Bathinda: The Dept. of Mass Communication & Media Studies, Central University of Punjab, Bathinda (C.U.P. Bathinda) under the patronage of Vice Chancellor Prof. Raghavendra P. Tiwari organised a Webinar on Critical Media Literacy to promote inter-religious harmony: Insights from the field. The expert speakers of this Webinar were Prof. Manisha Pathak-Shelat, Communication & Digital Platforms and Strategies Chair, Centre for Development Management & Communication, MICA, Ahmedabad and Ms. Kiran Vinod Bhatia, Doctoral Student, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Medison, USA.
The programme commenced with the Welcome Address by Dr. Chhavi Garg, In-charge Dept. of Mass Comm. & Media Studies, where she shared the achievement of the Dept. which was started in 2017. While giving the introduction of expert speakers Dr. Rubal Kanozia, mentioned that both the expert speakers have done remarkable work in the field of Media Literacy Research and wrote several books on the Handbook on Media Education Research. He added, their lecture would help students’ better conceptual understanding of the Webinar Topic.
Keynote Speaker Prof. Manisha Pathak-Shelat mentioned that every research has an objective and Media Literacy Research aims to achieve Social Justice and Equity. She based her lecture around their book titled ‘Challenging Discriminatory Practices of Religious Socialization among Adolescents: Critical Media Literacy and Pedagogies in Practice’. While putting light on her work she mentioned that our research study has helped us to identify the factors of religious discrimination that cause religious-divide in society. She further added that during this research project, we have designed some Media Literacy Pedagogies to develop critical thinking among children and to achieve inter-religious harmony between inter-faith groups. She stated that Media Literacy is very important for our society not only to identify fake news but also to recognize the fabricated content and propaganda. She stressed that to understand the overall perspective of a news story we should always examine its facts on multiple media platforms. Ms. Kiran Vinod Bhatia while sharing her research experiences of working with children & teachers in villages mentioned that ethnography as a research method allows the researcher to immerse oneself into the field and understand the ground reality. Both the researchers emphasized that bringing a change in society is difficult but some steps on the part of researchers would surely contribute to some extent towards building a peaceful and liberal society.
Towards the end, Dr. Paramveer Singh delivered the formal vote of thanks. On this occasion, Dr. Mahesh Meena was present. All the students, research scholars and faculty members of the Department attended the talk and enthusiastically interacted with resource-persons.