Day-5 of FDP-2021 in KSMC: Talks Conducted on New Trends, Social Justice Framework and Industry-Academia Interface

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News trends in media, media education, social justice framework, and industry-academia interface were the major takeaways from the talks of Prof K G Suresh, Dr Lalatendu Acharya and Prof K Narender on the fifth day of Faculty Development Programme-2021, organised by the School of Mass Communication, KIIT Deemed to be University on 25th June 2021.

The fifth day of FDP began with a session by Prof K G Suresh, Vice-Chancellor, Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism & Communication, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Prof Suresh spoke on “New trends in Media & Media Education”He started off by how much the world around us has been changed due to the corona pandemic. He illustrated the changes with examples that are relatable to the audience. Then he went on to mention the transition into user generated content from traditional media. He mentioned that vernacular media has seen a huge rise in the past years. Most of the national editions now have multiple local editions.Prof Suresh stressed on how the pandemic has triggered the demand for local content and highlighted how this is a major transition in news consumption. He asserted every journalism school must focus on developing vernacular language journalism as a part of their curriculum or certificate courses. Transitioning into media production, he stressed on the significance of teaching mojo (mobile journalism) to students, also, the use of modern technology like drones, he also pointed out on how social media platforms like Youtube allow journalists to function independently.

In the second session, Dr Lalatendu Acharya, Assistant Professor Health Sciences, School of Sciences, Indiana University Kokomo, Indiana delivered the talk on the theme “Teaching diversity and social justice in the communication, culture, journalism and media studies classroom”. Dr. Acharya started the session elaborating the meaning of social justice and stated the ultimate goal of social justice. He described social justice as a collaborating process and further amplified the real meaning of diversity, which refers to differences among social groups such as ethnic heritage, class, age, gender, sexuality etc. He put emphasis on critical consciousness and oppression and explained why these elements are important for communication, media and journalism. He also discussed about the methodologies for working on social justice. He talked about how important it is for the teachers of mass communication to understand these concepts and accordingly one should develop the pedagogy to find a better and more effective class.

The last and 15th session of the FDP by Prof Karnam Narender, Professor, Dept of Journalism and Mass Communication, Osmania University, Hyderabad was titled “Media education vs. industry mismatch: How do we fine tune courses to bridge the gap?” In a highly interactive session, Prof Narender talked about media education and industry mismatch.  He said that a lot of journalism is practical, hands-on skills which a student needs to learn. While a lot of theory goes behind it, industry believes it is a misnomer. Overdependence on theory in Mass Communication courses has led to boredom among students. A lot of practicing journalists leave the course midway because there is nothing new which is being imparted. Unless and until we restructure the course and make fundamental changes the gap between academia and industry will keep increasing, said Prof Narender. A solution is that there should be more than 60 per cent members of the Board of studies from media professionals, who need course correction, inculcating what is hands-on. Constant interaction with media and media professionals, getting the media professional to look into their work can be of great help for students, he added.

There were over 32 participants from several universities across India. The faculty members of School of Mass Communication, Dr Bidu Bhusan Dash, course co-coordinator, Ms Ruby Nanda, Assistant Professor, Dr Anurag Sahu, Assistant Professor and Mr Souptik Garai, Faculty Associate coordinated and attended the event.

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