Udupi: Manipal University Enters MoU with Purdue University, USA
By Divvy Kant Upadhyay, Manipal
Daijiworld Media Network - Udupi
Udupi, Dec 1: Ignorance of ethics is a matter of grave concern for most professions in the world including the media according to Dr Yahya Kamalipour, Head of Dept of Communication and Director of the Centre for Global Studies at Purdue University, USA. He was answering a question in response to a point he made during the Panel discussion at the Global Communication Association (GCA) Satellite Symposium in Manipal on Saturday, Nov 28.
Responding to a question posed by Dr M V Kamath, Hon. Director, Manipal Institute of Communication (MIC), Dr Kamalipour said that critics must not always blame the media alone on the issue of promoting vulgarity, sex and glamour through its medium. What the media provides is a reflection of what the consumer, in this case, the society wants – so fingers also point to the “consumer demand”, he said.
In response to this point, Dr Kamalipour was asked by a member of the audience for his opinion on whether ethics were thrown out of the window by editorial teams – one example in India being that of vernacular TV channels promoting misleading shows on black magic, witchcraft, sex and vulgarity. It is agreed that such shows “sell”, but shouldn’t common sense and ethics prevail to curtail such supposed exploitations of the right of freedom by the media? Dr Kamalipour and his co-panelists agreed that this was a serious issue, but stated that lack of ethics is now a global issue hinting at the recent global economic meltdown. As for forcing media organizations to keenly follow a code of ethics, Dr Kamalipur suggests that the consumer – in this case “the viewers” must become “active” rather than “passive” participants. The society as a whole needs to "actively demand" the kind of news and views it would like to discuss and promote. He cited the example of the Internet – which compared to television channels was more "consumer driven". He reiterated a point that he made earlier in the symposium while presenting his paper on “Evolution of Information and Communication technologies and their effects on human interactions”. He said “Internet has democratized communication” and this fact needs to be reckoned.
The theme of the symposium organized in Manipal by Manipal Institute of Communication (MIC) was “Rethinking the Media Manifesto for an Equitable World Order”.
Prof MD Nalapat, UNESCO Chair at Manipal University chaired the presentations by Dr Kamalipour, Dr Payal Arora from Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands and Dr Orayb Najjar from Northern Illinois University, USA. Dr Payal presented her thoughts on how digital leisure can help achieve equity amidst poverty. Citing studies she has done for her book “ Dot Com Mantra :Social Computing in Central Himlayas”, she opined that desire for entertainment and leisure cuts across socio-economic lines and can be a common binding factor between all sections of the population.
Dr Orayb Najjar discussed detailed studies she did on the Arab media in the Middle East. Dr Najjar feels that "Western countries affected by the loss of interest in their media messages are desperately trying to get back in the saddle". She points out the important role media plays in International Relations by highlighting that UK, France, Germany, Russia and the USA have established satellite TV stations in Arabic since 2003 in an attempt to regain a share of their lost audience in the Arab world and to try to reframe the debate in terms favourable to Western policies.
Prof Vardesh Hirengange moderated a panel discussion after the presentations. Some of the conclusions of the Panel Discussion included necessity for media to focus on issues of gender discrimination and to bring forth the unheard voices of the rural populations of the nation. Prof David Henebury, International Officer of Hansa University, Gronigen, Netherlands and Prof Dharma, Head of Political Science Dept. at Mangalore University were present in the audience. Dr Neeta Inamdar, Dr Rukma and their team of post graduate students from MIC coordinated the event.
Purdue and Manipal Varsities enter MoU
Purdue University of USA and Manipal University signed a Memorandum of Understanding which will enable them to have collaborative research in the field of Media Communications and also foray into staff, scholars and student exchanges. Manipal University Registrar Dr GK Prabhu who inaugurated the symposium signed the MoU and exchanged it with Dr Yahya Kamalipour. MU VC Dr Raj P Warrier was also present at the inauguration.