How does conflict between mainstream media and social media impact media education?

Indian media educators spoke at the e4m Media Education Summit held on 22 November at the India International Centre in Delhi

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On the 22nd of November, at the India International Centre in Delhi, exchange4media and Samachar4media in association with BW BusinessWorld hosted the Media Education Summit discussing the conflict between mainstream media and social media and its impact on media education.

The session began with Chairperson Abhishek Mehrotra, Deputy Editor, e4m Group and Editorial Head samachar4media.com, opening up the discussion to the esteemed panel of speakers from the media business, both media educators and media professionals as well. Kick-starting the session Abhishek questioned K G Suresh, DG, IIMC, Delhi regarding the state of education in media schools today and whether media organizations preferred hiring from media institutions.

Responding to this KG Suresh said, “Firstly, I would like to congratulate Mr. Anurag Batra, Chairman and Editor-In-Chief, BW BusinessWorld & e4m Group and Dr. Surbhi Dahiya, Course Director (English Journalism) IIMC to have organized this summit which has brought together media educators and media professionals on the same platform.”

Moving on, he said, “Students today are keen on joining media, due to its glamour quotient. We as responsible media educators need to ensure some kind of benchmarking and standardization in media education. We cannot emerge disciplined without certain standardization. We need to take issues to the UGC, HRD Ministry.”

Speaking about language media, he said, “As media educators, we need to talk about the rapidly rising language media and cater to it. The paucity of Indian publications in media is another factor that has kept us behind. We need quality journals and quality books. The need of the hour is to prepare journalists who can work at ease equally with print, digital and electronic. So let’s train our media persons as per the requirement of today’s time”

Speaking about the role of media institutions today Anurag Batra, Chairman and Editor-In-Chief, BW BusinessWorld & e4m Group said, “The best journalists that come out are not from journalism schools, e.g. being Dr. Roy, Mr. Aroon Purie. We have to attract a better quality of students to media schools for the right reasons. On the other hand, media schools have to become technology schools. I hope in the next 2 years, I can take both e4m and BusinessWorld in that direction. We have to become video 1st, as in future all content will be consumed through video. We are all screen-agers today.”

Concluding his speech Anurag Batra said that while we look ahead towards these changes, we should make the best use of what we have at present for a better tomorrow. Taking the discussion further ahead, Abhishek Mehrotra questioned Alok Mehta, Former President, Editors Guild Of India on whether using social media is a form of journalism or is it solely a distribution platform.

In response, Mehta said, “All forms of media, be it TV, print, website or social media, these platforms, in fact, supplement each other. Having said that, I do realize the issue of fake news growing on social media, but then this was also the case during my time in print. Students in media should concentrate on reading a lot and not just spend time in sharing or forwarding content on social media. It is important for them to be able to generate news and not just share content that is readily available to them.” Concluding his speech Alok spoke about how it is important to keep a balance between the two, as social media also educates us with content worth knowing.

Commenting on the Impact of social media on today’s media education and media students, Rajesh Badal, senior journalist & filmmaker said, “It is a challenge for media educators to revise the syllabus according to the hype and pressure created by social media. There is no subject as such in journalism that can train students specifically to cover social media. This is a tool that can act as both a blessing or a curse.”

Speaking about why in his opinion being active on social media isn’t crucial, Sayeed Ansari, Executive Editor, Aaj Tak said, “Anchors are here to present stories to the audience, to show their journalistic skills to the viewers and not increase followers on Twitter & other platforms. The problem of our generation is that we get influenced and have started covering topics on TV that go viral on social media. Social media can never become a newsmaker, and we are allowing that to happen, it is a mistake. We must change. There is a lack of credibility.”

Speaking to Rahul Mahajan, Editor-In-Chief, Rajya Sabha TV, Abhishek asked him about the work culture at RS TV when it comes to leveraging the platform of social media. Mahajan said, “As far as social media is concerned, RS TV utilizes the platform of YouTube aggressively.” He also said that, they do not focus on TRPs, instead they concentrate on the present issues in an attempt to resolve them.  

Commenting on the challenges of regional media when it is about fake news Dilip Tiwari, Editor Zee UPUK & MPCG said, “There are quite a few positives of social media as well. If we want, we can make good use of them. As an organization, we need to be strong, because credibility lies with us, not with social media. The question is are we scared of social media, or instead how can we concentrate on using it effectively and positively? All of this, keeping in mind the ethics of journalism. “  

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