SILCHAR, Dec 7 - At a time when there is a lot of buzz in the society on the right to freedom of expression, particularly in the domain of media, the relationship between the fourth pillar of democracy and people must be complementary, opined Professor Abhijit Bora, head, Department of Mass Communication, Tezpur University.In his keynote address at the two-day international seminar on ‘Media and Politics’, organised by the Department of Mass Communication, Assam University Silchar in association with Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), Professor Borah said, “We are all aware of the issues concerning the freedom of expression in the media. Hence, there is a need for a cohesive and complementary relation between media and people with more focus on media literacy which can inculcate and influence good habits among the people and people can also point out the flaws in the various media outlets.”
He added that if the media echoes people’s choice, why should the process of gate-keeping exist! Also, he raised questions on restrictions on films, which are powerful agencies of mass media while on most occasions, newspapers and television contents are allowed to reach the audiences sans any major fuss.
Further, Professor Borah, who has been an ace journalist, mentioned that media should act as an informal university and pointed out that in the present day scenario when recognition to the large number of languages spoken in the country is a cause of concern, there should be concerted efforts to promote regional media which would echo the socio-political factors across larger platforms.
Professor RR Dhamala, the in-charge vice-chancellor of the varsity said that media is going through a critical phase since the democratic institution is being asked to act on the whims of the regulating agencies in the backdrop of rising demands from the market forces.
Dr Anurag Chakma, faculty from the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Dhaka, who attended the seminar as the guest of honour, said that social media has added an interesting dimension to the dynamics of media and politics. Taimur Raja Choudhury, eminent journalist of Barak Valley, who was also among the guest speakers, pointed out that media and politics often act as thesis and anti-thesis in the social arena.
Dr Partha Sarkar, assistant professor and the convener of the international seminar, said that as many as 64 papers have been accepted for the two-day academic exercise which shall delve into the dimensions and roles of mass media in the context of emerging trends driven by new technology in sync with political and economic under currents.