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Workshop about challenges to media in South Asia

Vibodh Parthasarathi, affiliated researcher SASNET, presents at the workshop.
Vibodh Parthasarathi, Affiliated Researcher SASNET, presents at the workshop.

On September 25, the School of Journalism and Department of Strategic Communication in collaboration with SASNET and Reporters without Borders Sweden arranged a workshop about press freedom, journalism, and democracy in a South Asian context.

The workshop was arranged at Mindpark in Helsingborg, a co-working space next to Lund University Campus Helsingborg. The participants were students from the School of Journalism, Strategic Communication and SASNET's network. The workshop was based on short presentations and interactions between the presenters and the participants. 

Johanna Sommansson, Maria Ullsten, Vibodh Parthasarathi and Johan Mikaelsson are four of the presenters at the workshop.
Johanna Sommansson

The first presenter, Johanna Sommansson, editor at Sydsvenskan Magazine, highlighted the South Asian subcontinent and its diversity. By using several examples from the magazine, she guided the participants through all countries and shared perspectives from some of the social challenges in the region.

Maria Ullsten
Maria Ullsten

This was followed by up by the second presenter, Maria Ullsten from Reporters without Borders Sweden, who gave an introduction to the concept of press freedom and shared insights from all countries in South Asia. She also shared ideas and experiences from how Reporters without Borders works globally and opened up for a discussion about censorship and self-censorship.

The third presenter, Vibodh Parthasarathi, who is affiliated researcher at SASNET, explored the Swedish word "sanningssägare" and gave a presentation on media diversity and media policies with examples from India and Sweden. He also showcased previous examples from the collaborative project around pop-up newsrooms that he and Andreas Mattsson, also affiliated researcher at SASNET, has conducted in Lund and Stockholm. 

Freelance reporter Johan Mikaelsson shared insights from his fieldwork and network in Sri Lanka, and also gave examples of the power struggle between journalists and politics. This was during the afternoon followed up by a joint presentation by freelance journalists Urban Hamid and Martin von Krogh who shared their experiences from working in conflict areas in Afghanistan and gave practical advice to the students.

Urban Hamid
Urban Hamid

Starting in 2014, SASNET and School of Journalism has organized a series of workshops, seminars and conferences to highlight the media situation in South Asia. Read more about the previous sessions here 

The workshop is part of Social Information and Hybrid Power: A Strategic Platform for Political Communication at Lund University. Read more about the research platform here


09.00 Brief introduction 

09.15 Magazine Sydasien Presenter: Johanna Sommansson, Editor Sydasien

09.45 Press freedom in the World 2019 Presenter: Maria Ullsten, Reporters Without Borders Sweden

10.15 Fika

Coffee/tea at Mindpark

10.30 News and Politics in India and Sweden: “Sanningssägare” as a Global Phenomenon  Presenter: Vibodh Parthasarathi, Associate professor, On Extraordinary Leave from CCMG Jamia Milia Islamia New Delhi and Affiliated researcher, SASNET

11.15 Covering Sri Lanka – as a local or a foreign reporter Presenter: Johan Mikaelsson, Freelance journalist

12.00 Lunch

13.00 Threats to Journalism and Journalists: Examples from working in Afghanistan Presenters: Urban Hamid and Martin von Krogh, Freelance journalists

14.50 Concluding remarks