Apr 192009

It is that time of the year again. i trudge down to Kalina and correct papers. The students who finish this course go on to become journalists .. and they come up with some gems. .

The University is still in the last century. Rows of table and plastic chairs, high ceilings and background chatter. It feels more like an assembly line – at some NGO making papads – than the University 🙂

The monotony of correction is broken by some gems from students 🙂 gems that i meticulously note down and reproduce here…. The winner is:

On CNN’s success – Ronald Reagan was to travel in space through the Space Shuttle Challenger. There were however, rumours of his assassination !!

The runner up is
CNN effect – CNN coverage of second world war was very good. Because of this people didn’t go out shopping.

a) on community radio – In the US and Canada, Community Radio is also called Pirate Radio 🙂 This wasn’t one student but a whole bunch of them … leading me to wonder if this is what they were taught ….

b) In India, Community Radio is used by a Community to make the community work

c) DD is functioned by a satellite called Aryabhatta

d) If any minister has died, the death ceremony is shown very nicely on Doordarshan

e) During Vijay Diwas of Kargil war the PM visits at the Delhi and gives obituary to our Jawarns and this is telecasted very nicely

f) FM is community radio with commercial radio

g) Ted Turner had started CNN with the thinking that conflict is news and news is conflic

h) This is to raise the value of TRP in society – on news sensationalism .

i) Rakhee Sawant and Mika kissing, increased the level of vulgarity in society

j) During Vietnam war every news channel telecasted it 24/7

k) On the Press Registration Act – an example – to illustrate registering name. Sachin P thinks of the name “kyonki saas bhi kabhi bahu thi. But that name Ekta Kapoor want for herself. Therefore she request to Sachin about to give her the name. He gave her. She broadcast the serial in that name……”
seriously !!

that’s all for now. keep watching for the next edition of gems from students

Oct 182007

University corrections continue… and i relieve the utter tedium by jotting down interesting bits from answers. Here are today’s picks:

  • As soon as TV media came into picture, most of the media had fallen week
  • Then to there is no death for newspaper media
  • In the field of politics it is giving us recent info (on television news channels)
  • Youth magazine is generally famoused among youth – eg. Cosmo women and men
  • Magazine like JLT that is just like that in that all issues of celebreaty is covered
  • Developmental Journalism is a social economic problem
  • The Bangalore Place is a famous place in India. It is far from Bombay. Bangalore people language are Urdu, Bengali, Hindi Maximum
  • Situated in the lower end of the Himalayas (on Manali)
  • Under the shadow of the Sahyadharis (on Mahabaleshwar)

What is scary is that the paper we set was one that a brain dead hedgehog — or a student who had never attended a single lecture — could pass. But, stuff that is going wrong in quite a few papers are fundamentals. We won’t even go into the fact that most of these are functionally illiterate in most languages (or can communicate very little in most languages) — but look at stuff like general knowledge, basic stuff . Two days ago i blogged about a student who wrote that the language spoken in Hyderabad is Tulu. Today there is a student who writes that the language spoken most in Bangalore is Bengali, Urdu and Hindi … I know that the ITES boom is getting people to Bangalore…but……

A few years ago while making [tag]Dial One aur Jeeto[/tag], the live interactive gameshow on [tag]Sahara One[/tag] – we had a caller who’s answer was “Chin ki Rajdhani Cochin Hai” (The capital of China is Cochin)…. and we laughed…. but today, we seem to be putting out graduates like that. And these are graduates who have a high probability of joining journalism as a profession.

Oct 152007

… University corrections began today…. in the few that i managed to plough through here are some sparkling gems. (italics mine)

  • There are some people like women who want a whole bunch of articles from themselves like cookery, fashion, homemaking, personal problems etc…..Similarly there are magazines for men where there are things like automobiles, gadgets, women, and everything a man would want.
  • India is a Development Country
  • Example of Developmental Journalism is the Indo US Nuclear Deal where the PM Manmohan Singh says that this deal will lead to develop its power
  • Hyderabad is the place in Andhra Pradesh. It is the place where all Tulu’s live. It is a perfect destination for 3-4 days.
  • Youth always having changing minds. They will always want to have something now. So the magazines which always tell its TG something new can be said as Youth Magazine. eg. Filmfare ,Stardust, Cineblitz, Sports Star etc.

And one day … these will not only inherit the earth but also the media….
More gems here.

Jul 302007

This year I began teaching culture studies to my students. Culture studies is not the study of culture perse – but the study of cultures – their power structures internally and in relation to other cultures – their internal & external dynamics and their overall relationship in the power pyramid. One of the more difficult things for me to explain to students – in context of culture studies in India – is the [tag]caste system[/tag]. For most students – the caste system is dead because there have been reservations for the last 60 years. One tries and demolishes that logic by saying that the ‘upper castes’ have had 100% reservation in key professions for the last few millenia. But, the key issue is not so much their mindset (which can be overcome with data) but their lack of knowledge about the system that influences us even today. Most believe that SC’s are the shudra’s as defined in the chatur varna system, or that the recent reservation protests have been Brahmin & Kshatriya ("upper caste") v/s the lower caste (dalits). For students, atleast in a Mumbai based educational system – the term Dalit and Shudra are the same. So, in order to teach them caste & culture – one has to start at the basics. When I began teaching the subject this year, the first thing that i needed to do was to revise my own knowledge of caste & class – before teaching them. And, part of the process is giving students upto date stuff on caste dynmaics. This is one from the ToI that struck me as being particularly illustrative of the problem.

While most other boys his age jump at the sight of a cat, six-year-old Khemchand Sapera helps his dad catch poisonous snakes. Too young and feeble to lift a python, Khemchand can, however, give a free demonstration of how to catch a live cobra. You would think he’s a local hero, idolised by neighbourhood boys. On the contrary, Khemchand is shooed away by them as they cry out calling him an "untouchable". If you thought untouchability has lost its grip, here’s a reality check — it’s being practised, and not by the upper castes only. Just 20 metres from National Highway 12 and 170 km from Bhopal near Rani Pipariya village in Hoshangabad district resides a community of snake charmers. Considered one of the lowest among Dalits, even other sects of the Dalit community do not mix with them. "We cannot even reside in the main village and have to live at least 200 metres away from rest of the society," said Mallunath Sapera, an elderly member of the community. "Although they might be pushed to one corner, other Dalit communities are permitted to at least live inside the villages. But no one will accept us. The Kathiars, Charmkars and Meras are also scheduled castes, but they don’t touch us. At weddings, we sit to eat with animals. As for the upper castes, we go stand in front of their houses during Nag Panchmi festival and they throw us a rupee or two. We still cannot enter the temples, our children cannot go to school and politically we have no power since we are less in numbers," said Mallunath.

India – circa 2007. Caste still exists. So does discrimination based on caste. MSM often glosses over caste dynamics – as do parents and other value formers. Schools and colleges teach it as something that happened somewhere else and to someone else. And, when future media practitioners are taught in this vacuum – the output is bound to be one sided.