Remark by M.P. Sujata Koirala Former Deputy Prime Minister & Foreign minister of Nepal and the Chairperson of GP Koirala Foundation for Global Leadership virtual conference (Technology in Journalism: Ethics & Effects in New World of Post Covid-19. ) hosted by the G.P. Koirala Foundation on , August 23, 2020.

I am happy to join you all. Let me tell you at the outset that I am a democrat and believe in the freedom of expression and a free media.

Unlike over a century ago, when media censorship and postal restrictions allowed governments to suppress undesirable news. If we look back at history, we see that the outbreak of the influenza pandemic in 1918 that took the lives of several millions was not known to the public instantly.

Unlike today, during the time of my grandparents & parents, news circulation was limited and slow. There was no technology that would give us newspapers early morning with a sip of tea.  The publication of newspapers was restricted, and contents were censored by the likes of the rulers.

Modern technologies can connect individuals and companies even when they are no longer able to interact in person. Thanks to technology, even during the height of the pandemic, we are meeting here and communicating across borders, and exchanging ideas.

We live in digital age.  We cannot run away from advanced and smarter technologies that turns to digital Journalism, which is very convenient and has brought  changes to people’s behavior in new world of post covid-19. We should have a free flow of information that is related to human life. Human life comes first when the world confronts the coronavirus. Unless we have free media we may never know the true number of Covid19 infections and fatalities. There is a tendency in some state media to report whatever suits the political leadership.

My I-phone is my best friend because it keeps me updated of global breaking news right on my palm. News come to us through our mobile phones right in a matter of lightening speed.

Now it is very easy for journalists for facts checking before they publish their news, views or interviews. the web browser makes easy access for journalists to get and give information ethically and correctly,the content of the news itself should be appealing and maintaining the professionalism to the eye of the viewers and readers. Aside from the World Wide Web, media that ranges from digital videos to photos which have significantly influenced journalism, it will be impossible to make any content for journalist without all the necessary technological tools and equipment.

Therefore, the availability of the media tools helps journalists to achieve their goals. Also, the Artificial Intelligence is becoming an important tool to Journalism’s future. Now we get both Magazine & Newspapers right in the web browsers and the readers like us are the ones who make social media as the fastest way for breaking news. We don’t need to wait for the news reader to anchor the news via TV Channels and Radio.

While we should make use of the social media for the larger benefit and welfare of the society, at the same time we have to be  aware of the social media. If not handled carefully, it tends to destroys gratitude, makes life  messier. Sometimes fake social media spread news of their own interests hurting the personal standing of leadership also.  We find our  own sayings and statements twisted out of  context.

Journalists must ensure a story that interest what people want to see or reach audiences  with a well-structured, truthful and useful information which in deed increases their demand in general.Sometimes, we see modern technology being  abused and misused to weaken public confidence in democratic elections and boost support for populism, jingoism,and authoritarianism.

I think Technology in Journalism is helpful to make the society aware and careful. It provides opportunities to connect with readers and will enhance effectively in the field of Journalism with more advantages. Let us overwhelm the challenges it brings and seize the opportunities for the larger welfare of the humanity.

Let us not forget in the new World of Post Covid-19 journalism will definitely transform into tech journalism. I wish you all the very best.

Thank you.

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