By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury, Head- School of Media
The major strength of media courses tomorrow has to be that the Media School introduces every channel of communication (online, offline, on-air, on-ground and on-mobile), every platform of media (television, newspaper, radio, portal, outdoor, events, social media, mobile), every function of communication (educate, inform, entertain, infotain, edutain, interact, persuade, engage, till empower), and every segment of Indian media with their recent trends, turnover, recruitment and attrition factors, skills-sets needed, and infra-structure required at the start of learning and working in this domain. This is unlike the earlier approach to only films or advertising or only journalism (that too print or electronic) education of the past.
Also, programs need go in details to examine the strong phenomenon of Convergence in media technologies, how various technologies of shooting, editing, sound and graphics are getting integrated on one platform. The education delivered must also explain the reality integration of media consumption patterns in the same set of media consumers. Each individual today consume multiple media and is not loyal to one format or medium.
The new age futuristic courses must explore the seamless multi-media content presentation, content-technology-business integration, multi-media ownership, and convergent media production and sales skills.
Thus media education hence shall not be for yesterday, not even for today, but oriented towards tomorrow when we move into the age of Mobile Multi Media Content Creators, be it in print, on air, or online.
Integrated Brand Communication Learning:
Products are made in factory, but Brands are created in the mind of the Consumers. This process of creation of the perception of brands in the mind of the consumers is Branding and Marketing Communication and it cannot be done by one piece, one medium, one activity, one creative only. Branding needs that the uniformly positioned yet variously packaged creative communication of the brand concerned reaches the target audience in various possible ways and touch-points that the intended audiences are connected with. It may include the seamlessly integration of online, offline, on-ground, on-air and on-mobile communication taking the brand to its target audiences. This is often called IMC or IBC depending upon whether the focus is on a marketing activity or the brand as a whole. And it needs a concerted understanding of all media platforms, all communication functions, fundamentals of Brand Management, the need and ways of integrating seamlessly all communication done for branding, & the SWOT of this process.
This integrated holistic understanding and learning of Brand Communication has to be the core approach to brand learning. And such a learning also needs several case-studies from various sectors of the economy to establish how, for example, India has been branded through Incredible India campaign, or a product branding (bike or edible oil), or a service (education, healthcare or hospitality brand). Such cases are explained and live brandcomm problems or issues taken up of the learners to give them an approach to an IMC solution.
Experiential Brick and Portal Learner Centric Educational Pedagogy
In the digital age, chalk and talk is history. Integrating digital tools into education, from school to University, is must. But which are these tools, what are their strengths and weaknesses and how to integrate the same? We need to learn about the same in our higher education curriculum itself. We need to enumerate various educational pedagogy and approaches, and then move to learn in details, with cases and tasks to apply, the concept of blending or synergizing between the class room/library brick and mortar education with internet/cyber-based click and portal learning and experiential learning by doing. This Experiential Brick and Portal approach is all the more significant in creative domains like media, communication, design et al. In these domains, knowledge is evolved from practice and practice evolves every day.
Today’s creative education exhibits in great details how we can move from a teacher/syllabus-centric education to learner/learning-centric education: from school to University, and how teachers have to be facilitators at the minimum and mentors at the best.
This revolutionary approach to teaching and learning of creative professions is at the heart of our education in a futuristic media and communication school.