Friday, 28 September 2012

The Role of Communication during Change Management in IT industry: Synopsis of doctoral thesis

Title: The Role of Communication during Change Management in IT industry

Name of the Researcher: Mrs Hema Hirlekar

Name of the Guide: Prof. Dr. Kiran Thakur

Department: Department of Communication and Journalism, University of Pune

Faculty of Mental, Moral and Social Sciences
Date of Award of the Degree: 23 January 2007

The corporate world is prone to constant changes; internal, external, planned, unplanned. Till the early 1990s these changes were gradual. The rate of change has accelerated since the advent of the Computer and especially the Internet. It has been driving change like no other technology ever did before. A new ‘Information Technology’ (InfoTech) sector developed in the industry and has become an all-encompassing phenomenon. This industry impacts all the other industries by computerising their systems and processes. InfoTech companies themselves face constant changes. They have to be ready to change and adapt quickly to the changes.
Changes are implemented by people. So people are at the root of any change. This implies that people need to know about change. Communication becomes crucial to inform and instruct people about change. InfoTech companies have a unique structure and attributes that influence their communication needs. Though ‘communication’ is vital to transformation, what it means to ‘communicate’ has many interpretations.
What this dissertation hopes to find out are the interpretations of ‘communication’ in InfoTech companies that are successful. From a practical standpoint, it is necessary to understand how successful organisations used communication to facilitate change. Analysis of their communication practices can lead to guidelines for other InfoTech companies to follow.


InfoTech companies developed a unique composition unlike any other industry. The communication needs too differ to a great extent from such needs in any other industry. Dynamic environment, need to be globally competitive, knowledge-based working, enlightened and relatively young workforce are some of the factors that set this industry apart. The changes faced by this industry are fast and unparalleled. Apart from organisational changes the other continual changes are volatility of specifications (changing customer needs), developing technology and mergers and acquisitions.
The above factors have impact on the communication needs. Communication becomes important, as the human asset base needs to bring about these changes. That is why ‘Communication’ plays the most vital role during change. Successful companies communicate in a way that makes their employees adapt to change easily.
Although communication drives change, not all InfoTech companies succeed in implementing change through communication. Why do some companies succeed where others have failed? The access to high-end technology may be on par, but some companies manage their change and come out winners.  The researcher focussed on companies with successful change-management programs and carried out case studies researching communication initiatives in five such companies. These case studies were conducted between September 2003 and July 2005.
Design of the Thesis:
The outcome of the research has been presented in the following format:
  • Chapter one: Introduction, scope and limitation of the research 
  • Chapter two: Review of Literature
  • Chapter three: Research Design and methodology
  • Chapter four: Presentation of Data & Analysis: Case studies
  • Chapter five: Data Analysis and Conclusion
  • Chapter six: Summary and Suggestions
  • Chapter seven: Suggestions for future research
The first chapter discusses the singular communication needs of InfoTech industry. The scope of the study is confined to case studies of Internal Communication in five InfoTech companies. All these companies have global presence and more than two locations in India. This chapter also provides definitions of some of the terms prevalent in InfoTech industry. 

Literature Review

A review of literature available on the subject (communication during change management in InfoTech industry) and related subjects (change management, business communication, internal communication) is presented in the second chapter. There are studies available on communication during change in industries, but InfoTech-specific in-depth studies are not available. As InfoTech industry has unique communication needs, the communication during change is required to be tailored to these needs.

Research Methodology

The research methodology is outlined in the third chapter. This research is based on Case Study methodology. Case study research must be aimed at contributing to the understanding of the phenomena studied (Glaser & Strauss 1967; Gummesson 1993), not to validate or confirm pre-defined ideas or ideologies. The InfoTech industry is changing faster than traditional industries, and is subject to different drivers for a multitude of changes. This research is an attempt to explore the communication initiatives in InfoTech companies that have successfully managed change initiatives.
The individual case studies focus on internal communication rather than external communication. The specific areas investigated concern the communication strategies and related activities that help the change initiatives envisioned by the companies. InfoTech companies have to face changes routinely. The companies were selected based on their positive development in terms of increased profits, expanded customer-base, higher employment generation, and lower attrition rate.
Utility of the Research
The aim of the research is to study these communication initiatives and devise communication guidelines for InfoTech companies. These guidelines would be helpful for Corporate Communications and Human Resource personnel in InfoTech companies. The top management that wishes to successfully implement changes can find this a good reference point.
Data presentation and analysis
Chapter four presents five case studies in details. The companies are: Cirrus Logic, i-flex technologies, Zensar technologies, Persistent systems, and Tata Consultancy Services. The case studies cover website analysis, interviews with key personnel, study of documents provided, and informal discussions with junior employees. Each case study findings are analysed after data presentation. Each of these companies has some common communication practices. The media and channels used are listed.
Data analysis and Conclusion
The combined data collected is analysed in the fifth chapter. An overview of communication strategies of the five companies studied is taken and their practices discussed.  The successful companies were found to have some common characteristics:
1.      Organisational pride
2.      Training and Knowledge sharing
3.      Bonding with colleagues
The common communication practices that emerged from the comparative study were:
1.      Top management commitment – The top management was very clear about the change and committed to communicating it. The top managers were enthusiastic about change and were seen and heard supporting it.
2.      The right content – The communications conveyed the right message. There was consistency and coordination in the content. Why change was given as much importance as how to change and what were the benefits for the employees.
3.      Open communication – Free and open communication was important to all these companies. Some companies preferred ‘need to know’ information dissemination, while others were ready to give complete information. Down-to-up emails were seen and answered.
4.      Multiple points of contact – Face-to face and individual communication at many points seem to be a common factor running through these organisations. The annual get-togethers, weekly/ bi-monthly/ quarterly meetings, games, coming together for cultural activities, and other communication avenues generate a feeling of belonging.
5.      Multiple channels of communication – CEO mails, news bulletins, pinup notices and such media give the general information about the change, emails from supervisors and even the Intranet elaborate on how the work is to be carried out vis-à-vis the change. Change is thus integrated at work level and is not restricted at enterprise level.
6.      Training – Training is the most important activity in these companies. It consists of technical training, management skills training and soft-skills training. During orientation training assigning a mentor or guide for each new employee seemed to be a preferred practice.
7.      Knowledge management – Building a knowledge base is essential and increasingly important in InfoTech organizations. The knowledge available has to be structured effectively for an employee to be able to access as required. Connectivity to Intranet or internal server for each employee is mandatory.
8.      Culture-oriented communication – As globalisation becomes increasingly common, culture-oriented communication becomes increasingly important. Different cultures have different perspectives and varied interpretations of a single communication message. Employees need to be aware of cultural biases of co-workers and customers both.
9.      Involvement – Each and every employee needs to be involved in change. That implies that each employee has to be reached. Messages about change as well as about expected employee actions during change need to be received by all. This activity needs special care.
10.  Corporate communications department – This department needs special attention and needs to be more active than a function of the Human Resources department. A well thought out communication plan needs to be evolved and communication activities have to be coordinated.
11.  An outsider’s perspective – A company can benefit from an outsider’s perspective. Apart from the fact that the top management can concentrate on technical issues and other management functions, an outsider is considered a safe listener from an employee point of view.
12.  Employee Satisfaction Survey – Generally a Gallup poll about employee satisfaction can direct the communication efforts of an organisation. However the improvements undertaken on the basis of such a survey need to be completed and checked again for effectiveness.
13.  Employee as Brand ambassadors – This is the most interesting communication application with great impact. The employees of an organisation are undoubtedly the best brand ambassadors of the Company. Companies take care to ensure that the internal brand awareness is high and regular updates ensure up-to-date knowledge about the company.
The employees discussed their Point of View – Informal discussions with employees from junior level raised some important issue vis-à-vis communication. The kind of information they preferred to read, the channels they preferred and their satisfaction with the communication used in the company were revealed.
Summary and Suggestions
This chapter summarises the thesis. Based on the findings this researcher has prepared a ‘Communication Document’ for internal communication that can be adapted for developing a ‘Communication Plan’ by an InfoTech organisation.
Based on the Study findings and taking cue from the People Capability Maturity Model, a Communication Capability Maturity Model has been developed for staged improvement in communication in InfoTech industry.
Suggestions for Future Research
The field of communication is vast. While doing case studies, and reviewing literature available on the subject of communication in InfoTech industry this researcher realised that studies and research in many areas seems called for. Intranet, Knowledge Management, Communication tailored for the Generation Y (persons born between 1980 and 2000), Culture-oriented communication, measurement of communication effectiveness, are some of the areas that need research.  

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Faculty Three Positions in Video -production and Media Research, and Two for Teaching Associates in University of Pune's Department of Communication Studies

Dr Madhavi Reddy has notified following positions:

Department of Communication Studies, University of Pune invites outstanding candidates to apply for 3 Faculty positions in the area of Video -production and Media Research
Last date to submit the applications (hard copies) is 5th Oct. 2012.

For any further queries contact 020-25696348/ 49
To apply, please refer to the Guidelines at the following link below.

Also, There are two positions for the post of Teaching Associates in the department.

For details, please visit

Friday, 21 September 2012

G. Kasturi, moderniser of The Hindu, passes away

G. Kasturi, the longest-serving Editor in the history of the 134-year-old the Hindu
Staying away from the limelight of publicity despite being the powerful Editor of an influential newspaper and the Managing Director of the company running it, G. Kasturi had a single-minded focus through most of his life: to take The Hindu to new heights in a fast-changing media milieu. He seemed to allow himself hardly any distraction from his work and mission.
Characteristically, he was the old-world Editor who preferred not to be seen or heard in the public sphere, but only be read and felt through the columns of the newspaper. Yet, he travelled the world, in particular evincing keen interest in industry-related events and exhibitions. He lived the trust, held himself up to the legacy he inherited, and left the newspaper the better for it.
Mr. Kasturi, the longest-serving Editor in the history of the 134-year-old newspaper (a tenure that was almost matched by his uncle, Kasturi Srinivasan, from 1934 to 1959), consistently found the golden mean. He could balance his prowess and interest in the technological aspects essential to taking a newspaper forward on a path of long-term consolidation and expansion, while giving full play to his editorial acumen and vision. Even as he banked on the organisation’s traditional strengths, he took it forward, cautiously and carefully, on to a modern platform.
Mr. Kasturi was indeed the moderniser, innovator and visionary who led The Hindu during a critical phase of its history. He brought it up to speed in an era in which technology came to play a leading part in transforming the industry. He took the newspaper forward from a slow-paced era, to a mode in which it could meet the new information needs of a growing English speaking population.
He was a quintessential editor with a deft touch that would transform copy, and a quick judge of argument and polemic, fact and fiction. Heavy re-writing was not his preferred style on the editorial desk. He was particularly good at spotting and encouraging talent.
His deep understanding of aspects of newspaper design and typography was unmatched, and widely acknowledged among industry leaders of his time. He was on top of all aspects of newspaper production, and over the years initiated a remarkable set of changes that added to the visual appeal of presentation, in addition to the language, tone and tenor of reporting and other writing that went into it.
His style of work was characteristic. He would trust, but verify. He would tend to depend on key people in the organisation a lot, yet in the end would keep his own counsel.
Younger colleagues were often left speechless at his willingness and ability to stay on through the night as a prototype press that the company acquired from the French conglomerate Creusot-Loire was being put through its paces in Chennai. Then in his 60s, he would often leave the press in the small hours of the day with grime and grease on his hands – and return to work to his corner office in Kasturi Buildings in the forenoon itself.
Mr. Kasturi will be remembered within The Hindu, and across the industry among a significant section of industry players of a generation, for his vision. Working with his brother G. Narasimhan, who was Managing Editor (till his passing in July 1977), he rolled out unique means and solutions to set a scorching pace of growth and expansion for the newspaper. It was a crucial period of its transition from being a largely southern Indian-provincial newspaper to a truly national vehicle. He helped consolidate and streamline a system of air-borne distribution of copies across southern India for early morning delivery. The company first chartered Indian Airlines aircraft for the purpose, and then went on to acquire aircraft of its own.
Leading the next big wave of expansion for the newspaper, he helped develop the facsimile system of transmission of page images, the first of its kind in Asia. The first ‘remote’ edition was started in Coimbatore in 1969. The next one was in Bangalore in 1970. More printing centres and tailored regional editions followed. The Hindu today has 17 editions in different parts of the country: it moved on to digital transfer of pages in the 1990s, and today works on a seamless and real-time platform across its production centres.
He was the principal driving force behind making The Hindu the first mainline newspaper in India to go for computerised phototypesetting during 1980. Creditably, The Hindu kept on board during this major technological transition from hot metal technology to computer-based technology that demanded a new skill set, the same people who were working in the earlier technology: the company gave them training and re-orientation to take on the new roles. Nobody had to be sent away.
Mr. Kasturi is credited with initiating a policy of appointing staff correspondents in district towns across southern India, and in State capitals where they were not already in place.
In 1968, The Hindu received the World Press Achievement Award of the American newspaper Publishers’ Association Foundation. Mr. Kasturi received on behalf of the newspaper, the gold medallion representing the award, at a function at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.
Towards the end of 1977, The Hindu introduced the features titled ‘Outlook,’ ‘Special Report’ and ‘Open Page,’ under Mr. Kasturi’s stewardship. He showed keen interest in making these a success.
He worked hands-on, intensely so, with colour scanning equipment that The Hindu acquired in 1982, the first newspaper organisation in India to acquire one for in-house use. His meticulous approach to ensuring picture quality at the photographers’ end and all the way up to the printer’s hands, allowed The Hinduto maintain printing quality standards of an exceptional kind.
His knowledge and application of matters technical was matched only by his keen penchant for excellence in journalism.
After his retirement, Mr. Kasturi continued to be involved and remain intensely interested in different aspects of the organisation’s development and growth.
In 2004-05, he followed and involved himself in the major exercise of redesigning The Hindu, undertaken by Mario Garcia.
One of his principal anxieties related to mediocrity in the organisation. He made it a point to interact periodically with a wide cross-section of senior staff members of the organisation. Interestingly, one of the latest meetings he had was with a group of three relatively young staff members of The Hindu towards the end of April. With them he spent upwards of two hours in his house, discussing how the organisation needs to focus on roles and tasks for the future.
He continued to work his passion for newspaper design, experimenting with tools and methods in a fully equipped home-office.
In is recent years in retirement, he made it a point to visit Kasturi Buildings, the headquarters of the company, to interact extensively with technical and also editorial personnel with a view to conveying the expertise at his command — and also learning in the process, as he would put it. This was a rigorous journey focussed on his life’s work and mission.
Photography was a particular area of interest and indeed fascination for Mr. Kasturi. He never tired of discussing with the photographers of the newspaper ever-newer ways of getting better images and maximising the use of equipment.
He knew many of the employees of the company by name, and had pleasant, gentle and kind-hearted dealings with a large number of them over a long period. The hearty applause, predominantly among employees and former employees of the company, that filled the University Centenary Hall in Chennai at a function marking the 125th year celebrations of The Hindu in Chennai in 2003, as Mr. Kasturi made an entry, bore ample testimony to this. His soft-spoken and but firm manner, and simple attire at work, were memorable.
For Mr. Kasturi, one of the most challenging phases of his stewardship of the newspaper was witnessed during the period of the Emergency that saw newspapers coming under unprecedented pressure from the government.
Mr. Kasturi was a deeply religious person throughout his life.
He lived to see the organisation he devoted his life to, making a significant transition over the past few months into one that is set on a new management path involving professionals who come from outside of the family that owns the company, in key positions for the first time. As Kasturi and Sons thus moved on to face up to the emerging opportunities and challenges of the market, he was the happier for it.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards

Following from Emma Stevenson:

Emerald and the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) would like to make you aware that there are only two weeks left to apply for the 2012 Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards

These Awards reward the best doctoral research projects in 12 different categories, each sponsored by an Emerald journal. For a list of all categories and details of how to apply please visit the webpage below:

The Awards are open to those who have completed and satisfied examination requirements for a Doctoral award, or will do so, between 1 October 2009 and 1 October 2012, and have not applied previously for one of these Awards. The closing date for receipt of applications is 1 October 2012

Award-winning entries will receive a cash prize of €1,500 (or currency equivalent), a certificate, a winners' logo to attach to correspondence and the prospect of an offer of publication in the sponsoring journal – either as a full paper or an executive summary – at the discretion of the Editor(s). In addition, a number of Highly Commended Awards may also be bestowed. 

I would encourage you to please pass this information on to any past or present doctoral students you may know that are able to apply. These prestigious Awards can provide a great fillip to researchers about to embark on their academic careers. 

If you have any questions regarding these awards please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Kind regards, 

Emma Stevenson
Service Development Executive
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Tel +44 (0) 1274 785198 

Thursday, 13 September 2012

P. G. Diploma in Strategic Communication

I have received the following from Dr. J. S. YADAV:

MI-CMF Offer Job Oriented Course
P. G. Diploma in
Strategic Communication
(C4D-Communication for Development)

Research based evidence shows that ‘Strategic Communication Intervention’ is the key to
behavior change and development. There is a growing demand of “Communication Experts” in
development projects that are being implemented under the UN and other development
agencies like UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO, UNDP; Government of India, State Governments /
Departments, and Business Houses as their Corporate Social Responsibility. To meet this
demand, International Media Institute (IMI) in collaboration with Communication Management
Foundation (CMF) has specially designed a Post Graduate Diploma Course in Strategic
Communication. It focuses on health and development related issues such as Child Survival,
Immunization, Polio Eradication, Nutrition, Adolescent Health, Maternal Health, HIV/AIDS and
development concerns like Education, Rural Development, Violence against Women &
Trafficking, Corporate Social Responsibility etc.

The course aims at enabling the participants understand the ‘linkages’ between
communication & Development while acquiring technical skills in conceptualizing
and designing key communication interventions for creating enabling environment
for behavior change, advocacy with influencers, and capacity building of key
stakeholders including upgradation of their communication skills.

Course Contents:
Broadly, the course will cover: conceptual understanding; field-based analysis; strategic
planning & design; developing communication frameworks & action plan; message design for
different platforms; roll-out of communication campaign; monitoring, evaluation and impactassessment

Graduate in any discipline; command over English & Hindi/ any regional language; strong
interest in development issues. Preference will be given to those with Post Graduate Degree in
Journalism / Mass Communication, Sociology, Anthropology, Economics or Social Work.

Interactive lectures, case studies, hands-on practical assignments, field research and
attachment for internship.

IMI-CMF premises at Gurgaon / Delhi
Number of Seats: 20

Core faculty consists of senior experts and trainers in C4D with 20 to 30 years of experiences
with UN Agencies, Government, national media institute and / media house. In addition, a
number of other experts will be associated with the course as visiting faculty. The brief CVs of
the core faculty are given below:

Dr. J. S. YADAV - Communication Expert
Dr. Yadav is the Founder Chairman of CMF and has 35 years of experience in research,
training and capacity building in strategic communication. He was the Director (chief executive)
for 12 years and Professor & Head of Communication Research for 18 years at the premier
national institute- Indian Institute of Mass communication, New Delhi. During this period he
planned, conducted, and coordinated over 150 national & international projects on media, health
and development issues. He served many communication /media experts groups, technical
advisory groups and committees.
Dr. Yadav has conducted projects for World Bank, USAID, FHI, SAMARTH, GFA Consulting
Group, DANIDA, UNICEF, GHK, GTZ, FES, Gallup & Robinson USA and for many Departments
/ Ministries of government of India and state governments.

Dr. SUNEETA MUKHERJEE- Development Administrator
As Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, Dr. Suneeta Mukherjee served Himachal Pradesh and
Government of India before joining United Nations in 1995 in senior positions and handled many
social development projects in India and other developing countries. As the Country Representative
(UNFPA/ 1995- 2010) for Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bangladesh & Philippines, Dr. Mukherjee started
large programme initiatives in capacity-assessment of the local elected leaders and faith leaders in
the area of maternal and neo-natal health, HIV/AIDS, gender based violence and effective
governance issues.

DEEPAK GUPTA- Strategic Communication Expert
Over 21 years of professional experience in the UN System (International & Regional) focusing on
rights-based, socially-inclusive and human-centered Health & Development issues. It includes
backstopping various countries’ Governments and UN country programmes through Strategic
Communication Interventions for capacity building/training, Communication programming,
Developing partnerships and Technical advice. Mr. Gupta has worked in and for countries:
Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan, India, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan,
Myanmar, Thailand & Mongolia.

Alok Verma-
a senior journalist with newspapers, television & digital media.
He is a very well known and respected media professional with a reputation of being a journalist
of high integrity, advocating non partisan, unbiased, fair and sensitive journalism. His
competence has been amply reflected through the successive successes of the newspaper and
television channels that he launched and has been associated with in the last 28 years.
He worked with India’s no 1 news network TV Today Network as its Executive Producer for
long five years. During his various roles within the organization as part of the news management
group he managed News Operations and also launched English language channel the
Headlines Today, speed news channel 'Tez' and metro channel "Delhi Aaj Tak". He was also
founder Director of TV Today Media Institute (TVTMI).

Ms. Uma Yadav
- M.Sc. P.G. Diploma in Mass Communication
Specialization: Reporting and writing on social, development and gender issues. 25 years of
work experience in journalistic writings and media relations; community service social research,
skill training and community development. Executive Director of CMF for the last 10 years and
has rich experience in management and monitoring of CMF project implementation.

Ms. Kala Iyer- M.A. Mass Communication
Specialization: Documentary film maker, has 20 years of experience in developing multimedia
material; video, audio and print materials for various national and international agencies in
support of their different development programmes for creating awareness and behavior change
and also for capacity building and training workshops

For details
: or call: 09810355350

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Media beckons rural girls

Dr Onkar Kakade has sent in the following article published in the Hindu:
Media beckons rural girls
The Journalism Dept. of KSWU, Bijapur,Karnataka is training girls from the backward North Karnataka region and helping them land jobs in top media houses
The media has become extremely popular but to get a foothold in it is still considered a difficult task, especially for those who are not from big cities. Studying a media course is an expensive option and still not an easy one for many.
The Karnataka State Women’s University at Bijapur has taken a step towards facilitating girls from economically weaker sections, mainly of the backward North Karnataka region, realise a dream they never thought was possible — of joining the media.
The Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, started in 2006-07 in the university, is striving hard to dispel the notion that the media is a man’s forte, and to a large extent it has been successful, said Omkar Kakade, Head, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC).
“The media (both electronic and print) is still largely considered as a field ‘not meant for girls’. A large chunk of society believes that journalism demands strong conviction and psychological strength, which they think is present only in the male fraternity,” he said.
Better opportunities
Mr. Kakade says the primary objective of starting the JMC in the University is not only to make the girls of poor and orthodox families get convinced that the media is open for them too, but also to provide better opportunities for girls who are willing to join journalism.
“Courses in journalism are being offered by several colleges and universities of the State. Yet, many families do not send their daughters to other districts, mainly because the colleges have a co-education system. The Women’s University here solved this problem as it is meant for girls only. So, parents do not hesitate to send their daughters to Bijapur. This is one of the main reasons for North Karnataka girls showing interest in journalism,” he added.
The success of the university in attracting girls of economically backward sections could be judged by the fact that over 95 per cent of the girls who have opted for journalism are from rural areas. Their parents are either in agriculture or are lower-level government employees.
Mr. Kakade said that ever since its inception, nearly 20 girls of the JMC department have got jobs in reputed media organisations such as NDTV, Zee TV, Samaya TV, Samyukta Karnataka and Kannada Prabha.
“Another matter of pride is that our girls bagged the overall award in the national-level media fest held in Bangalore in 2009-10. The girls added one more jewel in our crown by emerging as runners-up in the State-level media fest held in Dharwad in 2010-11,” he said.
Crucial aspects
Mr. Kakade listed four critical aspects that he believes have played a key role in facilitating these girls finding placement in reputed media organisations in the country and the State.
The first one, he says, is that his department has a state-of-the-art television studio which is on a par with any popular news channel of the country. “It is important to have a sophisticated studio to make sure that the best training in electronic media is given to the students so that when they get jobs, they instantly get adjusted to the new atmosphere,” he said.
In the studio, the students are made to participate in mock-interviews, conduct discussions with panel experts and read bulletins.
The second aspect is that the students are given extensive training in translation from Kannada to English and vice versa to make them gain a command over the language.
“Media is all about language, and if one does not have command over the language, then he/she will fail to qualify at the elementary level itself. Thus, we are focusing greatly on improving their language and communication skills,” he said.
The third aspect is the creation of a curriculum that suits the need of media houses. The curriculum has been prepared with the help of eminent people from the field to help give the best knowledge to the students.
The fourth point, which Mr. Kakade feels has the most importance, is the introduction of practical aspects. “In the media, what gives students an edge is the practical knowledge of the subject; unless students are made to work in the field by giving them individual responsibilities, they will not become good reporters or some may never find jobs in the field of journalism,” he said.
In the fourth semester, the students must prepare a 15-minute documentary on a subject of their interest. They have to work on their own to produce the documentary that carries 100 marks.
Similar work is given to print media students where they are supposed to come out with their own magazine by selecting a subject of their choice which may range from women’s issues to sports, entertainment and general news.
In-house magazine
“Apart from these, the Department has its own in-house fortnightly magazine ‘Mahila Dhwani (Voice of Women)’ published with contributions from students themselves. The magazine essentially helps the students learn various aspects of print journalism,” Mr. Kakade said.
Zainab Donur, a third semester student of the journalism department of the university, said the course has given tremendous confidence to the girls of backward regions. She said if girls join the media, they can highlight women-related issues in a better way. Coming from a family of agriculturists, she hopes to become a radio presenter in the future.
For a Ph.D.
The story of Pallavi Vaijanath of Gulbarga is equally encouraging. She not only completed her journalism here and worked in various media organisations, but has now joined the same university for doing her Ph.D. in “The role of radio in the development of women — a case study of Gulbarga radio station.”
She said that she is the only person in her family who has reached the higher education level as all the other family members, including boys, did not study beyond PUC.
A pact with Tubingen
Expanding its reach, the Karnataka State Women’s University at Bijapur has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tubingen University of Germany for joint research programmes for students and faculty.
Elaborating on the agreement, Omkar Kakade, Head, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC), said that a few fourth semester students of the University would be sent to Germany for higher studies and research. “We are hoping to send the first batch of at least three students in 2014,” he added.
For details: Please contact: 

Hindi to English sub-titlers for television serials and Hindi films.

I have received the following requirement. This seems to be an off-beat and interesting opportunity for ex-students of media schools. Please spread the word around: 
Hindi to English sub-titlers for television serials and Hindi films
Zibanka Media Services Pvt. Ltd. in Mumbai requires competent Hindi to English sub-titlers for television serials and Hindi films. Computer savvy persons having ability to translate from Hindi to English are required on immediate basis. Kindly email your CV to or  and/or contact Mr. Manoj Gupta – 09978526778. 

Monday, 10 September 2012

Did TimesNow Producer Arm-twist Kerala Tourism?

Mahesh Vijapurkar forwarded the following blog post with this comment: Nothing new, except the channel intervened and stopped it.

Did TimesNow Producer Arm-twist Kerala Tourism?

For almost a week now Arnab Goswami & TimesNow have been reporting and screaming about a foreign junket by Karnataka MLAs. These MLAs seem to have gone on a trip to Argentina and other places on a ‘study tour’ on drought when Karnataka itself is reeling under drought conditions. The irony is stark and at a cost of 6-7 Crores is atrocious. Arnab is right in hauling them over the coals. (Oops.. did I just mention coal?). But why in the face of massive scams like Coalgate and Thoriumscam does this issue deserve reporting for five consecutive days on TimesNow? You report once, twice and then wait to report the follow up action. Justice Arnab seems to be in a hurry to hang them. I wonder if he would care to report similarly demanded junkets by his own team. To his credit and that of TimesNow they have not condoned such demands but there shouldn’t be any doubt such demands pervade the entire media. Well, we will get to that in a minute. Before that I recommend you read the paragraph below. And I mean read it very carefully:

The ‘backpresent’ concept at the end of a press conference that certain business houses seem to have perfected – whether in the form of an expensive pen or even better, a holiday for the family in a resort, or best of all, company shares – is only a reflection of how corporate journalism can be compromised… It’s no different with corporate houses who have select journalists on their payroll. Again, there are state govts which will ensure that certain journalists are given properties from the state quota even if the journalist has already acquired a property from the same quota. There are journalists too who will flaunt their farmhouses with great relish, though just where a journalist saves enough cash to acquire prime farm land remains a mystery….A journalist can get close to a political party, business house or an individual in a manner that compromises his independence. Having acquired that proximity, the journalist can then use his clout on a larger scale, playing kingmaker in cementing political alliances at the centre, or in providing the link between a minister in the Union cabinet and a business house in need of a favour…. Perhaps, it suits the newspaper owners and channel bosses to keep the status quo since they have been prime beneficiaries of a corrupted system.Certainly, none of the so-called media watchdog bodies, be it the Press Council or the Editors Guild, have chosen to focus on media corruption – political, ideological or financial….There are no rules or regulations that govern media ethics

That little blast you just read was written a million years ago. 2001 to be precise! Does it all seem familiar? Does it make sense of Radiagate? Does it also explain why the Supreme Court, in the Kasab verdict, slammed the TV media in particular and suggested a regulatory watchdog can’t be from “within”? This was written by a prominent media celeb who hates the term ‘Paidmedia’. But I will leave it to you to guess which one. So whatever Justice Arnab finds abominable in those Karnataka MLAs is equally in abundance in our news media. An incident in Kerala should have shocked the entire media mafia but the report is buried in some corner in a Malayalam website.

I was sent this report through mail by an observant reader of this blog with an English translation. To be absolutely certain I had it translated by two more people from Twitter to verify if the website’s report was what I was mailed. Thanks to all three who did the translation (@Nidheeshn @ArunGanesh1203 and the one who sent the mail, for their contribution). Here’s the report from the website ScoopIndia:

Channel head looking for freebies: Controversy beamed live

The Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) rejected the request from a top officer of a leading news channel to provide free accommodation at their hotel. An officer from the personal staff of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy who intervened on behalf of the person and this officer were reprimanded by the CM for his intervention. This incident has created an explosion in Offices of both the CM and the channel.

The controversy started when a Production Controller from the Times Now news channel owned by the Times of India group decided to visit Kerala during the Onam season. He planned to use the services of KTDC for his stay at Thekkady and Trivandrum. For this he called up the MD of KTDC Mr Prashanth IAS over phone. Happily, Prashanth invited him to Kerala. Only later on, Prashanth realised that the luxury resorts and services were requested to be provided free of cost basis recommendation by the channel. The MD replied that this was not possible and offered a maximum of 30% discount on the services. But the Production Controller from the channel was not satisfied and repeatedly contacted the MD for providing the services free of cost. The MD did not bow down to his demand.

Subsequently, one Malayalee who was the reporter of Times of India in Kerala contacted a personal staff of the CM of Kerala. The reporter raised the same requirement with this person that was raised by the Production Controller to the MD of KTDC. Based on his personal rapport with the reporter, the staff of the CM’s office intervened and took up the matter with the MD of KTDC, but the MD refused to compromise on the stand that he had taken earlier. The MD of KTDC escalated this matter to the Special Private Secretary of the CM, Mr R.K Balakrishnan, when he was no longer able to withstand the repeated pressure from the staff member. Mr R.K. Balakrishnan informed the matter to the CM after studying the issue in detail.

It is reported that CM Oommen Chandy reacted angrily. He took the stand that nobody should be allowed to misuse his office. Immediately, the CM called the MD of KTDC directly to enquire full details of the issue. Later, the CM sent a mail to Arnab Goswami, Editor in Chief of Times Now channel with all details of this incident. Arnab replied that the incident has happened without his knowledge and expressed regret for the same. The matter did not end at this. The Times management has asked the Production Controller and the reporter to clarify their actions when there was a ban on reporters from the Times Group accepting gifts even when they are on a business meetings, and why they tried to misuse and involve the CM’s office to get benefits. The CM did not seek an explanation from his personal staff, but has sent out a stern warning that such requests and recommendations should not be made in future.

Now what if the TimesNow guy had been from some political party or someone media wishes to tar? The headlines on our channels would have probably been: “Member seeks special favours from KTDC”, “Errant son of top politician demands freebies from KTDC”, “Modi aide threatens Kerala Tourism”, “Chief spokesman bullies KTDC and CM’s office”. Yes indeed they would carry those headlines. Naturally, I’m tempted to ask where’s the headline that says: “Did TimesNow Production Head Arm-twist Kerala Tourism”?

Okay, that little blast from the past that you read in the second paragraph was written by none other than Rajdeep Sardesai. Must have been written in a “fit”of conscience.

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