President of the International Arab Charity and Foreign Editor of Al Hayet newspaper Baria Alamuddin says countries need to educate people about democracy.
She believes if ordinary people have a better understanding of democracy they will be able to participate fully in decision-making in their respective countries. Speaking in Durban, Alamuddin shared some of her experiences working in various countries as a journalist.
She adds that journalists have to tell the truth when reporting and also help educate people about democracy. She says ordinary people need to understand that they can participate meaningfully in decision-making in their countries.
“Democracy does not exist as we think about it in the world, democracy is a lot of work, democracy in its pure meaning is very difficult to achieve. However it does not mean we do not seek it that we do not try to achieve it. I also believe that we should educate people about true meaning of democracy because we exercise it on people, different democracy in different parts of the world, everybody thinks they are democratic however in many countries I think they are very far on what true democracy is. It is a pity because we should try as much as we can to educate people about democracy.”
With regard to the refugee question, Alamuddin says the Syrian refugee crisis is the biggest the world has seen.
“The Syrian refugees problem is of a huge dimension that we are not even greatly aware of the Syrian refugee is the biggest refugee crisis the world has seen in the modern day. We all have to just stop and think that these poor people did not choose to leave the country they are living in, simple to stay alive that the conditions in Syria are beyond human life the bombings are non-stop.”
Alamuddin concluded her information sharing session by cautioning media practitioners not to rely on social networks as sources of their stories.
“No I do not believe that you can believe or respect many people use social media for their own purposes, governments manipulate social media, terrorists groups manipulate social media, social media could be useful for citizen journalism, however one should be very careful with what to take, social media has positive aspects and negative aspects and sometimes the negative aspect unfortunately outweighs the positive ones, especially when it comes to reporting events around the world one has to be careful what to pick and what to believe.”
Alamuddin says journalism is still one of the most powerful professions that can help hold a government of the day accountable to its citizens.