While Pankaj Jain talks about fact check, Dr Jatin from USA, Dr Sharon from Malaysia and  Zakaria from Ghana analyse implications of online learning

NOIDA: Day three of  ICAN 4 began with Master Class 2 on one of the most required subjects of the current time ‘Fact checking’ with Mr Pankaj Jain, founder and owner of SMHoaxSlayer, a website to debunking and ridding social media of fake news as an expert.

In the opening remark, Dr Ambrish Saxena, Professor and Dean, DME Media School and Convener of ICAN 4 pointed out that the manipulation of facts and data is widespread, especially in times of COVID-19. “There is a need for media literacy and verification of facts to tackle the menace of misinformation and disinformation,” he said

Mr Pankaj Jain spoke at length on how facts on news, images, tweets  and YouTube can be verified with  tools like Google reverse image search, Custom search on Google, Higher image resolution, Twitter advanced search, Higher image resolution, Invid, Deep Fake and many more tools.

While answering questions on the laws against fake news, Mr Pankaj said, “Although there are some laws, only heightened vigilance and awareness can check the spread of fake news”. “While media houses do have their fact-checking teams, they mostly comprise young interns and not experienced people. As a result, many times misleading information are aired, and people believe them,” Mr Jain pointed to a question on the role of media houses in fact-checking.

Dr Susmita Bala, Professor and Head, DME Media School cautioned everyone by stating that as media people, cross-checking information is essential, especially in these difficult times of COVID-19. Mohit Kishore Vatsa, Assistant Professor, DME Media School, moderated the session. Abhishek Mishra of DME Media School did anchoring for the session.


Technical Session II

The second session of the day was a Technical Session II on the theme ‘Communication through Cinema and social transformation’, chaired by Dr Anita Parihar, Expert in TV Production, Direction and Scripting; Visiting Faculty in Mumbai and Pune Universities and Colleges and Ms Manmeet Kaur Assistant Professor, DME Media School as the co-chair.

The Session focused on research topics like Indian New Wave Cinema, Freedom of Expression: Issues and Trends in Hindi Cinema, Cinema and Social Transformation and Centre Acquiring Revisionary Powers on Films with CBFC Certificate and much more.

While introducing the session, Dr Ambrish Saxena opined that the relevance and impact of cinema as a channel of communication of mass media on the geopolitical and social fabric of the country could not be undermined. Cinema remains a source and harbinger of change for years to come.

Appreciating the conference of such a large scale, Dr Parihar said, “ICAN has been like a benchmark and has been reinvigorating to mind. Attending these types of conferences has become crucial to our survival as media teachers and media practitioners.”

Dr Susmita Bala appreciated the hard work put in by the scholars in their researches and advised them to incorporate the valuable suggestions given by Dr Anita Parihar.

Hani Khurana, a first-year student, anchored the session.

Master Class-3

ICAN 4 was then followed by Master Class 3 on a very pertinent topic-‘Artificial Intelligence in Journalism’ by Dr Uma Shankar Pandey, Associate Professor and Head, Surendranath College for Women, Calcutta University and IAMCR Ambassador India.

Dr Pandey started with a poll on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in context with journalism and then elaborated the concept through a PPT presentation. He decoded the concept of automated content, automation editors, use of the algorithm and ethical concept of AI.

Dr Pandey said, “There have been talks about artificial intelligence being a threat to jobs but looking at its benefits, it can be seen that based on a minimum amount of input, artificial intelligence can do wonders. It can create poems from a single word, enable us to draw automatically and find adequate images and even its scope is endless in the field of journalism also.”

Dr Saxena, while emphasising the need to discuss concepts like AI, recalled the time when people were reluctant to use computers. “People were scared that there will be no jobs after the introduction of computers, but the story is different now. So it is important to have deliberations on futuristic technologies,” he added.

Dr Susmita Bala agreed with Dr Pandey that AI is no threat to humans. Mr Pramod Kumar Pandey, Assistant Professor, DME Media School, moderated the session, Divyasri, a first-year student anchored the session.

Panel Discussion 1

Earlier, the second day of the conference concluded with Panel Discussion-1 on the most the suitable theme of the current scenario – ‘People on Zoom: Social implications of online learning’ moderated by Dr JatinSrivastava, Associate Professor, Ohio University and Director, Institute for International Journalism, E. W. Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University, USA. The Panel comprised of eminent academicians from centres of higher leanings of international repute, including Dr Sharon Wilson, Assistant Professor, University Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia; Dr AnandPradhan, Professor, Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi, India and Mr ZakariaTankoMusah, Lecturer/Legal Practitioner, Ghana Institute of Journalism, Ghana.

Prof (Dr) Ambrish Saxena, initiated the session by saying,“This is the topic, everyone present here can identify with. We in India have been facing multiple challenges in online teaching. But we have learnt to adjust and adapted to the latest technological innovations to facilitate and make our teaching much better.”

The Panel discussed challenges of online teaching whereby each panellist described their own experience with online teaching. The discussion also revolved around how the mentor and mentee relationship has changed.

Dr Sharon talking about the changing role of a teacher, said, “With online teaching, our roles have changed from that of a teacher to technician and counsellor. We are not only supporting the students in their day-to-day technical hassles, we are also counselling them on adjustments made due to online mode of teaching”.

Dr Pradhan championed the cause of physical classroom teaching by stating that a physical classroom is a liberated space where teaching is concentrated not only on the curriculum but also on many issues discussed in the classroom. This is the biggest limitation of online teaching.

Mr Zakaria, while looking at the possibilities to prepare students for the change, stated,”We have to come up with the policy that could recognise the online learning. We must start thinking of providing them with the transparent skills to become champions of the change.”

Dr JatinSrivastava spoke about challenges faced by the students and teachers in the US. “Economic constraints and differential treatment in the allocation of resources is most challenging aspect faced as a result of online teaching in the United States,” he mentioned.

Dr SusmitaBala, in her concluding remarks, agreed to most of the panellists’ views and said that these are difficult times, and we have to make most of whatever is available to us.

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