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WSF seminar emphasises on power of alternate media

The panelist at a WSF seminar on the 'Media, Culture and Knowledge' on Sunday emphasised on the power of alternate media, writes Purwa Khandelwal.

india Updated: Jan 19, 2004 20:59 IST

The panelist at a WSF seminar on the 'Media, Culture and Knowledge' on Sunday emphasised on the power of alternate media and the culture of language imperialism.

The co-ordinator of the session, N Ram, editor of The Hindu remarked that there was a need to establish linkages between media and issues that matter.

Bernard Cassen from France, while defending the right of people to get right information, said, "Freedom of information is not only the freedom of journalists but also the freedom of people."

He emphasised on the need for the fifth power which would be the power of citizens to monitor media. Answering to a question he said, "There are thousands of NGOs and alternate media to spread information and therefore this power."

Fernando Martinez from Cuba said that there is a need to develop media and alternative means 'in the midst of omnipotent mainstream'.

The legendary figure, Free Software activist Richard Stallman who has been associated with GNU operating system said that copyrights should not exist at all.

He said, "Copy rights have become a restriction on society. It has become intolerable in the age of computers. People should always be free to share."

He also said that freedom should also be extended to the downloading of research papers on the Net so that many people could make use of it.

Mali's ex-minister of culture Aminata Traore said that Africa is an image that had been built by the colonial powers. "As soon as we accept that image, we become inferior."

The Indian speakers in the seminar also raised the issue of language imperialism.

Nikhil Wagle, editor of Mahanagar, while terming present media as the propaganda vehicle of the multi-national corporations, emphasised that while there was a need for the alternate media, it should be free of the domination of English.

"A media should speak the language of people and should not fall prey to linguistic imperialism," he said.

The poet, Ashok Bajpai said that information system is creating an importance of English pushing the other language in the margin. He asserted that the time has come when the world campaign should be launched to save languages.

First Published: Jan 19, 2004 20:59 IST