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Media Meet 2021 - Newsletter - MOMENTUM

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MOMENTUM Media Meet - Annual Media Conference Newsletter Published by Department of Media Studies, CHRIST (Deemed to be University) 27 - 28 August 2021 For private circulation only In frame: Paranjoy Guha Thakurta Photo courtesy: Ardra Ramdas The Crises of Modern Media Keynote Speech on Media Crises and Challenges by Paranjoy Guha Thakurta Rahul Iyer “Your job as journalists said. As an example, he brought up the 3 JPEng ”is to hold those all too prevalent cases of mob-lynch- ing that occur in the country. Chalking On 27 August 2021, the Depart- in power accountable. their frequency up to the ease of mod- ment of Media Studies, CHRIST ern communication, he commented, (Deemed to be University) kicked off of advertisements. In his words, “He “Behind every case of mob lynching, its annual flagship event, Media Meet who calls the piper dictates the tune.” there is a WhatsApp message,” referring 2021. The keynote address was given by He also stated that the vested interests to the infamous network of trolls built Mr Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, a journal- held by technological giants, in terms of up by political parties on social messag- ist with over 40 years of experience in driving profit and maximizing margins, ing platforms. Addressing the lack of both print and broadcast media. As a mean that the consumer will ultimate- representation in Indian media, he said, documentary filmmaker, he has high- ly suffer. “Giant companies like Apple, “One of the most unique things about lighted issues that fly under the radar Facebook and Google have a huge in- our country is its linguistic and cultural of mainstream media, specialising in fluence on what you read. Predicting diversity, but our media does not reflect the allocation and pricing of natural your behaviour is the business model of this heterogeneity.” resources and the machinery of crony the future.” Concluding a riveting speech, he con- capitalism and oligarchies. Segueing into his next topic, he opined ceded that journalism has become a Mr Thakurta began his talk by describ- that the prime challenge that the Indian highly risky profession. “Those in pow- ing the evolution of media, from the media faces today is that its dependence er are not just intolerant but vengeful. 20th century till present times. “The In- on government advertising has led to an Fraudulent cases, defamation suits and ternet is a very young form of commu- almost sycophantic view of the actions FIRs have been lodged against jour- nication,” he said. “Even 20 years ago, of the administration. “The current nalists who are simply doing their job. we did not imagine that it would impact television rating system is manipula- You have every right to be idealistic, but our lives the way it does at present.” He tive and corrupt, and the media has de- keep your ear to the ground for chal- then moved on to what he called the scended into desperate attempts to grab lenges, and when things seem to be at biggest challenge global media faces to- eyeballs. Half-truths, lies and propa- their lowest, always remember the night day: piracy and the theft of intellectu- ganda are not new, but their sheer scale, is darkest just before dawn,” Mr Thak- al property rights. He pointed out that speed and volume is unprecedented,” he urta said. when consumers want free services, content creators require compensation, which then comes solely in the form

In frame: Sashi Kumar Photo courtesy: Rukmani G “Democracy is ultimately about informed citizenry”: Sashi Kumar Keynote Speech on Media Crises and Choices by Sashi Kumar Thanishi Ponnamma “ The need to be vent us from exercising our rights as citizens. Contradictions have become 3 EMP more skeptical about the a commonality,” he said, reinforcing information we consume the need for self-regulation rather than The second day of Media Meet 2021 censorship. “The media, as the fourth commenced with the keynote ad- ”is required now pillar, must be seen as playing the role dress by Mr Sashi Kumar, a versatile of checks and balances. Just like the media professional who founded In- more than ever. executive, legislature and judiciary, the dia’s first regional satellite TV chan- media is also an important player in nel Asianet, runs the Asian College of them. With the benefit of anonymity, the separation of power. This must be Journalism in Chennai, and has been a the previously suppressed and opposed acknowledged, and any attack on the part of a huge magnitude of media and are getting a second life. Media cor- media should be considered as equiva- journalism related events. The session, porations are moving from the role of lent to an attack on the constitution,” he moderated by Prof Padmakumar MM, content producers to content monitors. concluded. explored challenges faced and posed by With bots and algorithms, they push a With COVID-19 came an infodemic, the media in relation to democracy, cit- consumer towards what would be most and the post-truth era has become our izenry, evolution, and economy. engaging by tracking what a person new reality. “The media is the victim Media is confronted with a variety of wants to see. “This, rather than unify- and culprit. The numerous regulations challenges, both external and internal. ing people, has created fragmentations on IT are filled with double standards The paths we can take to face these ob- where we only come across what we that disable media. In the name of inter- stacles often seem far-fetched, with the believe in. Tolerance is degrading,” he nal regulations, they bring external reg- media becoming broader and harder remarked. ulations,” he commented, while speak- to tame in recent years. Mr Kumar be- Referring to the purpose of the media, ing about the Intermediary Guidelines gan his address by speaking about the Sashi Kumar stated that it is mainly re- and Digital Media Ethics Code 2021. convergence of different forms of me- sponsible for public interest. “As we live As the session reached its concluding dia, commenting that the lines between in a democratic country, it is essential segment, the speaker Mr Kumar dove different mediums are blurring with to know that democracy and media go further into media laws, community the passage of time. In his words, “We hand in hand. Unlike in the US, where sentiments, and political influence on are in fact in a new and evolving media there are specific media laws, in India, media. With a variety of thought-pro- ecology.” such laws don’t exist. Rather, it is a part voking insights, he left the audience The journalist then went on to remark of our fundamental rights as citizens. mesmerised and with a lot to ponder. that social media is at the height of its Restrictions on media, even if labelled glory today. Now, ordinary people have reasonable, tend to be barriers that pre- become both consumers and producers of content, or ‘prosumers’, as he calls 02 | MOMENTUM

PANEL DISCUSSIONS Exploring Health Communication: Four Dimensions, Four Perspectives A Panel Discussion on Communicating Health In frame (clockwise): Dr Asha Pinto, Prabhat Sinha, Dr Nirmala M N, Madhur Singh, K K Shailaja Photo courtesy: Ardra Ramdas Thanishi Ponnamma Spend, discussed the pandemic’s effects chance at life because of the poor health 3 EMP on journalists and news media. At the system. start of the pandemic, they had to focus Dr Asha Pinto, Medical Official at Media and health are two sectors on two things: spreading accurate infor- CHRIST (Deemed to be University), that are highly significant in our mation and highlighting unseen stories. sought to raise awareness among the lives, whether there is a pandemic or Tackling and managing the ‘infodemic’ audience on the steps required to cre- not. With the arrival of COVID-19, was an added difficulty. “You need to re- ate a strong barrier between people and they have gone through a multitude of act very quickly to everything, and have the virus. Both physical and mental changes. The final panel discussion for all your facts communicated with clar- health of people were badly affected, the first day of Media Meet 2021, con- ity and timeliness,” she said. Looking and steps to support both had to be ducted by the Department of Media for the truth beyond the facts the gov- prioritized equally. Vaccination drives, Studies, CHRIST (Deemed to be Uni- ernment provided was more important counselling, creation of university crisis versity), looked into these issues in four than ever during this time. management protocols and more have dimensions vis-à-vis the government, “A sports athlete would be able to run been successfully run by the Centre for journalism, rural well-being, and edu- a hospital, I never even had a dream Counselling and Mental Health at the cational institutions. like that in my life,” said Prabhat Sinha, university. According to her, it was the Kerala has faced quite a lot of challenges CEO of Mann Deshi Foundation, as he strong team of both staff and students in the past five years including devastat- narrated his story. Along with his team that made this crisis management suc- ing floods, a Nipah virus outbreak, and and help from the district collector, he cessful. now COVID-19. KK Shailaja, the for- started a free hospital with an oxygen The session ended with a Q and A ses- mer Health Minister of Kerala, spoke plant for a rural district in Maharashtra. sion that was interactive and subjective. about her experience with Nipah, even He said that it was the pandemic that The discussion mainly covered how with no pre-planned protocols or stan- opened his eyes, and made him much planning, implementation and manage- dard operating procedures, it became aware of the poor public health quali- ment along with emotions and empathy clear that it was perseverance and quick ty in the country. He also spoke about have to lead to significant change in the thinking that saved the state. “The pan- how talented young women are losing a pandemic ridden world. demic is a litmus test to the governance system throughout the world,” she said. Madhur Singh, Data Journalist at India MOMENTUM | 03

Reimagining Media Education in a Digital Age A Panel Discussion on Challenges of Media Education in a Pandemic In frame (clockwise): Dr K Sai Prasad, Dr Surbhi Dahiya, Kanchan Kaur, Dr Padma Rani, Subhash Rai Photo courtesy: Shreya Vinod Divina Ann Philipose educational institutions need to have methodologies to adapt to the digital 3 MAMCS a digital extension of themselves to be medium. Another challenge she not- able to reach out to working journalists ed was evaluation. “The mode of eval- The first panel discussion of Media through the digital medium. uating students in both examinations Meet 2021 titled, ‘Hold On, I’m The next panellist was Dr K Sai Prasad, and assessments had to be effectively Sharing My Screen: Scope and Chal- Dean of the Convergence Institute of changed in view of the pandemic and lenges of Media Education in a Pan- Media Management and IT Studies the changed mode of learning,” she ex- demic’, was held on Friday, 27 August (Commits), Bengaluru. He spoke about plained. 2021. Moderated by Dr Surbhi Dahiya, the need to acknowledge the potential Professor Kanchan Kaur, the fourth a professor and course director of the that the digital medium holds for the speaker, highlighted the need to adapt Department of English Journalism at education sector, and the need for a and build trust in the teaching-learn- IIMC, the panel consisted of five emi- shift in mindset so as to effectively use ing process. She stressed that one must nent speakers from the educational and this medium for teaching and learning. bring a ‘learn as you do approach’ into professional sectors of journalism. “Why are we getting inhibited by tech- teaching, in order to facilitate collabo- Dr Surbhi opened the discussion, com- nology? It should enable us,” he said, as rative learning.This mode of learning, menting on how the title was perhaps he spoke about the possibilities it pres- she believes, would help students open the most-used phrase in the past year ents to turn learning into a personalised up to new possibilities like working of online education. She then described experience for students. along the models of a media house. “If her experience of the various pros and Dr Padma Rani, Director at the Mani- the world is coming to an end, you will cons of online learning before handing pal Institute of Communication, Mani- hear about it in the news and they’re go- over the session to the panellists. pal Academy of Higher Education, was ing to have to learn how to report that,” Mr Subhash Rai, a digital editor at the the third panellist. “There’s a challenge she stated. Indian Forum, was the first speaker for with media and communication educa- The panel discussion was followed by the day. He addressed the gap between tion: the diversity of subjects that you a few questions from the audience, af- journalism education and newsroom have cannot be taught in just one way.” ter which the moderator thanked the realities, emphasising the need to effec- Drawing on her own experiences, she speakers and ended the session with tively bridge this gap through real-time spoke about how teachers and students some closing remarks. collaborations with newsrooms. He also alike had to unlearn and relearn their dwelt on the lack of focus on analytics and big tech within education. As he concluded his segment, he added that 04 | MOMENTUM

From Fact to Fiction: What Constitutes News Today? A Panel Discussion on ‘Fake News vs Factual News’ In frame (clockwise): Marya Shakil, Andre Borges, Rohini Swamy, Asis Kaur, Cyril Sam Photo courtesy: Shreya Vinod Rashi Nagelia of just discussing them. “The industry Fake news has been a matter of con- 3 MAMCS has taught me that you do not compro- tention ever since the advent of social mise on news quality just because you media. Andre Borges, another inde- The fourth panel discussion of Media need monetary benefits,” she shared. pendent journalist from Mumbai, dis- Meet 2021 was titled ‘Fake News vs Having started as a trainee reporter un- closed that fake news is not just about Factual News: Need for accurate, fact- der Rajdeep Sardesai, Marya Shakil, an sensationalism but is centred around based and comprehensive journalism’. anchor at CNN-News18, has 16 years of misinformation and misreporting. The panel, comprising four eminent experience in the field. She pointed out “Misinformation snowballs and builds speakers with extensive on-field expe- that informed speculation should be prejudice in people; and media plays riences, was moderated by Cyril Sam, undertaken in lieu of rushing to put out an important role in this,” he said. So- an independent journalist and research news first, and stated that she believes cial media fuels fake news and desen- analyst with PROTO-ICFJ. ethics are formed after rigorous track- sitises people, making them apolitical. The first speaker was Asis Kaur, an in- ing of beats, something which seems “This is the most threatening aspect of dependent journalist from Delhi who to have been lost today. She shared her fake news,” he remarked. He suggested has been covering the farmers’ pro- formula for covering news: ‘See it, say that organisations disclose the sponsors tests since 2020. She began by remark- it’. Addressing the question on a re- they are working with while publishing ing that ethics have disappeared from porter’s personal opinions, Shakil as- news, because this transparency is es- today’s journalism. She believes that serted, “Journalists should be centrists, sential to balance media coverage. fact-checking has not been taking place and even if they have specific political The session was concluded with an in- since the shift of news to social media, leanings, it should not reflect in their teractive Q & A session surrounding which is a platform focused greatly on reporting. We are not the story, we are the process of myth-busting and dis- creating identities. “In the process of only there to cover it.” Talking about tinguishing facts from fiction in news taking sides, we have lost our ethics as regulatory bodies, she stated that a me- stories, followed by engaging reflections journalists,” she commented, reflecting dia body of journalists should define from the panellists. “Get into journal- that the stories people want to hear are ethics, and emphasised that veterans ism for the love of it,” they concluded, as covered more than the ones they should need to indulge in a robust discussion a final piece of advice for their student hear. about the setup of guidelines for jour- audience. In contrast, Rohini Swamy, the CEO of nalists. Kasthuri GEC, stated that she still has hope for journalism, and expressed the need to bring back media ethics instead MOMENTUM | 05

Pandemic and a New Era of Possibilities A Panel Discussion on PR, Advertising & Corporate Communications in the Covid Era In frame (clockwise): Shreya Krishnan, Tomojit Bhattacharjee, Vishal Kolpurath, Nidhi Lall, Krupanand Sivadasan Photo courtesy: Ardra Ramdas Nikhil Agrawal Bhattacherjee explained how as PSU, duced the best kind of changes,” stated 3 MAMCS the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had Ms Krishnan. She also talked about the to replan their social media positioning challenges of managing mental health As part of Day 2 of Media Meet 2021, and not just use it for service updates. in corporate spaces and the situation of the Department of Media Studies The DMRC engaged and interacted NGOs. “Empathy became very import- at CHRIST (Deemed to be University) with their citizens more often to tackle ant. The pandemic opened up multiple organised a panel discussion on ‘Per- the overwhelming start of the pandem- collaboration points for NGOs,” she sistence, Intuition and empathy: PR, ic. He presented the example of Twitter said while sharing praises for corpo- Advertising, & Corporate Communica- interactions through memes that posi- rates who stood up to collaborate with tions in Covid Era’ on 28th August 2021. tioned DMRC as a fun entailing place, NGOs to help the society. Nidhi Lall moderated the session. Nidhi unlike other government-run ventures. Krupanand Sivadasan expressed the is currently heading Publicis Business, Vishal Kolpurath presented a peek into role of adapting to surroundings as a specialist B2B communication agency the real estate industry in terms of chal- a solution to challenges posed by the of the Publicis Group. The panellists for lenges of the pandemic. “Traditional pandemic. “We never thought we could a panel discussion on ‘Persistence, Intu- challenges disappeared; brand manag- do business without being in person, ition and empathy: PR, Advertising, & ers had to start reskilling,” he remarked. and we had to do things remotely. We Corporate Communications in Covid Vishal brought to light the decline in figured it out slowly. We had to adapt,” Era’ included Shreya Krishnan, Senior print and radio, making a compelling said Sivadasan. He added, “it became Vice President marketing and com- shift for brands from traditional chan- a superpower to manage clients from munications at AON India Insurance nels to digital. “We had to keep the homes. To keep going was important.” Broker; Tomojit Bhattacharjee, Senior conversation going with customers, the He encouraged the students in the au- deputy general manager of corporate pre-sales function had to be stronger, dience to have rigour, and dedication to communications in Delhi Metro Rail performance marketing took 80-85% of make things possible. Corporation; Krupanand Sivadasan, the budget,” he added. He also explained While closing the discussion with Creative director in DDB Mudra Group how the change to digital, initially over- technological pushes for Ad and PR, and Vishal Kolpurath, General manager whelming, became one of the best years Vishal Kolpurath presented Shobha’s of marketing for Shobha Limited. for Shobha in terms of performance. experiment with AR and VR. “We have The session started with a discussion on Shreya Krishnan believed that the of- entered the era of going back to tradi- critical challenges in the pandemic for ten talked about VUCA world in ad- tional media. It will come down to how corporate communication. “We had no vertising was upon us. She termed the smartly we evaluate our mix,” he said, idea what to do; we were clueless,” said new normal of the pandemic as “the looking at the future for Advertising, Tomojit Bhattacherjee. He added, “We new better”. “Greatest challenges pro- PR and Corporate Communications. could reach through print before, but with the pandemic, we had to figure out ways to communicate with the public.” 06 | MOMENTUM

Dissecting Cinema Culture: Theatre to Home Screen A Panel Discussion on the Rise of OTT Platforms In frame (clockwise): Vivek Mysore, Dr Sapna S, Chaitanya K M, John Edathattil Photo courtesy: Ardra Ramdas Ayisha Farah to any art form, due to which there is a ther describing how big the stakes are 3 EMP consistent evolution in content. “What and why people should know the legal any platform needs is passionate in- framework and history behind digital Media Meet 2021 held its third volvement of viewers,” he said. He fur- media. She then explained the words panel discussion, titled, ‘Rise of ther commented that we require quality ‘everywhere’—the idea that people can the Home Screen: Cinema and OTT’, content online, rather than an overload access OTT content anywhere, at any on 28 August 2021. The moderator for of mediocrity. time—and ‘less’, regarding the value for the session was Vivek Mysore, a film Taking the audience back to the early money that OTT provides. critic from Deccan Herald. The panel- 90s, Chaitanya stated that the expansion “The pandemic has magnified the user lists were Chaitanya KM, a filmmaker; of television in those times made pro- experience of OTT and the choices giv- John Edathattil, a screenwriter from the ducers worry about footfall in theatres. en to viewers. Naturally, when there is a Malayalam and Tamil film industry; As private players invested in the small demand, there is a corresponding sup- and Dr Sapna S, a professor from the screen, actors were often unavailable for ply, which is why we see greater creativ- School of Law, CHRIST (Deemed to be plays and films because they made quick ity. But when accessibility and freedom University). money from television. However, rise in are hit by regulations, we wonder what Vivek Mysore opened the session, de- home viewership led to the feeling that such regulations mean and how they scribing how he had worn a mask, dou- there would eventually be fatigue and a affect us and the produced content,” Dr ble gloves, a face shield and a jacket to resurgence of cinema. “Watching a the- Sapna continued. However, she empha- cover himself, just to watch the Tamil atre performance is a community expe- sised that regulations need not mean movie ‘Master’. “As far as cinema watch- rience, so people are eventually driven curbs on creativity. “These regulations ing is concerned, the entire experience to come out and watch content on the constrain issues such as child pornog- has changed during the past year,” he big screen,” he said, extending the same raphy and misuse of the right to free- remarked. to OTT viewership. dom. They existed before OTT and did John Edathattil then spoke about how Dr Sapna began her segment by listing not hinder films,” she clarified. audio-visual storytelling has been the three aspects of OTT platforms: more, Concluding the discussion with ques- most influential art form since the everywhere, and less. She explained the tions from the audience, the panellists 19th century. “We always talk about concept of ‘more’, stating that OTT led agreed that different platforms provide the changes in the technology of story- to more videos, viral moments, diver- different experiences and should be telling, but stories remain the same be- sity, competency, and creativity; fur- dealt with in diverse ways. cause they are extensions of life. So life evolves with technology,” he said. He explained how crucial the audience is MOMENTUM | 07

PLENARY SESSIONS Media Challenges: Opportunity for Change A Plenary Session by Andrea Cairola In frame: Andrea Cairola Photo courtesy: Rukmani G Nikhil Agrawal 3 MAMCS “Media challenges are opportunities for women journalists that need to be ad- the self-regulation of media, reinforce- change,” said Andrea Cairola, who is a dressed. “Fair remuneration is another ment of good governance parallel to programme specialist from the Division challenge faced by media personnel,” he advocacy of media rights, and strength- for Freedom of Expression, Democracy pointed out. Cairola asserted that mea- ening media and information literacy and Peace of the Communication and sures have to be taken that allow media levels on the part of citizens. Information Sector for UNESCO, in- to be more viable. He stated that public In the second part of the presentation, troducing the audience to the theme of service broadcasting that is editorially Cairola spoke about the media’s role media challenges and crises. His role independent is a good initiative, but in global crises. In situations ranging involves promoting freedom of infor- clarified that there is no single solution from the current pandemic to natural mation, primarily in the conflict areas to media crises. He presented a 3Ps disasters, conflicts and wars, media has of Africa and South-East Asia. concept—Prevent, Protect, and Prose- a huge role to play. Free press activi- From the Paris Headquarters of UNES- cute—for the safety of journalists. ty also has a crucial role to play in the CO, he presented Article 19 of the con- Andrea Cairola played a part in build- protection of democracy. “Disinforma- stitution of UNESCO, which assures ing a media presence in Afghanistan in tion distorts democracy,” Cairola stat- freedom of expression and information 2002. Commenting on the current situ- ed, while talking about the fake news to citizens of member countries. He ation of ‘extreme concern’ for journal- phenomenon in the pandemic. He also displayed visuals from the World Press ists in the region, he said, “The media highlighted how platforms like Face- Freedom Conference and educated the of Afghanistan was so vibrant. It was a book attempt to fill in for the absence audience about UNESCO’s work to pro- completely locally owned sector with of an election commission in US elec- mote press activity, of which journalist brave reporters who lived for their jobs. tions, and advised that we as consumers safety is a major part.Cairola talked Because of their heroic work, we know of media content have to think before about how information recorded by the what is going on right now. Attacks of sharing any content, in order to tackle media does public good. He outlined revenge on them are really depressing.” misinformation. media viability, protection of journal- Cairola presented a framework of me- Concluding the plenary talk, Cairola re- ists, media independence and trust in dia development indicators that can marked, “There is a consensus that me- media as the major challenges in cur- bring about media independence. He dia and human rights are interlinked. rent times. He also described challeng- also described the lack of trust by media We need to show a holistic approach es for journalists in digital spaces and recipients as a challenge. Some of his to human rights while batting for free specific issues related to the safety of measures for rebuilding trust included press activity and right to information.” 08 | MOMENTUM

The Need for Critical Self-Reflexivity: Media Research and Media Crises A Plenary Session by Dr Ram Bhat In frame: Dr Ram Bhat Photo courtesy: Rukmani G Divina Ann Philipose 3 MAMCS “We have to be self-reflexive about what non-sectoral approach to research and this into the curriculum at universities we study, whether it is legacy main- crisis. and art schools, the contested history of stream media or social media,” said The former LSE fellow then moved on knowledge, etc., if this becomes more Dr Ram Bhat, the plenary speaker at to emphasise the need for more quali- mainstream as part of education, then the session titled ‘Media Research and tative research, research into areas such I think it can bring about a change in Media Crises’ held on day two of Me- as the political economy, and the com- consciousness and a change in how we dia Meet 2021. The session was moder- plementarity in mainstream and social see our societies and that hopefully will ated by Dr Kailash Koushik, Assistant media. He also noted that research have far-reaching consequences,” he Professor at the Department of Media within the media needed to move away added. Studies, CHRIST (Deemed to be Uni- from studying content towards the in- Another question that the speaker re- versity). frastructure behind it. The rollout of ceived was on the perceived gullibility Dr Bhat is a postdoctoral fellow at the initiatives like Digital India and the of the people. “The people are not gull- International Centre for Advanced JAM (Jan Dhan, Mobile numbers and ible at all,” he said, effectively break- Studies in New Delhi and the co-found- Aadhaar) trinity and their impact on ing that myth. “I think people already er of Maraa, a Bangalore based Media governance was also an area he felt de- have a particular belief system and and Arts collective. He broadly spoke served more attention. the existence of media, whether it is a about three interrelated crises within Dr Bhat then answered questions from WhatsApp forward or a news program media and possible research opportuni- both the audience and the moderator or a news article, it just affirms that ties that arise from the same. on topics ranging from reasons behind pre-existing belief.” Media systems, ac- Setting the context for his talk, he chart- the push for privatisation and the mon- cording to him, act as vehicles to am- ed the course media research took and etisation of BSNL, lack of research into plify and further circulate those beliefs. its emergence as a discipline from what experiences from the global south and The speaker wrapped up by giving two was once a field. He further elaborated research advice based on his own train- pieces of advice to Masters students for on the role media was expected to play ing and experience. their upcoming dissertation projects. in the developing world. The first crisis, The moderator questioned the speaker He asked students to focus on the de- according to him, lies in the complexity about studying the exclusionary pro- sign of their research objects and con- of the telecommunications and inter- cess of knowledge production. He re- structing that effectively instead of hav- net sectors. The second crisis that he plied by asking for a critical reflection ing ambitious topics. The second piece dwelled upon was the disinformation on the history of knowledge produc- of advice he gave was not to take it too debate. The third was the need for a tion in the country. “If you introduce seriously. MOMENTUM | 09

Music during Crises: Art and essentiality A Plenary Session by M D Pallavi Rahul Iyer & Sunidhi Arakere is much more than that. It only happens she remarked. 3 JPEng because there is a performer and an au- When asked about her ex- dience, which has completely vanished,” perience battling the virus, On 28 August 2021, the she responded. she said, “My lungs took Department of Media Addressing the impact of the pandemic a bad hit, but even in the Studies, CHRIST (Deemed on performance artistes and ordinary hospital, my doctor said, if to be University) held the people, Ms Pallavi said that it threw up you can sing, just sing,” she final session of its annual scenes of devastation that shocked her. reminisced. Her advice to flagship event, Media Meet She stated that it laid bare the privileges students of music dealing 2021 on ‘Music in the midst of those who had bank balances to fall with the same situation was of a crisis’. The speaker for back on. “When the economy is not in to give their body time to the evening was MD Pallavi, good shape, culture takes the first hit. heal and keep trying prominent singer, actor and I shudder to think of the artists who Ms Pallavi went on to answer some TV anchor. The moderator could not keep performing digitally,” questions from the audience, and the for the session was Ninad Samaddar, session was concluded by Mr Ninad from the Department of Theatre Stud- with a comparison of the pandem- ies. ic with a closed bottle of soda. “Right Mr Ninad opened the session by refer- now, the artistes are inside the seal and ring to “performance fitness” in sports it is being shaken, but when we return terminology, asking Ms Pallavi how she to the offline mode, there will be an kept up her momentum as a musician explosion of work that has been in the despite a lack of performances during making,” he remarked with a touch of the pandemic. “It’s very difficult for a humour, bringing the reverie to a close. performing artist to keep up your per- formance form without having a per- formance to practice it in. You do your riyaaz or saadhana, but a performance EDITORIAL THE TEAM “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield,” perfectly captures the Faculty Coordinators spirit of the media during any crisis. The media is often at the fore- front during any crisis, recording history as it unfolds. From cover- Dr Suparna Naresh ing the truth to tackling misinformation, the necessity of doing the Dr Meljo Thomas right thing in trying times is one of the aspects most crucial to this Dr Pradeep Thomas field. The Department of Media Studies, CHRIST (Deemed to be Univer- Reporters and Editors sity) takes pride in hosting the twelfth edition of Media Meet, its annual flagship event. ‘Media/Crises: Challenges and Choices’, the Rahul Iyer, 3 JPEng theme of this year’s Media Meet, is an attempt to examine this role Nikhil Agrawal, 3 MAMCS the media plays in composite situations, at times as a watchdog, Rashi Nagelia, 3 MAMCS seeking resolution. As with last year, the conference is held virtually this time too, with numerous eminent guest speakers and panellists Ayisha Farah, 3 EMP sharing their thoughts and experiences with the participants. Thanishi Ponnamma, 3 EMP This year’s newsletter, ‘Momentum’, is an ode to perseverance in the Sunidhi Arakere, 3 JPEng face of crisis: a common factor demonstrated in all of Media Meet events this year. The documentation team has put in enormous Shashwat, 3 MAMCS efforts to capture this essence through words and pictures, of which Divina Ann Philipose, 3 MAMCS this newsletter is proof. It is essential that we, as aspiring media pro- fessionals, uphold media’s role as watchdogs in our work while also Designer shedding light on ways to move forward, towards better times. Karthik Vittal G S, 3 MAMCS

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