AT A seminar at DAV College, Sector 10, on Thursday, Lok Sabha MP Varun Gandhi focused on the positive role of the media and citizen journalism.
Varun was delivering the inaugural address on the theme, Media, Society and Culture: Interrelations and Emerging Trends. “Media plays an important role in creating a narrative of society and it should be more strident in this endeavour… rather than being a watchdog, it should be a partner in the country’s progress,” he said.
He added that the onus of creating positive sociological icons was dependent on the media. Varun further stated that to build the democracy of our dreams, media could empower the citizens to make the elected representatives accountable. He also talked about tackling corruption and shrinking the talent pool in order to bring about political reforms on a grander scale.
The Department of Sociology of DAV College held the one-day seminar in association with HEAL Society, Chandigarh. The event was attended by students, scholars, academicians and journalists.
The keynote address was delivered by Kharar MLA Kanwar Sandhu, a former resident editor of two dailies. He deliberated upon the challenges faced by the media and reflected on the relationship between corporations and media organisations.
Professor S P Bansal, Vice-Chancellor, Indira Gandhi University, Meerpur, closed the inaugural session, laying emphasis on the responsibility of the media to foster a rich cultural legacy and values among the youth.
Professor Sherry Sabbarwal, Coordinator, Department of Social Work; Prof Manjit Singh, Department of Sociology, Panjab University; Prof Archana R Singh, Chairperson, School of Communication Studies, PU; and author Rajiv Ranjan Roy presented their views during a panel discussion on Media and Youth Culture.
While Professor Archana tossed around questions of conglomerisation of the media and how it created a community of specific interests, Prof Manjit talked about the necessity of an ideological stand among the youth. Roy commented that ironically, the “so-called icons in journalism” were not its representatives at the grassroots. However, compared to “other pillars of democracy”, the media was doing a great job.
Prof Jagdish C Mehta, convener of the seminar, said the purpose of the seminar was to “explore the changing dynamics of the society due to the emergence of new forms of media”.
Others who spoke were Prof Mohinder Salaria, Government College, Chamba; Dr Gurmeet Singh, Chairman, Department of Hindi, PU; Prof Kumool Abbi, Chairperson, Department of Sociology, PU and Prof Rajesh Jaiswal, University School of Open Learning, PU.
Three parallel sessions based on sub-themes such as media and child governance, media’s role in building a new India, gender politics and cinema and social implication of media on the society were held, where over 70 participants presented papers.