Friday, 26 August 2011


Prof Sudha Venkataswamy has announced the following:


 We would like to start this proposal with a few recent news headlines:
  •  Kashmir interlocutors create sceptical buzz in the Valley (The Hindu)
  • "Don't leave Afghanistan, India told U.S." (The Hindu)
  •  "Maoists renew attack, kill 10 cops"  (The Indian Express)
  •  "Kashmir paralysed by rape protest"  (The Times Of India)
  •  "India blamed for rights abuses in Sri Lanka" (Deccan Herald)
  • “Karzai: Afghanistan, US in peace negotiations with Taliban” (Wire services)
Two distinct themes can be drawn from the above headlines: conflict and its resolution. Many Asian countries have been areas of bitter conflict in the last few decades. Whether it is the war in Afghanistan, the conflict in the Pak-Afghan border, the recently ended Sri Lankan civil war, or the pockets of conflict in India that include Jammu and Kashmir and the Maoist conflict, they have all led to the loss of life and disruption of daily life in the affected areas. Citizens live in fear and often without basic necessities like food and shelter. A car bomb in the vegetable market or a suicide bomber in a place of worship: families are torn apart as innocents are murdered for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. These areas are isolated worlds in themselves.
The outside world comes to know about the conflicts and the resultant deaths only. Journalists cover the conflict areas in terms of death toll and attempts at resolution. Many journalists feel that they should never play a part in resolving conflicts and that their role is to report events and leave it at that. However, there have been an increasingly large number of media practitioners who feel media coverage of the background and causes of conflict can lead to quicker resolution and normalcy in the affected areas.  The concept of peace journalism emerged from this school of thinkers.
Peace Journalism is a relatively new concept that emerged in the 1970s, and was first used by Johan Galtung, a Norwegian sociologist and a pioneer in peace and conflict studies. Peace Journalism is suggested as an alternative to war reporting. This disregards the traditional journalistic value of objectivity to some extent, and calls for the reporters to be advocates of conflict resolution. 
 The one-day seminar seeks to expose students to subtle and overt issues relating to conflict reporting, interactions between media, government, army and the intelligence,  and the relevance of peace journalism. The seminar will try hone the students’ critical thinking on the following crucial questions:
1)      How should journalists approach conflict reporting?
2)      How should journalists overcome the stress and trauma that is a natural, human reaction to conflict reporting?
3)      How do government and military organisations view media coverage of conflict?
4)      How practical is peace journalism in a media industry that is event-driven?

DATE : Friday, September 16, 2011

 1)      Mr. N Sathiyamoorthy, Senior Research Fellow & Director, Chennai Chapter, Observer Research Foundation (ORF)
THEME: The Srilankan Conflict: The Covered and the ‘Un’covered
Mr. Sathiyamoorthy will address the various issues of Sri Lankan ethnic conflict to outline the difficulties faced by the news media in covering war-torn areas of Sri Lanka. He will discuss the influences of government restrictions on coverage, self-regulatory mechanisms in place for the media, if any, and the sensitivities of covering the human angle of conflict.
2)      Mr. P K Hormis Tharakan, former chief of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and former DGP, Kerala

THEME: Intelligence and Media Interactions for Conflict Resolution
Can the Intelligence wings, the Police and the Media work together to provide meaningful, resolution-oriented coverage of conflicts? What is the right amount of information that can be revealed to the media in an ongoing conflict situation? Mr. Hormis Tharakan will address these questions and more in an attempt to expose students to the intricacies of breaking and sustaining news coverage of domestic conflict including terror-attacks, rioting and communal strife.
 3)      Mr. Ifthikar Gilani, Daily Times,Kashmir Times, Dawn

THEME: The Kashmir Conflict: The Relevance of Peace Journalism
Mr. Gilani will talk about the possible role of the news media in bringing about peace in conflict-stricken areas of Kashmir and the need to bring the plight of the common people to the public eye. He will expose the participants to the issues of Kashmir Conflict at the grassroots level, and the facilitator’s garb that the media can wear to bring about resolution
 4)       Lt. Gen (retd.). K. Nagaraj, former chief of the South-Western Command, who has also served in Jammu and Kashmir and has first-hand knowledge of insurgency in the state and its reporting by the media

THEME: Managing Media in conflict areas
Where does the freedom of media end and national security begin? Army officials and journalists are never likely to agree upon an answer to this question. Lt. Gen Nagaraj will talk about the need for self-regulation in the news media, the difficulties faced in imparting all information to the media, the techniques employed and the difficulties faced by both parties concerned in conflict areas. 

1)      All students and Faculty of Amrita School of Communication
2)      Interested students and faculty from other schools and departments of Ettimadai and other Amrita campuses
3)      Students of Journalism and Communication from Departments of Mass Communication & Journalism in Universities and Journalism schools.
Registration Fees: Rs 500/-
Students: Rs 250/-
Accommodation if required will be provided at a nominal fee on prior request.

Contact: Sudha Venkataswamy

1 comment:

shivpat said...

Thanku sir but i have no time