Development journalism is an area that requires sustained interest and regular follow up for the simple reason that issues and concerns raised in this area of media studies are not resolved in a time-bound fashion. This two-day conference organized by the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication on Development Journalism focused on India but looking at it differently on 14th & 15th March 2019.
The first of the conference focused on the growing need for development journalism in India as we do not cover crucial developmental problems in our nation, especially the aspect of uneven development. The conference commenced with an inaugural session in the presence of guests of honor Mr. M.J. Prabhu, Green Cause Foundation & Senior Journalist and Mr. Elango Ramaswamy, Global Grassroot Icon.
Another session on Communicating Development which included speakers such as Dr. T. Jaisakthivel, Assistant Professor, University of Madras and Ms. Shirley Deepak, Global Media Consultant who shared their knowledge and experience on understanding community radio. They spoke on the various opportunities in the sector of radio and international broadcasting and also shared success stories of various women from rural and tribal areas who have established radio broadcasters today. “Community Radio gives a voice to the voiceless”, says Ms. Shirley Deepak who had started the Holy Cross Community Radio in 2006. The speakers also highlighted the importance and benefits of starting a community radio as well as pointers on how to source revenue for the same as funding community radios have always been a major challenge.
Day 2 of the National Conference on Development Journalism started with a panel discussion on ‘Bridging the Gap’ which was moderated by Dr. Sridhar Krishnaswami, Deputy Dean, SRMIST and Mr. Jai Ganesh.The panelists included Mr. Sam Daniel, Senior Journalist, NDTV; Mr. Ponnusamy, President, TN Milk Dealers Association; Mr. David Vijaykumar, Pallavan Grama Bank and Mr. Durai Mahendran, a fisherman. The objective of the discussion was to bridge the gap between the known and the unknown, with regard to issues faced by the rural areas in India. The audience which included students and faculty of various departments were able to understand the different problems that the rural parts of the country have to face from the perspective of people who actually live and work in these regions on a daily basis. They were also able to reflect on the significant role that journalism has to play in this area.
The conference was ended with a valedictory session in the presence of Mr. Venkataramani, Former Agri-Correspondent, The Hindu, who enlightened the audience on the importance of agricultural and environmental journalism. He also stressed on the significance of sustainable development which is the need of the hour for our country.