ICAN3: Panel Discussion explores the role of community media in uplifting health infrastructure



NOIDA : Taking discussions further, day-6 of the International Conference ICAN3 organised by DME Media School witnessed a broadening outlook of the role of community media in the growth of the country. In the second Panel discussion of the conference, a scholastic discussion on the topic “Community Media Interventions to Voice Social and Health Issues” took place on June 26, 2020.


The panel chaired by Prof. (Dr) Kiran Bala, Dean, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, KR Mangalam University Gurugram, Haryana also had Dr Ravi K Dhar, Director, JIMS, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, Mr Ratnadeep Banerji, Author, producer radio features, Scriptwriter for TV documentaries, media archivist and science communicator, and Mr Rao Narender Yadav,  Media professional, development communication expert, Founder Director of Woodpecker International Film Festival and Executive Editor of India-Africa Today, as the panelists for the session.


Dr Kiran Bala started the discussion by introducing the role of community media. She said, “Media plays a very important role in the upliftment of the society as a whole.”


Dr Dhar shared his experiences from his various endeavours in the community media and initiated the discussion by defining democracy and its vital aspects. He said, “No government has ever bothered to care about the people they are working for, they have come from. This sheer lack of interest has trudged the progress into the wrong path.”


Dr Ambrish Saxena, Dean, DME Media School and Organising Secretary of ICAN3 reiterated the same thought and said “The government never realised the importance of health and that is why the minimum percentage of GDP was allotted for health. “When the pandemic has struck, we are realising how the entire health infrastructure is collapsing as we did not invest in the adequate number of hospitals and requirements”, he added.


Mr Rao with the help of a PowerPoint presentation explained the never explored sides of rural health. He commented, “Mass media has been talking about issues which are not relevant for the community.”


“Media is nothing but the voice of the people and it stands at large to be community messenger”, remarked Mr Banerji while explaining the importance of community media in the health infrastructure with the help of a PPT.


Citing an example, Mr Banerji pointed out the turning of the coronavirus pandemic into folklore which has led to the worshipping of ‘Corona Mai’ because of the lack of awareness.


Concluding the discussion, Dr Kiran Bala emphasized on the role of the individual in building a community and answered several queries of the inquisitive viewers. The session was moderated by Ms Manmeet Kaur, Assistant Professor, DME Media school.


The day also witnessed two technical sessions revolving around some hard-hitting topics. The first Technical session of the day focused on the topic “Sexuality, Misogyny and Crime against Women” and was chaired by Dr Manasvini M Yogi, OSD, Delhi School of Journalism, University of Delhi, and co-chaired by Ms Krishna Pandey, Assistant Professor, DME Media School. Several papers on pertinent issues were presented.


The taboo topic opened up paths to deeper discussion and Dr Susmita Bala, Head, DME Media School and Convenor of ICAN3 advocated that sex education is of utmost importance and should begin at home before it is solidly translated into the school curriculum. She also talked about transgender rights and said, “This community should not be subjugated to live in the margins of the society, they should be treated equally and given equal rights.”


The session was moderated by Ms Krishna Pandey, Assistant Professor, DME Media school and Chaitra Nambiar, a third-year BA(JMC) student anchored the session.


Second Technical session of the day touched the topic ‘New Media, Digital Ethnography and Network Communities.’ Chaired by Dr K S Arul, School of Journalism and New Media Studies (SOJNMS), Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi, and co-chaired by Ms Manasvi Maheshwari, Assistant Professor, KR Mangalam University, Gurugram, the session saw several in-depth research findings.


The session was moderated by Mr Pramod Pandey, Assistant Professor, DME Media School. Muskan Baweja, a first-year BA (JMC) student of DME, anchored the session.




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