With a strong conviction that media plays a pivotal role in educational development of the region, the University of Science and Technology, Meghalaya (USTM) has announced several media fellowships for journalists of the region at a Round Table at the University campus, on the outskirts of Guwahati, on Thursday amidst a galaxy of editors of newspapers and television channels as well as stalwarts and opinion makers from different states of the Northeast.
Titled “USTM-Media Round Table 2018”, the event was organised by the University to seek advice and suggestions from the media personalities on how USTM can contribute to the media fraternity and to the society as a whole by offering free education to the aspirant children of journalists as well as by way of offering fellowships.
Addressing the distinguished media personalities in the Round Table, Mahbubul Hoque, Chancellor, USTM said, “We must acknowledge the contribution of both print and electronic media towards knowledge dissemination and for building public awareness for the need of education in order to develop oneself and one’s society, and the country as a whole. We believe that we have to learn a lot from the veterans and thinkers working in the field of media, on an on-going basis”.
He said that an Academia-Media Committee will be formed as a follow up to the Round Table to finalise the topics and other details of the fellowships to be awarded by USTM to journalists from the North East. He also informed that the fellowships will be formally launched by USTM in July 2018.
During the brainstorming session, the editors of the print and electronic media from the Northeast suggested different topics for both the major fellowship programme leading to PhD and the minor fellowships.
The topics suggested for the major fellowship include floods and erosion, lack of livelihood options in the North East, healthcare needs for senior citizens, use of alternative media, sufferings of women in conflict zones, crises before the media industry, human resources drain from the North East, gender sensitiveness, environment and wildlife issues etc.
For the short-term fellowships, it was proposed that issues relating to promotion of positive news by media, customs and food habits of North East, development of tourism, entrepreneurship and skill development, community resistance to conflicts, and effects of globalisation on small communities could be considered.
While PJ Baruah, Executive Editor, The Assam Tribune suggested that traditional methods adopted in flood control and future of small newspapers could be topics of research, Wasbir Hussain, Chief Editorial Advisor, North East Live, said there has to be research on lack of livelihood options in the Northeast which is causing brain drain.
Pradip Phanjoubam, Editor, Imphal Free Press stressed on new media standing as a challenge in the media world. Samudra Gupta Kashyap, Assistant Editor, Indian Express emphasised on human resource development in the Northeast.