K.E. Eapen, a pioneer in journalism and communication education in the country, passed away in Bangalore on Saturday morning. He was 87.
Professor Eapen was actively associated with journalism for over 50 years, having set up three university departments of journalism and communication, and many organisations connected with the field. Besides teaching journalism, he also served on policy-making bodies and authored books on communication.
Professor Eapen was the first convener of the University Grants Commission (UGC) panel on mass communication, and the first UGC National Lecturer and Emeritus Fellow, Journalism/Communication. He served as consultant, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting; Vice-President, Commonwealth Association for Education in Journalism and Communication; and Vice-President, International Association for Media and Communication Research.
Professor Eapen was a pioneer in identifying the significance of the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) and initiated a SITE evaluation study in the Karnataka cluster in 1975-76 when the nation experimented with satellite technology in taking developmental messages to the underdeveloped areas. Dr. Eapen was recently honoured in New Delhi with the “AMIC Asian Communication Award.”
H.Y. Sharada Prasad, adviser to the former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, who wrote the foreword to Dr. Eapen's book “Critical Issues in Communication: Looking Inward for Answers,” described him as “one of the most distinguished communication teachers and analysts in India” who shaped two generations of communication practitioners.