Day 2 of Faculty Development Programme at KIIT School of Mass Communication

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Eminent resource persons like Prof. I. Arul Aram, Prof. Vinod Pavarala, Prof. Anjali Monteiro and Prof. K. P. Jayasankar conducted sessions on the second day of the FDP-2021 at School of Mass Communication, KIIT Deemed to be University

Prof. Aram, Head of the Department of Media Sciences, College of Engineering, Anna University delivered his talk on the theme ‘Trends in Environmental Communication’ wherein he talked about the significance of environment communication in different fields of life, more so in journalism and mass communication classrooms. He mentioned that environmental communication, despite being an extremely relevant topic of this century, is not receiving as much attention in traditional media as it should. He outlined the responsibilities that faculties have in training students to think responsibly of the environment.

Prof. Pavarala, a senior professor at Department of Communication, and Chair Professor, UNESCO Chair on Community Media, University of Hyderabad, Telangana, spoke on “From interpretative inquiry to community action: An interdisciplinary journey”. Giving an autobiographical account of his journey from being a media student to a journalist to being a student of sociology where he found his true calling, Prof Pavarala said it enhanced his “Sociological imagination” as awareness of the relationship between personal experiences in the wider society. After doing extensive work on corruption in India, which came out as a book “Interpreting Corruption: Elite Perspectives in India”, Prof Pavarala decided to work on something with a solid social action component: i.e., “politics of voice”. It was the Community Radio movement that engrossed him as he found people’s ability to narrate their lives and experiences was taken away from them by traditional media.

The session on ‘Towards critical media pedagogies’ started with Prof Monteiro and Prof Jayasankar, former Professors and Deans, School of Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, Maharashtra, talking in retrospect of their journey into academia. Prof Monteiro asked some pertinent questions as to how one should look at Media Education. She mentions that media education is intricately weaved with the media industry at large and this in itself forms a serious necessity to critically analyse it.

Prof. Jayasankar highlighted that the process of critically analysing media starts with everyday elements from advertisements, news, films, et cetera. He went on to stress why we must critically examine the underlying messages and social commentary of these media artefacts. He pointed out that not just media academics or media practitioners, but rather everybody must engage with the media since everybody is affected by the media at large. All of us are stakeholders in the media, he added.

There were participants from several universities across India, naming a few – Netaji Satabarshiki Mahavidyalaya, University of Kalyani, St. Xavier’s University, Central University of Rajasthan, Amity University, Kolkata, SRM Institute of Science and Technology; many among them senior scholars who enriched the sessions with their introspective questions. A lot of questions poured in the chat box which the resource persons promptly responded to. The Q&A session was quite interactive and engaging. 

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