Monday, November 28, 2011

CfPs: UGC-Sponsored National Seminar on Journalism in the Age of New Media, Jan 10-11, 2012; at SNCW, Kolkata

UGC-Sponsored National Seminar on Journalism in the Age of New Media

January 10-11, 2012

Organized by Department of Journalism & Mass Communication, Surendranath College for Women, Kolkata, India in Association with University of Calcutta.

Call for Papers
Abstracts Due: December 12, 2011
Full Papers Due: December 27, 2011
Seminar Dates : January 10-11, 2012
Registration Fee: Rs 500.
Venue: Gitanjali Auditorium, Kolkata

This national seminar will explore intersections between new media, journalism and technology in order to enhance our understanding of the influence of information and communication technology, specially internet technology on traditional journalism. Are new media fundamentally changing the practice of democracy? Recent years have seen a significant transition in the role computer mediated communications play in the political sphere. A technological revolution driven by economic and market forces is undermining settled practices, established institutions, and traditional communications norms.
The digital revolution in information and communication technologies has created the platform for a free flow of information, ideas and knowledge across the globe. The new media (internet) has been able to incorporate all other means of communication the newspaper, magazine, radio, television, cinema, photographic image, and video. The consequence is the Internet divergence from mass communication. Not only has it led to normative rethinking on the traditional role of the press, it has also led to the adaptation of publication roles. Apart from the more apparent evolution of the content in mainstream mass media, it has also led to a rethinking of the role of the media professionals. Added to this is the greater 'interiority' and also 'interactivity' of the audience , which is no longer regarded as a passive entity.
The hyper-local media is now accessible on the international platform. New media outlets have now made it possible for highly differentiated local discourse to be available to a wider transnational media. Interest groups now easily access alternative voices that were hitherto available only to a smaller community audience, across national boundaries. Apart from a plethora of content available for dissemination, new technology also makes it possible for patterns of similar events and issues to be associated across various societies. Solutions to local problems are no longer restricted to the community themselves but are picked up by interest groups, the world over and projected as exemplars.
Classical theories of mass communications are being reworked for the new media, because of its structural differences. The new media has also removed passivity among the media audience by enabling simultaneous reception, alteration and redistribution of cultural objects. It dislocates communicative action from the posts of the nations, provides instantaneous global contact and inserts the late modern subject into a machine apparatus that is networked.Marshal McLuhan had first associated technology with content in his celebrated treatise. He outlined four different media cultures. The first was the ancient culture of oral communication, exemplified by many of the old Sanskrit texts followed by a literature culture using the phonetic alphabet and a handwritten script which coexisted with the oral culture. The third progression, according to McLuhan described as 'The Gutenberg Galaxy' was that of mass-produced mechanical printing. Finally we are in the midst of what is known as the culture of the 'electric media' — radio, television and computers.
But as we have seen earlier, computer mediated communication provides a separate media culture altogether. The important characteristics of the new media are that media texts are dematerialized in the sense that they are separated from their physical — newsprint — form. The data can be compressed into very small spaces and it can be accessed at very high speeds in non-linear ways.
The seminar, in addition to the usual program of contributed presentations, posters and invited presentations, the main conference will include a selection of keynote talks from prominent media educators and professionals.

Suggested topics for papers include, but are not restricted to, the following:
  • Alternative journalism
  • Analyzing the relationship between new media and mainstream media
  • Best practices in online journalism
  • Business models for news
  • Challenges to journalism education
  • Changes in journalists' professional identity
  • Changes in the relationship between journalists and the public
  • Changes in workflows and news production routines
  • Changing relationship between editors and reporters
  • Citizen journalism
  • Conflict of Interests in Journalism
  • Democratization of Communication
  • Digitization and journalism practice
  • Doing more with less resources
  • Education, ICT and Media
  • Ethical and legal issues related to globally accessible journalism
  • Ethical Issues in Journalism
  • Globalizing tendencies of Indian journalism
  • Human computer interaction; social media tools
  • Innovative news formats
  • Inter-Media Rivalry
  • Internet and Participatory culture
  • Marketization of news
  • Media Ecology
  • Media and Education
  • Media Literacy
  • New social media applications; interfaces; interaction techniques
  • Participatory journalism
  • Political Economy of ICTs
  • Politics of access and transparency in E-Governance
  • Psychological, personality-based and ethnographic studies of new media
  • Qualitative and quantitative studies of new media
  • Social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.) and news
  • Soft news, infotainment and political life
  • The commoditization of news
  • The effects of the changing nature of journalism on democracy
  • The impact of new technologies on reporting
  • The Implications of Cross Media Ownership
  • Transnational journalism in India

Online Submission of Abstracts

Please submit your abstracts and papers via the conference management system, EasyChair.
Kindly create a username and a password to access the system. Save your password since you will need it to access the system. Click the link below to submit abstract online.

All accepted papers and abstracts will be published in the conference proceedings. Send me an email at or call me at +919433180755 for any clarifications. Spot registration is welcome. Local accommodation can be arranged for Rs 300-400 per person on a twin sharing basis at hotels close to the seminar venue. Prior booking is advised.

Kolkata, the third largest city in India is regarded as its cultural capital. It is the only city in India to have produced Nobel laureates. Rabindranath Tagore, Mother Teresa and Amartya Sen are all identified with Kolkata. It was the capital of British India till 1911. It is regarded as one of India's busiest tourist destinations. Mid-January is the best time to be in Kolkata with minimum temperatures around 12degrees and the maximum around 25 degrees Celsius. The seminar venue at 24, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Kolkata-9 is very close to the Sealdah Railway station. It is a 10 minute walk from the University of Calcutta, College Street campus and 4 km from Howrah station. The city airport is just 15 km away. Being located in central Kolkata, access to different parts of the city is extremely convenient.

Uma Shankar Pandey
Seminar Convenor

Thursday, November 3, 2011

UNESCO launched Global Open Access Portal

UNESCO launched Global Open Access Portal

The Global Open Access Portal (GOAP) [], aiming at presenting a top level view of Open Access to scientific information, was launched at a special side event organized during the36th session of the UNESCO General Conference, on Tuesday 1 November 2011, at Paris Headquarters.

The Global Open Access Portal (GOAP) presents a snapshot of the status of Open Access (OA) to scientific information around the world.

For countries that have been more successful in implementing Open Access, the portal highlights critical success factors and aspects of the enabling environment. For countries and regions that are still in the early stages of Open Access development, the portal identifies key players, potential barriers and opportunities.

The portal has country reports from over 148 countries with weblinks to over 2000 initiatives/projects in Member States. The portal is supported by an existing Community of Practice (CoP) on Open Access on the WSIS Knowledge Communities Platform that has over 1400 members.

The GOAP is a knowledge portal that has the following features:
  • Country-wise distilled knowledge on the status of Open Access
  • Key organizations engaged in OA in Member States
  • Thematic focus areas of OA
  • Important publications on OA coming from different regions of the world
  • Critical assessment of major barriers to OA in each country
  • Potential of OA in UNESCO Member States
  • Funding and deposit mandates
  • Links to OA initiatives in the world
The Global Open Access Portal (GOAP), launched together with the revamped Open Training Platform (OTP) and the first UNESCO Open Educational Resources (OER) Platform, provides the information for policy-makers to learn about the global OA environment and to view their country's status, and understand where and why Open Access has been most successful.

Development of the Global Open Access Portal has been made possible with support received from the Governments of Columbia, Denmark, Norway, and the United States. This GOAP will be a work in progress, and shall be further improved with the support received from the community of OA practitioners.

Open Access is at the heart of UNESCO's mandate to provide universal access to information and knowledge, and the UNESCO Open Access programme shall continue to facilitate policy dialogue in Member States, share knowledge and best practices in the field of Open Access, and build and share local capacities through North-South and South-South co-operation to build knowledge societies for sustainable development.

Source: UNESCO

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Launch of the UNESCO Report "Engineering: Issues, Challenges and Opportunities for Development"

Launch of the UNESCO Report "Engineering: Issues, Challenges and Opportunities for Development"

Paris: UNESCO Publishing, 2010, ISBN 978-92-3-104156-3

Engineers create knowledge, technology and infrastructure. Our knowledge societies and economies were built by engineers and much of the history of civilisation is the history of engineering.
Engineering is so omnipresent and pervasive in our lives that it is often overlooked by policy makers and the public. In many countries fewer and fewer young people are going into engineering, and there are worldwide concerns about declining human capacity and the consequences for poverty reduction and sustainable development. Reports of shortages of engineers in key sectors are common.
This is compounded by the brain-drain of engineers from developing countries and from the profession.
These issues are linked and provide an opportunity for change: the public perception of engineering reflects the changing needs of engineering, and need for engineering to change, and young people are concerned about global issues and attracted to engineering as a means to address them. The report will share information, experience, practical ideas and examples for policy-makers, decision-takers, planners and governments to promote the application of engineering to important global agendas. It will examine: the context of engineering; areas of engineering; the engineering profession; a review of engineering around the world; the future of engineering; capacity needs; engineering and technical education and training systems; and applications of engineering.

Fellowships in Sustainability Science at Harvard University, 2012-2013

Fellowships in Sustainability Science at Harvard University, 2012-2013

What is the Sustainability Science Fellowship?
The Sustainability Science Program at Harvard University offers doctoral, post-doctoral, and mid-career fellowships in Sustainability Science. The fellowships are tenable during Harvard's academic year beginning in September 2012. Fellowships are available for 10 months (September 2012-May 2013), 12 months (September 2012-August 2013), the fall 2012 semester or spring 2013 semester (mid-career fellows only), or for two academic years (post-doctoral fellows only) (September 2012-August 2014).

What is the focus of this year's competition?
Earlier work supported by the Sustainability Science Program focused on how science and technology could help promote sustainability in the individual sectors of energy, food, water, and health. That work showed that some of the most serious constraints to sustainable development lie in the interconnections among these individual sectors: energy's growing need for water; the impacts of water use on human health; the competition for land among food, energy and conservation initiatives; and the cumulative impact of all sectoral initiatives on climate and other key environmental services. A central challenge moving forward is to develop an integrated understanding of how sectoral initiatives for sustainability can compete with and complement one another in particular regional contexts. The 2012-13 fellowship competition will therefore focus on regional initiatives pursing an integrated perspective on sustainable development in India, China and Brazil. It will also include a cross-cutting research initiative to integrate work focused on the theme of Innovation for Sustainable Development. Preference in this year's competition will be given to applicants whose proposals complement one or more of these four initiatives. The Program is also open, however, to strong proposals in any area of sustainability science.

India: Building public-private partnerships to promote sustainable development in India

Faculty leader: Rohini Pande, Mohammed Kamal Professor of Public Policy
Sustainable development, by its nature, requires government and private actors to work together. Externalities from rapid growth, such as the depletion of subsidized resources, widespread air and water pollution or unsustainable energy use, arise from a joint failure of government and industry to create an economy where the most profitable action is also best socially. The India Initiative will address sustainability problems in India of both national and global import. The motivation for this research program is to work with governments to channel the enterprising potential of the private sector to correct such externalities. The research will address questions in sustainable environmental regulation and provide evidence on how public-private partnerships can contribute to solving existing challenges. We focus on three research areas. First, existing environmental regulations are weakly enforced by possibly under-resourced regulators, leading to poor environmental quality. Second, traditional regulations, even if strengthened, are not the right tools to address many of India's pollution problems. Third, from the perspective of sustainability of resource use, India's inefficient and rapidly growing energy consumption threatens to undermine its own development by contributing to global climate change. The research team will partner with government and private institutions in order to conduct field trials of innovative environmental policies to provide rigorous evidence on the impact of these policies for sustainable development. Doctoral, post-doctoral, and mid-career candidates are encouraged to apply.

China: Energy in China: Environmental implications and management for sustainable development
Faculty leader: Henry Lee, Jassim M. Jaidah Director, Environment and Natural Resources Program
The China Initiative will address the environmental implications of electrification and other energy policies in China and explore how China can manage these implications.  Fellows will work to identify and promote policies that will contribute to thoughtful use of China's natural resources (e.g., water, land) and/or the adoption of cleaner and less carbon-intensive industrial and energy technologies. Research areas include, but are not limited to: analyzing the impact of energy and industrial policies on water scarcity; assessing barriers to the development or deployment of cleaner energy technologies; and studying the impact of industrialization on health and fragile ecosystems. Post-doctoral and mid-career candidates, especially those who speak Chinese, are particularly encouraged to apply.

Applications for the fellowship are due January 15, 2012.