The Bhawanipur Education Society College (IQAC and Department of Journalism and Mass Communication) organized a half-day seminar on “Quality in Journalism” in joint collaboration with the Indian Association for Productivity, Quality and Reliability (IAPQR) on November 30, 2019 at the BESC college campus. The seminar was organized to mark the observance of “World Quality Day”, an annual event formally recognized by the United Nations in 1990 to celebrate professional quality every year on the month of November. Keeping into consideration the growing quality concerns in journalism practices, this year’s edition focussed on the same. More than 100 participants registered themselves for attending the seminar. The eminent resource persons for the seminar were Mr. Snehasis Sur (President, Press Club, Kolkata), Dr. Buroshiva Dasgupta (Former Director of Media Science inseveral institutions in India and abroad) and Mrs. Shikha Mukerjee (Former Resident Editor, Times ofIndia,Kolkata). The seminar was moderated by Ms. Shaswati Das (Department Coordinator, Journalism and Mass Communication, BESC).
In the inaugural session, Dr. Suchandra Chakravarty (Teacher-In-Charge, The BhawanipurEducation Society College) began the proceedings by emphasizing on the importance of the subject for the seminar in the current times where the institution of the fourth estate is being constantly put to scrutiny in relation to its impartiality and accuracy in the wake of unethical journalistic practices such as fake news and paid news. Mr. R. Himatsingka (President, IAPQR and Mr. Asis Kr. Chattopadhyay (Pro-Vice Chancellor for AcademicAffairs, University of Calcutta) too put forth their observations on the subject and expressed hope that the seminar would also give way to finding some answers than merely raising questions. Mr. Asis Kr. Chattopadhyay also shed light on the multiple aspects from which the subject of journalism quality may be approached, analysed and understood. Mr. S.P. Mukherjee, (Mentor, IAPQR)spoke on the importance of thequality of content communicated by the journalists to the viewers or readers directly or indirectly and the various attributes of quality journalistic content. Drawing reference to Aristotle, he emphasized on the utility ofethos, logos and pathosin journalism towards maintaining journalistic standards. Mr. Tathagata Sen (IQAC Coordinator, BESC) spoke on how the over-abundance of information quantity has led to the deterioration of information quality in modern-day journalism.
The first resource person of the seminar, Mr. Snehasis Sur emphasized on the significant transformation of the journalism profession in terms of content, medium and practice in the new millennium and shed light on the positives and challenges instrumented by these transformations upon the quality of journalism.Mr. Buroshiva Dasgupta observed that the media has lost its credibility today despite the plethora of information platforms primarily owing to the emerging culture of indiscriminate information sharing on various new media platforms rather than information deep-searching and fact cross-checking by the common masses. Mrs. Shikha Mukerjee also stressed on the importance of a plurality of news sources in maintaining the quality of journalism. She also touched upon the challenges and constraints involved in the measurement of journalism quality or excellence. Mr. Kapil Kumar Bhattacharyya(Faculty, The BhawanipurEducation Society) also spoke briefly on the need for a paradigm shift from the dominant discourse of “Quality of Journalism” to the critical discourse of “Quality in Journalism” and emphasized that it is impossible to measure the quality in journalism unless a collective stock is taken of the quality of all the associated factors such as media economy, media technology, media content as also the content creators and seekers. The panel discussion by the resource persons was moderated by Dr. Biswanath Das (General Secretary, IAPQR).
The panel discussion was followed by an interactive session with the audience which threw further light on the subject concerned. Ms. Shaswati Das summed up the discussions put forth by the delegates while the Vote of Thanks for the seminarwas given by Mr. Aniruddha Banerjee (Life Member, IAPQR).The seminar also witnessed the e-unveiling of the November, 2019 Issue of The Bhawanipur Beacon, the newsletter published jointly by the students of the departments of Journalism and Mass Communication and English, The Bhawanipur Education Society College.