RGU’s international media e-conference concludes

RONO HILLS, Nov 5: The two-day international trans-disciplinary e-conference on ‘Crafting the contours of mass media for new India: A global perspective’ (ITDConMEDIA2020) concluded at Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU) here on Wednesday.

The academic event was organized by RGU’s mass communication department, in collaboration with Assam University’s mass communication department and Odisha-based Indian Institute of Mass Communication’s (IIMC) eastern India regional campus.

RGU’s sociology, commerce and social work departments were the associating partners of the conference.

Chairing the valedictory function, RGU Vice Chancellor Prof Saket Kushwaha elaborated how the role of the media has become the epicentre of people’s lives and how, in the times of the Covid pandemic, effective communication has become so critical.

RGU Registrar Dr NT Rikam expressed concern over “the authenticity of media” and spoke about “the huge plethora of news sources available lately and the problems it causes to the journalism industry.”

Sharing a media educator’s vision, Rajasthan-based Communication Today editor Prof Sanjeev Bhanawat opined that “there should be synergy between the academia and the industry for bringing quality in mass communication education and striving towards sustaining credibility of responsible mass media in the country.”

Invited speaker, Dr Jatin Srivastava, director of the Institute for International Journalism, EW Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University, USA, spoke about “the need for theoretical perspectives and citizens’ participation in crafting responsible contours of mass media in democratic countries like India.”

RGU Mass Communication Head Moji Riba in his remarks said how an event of this stature, cutting across institutions and geographies, brought together minds and thoughts from a diverse geographical spectrum, and from a variety of experiences and age. “To my mind, this is a perfect reflection of a synergy of purpose, thought and planning,” he said.

Earlier, Prof Kh Kabi of RGUs mass communication department spoke on how the credibility of the media in India, particularly the television news channels, is at stake.

Echoing the thoughts of keynote speaker of the conference, Prof Sunil Kanta Behera, professor of eminence, Tezpur University, Dr Kabi observed, “The louder they scream, the less credible becomes the news and more biased.”

Presenting a brief report of the conference, Dr M Nawaz Khan said that the discussions and the papers presented would “go a long way in crafting new responsible contours of mass media for meeting the communication needs of Indian society in its pursuit of sustainability and self-reliance with a global perspective.”

The conference papers will be compiled and published in the form of an edited book with ISBN for wider circulation, he added.

RGU Commerce HoD Prof SK Jena, Sociology HoD Dr Shashank Yadav, and Social Work HoD Dr Kaushalendra Pratap Singh also spoke.

Earlier, during the invited speakers’ sessions of Day 1, Assam University Mass Communication Head Prof GP Pandey, Prof Md Golam Rahman of the mass communication department of the Daffodil International University, Dhaka, Bangladesh, former chief editor of the Imphal Free Press Pradip Phanjoubam, and Dr Jatin Srivastava spoke on various pertinent and crucial topics.

RGU IQAC Director Prof RC Parida chaired the third technical session with the theme ‘Media’s new dimensions’. Odisha IIMC Regional Director, Prof Mrinal Chatterjee chaired the fourth technical session with the theme ‘Redefining news with agenda’, while Prof Sunil Kanta Behera, professor of eminence, Tezpur University, chaired the fifth technical session with the theme ‘Media credibility’.

Altogether 250 participants registered for the conference, which had six invited speakers’ sessions and five technical sessions where 45 seminal papers were presented.