Content Management and Distribution
As part of the News Reporting and Anchoring course, Ms. Saheli Chatterjee was invited to conduct a Skype session for the second year XCOMM students on July 5, 2019. Ms. Saheli Chatterjee better known as Helly in the social media circle is a young video blogger and a social media influencer. She led an interactive session on content management and distribution for the alternate platform in which the nuances of establishing one’s own YouTube channel was thoroughly discussed. The question and answer session was especially vibrant where the speaker tackled queries such as what exactly to talk about, how to think out of the box, what are the various types of video genres available and the most frequently asked question as to how much money does a successful YouTuber make?
Ms. Chatterjee is the recipient of the Silver Creator Award from Youtube to have crossed 100,000 subscribers. Inspired by this brilliant mind behind TheHellyBlog, students enthusiastically contemplated to venture out on YouTube to initiate their own channels.
Future Perspectives of Journalism
As part of the Skype lecture series of XCOMM, Mr. Mayukh Ranjan Ghosh, Senior Correspondent of Times News Network was invited to address the second-year undergraduate and first year post-graduate students for their News Reporting & Anchoring and Advanced Journalism courses respectively on July 19, 2019. Mr. Ghosh’s specialized beats are International Affairs and Bengal Politics. The crux of the discussion was the future perspectives of journalism in the age of convergent media with special thrust on mobile journalism, colloquially known as MoJo.
Content Creation for Online Portals
Ms. Ishadrita Lahiri, Senior Correspondent with The Quint interacted with the undergraduate and the postgraduate students of XCOMM on November 28, 2019. She illuminated them on content creation for online portals. She also explained elaborately how news experiences varies from one platform to the other. With her background as a Reporter in a ‘legacy’ media organization such as NDTV 24×7, she shared her experience stating accounts of the challenges that she encountered from being a broadcast to an online journalist. Apart from the skill learning, what makes a good journalist is the capacity to probe, she said.
“In Defense of”
To prepare the media practitioners of tomorrow and as part of the Online Journalism and Writing for Media courses, an open discussion forum In Defense of was organized by XCOMM on January 13, 2020. The idea of the session was to ensure a platform for the budding journalists to discuss, debate, deliberate and constructively criticize opposing views.
Journalism, as is known, is society in conversation with itself – to explore, to question, to innovate and to pursue the highest ideals of the discipline is what XCOMM strives to train the young minds with. In a time when asking the right question is equivalent to making a statement, the students discussed diverse subjects ranging from the current economic slowdown, to the extra constitutional killings, to the Transgender Rights Bill to the most contested Citizenship Amendment Act.
The discussion put forth an incredible range of unique ideas in the field of civil rights, constitutional laws, government policies, right to education and more. Through the informative and vibrant deliberations, the students brought in fresh perspectives to the socially pertinent issues.
Re-visiting Feminism in Contemporary Indian
As part of the Introduction to Advertising course, XCOMM had invited Dr. Spandan Bhattacharya, a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata to address the B.Sc. first year Mass Communication students on February 7, 2020. The topic of discussion was Re-visiting Feminism in contemporary Indian advertisements.
Dr. Bhattacharya holds a PhD from Jawaharlal Nehru University and has been associated with Ambedkar University, New Delhi as a visiting faculty. He also has several research papers to his credit.
The discussion began with classical theory of Laura Mulvey which was later critiqued by Mary Ann Doan’s work. The discussion emphasized advertising and associated industries which offer consumers a wide range of choice which they engage and disengage with. He talked about how it is evident that by integrating advertisers’ messages with various kind of content, there exist signs of commercial influences over the realm of culture. Quoting Stuart Hall’s work, Dr. Bhattacharya reflected on ‘subversive’ consumers or audiences who resist the disseminated messages.
Dr. Bhattacharya emphasised on the oppositional discourses and their useful symbolic meanings. Taking the instance of a legacy brand such as Gilette and its’ controversy around the #NotAllMen, he stated that the exercise was to transform the notion of liberation from a predetermined goal into an empty form of symbolism.
The engaging discussion was followed by a brief round of student interaction where the students shared their observations and comments on contemporary popular advertisements.
Journalism At The Age of Convergence
As part of the School’s international collaboration, XCOMM facilitated an academic interaction over Skype with Dr. Dhiman Chattopadhyay, Assistant Professor, Shippensburg University, Pennsylvania, USA on February 10, 2020. He was associated with Lamar University, Texas prior to his stint in SU. The guest addressed the undergraduate and post graduate students of the School on Journalism at the Age of Convergence and answered pertinent questions related to the discipline.
Dr. Chattopadhyay, a graduate from Presidency College, Kolkata prior to acquiring his doctoral degree from Bowling Green State University, Ohio was the Group on Editor of Mid Day, the managing Editor of CFO Magazine , India, and have worked with legacy brands such as The Asian Age, Times of India and India Today. His research interests are journalism, social media and public relations and he has also published several papers. Dr. Chattopadhyay is also the editorial board member of prestigious journals including the Asia Pacific Media Educator.
The speaker initiated the discussion by sharing his own experience as a working journalist in a time when the internet was at a nascent stage. Gradually outlining the lecture with the Hierarchy of Influence Theory and gate-keeping in mainstream media, he explained what ‘mediatization’ implies in modern day journalism.
The talked about the structural concepts referring to the societal transformations and reflected on how content management changes with respect to the orders of technology. While talking about the readers vis a vis information consumers, he explained how the online readers consume the information in the “letter F” format.
During the interactive session, the speaker gave an overarching view on how journalism in the US is distinct from that of India. On questions regarding how a journalist can separate one’s own political ideology with that of the organization, he quoted his personal experience saying that one must master the skill of doing so.
Discussing his views with a subtle humour regarding the recent fiasco of Mr. Arnav Goswami and stand up comedian Mr. Kunal Kamra, Dr. Chattopadhyay emphasized on the bedrock of journalism which according to him are credibility and trust.
Instilling The Spirit of Media Entrepreneurship
Xavier School of Communications (XCOMM), organized an Industry Expert talk on the theme, Media Entrepreneurship: Challenges and opportunities, on 13 August 2019. The speaker on the occasion was Mr. Satyabrat Sanu Ratho, CEO Prelude, Bhubaneswar. The industry expert interface was part of a guest lecture on Media Entrepreneurship planned by Career Advisory Services of XCOMM by II PG students.
“Twenty years ago, I took the path less travelled and started Odisha’s first event management company, today it is one of the leading event management companies in Odisha” said Mr. Ratho. He inspired students to take the path less travelled and set up their own ventures and be ready to face challenges on the way.
Mr. Ratho said that his key strength are strategy and direction, which means leading unpredictable shifts at the company, identifying opportunities and risks. Strategizing requires certainty in one’s assumptions about the future. One needs to see the results in decades rather than quarters. Throughout his two decades of entrepreneurial journey, he started many ventures. He said failures are a checkpoint and they give you experience. He emphasised on the fact that wrong decisions or mistakes could cost one’s business but learning a lesson from it is important. He narrated stories of success and failure from his own examples of Prelude. From facing huge loss during the super cyclone to the success of Jajpur Festival and dot fest during the Hockey world cup in Bhubaneswar, he saw ups and downs in his business.
Entrepreneurship is the buzzword now. There are plenty of books on start-up and each of them speak about the same thing in different manners. One thing that they all seem to be saying is that it is a competitive world out there. There is a lot of scope for new start-ups. However, most of these books fail to explain Media Entrepreneurship, challenges and Future Opportunities for Media Students.
How can one be able to effectively run a venture or multiple businesses without compromising on the quality of work, ethics or peace of mind? He said, taking small steps and focusing on one goal at a time are the key to become a successful entrepreneur. After the achievement of every goal, taking feedback from stakeholders is important. We often wonder why a lot of businesses succeed while others don’t. It is important to understand the need for a feasible and sustainable business plan. He added, “Treat your business like your baby, nurture it and love it from its inception.”
The session ended with an overview of the scope of start-ups in the media industry in Odisha in film industry, Television, event management and OTT industry. He said content must be moulded to fit into digital spaces, event management, print and broadcast. He challenged students to think big, be passionate about one’s goal and pursue those goals passionately.
Students from Undergraduate and Postgraduate programs and faculty of XCOMM attend the event. Second year MA Students of Mass Communication, Mr. Bhashya Sharma, Ms. Ivy Chatterjee and Ms. Nikita Baliarsingh coordinated the program. Prof. Fr. Alwyn Rodrigues SJ, faculty, Xavier School of Communications thanked Mr. Ratho and felicitated him on the occasion.
Leadership Talk _ Mr. Satyabrat Sanu Ratho CEO Prelude- 13.08.19
Skype Interaction on Media Convergence with Mrs. Ishadrita Lahiri Sr. Correspondent, The Quint. 28-11-2019
FIRST LEADERSHIP TALK 2018
On July 20, 2018 Mr. Satyakki Bhattacharjee (Chief People Office – ABP News Network, Noida) spoke on how to make one ‘hire-able’ in both editorial and operations segments. He stressed on dropping inhibitions and increasing one’s skill of adaptability to survive in the market. This would help the students to unleash their potential and increase their viability to engage in the various sectors of media industry.
SECOND LEADERSHIP TALK 2018
On July 28, 2018 Mr. Sudhi Ranjan Sen (Editor – India Today, New Delhi) with his 26 years of experience in the industry spelled out dos and don’ts of journalism industry. He touched upon number of issues such as flexibility in work
THIRD LEADERSHIP TALK 2018
On August 25, 2018 Ms. Sohini Das (Associate Vice – President for strategy of Leo Burnett, Mumbai) spoke on advertising. The interactive lecture was supported with an interesting presentation and a number of visual elements comprising various advertising accounts that she had led as the chief strategist. To help the students prepare for the industry, Ms. Das took them through the journey from the entry level job as a client servicing executive to an account manager. One of her exercises was to look at the product through the consumer’s lens and how that is leveraged to brand’s image. She encouraged creative thoughts and ideas among the students.
FOURTH LEADERSHIP TALK 2018
On August 31, 2018 Mr. Yubaraj Bhattacharya (Commissioning Team Lead – Zee India Enterprises Limited, Mumbai) spoke on Content creation of Over the top media (OTT). The global perspective of how changes are taking place in the media industry, how Facebook earns through Facebook watch were some of the interesting snippets of the interactive session. Mr. Bhattacharjee also discussed the strategies used in popular shows such as ‘Romeo Juggal’, ‘Dev DD’, ‘Karle Tu Bhi Mohabbat’ the three major original series created by ALT Balaji which were thunderous hits.
GUEST TALK ON JOURNALISM
Xavier School of Communications (XCOMM) planned a session on journalism for its UG and PG Mass Communication students on 27th June 2018. The session was attended by the second-year Undergraduate students and the master’s students having specialization in journalism.
The session was a discussion on journalism as a whole with specific focus on journalism in the current times. The speaker for the session was Mr. Abhinay Dey, Assistant Editor of Times of India, Kolkata. He talked about his experience in journalism till now and also answered questions by the students.
The questions mainly focused on ethics in journalism with regards to propaganda and the current Cobrapost sting operation. The questions brought on by students were answered skilfully by the speaker and he also gave certain guidelines for people wanting to pursue their career in journalism.
The session was a well thought out discussion on not only the ethics of journalism but also the relevance of print journalism in times of social media and online journalism. The discussion ended on a note by the speaker where he stated that there is still time for print journalism to be completely obsolete in a country like India.
GUEST TALK ON COMMUNITY RADIO
Mrs. Honey Patnayak, Station director of Community Radio, Siksha O’ Anusanthan (SOA) University, Bhubaneswar delivered an hour-long lecture on Programme planning, presentation and the nature of content required for a community radio station to the first-year students of BSc Mass Communication. The interactive session was conducted on September 11, 2018 from 9.30 to 10.30 in the morning where Ms. Patnayak shared about the functioning of the Radio station without commercials and the importances of creativity to maintain the target audience and building new audience for the station. The students also were asked to share their unique idea for one-hour programme which is the normal duration of any programme. She gave a critical view of the idea shared by the students also and the procedure to be followed for pre-production- production and at the post production level.
Ms Honey emphasized on the importance of the personality which required for a radio presenter or Radio Jockey which reflects in their programme. She also talked about the reachability of Community radio where the students of the University make a big portion of the content.
GUEST TALK ON RADIO PRESENTATION
On September 29, 2018 RJ Somak (Radio Mirchi), a well-known radio jockey conducted a daylong workshop on radio anchoring. He got the students involved in various activities which required active participation. Apart from teaching the nuances of RJing, he also elaborated on the intellectual and creative part of the industry namely content development. To name a few, one of the exercises was engaging and involving the students in activities like narrating real life experiences with which he related the art of radio jockeying.
GUEST TALK ON INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM
A three-hour long session on investigative reporting was conducted by Mr. Anto Akkara for the second year BSc students related to the subject Print journalism COURSE. Mr. Akkara is an International media correspondent and winner of Titus Brandma International award for journalism offered by Geneva-based ICOM (International Christian Organization of the Media) for his contribution made in defending human rights and speaking up for the oppressed in his journalistic work in South Asia. The students were exposed to his own investigative work based on Kandamal issue and the procedure to be followed in investigative reporting. He emphasized the highlights of human rights which is missing in today’s journalism and the significance of this in the modern journalistic practices across the media.
A SESSION WITH MR. MANAS TAPADAR & MS. INDRANI BISWAS
On July 16, 2018 Mr. Manas Tapadar (Senior Producer, Star Sports) and Youtuber Ms. Indrani Biswas of Wonder Munna fame did Skype sessions with the students. The students had an opportunity to capture the nuances of sports commentary and consider the career opportunities in the emerging regional markets. Students were introduced to entertainment on Youtube at greater length – including content generation and hosting shows. The purpose of the session was to open up new avenues which could be lucrative career choices for the current generation.
SESSION ON SUBLIMINAL ADVERTISING
XCOMM students participated in an interactive session on Subliminal Advertising on January 30, 2019 with the students of School of Business Studies and Social Sciences, Christ University Bangalore as part of Advertising and Public Relations course. The discussion was chaired by Dr. Benson Rajan, a notable alumnus of MICA, who specializes in Advertising Semiotics.
SESSION ON VISUAL CULTURE AND VISUAL COMPETENCY
On January 12, 2019, an interactive session with Dr. Michelle Philip, Associate Professor, Wilson College, Mumbai on Visual Culture and Visual Competency in Indian advertising. Evaluating newer trends in the industry and relating with substantial theory both traditional and contemporary were part of the discussion.