In what could be ascribed as a new beginning in the education city Kota known for its IIT and medical coaching, several students from rural and urban surroundings gathered together in MD Mission College to get a glimpse of the media world. However, what raised concerns was the outcome of the discussion in which they seemed scared for posting their views/opinions and news on social media, as according to them, their posts might be taken as sensitive news and may prove dangerous for them in the long run.
Should social media be avoided in present days? Should we avoid sharing religious posts? Should political following be set aside when posting on social media? Should followers be monitored by what they are writing to save themselves from their ideology? Should we avoid sensitive news?
These were the raging questions being raised by the students who had come to Kota to attend a media workshop.
The students shared how the aftereffects of posting sensitive views have left them traumatised and how they are afraid to post their views. They also shared that they have limited the use of social media for sharing any religious/sentiments topics.
Pooja, a first year student, said, “We once used to voice our opinion on each and every event, however, now we have reduced it looking at the threatening environment outside.”
Another student Ravish said, “We have started posting quotes, sports, birthday celebrations but have avoided sharing anything on festivals etc to avoid any trolling.”
Meanwhile, Sujeet Swami, an RTI activist, speaking on the occasion, said, “Social media is a tool which should be used rightly and aptly to make maximum gain out of it.”
The Constitution has given us the right to speak on anything while remaining within the limits as specified, he said and shared his story where he literally had to take upon Indian railways for getting back his refund of Rs 33 from Railways. He said he became successful in this fight due to social media which extended him a strong support.
In fact, lakhs of other railway users got their refunds due to the fight he started.
Further, he quoted the examples of Ranu Mandal who garnered immense fame after signing a song on social media, however later got her image shattered too. He said, “Social media has the power to make and break images.”
‘Baba ka Dhaba’ was another example given by him. Baba garnered huge branding but then had to apologise for shattering the image of blogger who brought him to limelight, said Swami while clarifying the doubts of the students present in the workshop.
Ashutosh Pandey, vice-principal, JECRC university, shared how OTT has emerged bigger in last few years and how new actors have emerged as heroes on these OTT screens.
However, the basic formula of ‘content is king’ in media stays the same for making effective communication, he added.
Former MP Kota and scion of ex-royal family Ijyaraj Singh was the chief guest on the occasion who distributed certificates to the students.
Speaking on the occasion, he said, “Reporting in journalism can attain newer heights if you all (students present) can participate in voicing rural concerns and issues on media platforms. There is a huge scope in media and you can earn name and fame if you work hard,” he said.
The workshop was organised by Saksham Sanchar Foundation which has been working to train rural youths and was addressed by influencers Ankur Kulshreshth and Ravindra Nagar. Kulshreshtha works on an international cruise as a photographer and travels the world for six months while working as a blogger for another six months. He inspired students to transform their passion into profession while Nagar gave clues to be a successful influencer.