Little journos make a mark at Times NIE Newsmakers’ Meet | Kolkata News – Times of India

Kolkata: The afternoon of August 20 saw the Times NIE Newsmakers’ Meet being held in association with Sister Nivedita University, providing the students with a unique platform to test their writing and verbal skills and general knowledge along with a chance to get noticed.
The programme, which began at 4pm, was conducted virtually from the Sister Nivedita University studio. Over 300 students took part from all over West Bengal. The panelists included RJ Mir from Radio Mirchi, Professor Dhrubojyoti Chattopadhyay, vice-chancellor of SNU, and Professor Minal Parikh, head of department of journalism, fashion, design, fine arts and performing arts at SNU. They held forth on how entertainment can be a crucial part of education in the new normal.
Mir dwelt on how digital medium has emerged as the only way to interact with students in tune with the new modes of communication and how ‘working from home’ has blurred the lines between working hours and personal time. It was interesting to note that the pandemic has reduced the number of car listeners, he said.
On the challenges posed by the pandemic, Mir explained how young interns at Radio Mirchi had to send audio clips of themselves speaking on certain topics, being forced to stay away from the studios. He talked about students making short films in audio-visual medium and gavebinsights on how radio entertainment had to change its programme, schedule and plans during the pandemic. The industrybunderwent a sea change and the process is still on as producers develop strategies to connect with their audience virtually in a fast-changing scenario.
Minal Parikh spoke on how the pandemic has made it difficult to hold on to students and their interests. The problem is compounded for departments that run mostly on practical training. She explained how course modules had to be redefined to bridge the gap between theory and application. Parikh said the content of SNU radio had to be changed completely, and there was a paradigm shift in the content to prioritise the mental health of students. Mir concurred on the importance of mental health and added that being in the right frame of mind is important for productivity.
Dhrubojyoti Chattopadhyay said that though the word ‘edutainment’ was coined decades ago, it was never seriously considered before the pandemic. He pointed out that Covid-19 has shifted education from being teacher-centric to student-centric. He added that education should be made more creative to capture the attention of students, and it is the teacher’s responsibility to make sure that she/he is good enough to ensure student attendance. He also stressed that teachers should be innovative in terms of modes of communication.
An interactive session saw the panelists taking questions from children. To one on how social media can be used for education, Mir emphasized on sifting the information available on social media and verifying the authenticity of the news before circulating them. He revealed that comedy gained more popularity than serious lectures during the pandemic and light entertainment was a popular choice among all ages.
The programme concluded with the outgoing star correspondents sharing their experiences. The students who have been selected as the Times NIE Star Correspondents for the next one year include Madiha Khan from The Heritage School, Saanvi Jain from Sushila Birla Girls’ School, Uditi Saraog from Sushila Birla Girls’ School, Mayank Mundhra from Apeejay School Park Street, Soham Roy from BDM International, Shriyaa Gangoli from The Heritage School, Mayesura Taiyeba from Calcutta Public School, Baguiati, Zaaera Adil from Jibreel International School, Ishir Narayan from Indus Valley World School, Ashmit Chowdhury from BDM International, Aggniva Roy from BDM International, Subham Mandal from Calcutta Public School, Ritisha Bajaj from Lakshmipat Singhania Academy, Ankita Sarkar from Adamas International School and Ananya Sarkar from MP Birla Foundation Higher Secondary School.
They will get exciting prizes, apart from getting hands-on experience in journalism and media from the Times of India and Sister Nivedita University.

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