The much awaited Inaugural Function of our International Symposium started at 10 :30 am at SRM's T.P Ganesan Auditorium. The masters of ceremony were Debleena Chatterjee and Sooraj Rajmohan, both students of our Journalism Department.
Dr R Balasubramanian , our Director of Faculty of Science and Humanities gave the welcome address. While greeting the audience he also introduced the other dignitaries who presided over the function including, Dr M Ponnavaiko, Provost, SRM University, Dr. S Krishnaswamy, Mr Navdeep Suri, I.F.S and Dr. Artemis Preeshl of Loyola University, New Orleans.
Dr Ponnavaiko, Provost, SRM University then delivered the Presidential Address stating it was a great honour for him to preside over the function. " If we look at the amazing development of communications since the human race started, it will take us to a higher state of mind," he said.
He also talked about the history of communication, coming down to the history of newspapers thus tying it into the central thesis of our Symposium! “ Nowdays, before I open my front door and see the daily Hindu newspaper, my son in California has already seen it!”, he marvelled.
Dr S. Krishnaswamy of Krishnaswamy Associates, our Chief Guest gave the Inaugural Address. He spoke about the different cycles of change with respect to the media. At each step of the cycle we must stop to understand these changes and plot out what needs to be done in the future.
He then told a story of selecting a world president on the criteria that the president should be likeable and least controversial. If we conducted elections such as this, the president would be none other than Mickey Mouse he ended. Using this as an example he went on to talk about how the difference between ‘image’ and ‘reality’ has been blurred to the point where the concept of reality has been lost in the media. The idea of finding truth behind the facts, this is no longer how the media operates.
Summing up, Dr. Krishnaswamy maintained that the greatest threat that modern media poses to our society is when ‘image’ takes over reality and facts.