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Urdu newspaper readership on decline, says VC CUK

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Ganderbal: Central University of Kashmir (CUK) Vice-Chancellor, Prof Mehraj ud Din Mir Wednesday said that there had been a “sharp decline” in the number of people reading Urdu newspapers in Kashmir valley.
While the trend among people, particularly the youth was to read English newspapers, Prof Mir emphasised that “strenuous efforts should be made to promote reading of Urdu newspapers among masses as Urdu is the official language of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.”
Prof Mir was addressing the inaugural function of the two-day workshop on Urdu journalism ‘Skill Enhancement of Urdu Journalists of Kashmir’ organised by the CUK’s Department of Convergent Journalism (DCJ) in collaboration with Jammu Kashmir Urdu Council and Anjuman-e-Urdu Sahafat at varsity’s Green Campus here.
Prof Mir said in order to promote Urdu journalism in valley, the varsity was contemplating to start Diploma in Urdu journalism. He said that a state-of-the-art studio would be set up for the DCJ at the Tulmulla campus of the university adding the journalists belonging to Ganderbal district would be also allowed to avail certain facilities provided in the Convergent Journalism.
Addressing the gathering Registrar, Prof Fayaz A Nikka said that at present, the Urdu journalism was “at crossroads and there is a dire need to conduct such type of workshops”. “Urdu has its own history and a cherished past,” Prof Nikka said adding that the journalism in the particular language had its own contours, importance, duties and responsibilities.
Prof Nikka said that journalists were “spokespersons of the society and they have to highlight the problems and issues confronting the society in an objective manner”.
“They have to construct a moral order in the society through their reportage and promote sense of brotherhood among different communities, based on mutual trust and understanding,” he added.
Prof Nikka said that there seemed to be a “decline in Urdu journalism and its readers as people have become inclined towards English in all the spheres of life”.
Senior faculty member, Media Education Research Centre, University of Kashmir, Prof Nasir Mirza in his address, hailed the DCJ and Urdu Council for organising the workshop.
Prof Mirza hoped the technical sessions on different aspects of Urdu journalism would be beneficial to the participating reporters and sub-editors. He also shed light on the advent of Urdu journalism in Kashmir.
Dean School of Media Studies, Prof Hamidullah Marazi said the DCJ is offering Post-Graduate programme in Journalism and has started research programme in 2018.
He said the department has produced many documentaries, which have bagged awards at local and national level.
Prof Marazi said the students graduating from the department are working in prestigious media organizations in the State and Country.
He also underscored the need to promote Urdu journalism and asked the organisations working for promotion of Urdu to take immediate steps in this regard.
DCJ Coordinator, Dr John Babu Koyee while speaking on the occasion, said, the purpose of holding the workshop was to revive Urdu journalism.
“As Urdu newspapers are circulated across the Jammu and Kashmir, it becomes imperative to train and orient the journalists in Urdu journalism, so that they report professionally,” he said.
Despite a decrease in the the number of people reading Urdu newspapers with each passing day, Dr Koyee claimed that the number of journalists, starting their venture as Urdu newspapers was increasing.
Earlier, Ifham ul Islam recited Tilawat-e-Quran while as Faizan recited Na’at.
Academician and Journalist, Rashid Maqbool conducted the programme proceedings and also gave an overview of Urdu journalism in Kashmir while as President JK Urdu Council proposed the vote of thanks.

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