akram Section Office (IT and Telecom) Ministry of IT and Telecom, Hamza Orakzai Director Strategic Planning Special Tech Zones Authority (STZA) Cabinet Division, Puruesh Chaudhary Founder & President AGAHI, Amir Jahangir CEO RINSTRA, and Amna Sabahat Director Strategy Mishal Pakistan attended the session.

The event was highly significant in terms of discussing the elements of truth and its importance in the context of changing information landscape in today’s modern digital era. The comments and feedback from the participants were incorporated into the instrument of the baseline study.

The participants argued on the information hygiene and its relevant to the current information ecosystem in Pakistan. The compression of various systems was debated, while the evolving role of the information gatekeepers and information managers was also discussed. The final report for this initiative is expected by the end of this year.

AGAHI is an award-winning organization as a leading innovator of information and knowledge-sharing platforms and for its communication strategies. It encourages and advises individuals and institutions in pursuing and supporting initiatives to improve the state of development in Pakistan designing initiatives on creating and facilitating research-oriented development frameworks contributing towards policy thinking that betters decision-making. AGAHI is at the forefront of devising futures research and development building on techniques and methodologies used to advance strategic interests. The team works with highly motivated and qualified professionals who have substantial experience in learning and leadership development.

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