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International Conference on New Media enhances cross-cultural collaboration

Dec 5, 2013

Dr. Yusuf Kalyango, far left, moderates a panel session of Scripps College of Communication faculty on the changing U.S. media environment at the International Conference on the Changing Landscape in Communication with New Media Technologies. From the right, Dr. Jatin Srivastava, Professor Mary Rogus and Dr. Michelle Ferrier, associate dean for innovation.

International Conference on New Media enhances cross-cultural collaboration

ATHENS, Ohio (Dec. 5, 2013)—New media scholars from six countries presented nearly 85 research papers at an International Conference titled Changing Landscape in Communication with New Media Technologies in Tirupati, India, a joint conference coordinated by The Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University and The Women’s University (Sri Padmavati Mahila Visvavidyalayam) Department of Communications in India.

Four Scripps College of Communication faculty traveled to Tirupati, India from November 20-22, 2013 as moderators, discussants and theme panelists for the proceedings focused around new media technologies and social engagement, education and public health, mobile media and technologies and new media and political discourse. Yusuf Kalyango, associate professor in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and director of the International Institute for Journalism, and Jatin Srivastava, assistant professor in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, organized the conference with their counterpart Professor Peddiboyina Vijaya Lakshmi of the Women’s University, Tirupati in India.

The conference focused on critical themes concerning the fast-changing landscape in new media communication technologies. Participants presented on the opportunities and challenges of new media, probed how the new media phenomenon can facilitate social mobility, curb ignorance and address critical issues of this era such as poverty, public health, governance, ethical issues and political instability.

“This is the fourth annual conference that the Institute for International Journalism (IIJ) has organized in conjunction with other local universities in different parts of the world. It reflects our growing global engagement to collaborate with other institutions to bring together scholars from around the world to examine, explore, critique, and address challenges concerning communicating public health issues, crisis communication, new media issues, global peace and democratization,” said Kalyango. 

“We are privileged to have journalism and media scholars from more than 70 countries as partners who can invest their time and resources to put together these important research conferences and workshops. This is made possible in part by the continued annual support from the Study of the U.S. Institute (SUSI) on Journalism and Media, which a grant project funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Study of the U.S. Branch.” 

Professor Lakshmi was pleased at the diversity of national and international delegates at the conference.

"The conference provided an opportunity to share various research projects of new media technology in the field of education, health and social engagement. The discussions during the conference emphasized the need to take up research on interdisciplinary areas of new media, which helps to change the world we live in for the better," she said.

Michelle Ferrier, associate dean for innovation, research/creative activity and international programs at the Scripps College of Communication, led the U.S. delegation, which included scholars from Auburn University, the University of Memphis and the University of Illinois as well as Mary Rogus, associate professor in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.  

"This joint conference has been critical to the discourse on new media on many levels. The conference organizers have modeled here the kind of international collaboration and scholarly exchange that is critical as new technologies become diffused throughout our global community," Ferrier said.

"Whether it is the use of social media strategies for commercial use, the use of games as a socialization and enculturation tool, or the impact of political advertisements on the opinions of voters, the scholars here at this conference have helped us to understand the impact, use and effects of these new media technologies,” she added.

Dr. Binod Agrawal, professor of eminence and director general of the TALEEM Research Foundation in India attended the conference and gave high praise to the conference presenters and organizers.

"The quality of presentations and discussions were stimulating and opened up future opportunities of collaboration," he said. 

Leon Dash, director of the Center for Advanced Study at the University of Illinois, agreed.

“As it was meant to do, the conference highlighted the significant impact New Media is having on all spheres of human interaction. New Media networks for better or worse have changed our politics, improved public health information, impacted our social activities, broadened the dissemination of news and accelerated how all levels of the world’s societies receive information,” he said.  

The U.S. delegates also traveled to New Delhi, India, to discuss collaborative research and student engagement at the Indian Institute for Mass Communications, one of the premier institutes for training, teaching and research in mass communications in India.