The two-day national seminar on ‘New Media: Potentials and Problems’ organized by the School of Communication Studies, Panjab University, from February 17-18 concluded today.
The first day of the seminar began with an inaugural ceremony where Prof. R.C. Sobti, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University spoke about accountability of the media in present times in his presidential address. Guest of honour, Mr. Shiv Raman Gaur, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Haryana, addressed the potentials and implications of new methods of communication and Prof. B.K. Kuthiala, Vice-Chancellor, Makhanlal Chaturvedi National Journalism University, Bhopal, was the honorable Chief Guest. Prof. Kuthiala described communication as not just a social need but a natural biological process for survival.Day one also had three technical sessions which discussed the problems and challenges posed by the growing use of new media technologies in the different aspects of communication.
The second day of the seminar started with panel discussion on the new media, moderated by Dr. Harjinder Walia, Professor, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Punjabi University, Patiala. Dr. Walia expressed concern regarding the poor, who are ignored by the mainstream media and presented the new media as an alternate solution and beneficial for Hindustan and not India.The other panelists included Prof. Harish Kumar from Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak, and Prof. Ashutosh Mishra from Chitkara School of Mass Communication, Chandigarh.
Prof. Kumar talked about the bias of the new media towards underdeveloped countries while Prof. Mishra pointed out the convergence of new media and its potentials in rural India. In the end of panel discussion, the speakers and audience had an interactive session on the probable consequences of emergence of new media. This was followed by a technical session on ‘Using New Media for Development and Digital Divide’ where research scholars discussed pertinent issues like influence of mobile phones on individuals’ social networks and role of new media in rural sector.