When his single-handed effort resulted in the launch of the first university-level media education in Kerala three decades ago, Professor Maxwell Fernandez’s students could not call him anything but the ‘Father of Journalism Education’ in Kerala.
The youthful professor left the world in the prime of his life — at the age of 40, but his efforts paid off.
This year, when his colleagues and students thought about commemorating him differently, they came up with something unique — a media fest, the first one of its kind for students in the State.
The event christened ‘Take One Fest,’ organised by the Communication Club and the Alumni Association of Kerala University’s Department of Journalism, is aiming to provide a platform to appraise the skills and potential of media students across Kerala’s colleges.
Scheduled to be held on 6, 7 and 8 July, the organisers claim that this is the first ever all-Kerala media fest, which will blend the academic benefits of events that hone the communication skills of students, in the atmosphere of a students’ camp.
“Mediapersons, who are alumni of Kerala University, will interact with the participants. So far, 100 students have registered online. We’re expecting about 250 students in total,” said Gokul Prasannan, event coordinator.
The organisers have lined up about 19 competition items for the participants, who would be at the degree and PG level of their education. “However, it is more of a platform for students to interact with media persons, than compete,” Gokul added. Registration is on till July 5, and the programmes will be from 10 am to 8 pm on all days.
“We are also providing accommodation facilities for students from districts other than Thiruvananthapuram,’’ said the organisers.(courtesy: Deepa Soman, Kochi for Deccan Herald)
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Dhanya Exhuthachan writes in her article titled “ACCEPTANCE OF FEMALE JOURNALISTS IN KERALA” Kerala’s own “City Journal”, how woman journalist are not accepted as bride in Kerala. Malayalees do not prefer to send their daughter to work as a journalist and that most of the woman journalists are exploited by their male counterparts to receive pay hike, promotion, etc :
THERE are many girls among us who wish to be a Barkha Dutt or Leela Menon when they grow up. Most of the times, those dreams are shattered due to contradictory circumstances. Female journalists are aplenty in Kerala; definitely majority of them are more talented and sharp than their male counterparts. Still, Malayalees are yet to prefer journalism as a career for girls. It is a fact that most of the female journalists reach for the work overcoming disagreements even from their parents and husbands. Parents cannot be blamed as they are concerned about the safety of their girls as journalism is about taking risks and challenges. But it’s really ironical that even boys here do not prefer to marry a working journalist!
Arun Menon, a mechanical engineer says, “I cannot accept my wife going for reporting. I do not blame their profession. Of course, it’s a cool one. But it will not be nice if my wife goes out of house at midnight. I know it’s a part of their job. They should be present if something happens. I respect that. But even if I accept, my parents will not be. They are old people. We cannot change them. So I prefer a job for her in which she can go in morning and come back by evening.”
As journalism became a profession, women were restricted by custom and law from access to journalism occupations, and faced significant discrimination within the profession. Nevertheless, women operated as editors, reporters, sports analyst and journalists even before the 1890s.
In several places now women can no longer be ignored and also the old tradition of keeping women out of the workplace has been set aside by the younger generation of newspaper owners. This has happened in Malayala Manorama. Fifteen years ago, women were not allowed to write the entrance test for recruitment to Malayala Manorama. In those days, even receptionists in the organisation were men. Today there are women in almost all departments, the change brought by the second generation owners and their spouses.
A male news reporter in the city says, “Its true people have started to accept female reporters. But still there is a concept among public that female journalists are bad. It’s common people pull a long face if they find any girl on the road after 7pm. Moral policing is very high in Kerala society. Now the newspapers and channels provide cabs for security of female reporters. But those who travel in bus or train at night have to suffer the male gazing even if they are journalists. Boys think female reporters are daredevils and they will command everything if they marry them. Lack of feminine look is another problem in their eyes. It’s true as part of the profession, the reporters adopt dress styles similar to men and go for short hairs. The society is yet to change. There is no doubt that females are excellent in reporting and finding things. They stay a step above us always. But they have many limitations.”
Some have the opinion that male domination is very high in media field. As being a ‘Pennu (Woman)’ in their language, most of the times, the girls have to face several harassments from workplace. 90% of the female journalists here come across a situation in which their male seniors demand their body to get a salary hike or promotion. Some girls obey that demand thinking of a better payment and position, some leave the job and majority suffer without saying all these things to others. Maybe, all these exploitation also stop parents and boys not to prefer female journalists.
National Commission for Women had conducted a project on the ‘Status of Women Journalists in the Print Media’ to look into the issues affecting the role of women working in media. The project was prepared conducting survey of women journalists all over India.
A section of the project says, the biggest burden on women in journalism is their domestic responsibilities as wife, mother and daughter-in-law. The brightest and most successful journalists have left a bright career to settle down in matrimony or have moved to less demanding jobs when children arrive. For women, almost invariably, the home comes first.
AT Jayanti editor of Deccan Chronicle, believes that “As home is always a woman’s responsibility, it naturally affects her work. I have no problem with any girl until she marries,” she says.
Findings of the projects also include that sexual harassment is part of work culture in media organisations in India but women either do not know how or, for a wide variety of reasons, choose not to do anything about it. Only 15.2 per cent of women who experienced sexual harassment had made a formal complaint. 10.8 per cent of those who did not make a formal complaint did not do so for fear of intimidation, victimisation or losing their job. A significant number (40.2 per cent) did not complain because they felt sexual harassment is not taken seriously in their workplace or that their complaint would seem trivial or over-reacting.
A senior Malayalam journalist, who spoke to the Commission on the harassment of women both sexually and professionally, put it briefly: “A woman works alone and suffers alone. She finds no support either at home or at office. Men on the other hand, when faced with allegations, close ranks and stand by their colleagues.”
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Salisu Suleiman editor of Nigeria Intel writes about corrupt Indians looting & ruining Nigerian economy in his article: Nigerian Corruption: the Indian Connection
When we think of politicians and public officials who looted (and are still looting) hundreds of billions of dollars from the Nigerian public treasury, what usually comes to mind are numbered Swiss bank accounts and ultra-secret deposits in the Caymans and Bahamas. We imagine assets and investments in England, the United States, Dubai and Europe.
Less known destinations for Nigerian loot include South Africa, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco. More recently, looted funds from Nigeria have been traced to Australia, Hong Kong, Brazil and China. But how does stolen money leave Nigeria? Who are the middlemen and agents helping to fleece our country in what is clearly the most blatant capital flight from Africa?
Welcome, Indians. Many people now think of India mostly in terms of the country’s economic successes and technological advances. With a billion people and one of the fastest growing economies in the world, India has become a major power. From one of the poorest countries on Earth, the world’s largest democracy has projected itself unto the global scene. In what can be viewed as reverse-colonialism, Indian businesses have taken over several notable British icons and businesses. And for what it is worth, some of the most valuable franchises and real estate in the British Isles are now owned by Indians.
But what is the downside to India’s remarkable successes? Is there more to it than meets the eye? The truth is, despite India’s remarkable achievements, the country remains very corrupt. And because of its vast business and trade links with Nigeria, some of those unorthodox methods are compounding Nigeria’s already hopeless culture of corruption. When Indian corruption and Nigerian corruption meet, the outcome can be devastating.
Since the Dana Air flight, which killed over 150 people on board and an unknown number on the ground, much attention has been focused on the Indian owners of the company. Allegations that the aircraft was not airworthy have emerged. Though the company has denied it, an official was quoted as saying the plane had technical problems and was not fit to fly. For those who know Nigeria well, if a bribe was all that was needed to certify the plane as airworthy, then the required signatures would have been obtained in an instant.
A few years ago, Nigeria was gripped with the drama of the deportation of the Vaswani brothers who have been labeled ‘economic terrorists’. They allegedly caused Nigeria losses amounting to billions in unpaid customs duties, among other corrupt practices. In typical Nigerian fashion, the matter has been forgotten. Serious allegations of compromise at the top echelons of the Nigerian Customs Service have been shelved. This is just one case that came to light. Many others are unreported. Some estimates indicate that Indians help to evacuate more than $50 million daily from Nigeria through dubious paperwork and official collusion.
Despite these sharp practices, if Indians simply engage in the importation of stale rice and sub-standard automobiles at outrageous prices and also help Nigerians launder money, it would be a simpler affair. The greater danger comes with the involvement of Indians in Nigeria’s health services. Currently, a significant percentage of all fake drugs found in Nigeria come from India. And as if it not enough to sell death to us, the angels of death (or Indians of Death) have come to reside among us.
A notorious example is a so-called ‘super specialty’ hospital located in Karu, Abuja. Initially, complaints of fraud and medical malpractices were seen as the actions of rivals and detractors trying to spread malicious rumours about the hospital. However, there is a growing litany of complaints from too many sources who claim have been defrauded by this hospital for the authorities to simply ignore.
One blogger whose sister had a nasty experience at the hospital puts it this way: “Those Indians are quacks; they do not posses basic medical credentials. The head of the hospital, an Indian woman is not a medical doctor. The deputy is her son and not a medical doctor as well. A specialist hospital operating in a Nigerian government built infrastructure does not have a medical director”.
Operating structure and credentials aside, more worrisome are the reports of unneeded and unnecessary surgeries the hospital forces on patients. One person reported the case of a patient who had gone there for treatment on his leg. According to her, “the quack doctor did a terrible job on him and he’s presently walking with crutches. The poor guy went to the hospital with his two legs and they turned him to a disabled being after paying almost N2.5million”. Another reported, “My mother is a victim. After paying over 5 million naira for (unneeded) operations, she is bedridden. Avoid these killers at all costs. You have been warned!”
Considering the plethora of complaints against this Indian hospital, isn’t it high time our health authorities investigated what is going on there? Or have they also received the ‘Indian Treatment’?
Come Onam, Malayalis may have to do without the standard filmi fare on television and go back to playing traditional games like Thalappanthukali or Thumbithullal!
For long, it has become a practice, especially in the cities and towns, to sit before the idiot box and spend the festive holidays watching relatively new blockbuster movies of superstars.
However, with the Kerala Television Federation (KTF) announcing its decision not to buy any superstar movies henceforth, citing the enormous amounts charged for satellite rights, this is bound to change.
But if you think the television industry is going to be in tatters without cinema, not all agree with that prognosis.
“Almost 80-90% of the entertainment content in television comes from the film industry and the huge dependence of television on the film industry is pretty evident.
But if KTF doesn’t budge from its decision not to buy superstar movies, it will be the film industry that will suffer,” explains noted actress Praveena, who has straddled both big and small screens.
Speaking about how television keeps the film industry afloat, she points out how it is the previews and trailers of the new releases on TV that help draw the crowds to the theatres.
She says, “Films reach television in the guise of mimicry, comedy skits, and music videos or even in the form of artistes.
Similarly, production, distribution and exhibition of feature films are supported by the television industry. Together, both the media have established their co-existence and financial interdependence over the years. Today, TV helps keep the film industry going.”
The Kerala Television Federation secretary Baby Mathew argues, “Television and film industry should go hand in hand as both heavily depend on each other.
Charging exorbitant rates for the superstar movies has put us in a very difficult situation, that is why we have now decided to stop buying movies that come for anything more than Rs 3 crore.
” As per the KTF, movies of Mohanlal and Mammootty make them poorer by 3.5 crore per movie while Dileep and Prithviraj films ranges from Rs 2.75 to 3 crore.
With the KTF announcing after their recent meeting that the television industry can’t pay the price for the escalating budgets in the film industry, Milan Jaleel, the President of Kerala Film Producers Association, retorts that it is not the film industry but the television industry which actually brought on this crisis.
He says, “With the advent of too many channels in Malayalam, the competition among these channels to secure the satellite rights for superstar movies increased and the satellite right rates suddenly rose from Rs 50 lakh to about Rs 3.5 crore.
” Describing films an indispensable entity for the television industry, Milan says the few television channels who have raised the banner of revolt cannot afford to ignore superstar movies, irrespective of the cost.
He even tips off, “With many channels getting ready to launch, I am sure the rates for the channel rights are going to increase further.” (courtesy: Keerthy Ramachandran & Deccan Chronicle)
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Launch last August. Its claim to fame: Independence from any political party. A new channel – Puthiya Thalaimurai (PT) – has been making waves in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. For years, politics, entertainment and news comfortably shared the same bed in the state. In the ’40s and ’50s, the DMK built its cadre by gathering people in street corners, reading and interpreting news for them. When cinema became popular, they mixed propaganda with the art – Anna and Karunanidhi through their screenplays, and MGR and Jayalalithaa through screen presence. The tradition continued in the era of television too. Sun TV functioned out of the campus of the DMK headquarters for most of its existence, and now that space is occupied by Kalaignar TV. To know how bad DMK is, watch Jaya, and to know how bad AIADMK is, watch Sun is the balance of media equation in TN.
PT launched a magazine, Puthiya Thalaimurai, that targeted youngsters, but without depending on the usual fare of cinema and politics. The success of the magazine – its circulation is about a lakh now – indicated that an independent news channel focussing on real issues like education, health and infrastructure would succeed. PT’s campaign started on August 15 last year, with a tagline that translates to ‘freedom to know the truth,’ and the channel itself was launched nine days later.
“When we were thinking about the idea, almost everyone I spoke to said it won’t work here. They said distribution will be difficult. They said there will be political pressure. But here we are,” says P Sathyanarayanan, president, Puthiya Thalaimurai.
Read the full report by N.S. Ramnath/ Forbes India in Money control.com: New competition for Tamil Nadu TV channels
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