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“Festival of Thinkers”: Lecture series hosted by SIU

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Pune, January 12: ‘Festival of Thinkers', a student seminar series presented by Symbiosis International University, was hosted at the Lavale campus by Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, PG, Pune.

This year's eminent speaker was Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai, Consulting Editor, TV Today Network and a celebrated journalist and writer. The lecture series sought to facilitate an interaction between students and Mr. Sardesai, who spoke on 'The future of media in the age of the internet.'

Ms. Vidya Yeravdekar, the Principal Director of Symbiosis Society, welcomed the speakers and the audience with her address on the university's tradition of facilitating academia-industry interactions at frequent intervals.

“Festival of Thinkers”: Lecture series by SIU

Elaborating on the same, Dr.Rajani Gupte, the Vice Chancellor of Symbiosis International University, remarked how Symbiosis International University has programs well equipped to train students in the media industry, such as Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, PG, Pune's MA (Journalism / Audio-visual) program that was ranked second in the country by Outlook magazine and the MBA (Communication Management) program that was recently awarded the IMC Gold award.

Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai, one of India's most respected journalists, was accompanied by Dr. Dilip Padgaonkar, former editor, Times of India. Presenting his views on how traditional media has changed over the years, Mr. Padgaonkar said, "Once satellite television became the phenomenon it is today, newspapers have had to adapt to the trend. There is a newer challenge now; social media. Social media can be looked at from a dynamic perspective, with an inflow of information, sometimes dangerous. "
Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai, the chief speaker for the day, had the audience completely engaged in his brilliant discourse on his life and journey in the field of journalism.

“Festival of Thinkers”: Lecture series by SIU

On a nostalgic note, he talked about how his career has witnessed the rise of several notable individuals, like Narendra Modi and Sachin Tendulkar, from young men to the personages they are today. Drawing anecdotes from his recent book ‘2014 : The Election That Changed India', he recounted the rise of the current Prime Minister and several instances of personal interaction with him.

"The power of television and the power of the camera have resulted in establishing public memory," he mentioned, "Large parts of the country are now covered because the media is there. That is the difference that 24x7 television has made. There is simply no place to hide.

With the advent of social media, the news has moved to hashtags." He passionately talked about how television news today has emerged as a diluted version of reality, saying, "The media is more feared today than it is respected."

"News television has created a norm that only controversy will sell. A dangerous trend of caricaturing and war mongering exists, converting the studio into a courtroom. We are in the age where Television Rating Points, noise and sensation sells. If journalism becomes about issues that excite, we are heading for dangerous times."

“Festival of Thinkers”: Lecture series by SIU

Moving on to the subject of social media he focused on the power of a medium which makes content platform agnostic and urged the students to explore it to the maximum. "Become story tellers," he said, "don't let the news channels decide the hierarchy of news relevant to you."

On a concluding note, as advice for the future media professionals of the country, he reiterated, "The media must raise the bar to survive the test of time. Change the definition of Television Rating Points to Television Respect Points to gain credibility. What can we do to make the media better? We need to ask ourselves."

During the riveting session of questions from students, he answered several queries on varied topics such as the corporatization of media, the effect of social media on modern day national elections and the future of print media.

On this high note, the students were left inspired to change the definition of the media as it is today and how it is consumed. Piyush Darwade, a student of Public Relations at Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication had to say, "The worlds of print and digital have merged, and today's address has shown us how the future of media affects and can be affected by us."

About the event
The "Festival of Thinkers" is a lecture series hosted by Symbiosis International University as part of its endeavor to facilitate student-industry interactions by inviting eminent thinkers from across various walks of life such as sports, politics, media and entertainment.

Noted personalities such as Amitabh Bachchan, Nitin Gadkari and Rajat Sharma have addressed the students through this platform in the past. As per the tradition, Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai was the distinguished speaker for this year on Sunday, 11th January 2015.

About Symbiosis International University
Symbiosis International University is a premier Indian university established in 1971 by Padma Bhushan Shri S. B. Mujumdar. Since then, it has grown to be a multidisciplinary university conducting under-graduate as well as post-graduate courses across faculties such as arts, law, media and communication, management, computer sciences, healthcare and design, to name a few. For further information, visit

About Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication (PG), Pune
Symbiosis Institute of Media & Communication has evolved from being a journalism college at the inception to a mass communication college in some years. What has remained constant is its ability to attract talent across all faculties- students, academicians and industry professionals. For further information, visit

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