Sunday, 28 August 2016

Book on intercultural Relations and Ethnic Conflict in Asia launched

Please visit

intercultural Relations and Ethnic Conflict in Asia Hardcover – Jul 22 2016

Friday, 26 August 2016

More News is Good News: Untold Stories from 25 Years of Television News

 Following from, is posted here hoping that media teachers may be interested to know about this book:
Book Review:
More News is Good News: Untold Stories from 25 Years of Television NewsEdited by Ayesha Kagal
"If the Roys had not founded NDTV in 1988, privately-owned unfettered news on television might have got delayed by at least a decade."
 Today we take the cacophony of 400 plus news and entertainment television channels as essential to Indian democracy. If we discount the government-controlled news bulletins on Doordarshan and All India Radio, it is easy to forget how silent the airwaves were for the first four decades of Independence. 
Limited access to information and communication technologies was not the primary reason for the lagging television industry in India. Rather, the television industry was a late starter because of a culture of fear inside the post-colonial government of the free flow of information and news. The biggest fear was that the illiterate masses, swayed by information and news, would become anarchic, making it impossible to govern a subcontinent size country with many fragments and fault lines. The truism was that the social control exercised by the government of the day through highly regulated airwaves was essential. If television news was opened to private ownership, like the print media, it would undermine the ability of the government to govern.
The status of the print media was different. The government of independent India had inherited private ownership of the print media from the former British rulers. Moreover, widespread illiteracy in the country, ironically, gave some comfort to the government as it meant that the overwhelming majority could not read newspapers. The fearless reporting for the most part was only for the educated elite.
This was not unique to India. All over the world postcolonial bureaucracies were scared of news over the airwaves. They were convinced that the masses were incapable of rationally consuming news and of handling the truth because of the hold that traditional and mythical thinking had on their cognitive abilities.
The fact is that, even before private television news, people in India and in many other post-colonial countries, had access to international broadcasters such as BBC Radio in vernacular languages. Not surprisingly, the BBC was seen as the arbiter of high quality news. It was a truism then to back something you said with the statement, “I heard it on BBC.” One of the greatest achievements of privately-owned television news in India such as NDTV has been to break the monopoly of broadcasters like the BBC.
The first task for the pioneers of television news was to bring about a culture shift in the government, especially in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Radhika Roy and Prannoy Roy of NDTV played a crucial role in bringing about a cultural transformation inside the government bureaucracy that opened up the possibility of private ownership and editorial freedom for television news.
Many others too made significant contributions. The role played by Arun Poorie and Madhu Trehan in India Today’s first foray into television news via VHS tapes was a catalyst in this transformation. Subhash Chandra’s launching of Hindi news on ZEE TV was no less path-breaking.
Think of a counterfactual. If the Roys had not founded NDTV in 1988, privately-owned unfettered news on television might have got delayed by at least a decade. The initial support extended by a few bureaucrats in Doordarshan and later Rupert Murdoch of STAR TV was crucial, but NDTV would have not have taken off without the entrepreneurial skills of the Roys. People such as Bhaskar Ghose inside the government bureaucracy took the risk of supporting the idea of a privately-owned and editorially independent producer of news television in India. 
NDTV started incrementally with a contract to produce The World This Week on Doordarshan in 1988, and then the nightly news show Tonight in 1995. The big break for the fledgling organization came when it was asked by the News Corporation to produce 24x7 news in English for the STAR satellite network in 1998. Building on the remarkable success the company had working for STAR, NDTV launched its own independent 24x7 news channel in 2003. Media historians have told this NDTV story in parts scattered here and there, but now we have a sort of self-assessment of the historical character of NDTV in the recently published More News is Good News: Untold Stories from 25 years of Television News.
The book, through a series of essays written by insiders, many of whom are still with the organization and some who left to chart a different course after gaining their experience there, tells the story of NDTV and the dawn of television journalism in India.
As NDTV was being built up as a garage startup, the people working for it had to learn fast on the job. As they ventured into unknown territory, they also developed news routines, values and norms for television reporting. In his opening essay, Prannoy Roy says he sees the NDTV story as a story of the transition of Indian journalism from a docile to a more discerning phase. This classification must be read exclusively in the context of television journalism. In contrast, print journalism has a much deeper and glorious history of adversarial, investigative and explanatory reporting.  
The essays in the book present each writer’s personal foray into television journalism. The anecdote-rich accounts bring out compellingly how NDTV in its initial years was almost an apprenticeship school for television journalists such as Rajdeep Sardesai.
The anecdotes collectively tell the story of how the writers co-invented the idiom of television news as they went about doing their jobs. The most striking thing that comes out from the essays is that, unlike newspaper reporting, which is mostly a solitary effort, until the copy lands at the desk of a news editor, television news is a team effort from the very word go. The story of NDTV could never have been complete without acknowledging the camerapersons, the drivers who ferry the equipment, reporters, producers, and editors who work in the newsroom and production control room.
The team aspect of the NDTV story is compellingly stated at the outset in the preface written by Radhika Roy who is acknowledged as the heart and soul of the organization.
The highly personal essays by Tavleen Singh, Vikram Chandra, Vishnu Som, Sreenivasan Jain, and Maya Mirchandani tell the back stories of some of their most challenging assignments covering international affairs, war, natural disaster, and social conflict. Sonia Singh in her essay defends activist journalism in the context of the big stories on gender-related crimes. Essays by Shikha Trivedy and Radhika Bordia cover the challenges faced by journalists reporting on religious communities and conflicts. The essay by Priyanka Chopra on the work NDTV has done all these years in shining a light on the environment is informative and unveils a lot that is not known outside the organization. Chopra’s essay nicely situates green journalism in the grey area between scientific reporting and activism.
These essays should be a must read for all young reporters in television journalism as they are not only memoir-like, but present a self-assessment by the pioneers. (One small quibble is that the repetition of some of the foundational mythologies in many essays is distracting). The essays are not all about celebrating the NDTV story. Some are reflective essays on television journalism. Shekhar Gupta, Ravish Kumar, and Nidhi Razdan in their essays undertake a critical assessment of television news and the structural impediments of the medium by looking at how conflict and polarized drama has come to dominate coverage.
Gupta and Razdan touch upon how the respective roles of reporter, editor and anchor have suffered in the food chain of news and information, especially on nightly prime time shows. The celebrity status occupied by anchors of prime time shows has compromised the centrality of reporters and editors as the arbiters of facts in news. The phenomenon of hybrid reporter-editor-anchor has substituted fair and balanced reporting with polarized opinion.
Kumar, in his inimitable style has highlighted how from its formative years, television news has been Lutyens-Delhi centric, and how, in spite of efforts by some journalists, the TV newsroom in Delhi is India. Aunindyo Chakravarty’s analysis of Kumar’s “gonzo” journalism must be read along with Kumar’s essay to understand how the vernacular idiom, despite its much maligned image, has come to occupy a moral space in television journalism. This reflexive vernacular idiom was pioneered by Vinod Dua and the late Surendra Pratap Singh and now Ravish Kumar is building on that legacy. One of the main drawbacks in the collection, in fact, is that it does not include essays by some of the other Hindi journalists who have worked at NDTV since the STAR days.
Criticism of the Delhi-centric world of television is equally compellingly highlighted by Monideepa Banerjie who has stood at NDTV’s outpost in Bengal for all these years. Likewise, Uma Sudhir in her essay talks about the challenges a reporter representing the national media faces in the state capitals, especially when she has to navigate a competitive media scene that is politically fragmented along political and ethnic lines.   
The book appropriately ends with an essay on NDTV’s forays into online journalism by Suprana Singh. Singh talks about how the NDTV website is not merely an extension of the TV, but is a separate media product. Using her experience in running, she highlights the challenges all journalists face as they make the transition from legacy media into the world of online media where 140 character news bytes dominate the 24x7 cycle of news.
The last 25 years of the news media’s growth has shown that, for the most part, the initial fears of the government were mostly unfounded. Assessing the unshackling of the electronic news media in India, Prannoy Roy sums it up succinctly: “As India’s media has grown over the years, despite all the baggage, so far more news has been good news.”
The television news media with all its faults has served India’s democracy well. And, as Shekhar Gupta has suggested, along with its deeply ingrained biases, classism, and ideological motivations, television news has nonetheless played its role as the “watchdog and hound at the same time” with remarkable success.
Finally, a word about the editor of the book. Ayesha Kagal, a longtime associate of the Roys, has done an excellent job in editing and putting this book together. Kagal has a done a favour to aspiring young journalists and media historians by putting this kaleidoscope of NDTV’s collective internal memory into book form. I recommend that all media schools in India and other countries in South Asia should include this book as required reading. Surely with an advisory note: read critically and reflexively. 
Anup Kumar teaches communication in the School of Communication, Cleveland State University.

If public figure, get used to criticism: SC to Jaya

“If you are a public figure, you have to get used to criticism. Perhaps Tamil Nadu is the only state which misuses state machinery to fight defamation cases”.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa once again faced the ire of Supreme Court for slapping defamation cases against political opponents.
“If you are a public figure, you have to get used to criticism. Perhaps Tamil Nadu is the only state which misuses state machinery to fight defamation cases.”, a bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Rohinton Nariman said.

On July 28 also, the Supreme Court while staying the NBW against DMDK chief and actor politician Vijaykanth and his wife Premlatha in a defamation case had remarked that defamation cases should not be used as a political counter weapon against critics of governments. Today the court also re-issued notice on Vijaykanth’s plea.
Following the court’ s direction, the state government also informed that more than 200 defamation cases have been filed by it in the last five years. 55 cases are against the media, 85 involve Jayalalithaa’s main rival, the DMK.

The bench categorically told Jayalalithaa that  public figures cannot use defamation law to throttle democracy and criticism of policy could not be a ground for defamation.

“Just because anyone calls a government corrupt or lacking in administrative ability he cannot be slapped with defamation case”, the bench had told Jayalalithaa’s lawyers on July 28 Holding that “there has to be tolerance to criticism”, the bench said defamation cases cannot be used as a political counter weapon. The bench said: “Cases for criticizing the government or bureaucrats create a chilling effect”.

Significantly, the bench also sought the list of defamation cases filed by the public prosecutors in Tamil Nadu on behalf of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa against her critics.

“The penal provision on defamation (section 499 and 500 of the IPC) should not be used to throttle dissent…the court must step in, if there are continuous efforts to harass persons by filing a number of defamation cases”, the bench told the counsel for Tamil Nadu government, It added that  there should not be abuse of defamation provisions.

A trial court in Tirupur had July 24 issued a non-bailable  warrant against Vijayakanth and his wife after they failed to appear before the court with regard to the defamation case against them.
Allegation was that they made false remarks against Jayalalithaa and criticised the functioning of the State government on November 6, 2015.

(source: )

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Young Scholar's Research Colloquium extended deadline

Following from MICA:

We wish to let you know that the paper submission deadline for Young Scholar's Research Colloquium (YSRC) has been extended until September 1, 2016.
We also wish to inform you that the MICA ICMC 2017 organizing committee has announced MICA Dean's award for top five papers of YSRC. 


Proposal Submission Deadline: September 30, 2016
Media Diplomacy and Its Evolving Role in the Current Geopolitical Climate
A book edited by Swati JaywantRao Bute
Media plays an important role in international, bilateral and diplomatic relations. In this age of information technology both contemporary and new media is playing important role in informing and keeping people update about international relations and affairs. Now the practice and patterns of diplomacy is also changing. Countries are deciding strategic and diplomatic relations on the basis of reports in media, what they are getting from different social platforms and other outlets of information. In a globalized world when countries are working together in different areas such as economic, political, geopolitical, defense, security and science and technology. Media plays an important role in keeping them update about the actual and ground level realities about different countries. Now diplomacy do not goes behind the closed doors but is getting influenced by public platforms available on Internet. In the information age when information access is easy people are more eager to know and also getting more exposure to what is happening all around the world. They are more open to express their views and opinions about what is affecting to them and what is needed to be done. Some times they oppose the government decisions or actions on some issues, sometimes they give their views on social media platforms on what is needed to be done. In todays scenario when social media has changed the way government works and takes decision on important issues, they also have realised that it is not good to avoid people's views which comes from digital platforms. States and governments are taking these changes very seriously and taking decisions and making policies accordingly. 
In changing geopolitical situation when advanced technology is affecting all areas of life and  some set definitions are changing in the areas of international affairs and diplomacy. Now there are new parameters for negotiations and diplomatic relations. In today's globalized world when only few Western countries are dominating the world slowly we are observing emerging changes when again different poles are active. In such scenario meaning of diplomacy and international relations is changing and so media’s role specifically role of new media is also changing. Now new terms such as e- diplomacy has emerged. 
This book will examine how new media is important in international relations and diplomatic affairs? What role new media is playing in international relations? India’s relations with south Asian countries and role of media diplomacy. India’s relations with International community and role of e-diplomacy. People's participation in discussion and dialogue in International relations and its impact in diplomatic policies. Relation between people's participation and deciding policies and national level. Positive and negative impacts of people centric policy decisions at national and international level. Need of change in training of diplomats in the age of new media and diplomacy. Social media diplomacy and its role in establishing democracy. People's view on social media - a threat or an opportunity. Increasing role of new media and changing practice of international diplomacy. 

Objective of the Book
This book will help in understanding changing practices in media diplomacy, how new media is changing set definitions of media diplomacy, how and why countries are changing their policies for diplomacy including media diplomacy, how contemporary and new media is helping and will transform old practices of diplomacy, how media is helping, developing better understanding between countries and people. 
This book is in the context of impact of media (both contemporary and new media) on diplomatic affairs. It help in understanding role of communication technology in resolving regional and international issues and in providing platform where government and citiznes are interacting and expressing their views on issues like international affairs and diplomacy.
This book will analyse the fact that how communication technology is providing a platform to the people where they can put their views on serious matters such as diplomatic relations, how public dialogue on internet is forcing governmwnts to take peoples views in making and shaping policies, how communication technology is forcing government to make people centric policies, how communication technology is helping in adopting a soft approach in handling hard issues of countries.
Target Audience
The target audience of this book will be composed of professionals and researchers working in the field of media diplomacy, internet and diplomacy, e diplomacy, International relations and media diplomacy, contemporary diplomatic policy.
Recommended topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
·         New media diplomacy in the context of South Asia
·         Internet and Diplomacy - How relevant it is for democracy
·         Role of new media diplomacy in changing contemporary diplomatic practices
·         E - Diplomacy - a gateway to interfere another country's diplomatic affairs
·         New media diplomacy - a challenge to contemporary media
·         Media coverage to international affairs - Changing journalism practices in contemporary media and challenges from new media  
·         Cultural, economic, political differences and diversity in South Asian region and role of E - Diplomacy
·         E - Diplomacy and changing practices
·         E - Diplomacy - An effective channel for maintaining healthy diplomatic relations or a platform for publicity and propaganda
·         Role of non actors in E - Diplomacy
·         How e - diplomacy helped India in maintaining diplomatic relations with South Asian countries and with International community - A case study
·         Role of e - diplomacy at the time of International crisis - A case study
·         Challenges of contemporary diplomatic practices and role of  e- Diplomacy is providing new ways
·         Future of e - Diplomacy in Indian and South Asian regions context 
·         Open Dialogue and Discussion on virtual platforms - is it just creating a chaos or playing important role in shaping diplomatic relations  

Important Dates
·         Proposal Submission Deadline: .......................................... September 30, 2016
·         Notification of acceptance: ................................................... October 30, 2016
·         Full chapter Submission: ....................................................... January 31, 2017
·         Review Results to Chapter Authors: ........................................ March 30, 2017
·         Final Acceptance Notifications to Chapter Authors: ................May 15, 2017
·         Submission of Final Chapters to Editor: ..................................May 30, 2017

Editorial Advisory Board Members:
Umesh Kumar Bhattarai
Conflict, Public Policy Analyst

Gavin Mount
Lecturer in Global Politics at UNSW Canberra
Canberra, Australia

Paolo Carta
Professor at University of Trento
Trento Area, Italy

Marinko Bobic
Senior Researcher, Europe
Program at Center for Geopolitical and Security in Realism Studies
Trento Area, Italy

Farida Tadjine
Lecturer of International Relations
KasdiMerbah University
Ouargla, Algeria

Thomas Clough Daffern
Director at International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy
Lochgoilhead Argyll and Bute, United Kingdom

Khaled Nasir
Geopolitical Analyst,
Center for Leadership and Security Studies (CLASS)
Center for Leadership and Strategic Studies (CLASS)
Dhaka, Bangladesh

Priyanka Chandra
JawaharLal Nehru University
New Delhi, India

Shaheli Das
Junior Research Fellow
Observer Research Foundation
New Delhi, India

Aqsa Agha
JawaharLal Nehru University
New Delhi, India

Dr. Kiran Thakur
Adjunct Faculty
FLAME University
Pune, Maharashtra, India

Dr. Lawrence Prabhakar Williams
Professor, International Relations
Department of political science
Madras Christian College, Chennai

Inquiries can be forwarded to

Editor's Name – Swati JaywantRao Bute
Editor's Affiliation – Assistant Professor
Editor's Contact Information –

Friday, 12 August 2016

International Conference Dis/Ability Communication

Following from Prof. Mathew Martin:

The International Conference Dis/Ability Communication: Perspectives and Challenges in the 21st Century (ICDC-2017) will be held at Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini (RMP), Uttan, 35km from the international airport at Mumbai, India, 9-11 January, 2017. 

The ICDC-2017 conference is being organized by the Department of Communication and Journalism (DCJ), University of Mumbai, in collaboration with AYJNIHH, Bandra, Mumbai, India and the research group CCD, Communication, Culture & Diversity at Jönköping University...

Call for Abstracts/Papers: Deadlines

30 August 2016: Deadline submission of abstracts
15 October 2016: Acceptance/rejection notification of abstracts
1 December 2016: Full Paper Submission deadline
9-11 January: ICDC-2017 conference

The topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Dis/Ability Communication
  • Dis/Ability Rights
  • Dis/Ability Narratives and Culture
  • Accessible Technology
  • Exploring Diversity and Dis/Ability

The following sub-themes are of interest:
  • Rehabilitation,
  • Ethics,
  • Audiences-Media and Disability,
  • Language,
  • Education,
  • Interpreters and captioning,
  • Audio-description,
  • Accessibility,
  • Digital Accessibility,
  • Accessible Websites,
  • Accessible Environment,
  • Multimodal Communication,
  • Participation in Communication

Conference calendar
15 June 2016: Abstract submission opens
30 August 2016: Deadline submission of abstracts
15 October 2016: Acceptance/rejection notification of abstracts
15 October 2016: Conference registration opens
1 December 2016: Full paper submission deadline
1 December 2016: Conference registration deadline
15 December 2016: Conference schedule announced
8 January 2017: Participants arrival at the conference venue
9-11 January 2017: Conference dates
12 January 2017: Departure of participants from the conference venue

For details: