Monday, August 9, 2010

Print Media

The power of the press arises from its ability of appealing to the minds of the people and being
capable of moving their hearts. Despite the fast growth of the electronic media, the printed word
continues to play a crucial role in disseminating information and mobilizing people. However, it has been noticed that the Press have not evinced the requisite interest in developmental communication. In order to correct the imbalance noticed in the media coverage of Rural Development Programmes and to ensure that these Programmes are portrayed in proper perspective, several steps were taken during the year to sensitize the media about issues relating to rural development.

The interaction of the Ministry with the Press is mainly through the Press Information Bureau.
During the year under review, press conferences, press tours and workshops were organized
through PIB, with the financial assistance from the Ministry, so as to sensitize press persons about Rural Development Programmes. An Editor’s Conference on Social Sector Issues was also
organized (through PIB) during the year. For the purpose of creating awareness in
respect of rural development programmes among the general public and opinion makers and for
disseminating information about new initiatives, the Ministry issued advertisements at regular intervals in National and Regional Press through the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity. To enable people in rural areas to access information on Rural Development Programmes, a booklet ‘Gram Vikas – Programmes at a Glance’ was brought out in simple language in Hindi, English and Regional languages. In order to ensure easy accessibility of the booklet 10 million copies were printed and distributed in rural areas through DRDAs. The leaflets on the Programmes of the Ministry in Hindi, English and Regional languages
were also printed and distributed upto Panchayat level across the country.

The Ministry prepared a Wall Calendar for the year 2002 with each sheet depicting its major
schemes, for distribution upto the Panchayat level all over the country. Desk Calendars were also brought out during the year and efforts were made to improve the quality of communication through ‘Kurukshetra’ a monthly journal devoted to rural development issues, which is brought out on behalf of the Ministry by the Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. In addition to serving as a forum of free, frank and serious discussion on problems related with rural development (with focus on rural uplift), the journal projects the programmes and policies of the Ministry.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Needs and Possibilities for Communication Education in Seminaries

If the purpose of a seminary is to educate people for ministry one might first look into this
purpose a little bit deeper. The word “educare” has as its roots the Latin word “ducere’ which
means “to lead”, to give direction. “E-ducare” might therefore be interpreted as to “lead out”, to
give direction. It would mean to lead out of ignorance to knowledge and understanding.
Education thus might be interpreted as to prepare people for life and to equip them with the
knowledge and means necessary for life. It means for the Seminary to enable the students to
know where to go and what to do in their future work as ministers to the Word of God.

Education includes from elementary years reading and writing and other communication skills as essential for understanding and mastering life. When we talk about communication education in the Seminary and theological schools it is good to keep these basics in mind. Usually when we talk about “Communication Education” in the Seminary we think immediately of mass media or the modern means of communication which includes especially technical tools. Most media courses or even those more general on communication aim at equipping the seminarian in the use and technique of the modern means of communication for his/her ministry.

This, however, should not be the first purpose in the seminary. It should have been done already
at the college level before entering the seminary for graduate studies. Today it should be part of
any educational program to enable every student to critically judge and use the modern means of communication. This is part of the Communication/media education which in turn should be part of any school curriculum. It includes having a general knowledge about the ways and means
modern media operate like e.g the essential criteria to judge the quality of a news item, a TV
program or a film. It is to enable people to become informed and responsible recipients. Communication Education in the seminary should be already on a more advanced level and
should be able to build on the general media education in college and elementary.

Programs in the seminary should slowly lead the seminarian to the proper and active use of communication for ministry because s/he is part and parcel of the modern communication world. This, however,
includes not only modern means and technology. Proper communication preparation for ministry starts already long before and is based on the essentials of human communication.