Thursday, August 06, 2009

Mirror Effect

Mr.Ramananda Sreenivas (Editor, Bangalore Mirror) came, spoke and floored the audience (MS Communication) with his unique technique- interaction. what sreenivas did was to get the students to speak and by getting a point out, base the talk on that. it created interest and active participation. it also helped to have a few familiar faces (those who had done their internship at BM) to collaborate and complement his points. the very informal style and the language of the present generation can be a very effective tool to connect with the students.
As he said at the beginning, Sreenivas wanted to use the opportunity to learn from the young crowd- the target audience for BM. it is only through contiuous feedback from the readers that BM has been able to deliver stuff and become credible among their readers. it is a wonder why media does not change quickly enough to connect with the desired audience? it is only when things go wrong that changes take place. The Times of India group has understood the importance of keeping an ear to the ground and customizing the content to suit the demands of an ever dissatisfied generation. No wonder then, the two most read newspapers in Bangalore city are from their stable.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Guru Dakshina

the cancellation and postponement of media conclave with r. sreenivas, editor, bangalore mirror was a temporary set back. but these things can be expected as people from the media are on call 24x7. personally, i had almost forgotten the issue. but not Malik and not Niranjan (for those not familiar- they are from the Journalism batch of 2007). Malik calls up Niranjan and tells him about the cancellation and Niranjan gets into action. Makes a whole lot of calls and finally fixes up Rajan Bala (legendary Sports Columnist) as a replacement, less than 12 hours before the scheduled time of the programme. It is another story that the programme didn't materialize in the end.
my thoughts are on the two christites who went out of their way, for no fault of theirs, to rectify a problem. how many people today will do anything like this. there are a few thoughtful and responsible individuals still around and maybe that is the reason why we still have faith in humanity. thanks Malik and Niranjan for all the help in building a close relationship between industry and academics and more importantly between media professionals and students.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Medium over message

DNA ran a photo feature on the language issue that has generated a lot of debate. my quote is out of context and therefore this is an attempt to put it in the right perspective.
Language is important to communicate, socialize and disseminate culture. Nobody disputes the fact that the language one is comfortable in, allows one to be confident when it comes to communication.
the controversy with respect to Karnataka is to make Kannada the medium of instruction in unaided schools. the two are mutually exclusive. One should know kannada for obvious reasons. but how will making it a medium of instruction help? we need to acknowledge the reality. those who are from english medium background tend to do well in terms of job opportunities. Kannada is a compulsory language in schools but making it the medium of instruction will definitely limit the scope for those children. This is a retrograde step when the world is trying to cope with the onslought of globalization and increasing opportunities it is throwing up. Instead of helping our children to cope with the needs of fast changing society, we want to take a step back.
It is one thing to preserve languages and culture, but a totally different thing to shackle our kids in the process. People with ulterior motive are the supporters of this policy, which if implemented surely will put Karnataka on the backfoot.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Malik on sports

Malik spoke to the second year journalism students. he tried to sketch the field of sports reporting based on his one year at bangalore mirror. it is always a pleasure to see how different and easily the professionals who were students a few years back adapt themselves to teaching.
the other day anirban from the sociology department kept the first year ms com students captivated for an hour. he has the ability to connect with the students with simple language and immense knowledge of the subject.
there are a lot of teachers out there. some are gifted and others including yours truly have to work pretty hard at it. guest speakers like malik bring a fresh perspective and approach to teaching journalism. the practical experience is definitely helpful in communicating effectively with the students.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Well done

InPrint 09 is over. the day-long programme threw up its list of challenges. the most satisfying thing at the end of the day was the display of general bonhomie among the journalism students. the enthusiastic participation by all (forgetting the exceptions) was heartwarming. the first year students threw themselves in the arena and earned credit (contrast that with last year). the second year jelled as one to organize the event to the satisfaction of all. and surprise of surprises, the final jpe put their best foot forward and fought their way to the top. Congratulations to all.
the assuption that only through control and close supervision will the students do a good job is empirically proved wrong. i am glad. the students need a long rope. there will be a few surprises but in the final analysis it is 'by the students, for the students and of the students'. now where do we come in? one can give advice and encouragement but the event should be student driven. it certainly makes a lot of difference. InPrint has come a full circle, from the time it started off as an idea in the minds of students to the entire planning and execution being undertaken by them.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

joy of doing

this is in response to the edit (joy of giving) in today's (09/07/09) dna by n.raghuraman. mr. raghuraman (editor), what did you do beside feel sorry and angry about the plight of that child you saw from the shelter of your chauffer driven car? the piece paints the picture and moves on to bangalore international airport. there is no mention of the action only thoughts of despair. feeding sparrows bread crumbs is nice, like some feed street dogs and cats. but how will that allivate the plight of the children on the streets of our cities (as you have graphically described), who toil the entire day for handouts and crumbs.
it is in our culture to feel sorry and even show an attitude of caring for the not-so-well-off. it still is a long way from a behaviour change that provides a basis for action. we preach and then move on. the problem stays in the same place. it definitely is a moving piece and writers have a right to bring the images to life in various forms. what we also require is less preaching and more action as a society.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Final closure

Finally the Liberhan Report has been submitted- it took more than 13 years for the probe into the Babri Majid demolition to be completed. Initial reports suggest that the blame is squarely placed on BJP. Top leadership of the BJP have been named as having incited the mob to indulge in arson and destruction. It is, of course, not a surprise that the inquiry has indicted the well-know advocates of Hindutva for the crime. What is surprising is the delay is bringing out the obvious into the pubic domain. There is of course the political angle to the whole inquiry and the timing of the report. This should not divert our attention from the unprecedented, nay monumental, event that destroyed the political and social fabric of our nation. Unless our state acts fast and punishes those who have indulged in violence or destruction, sections of the society will feel let down and angry. The 1984 anti-Sikh riots, The 2003 Gujarat riots, and the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition are blots on our psyche and needs to be dealt with. Expecting time to heal the wounds is foolish. There has to be a closure to these wounds that keep infesting our secular fabric. Only when people perceive that justice has been done, the guilty adequately punished can we move on. Otherwise, we will be stuck in the past and not be able to expect a better, safe and all-encompassing future.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

InPrinted in mind

It is that time of the year when the second year journalism students begin to grapple with the intricacies involved in putting together InPrint. A class of 60 odd students come together to host the intra-departmental fest that was started exactly 4 years ago. The purpose of the fest was to have an identity for the journalism students. In the past 4 editions of InPrint what was initiated by the class of 06 continues with a few modifications. I think the present batch needs to know the background to InPrint.
Expression was the inter-collegiate Journalism fest that had its last version in 2003. A step was taken to have a common fest with the Communicative English students. But in 2005 a bunch of bold, highly motivated students took upon themselves the role of setting a precedent that would brand the journalism students for years to come.
Today the present second year journalism students are going about trying to put their mark on this tradition. I am sure that in years to come, students every year would come together and forge a bond that would mark them out from the rest of the student community at Christ. Hopefully, a thought would go out to those who started it all.

Friday, June 26, 2009

listen in

took a break from work and attended a workshop. the workshop was interesting but not anything great. the food was good and the setting was perfect. there was no hitch and things moved smoothly during the entire duration of the workshop.
got an opportunity to network with professionals from various marketing and communication departments. also got an insight into what is happening in the US context as far as the use of social media is concerned and where we may be headed. one needs to have a presence on various social media like Orkut, Twitter, Blog and Linkedin to stay connected to the digital generation and feel their pulse.
but the best part of the workshop was the realization that we (including me) have a long way to go in accepting the reality of the virtual world. by being part of the social media, which by the way is growing tremendously, one can be part of the collective knowledge creation process and at the same time listen in to the digitally enabled and empowered young urban India. if one has to make a difference, one has to be part of the process.