Role of media:
The media can play a key role in this process by functioning as a classroom to promote global understanding, where citizens become students and augment their cultural knowledge, cultural sensitivity and acceptance of the ‘other’. Especially with the new media that can transcend barriers of time and space, the ‘other’ does not seem alien anymore.
Media representatives have the power to build positive images of the other country, and counter the traditional views of the ‘enemy’. However, rather than availing of this opportunity, South Asian journalists tend to remain entrapped in the web of jingoist and exclusive nationalism. As such, the media’s role in citizen diplomacy has largely remained traditional and limited to institutionalised exchanges among Indian and Pakistani journalists.
In the information deficit that plagues India-Pakistan relations and creates hatred and misperceptions of the ‘other’, media-aided citizen diplomacy can help engage in a constructive and transformative dialogue process with a focus on issues of concern to citizens on both sides
Pakistan-India is more about people, about the tragedy of not being able to meet and talk to your next-door neighbour, about emotions that need an outflow, about good memories that can be created together. We need the media to do to all this and more for the countless people who still view our story with hope.