Thursday, 30 March 2017

Media and Communication for Development edited by Dr. K. John Babu

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Media and Communication for Development edited by Dr. K. John Babu

Review  by Prof. C K Sardana, Bhopal

Sequentially, there are three main words in the  book title. These are Media, Communication and Development. Needle stops at the last and most important word Development. Other words are pathways to help achieve Development.

Development is a participatory process aimed at creating or/and maintaining social structures and institutions which allow a society's present and future needs to be met, Central  point is People whose needs are paramount in the process. For knowing and reaching out to the People, we need Media as also Communication.

Policies for development are framed by the bureaucrats under the overall guidance and direction of the political masters. In the framing of these policies, inputs are required about the areas under ‘development’, status thereof, peoples’ needs, data, views of scholars and activists, media to be used according to the understanding levels and expectations of the people and so on.

The volume, under review, is rich in contents containing  different views needed in the formulation of development-oriented policies and programs. In particular, as the title suggests, the volume covers media and communication for development.

 Media has undergone a sea change in the last 2-3 decades with several New Media emerging. Notable features of the New Media are richness in contents, speed, reach and overall impact. In simple words, media and communication has to be right for the target publics whose quality of life has to be improved.

 Media includes print (newspapers, magazines, posters, brochures), broadcasting (radio, television), digital (social media and online content)), street (billboards, murals, graffiti) and others (novelties, merchandising  especially social marketing to promote behavior change). Communication means a process of creating and stimulating understanding as the basis for development rather than information transformation. It is the articulation of social relations among people. 

In the above backdrop, the volume ably edited by Dr. K. John Babu, Assistant Professor, Department of Convergent Journalism, Central University of Kashmir, Srinagar is timely, relevant and nearly all-comprehensive.

The volume takes a fresh look at development communication in the Indian context. Grouped under six  sections, articles number as many as 27. The sections are: Media and sustained development; Education and health development; Agricultural development, environment and disaster management; Community development and media technology; Media for the elderly and women; and Media for regional development.
Topics selected together with writer's narration thereof is commendable. Lot of research would have gone into the writing of the articles by scholars, researchers etc.  Foreword is by Prof. J V Vilanilam, the eminent Professor & Former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kerala. 

Prof. Vilanilam has rightly said in the Foreword "The success of development depends on how effectively mass media is used by the nations for advocating development targets and use pf 'public information'. Developing countries should focus on cutting-edge information technology industries. For that, we need to set up technology parks and allow environmental-friendly technology to penetrate in the fields of health, education, agriculture etc. for easy transformation of a nation towards development.'

In a volume like this, one looks for a bibliography which is missing. But, then, this is made up by detailed references given at the end of each article thereby lending credibility to the contents. Price of the book Rs. 1695 is high. Even so, the volume should be of great use tyo students, researchers and teachers of communication and journalism, besides decision-makers in the Central & State Governments, Local Bodies, NGOs etc. not just in India but in all developing countries.


2016, Dominant Publishers & Distributors Pvt. Lt., New Delhi, Pages 364, Rs. 1695.

Prof. C K Sardana
M-177 Gautam Nagar
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