Centre for Culture, Media & Governance, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi (CCMG, henceforth) in collaboration with Academic Staff College, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi conducts and organizes every year the University Grants Commission Refresher Course on Media Studies, Culture and Governance for the in-service faculty across the country. The first such RC was organized in February 2013.
The 2nd Refresher Course 2014 on Media Studies and Governance started on 14th January and will continue till 4th February, 2014.
Day 2/ 16 January 2014
As per the RC programme, Professor G. Ravindran, Head of the Department of Journalism and Communication at University of Madras, spoke on ‘Journalism Studies in India’.
Prof. Ravindran said, there is a difference between Journalism Studies and Journalism Education. The case here is of Journalism Studies against Journalism Education. India constitutes diverse socio-cultural landscapes, where nothing starts at the same time. Majority of Indians cannot be comfortable with the print in their everyday life. We, the educated Indians, know the power of print then too, in our everyday life context because we are of oral culture. There is one thing common in all the mediums like newspaper, television, radio, cinema, there is conversation in it. Journalism does not belong to Indians. News does not belong to our cultural narrative. Our cultural logic is rooted in epic narratives. Narrative is a fiction. But news is objective and Fact is sacred. This is western import and is unable to cope with the cultural contradiction which is largely an oral. The epic tradition which is thousands of years old is able to succeed remarkably well with these western imports like news and modern media.
This is time to move away from Journalism Education to Journalism Studies.
Those who gave us Journalism gave us Journalism Education. During the Emergency in 1975, most of the journalism vanished. This was an interval which we failed to study. But during this time Indian journalism came alive with its deep cultural roots denying the western root. Arun Shourie was ranked outsider in the journalism. But he shocked the power-centres of his time. He was patronized by Ramnath Goenka, against Indira Gandhi, where both were acting like feudal heads.
James Augustus Hicky, an ordinary British, who was the founder of first newspaper in India stood up against Warren Hastings, the Governor General. He exposed his wiles by writing poster. The dubhashiye (the bilingual) who work as interpreters in the business wrote diaries on the events of their time, the diary by Anand Ranga Pillai is one of the best readings of that period.
Journalism classes in India teach reporting, editing, constitution, TV, radio, advertising, research methods with a sole aim to produce journalists, acting as a functionalist trade shop, supplying manpower to industry, claiming high tuition fees from the students, lacking the core to discuss issues and intellectual groundings. Unfortunately, state-driven higher education system tries to please a private sector. All in the row are running behind placement. Universities are not meant for trade-driven courses. Varsity is to train and ensure critically-minded graduates at the end of the day. Once they instill self-esteem and self-confidence, they can stand on their own instead of becoming a slave of any corporate organization.
They internalize what is being taught in the class room. But the world outside is totally opposite. We want a Journalism Studies deeply rooted in liberal arts, contrary to contemporary skill-oriented subjects. The journalism not based on imported western logic. We must make our students understand, there is ideological apparatus behind everything. A critically centered multidisciplinary approach would be the future of Journalism Studies in India.
In the third session of the day, Adnan Farooqui, Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science, Jamia Millia Islamia, discussed the technicality of reviewing a book: how to read a book and to comprehend the intentions and motives of the writer, the message of the book by reading between its lines.
Book review is a way to understand the topics discussed in the book. Further, if someone is writing a book review, it means that she has read the book cover to cover and has reached at a level that she can tell and recommend others about the book or the issue it has covered. One can say, it is a loud conversation with the author.