Wednesday, 23 February 2011

"Facebook, If a Country, Will be the Third Largest" - Dr. Suri

Navdeep Suri, I.F.S, Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, spoke about the three trends that according to him bring a convergence between information technology and the media.  Firstly, the ubiquitous mobile phone with cameras, that have ushered in the concept of citizen journalists, where anyone can click photographs, report a news story and get it published, either officially or unofficially.  Secondly, the satellite TV’s have revolutionised the way news and the media works, according to him. He cited examples from the Iraq war, when the world was talking about the ‘CNN Effect’ and more recently the ‘Aj Jazeera Effect’, where the media has been able to bring the war to the living rooms. He spoke high of these phenomena, as independent factors that work devoid of any corporation or government.  Finally, the internet and the social media, has altered relationships between governments and the public. This is spreading into the realm of foreign policy and he believes that the quicker we embrace it, the better it is for us. He also emphasised that the new media, a two-way communication forum, not only helps the audience believe that they are being listened to, will lead to a fundamental, irreversible restructuring of the media.
Artemis Preeshl, Dancer, theatre artist and film maker from the Loyola University, New Orleans, was the next speaker, who spoke about digital cooperation in the global age, in her talk that she called ‘The Janice Effect’, named after the Roman mythological king with two faces, who can assess the past, analyze the present and foresee the future. According to her, understanding history is also important to progress into the future.  She compared the piracy, copyright and black market situations and policies in America and India and spoke of instances where she wondered if a DVD that she purchased was legal or not. The Copy Right Act of 1957, which has been amended many times since then, does not consider reproducing or using copyrighted material or work as copyright violation if used for religious, social or educational purposes.  Some people believe in restrictions in using material off the digital media, while other assume piracy over such media and this according to her introduces conflict between a forward momentum in the digital media.
Dr Sridhar Krishnaswamy finally gave the vote of thanks, thanking all the speakers, faculty and student audience for showing their support and making the inaugural function a grand success., before which the Provost Dr Ponnavaiko released the souvenir of the symposium, handing over the first copy to Dr Krishnaswamy.  

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