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DB Varsity launches MA in convergent media

By Fr. Abhilash V.J
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Guwahati, Apr. 6. Guwahati: Assam Don Bosco University (ADBU) in northeast India is launching for the first time an MA degree program in Convergent Media and Technologies.
The six-year-old University in Guwahati, claims the course starting in July is ''one of its kind post graduate degree program in backpack journalism to prepare citizen journalists.''

''In our technology dominated world, the professions are multi-tasked and require one to be an expert in more than one narrow specialism,'' says Head of Mass Communication Department at ADBU Fr C.M. Paul.

The priest journalist noted the increasingly greater demands on modern media persons to become a producer, a director, a cameo actor, a scriptwriter, a copywriter, a video/audio editor, a PR campaigner, a cameraman, a journalist and even an advocacy enthusiast.

''The program,'' says Fr Paul, former president of Signis India (National Catholic Association for radio, television and cinema), ''is designed to equip one with a thorough knowledge of the entire media spectrum from journalism to video production, traditional to mobile media, the gamut of social media, citizen journalism, development communication and the world of public relations.''

''For those who are not so social media savvy,'' suggests Fr Paul who served a term with the Central Board of Film Certification in Kolkata, ''there is another world out there for critical commentators to keep a tab on the ways in which media reflects, represents and influences the world.''

''The new media platforms - Blog, Vlog, Twitter, YouTube, Podcast, FacBook and other social media networks are so varied, pervasive, influential and fast changing that it is a continuous challenge to keep pace with the latest trends in media-related industries,'' tells Fr Paul, former editor of the oldest Catholic weekly in India The Herald from Calcutta (established in 1839) explaining what motivated his team in putting together the challenging syllabus.

The post graduate degree program takes one through hands on exercises in the glamour of the advertising gimmicks, the way a news story gathers steam, and help students try their hands at getting a film from script to screen, and cause waves. Though it sounds a tall claim, Fr Paul says, ''I'm confident, it can be done.''

Admission to the course opened in April for candidates with graduation in any stream with a minimum 50 percent marks in the aggregate. Applicants will have entrance test and interview on July 28 (tentatively) in Guwahati, and selected candidates will start classes on July 31, 2014.END
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