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Sitaraman Shankar inaugurates Mediacon 2019

Mediacon 2019 was inaugurated on February 14 in the Xavier Hall of St Joseph’s College. The event was kicked off with a talk by Sitaraman Shankar, the editor of Deccan Herald who elaborated on this year’s theme for the conference, Digital Storytelling. He explained the importance of embracing the digital platform, highlighting the slow degradation of print media across the world except in India.


He also pointed out the differences between print and digital institutions in terms of hiring policies, the editorial process, decision-making and even presentation of content. Shankar illustrated how to write for the digital platform, where the language should be direct and precise, and headlines should have the necessary keywords that respond to search engines.

He also explained how social media plays a vital role in digital storytelling as each user is encouraged to share stories, irrespective of their relevance in the bigger picture. He also spoke about the accessibility of other formats when on digital platform, like videos or podcasts and how they have changed the traditional method of storytelling. Concluding with a Q&A session, Shankar’s talk was followed by a panel discussion on the Role of New Media and Digital Narratives in Community Development. The discussion, moderated by Meera Venkatesan, featured dignitaries like, Karthik Srinivasan, Vasanthi Hariprakash and Vinayak Joshi as they spoke about how digital media influenced them to move away from mainstream news and focus on communities ignored by these organisations.

They explained how the accessibility to means of production lets independent opinion leaders voice opinions of the repressed without the fear of being censored by an organization.


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