A two days National Seminar on the topic “Media and The New World Order” was organized on 4 & 5 February 2011 by the University of Delhi in its North campus situated Conference Center. The seminar was aimed at highlighting the work done by various research and academic institutes in the field of media and its relevance in the present day. A paper on the role of new and social media was presented by me at the Conference, with this blog as a case study. My paper entitled “The Role of New & Social Media in generating environmental awareness: A case study of the Delhi Greens blog” was the only paper which spoke about New & Social media with a comparison to conventional media. Since other presenters at the Conference were mainly professors and teachers from across India, a need was felt to promote the scope of rapidly evolving new and social media and include it in the curriculum of journalism and media studies.
While presenting my paper, I vividly shared my perception, experience and reader-response to the usage of Blog as a New and Social media tool. The role of such an initiative in generating environmental awareness and in sensitizing citizens towards conservation and other green issues was also elaborated by me while discussing the case study of the Delhi Greens (DG) Blog. The part where I discussed the history of the DG Blog and shared its inception and evolution interested both fellow presenters as well as the participants. The audience was thrilled to learn this novel usage of Blog as a medium for raising environmental awareness and aiding in activism for highlighting an issue. At a time when Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) is also said to be misused especially by the youth today, the case study of the DG Blog set an example for many, to use innovation in this sector for socially beneficial purpose.
Speaking on the impact of the DG Blog, I shared both some visible impacts as well as the feedback sent by all of you, are readers, and those who have been inspired by the work shared on the Blog to initiate green action in their respective communities. A key measure of success of the DG Blog has also been that it has been able to inspire others to launch similar Blogs for taking forward various issues. Using the Blog as a social media also calls for greater responsibility and ethics, which was communicating to the media students present during the Conference. While addressing this issue, participants were made aware of how important it is to use information in the right manner. This is best elucidated by a quote often shared by one of Delhi Greens’ founder-members Ravinder Bawa, that, journalism calls for a sober mind and cautious approach in [the] line of duty because information is like a knife: in the hands of a criminal it can kill but in the hands of a surgeon it can [save] someone’s life.
The experience of presenting the DG Blog paper at the University of Delhi Conference was also mutually beneficial. The presentations made by other dignitaries pertaining to the field of media and human rights, media and sports, media and socio-cultural change, media and economic growth, media and literature, media and governance were informational and some of them, inspiring. The best part about attending the Conference was to interact with the students and be able to present innovation in new and social media as a tool that can be used both for running a media house as well as for the general benefit of the society.