Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Mega Learning Experiment – Part 7, Travel Shows, Sound Branding and Responsible Journalism at The Zeitgeist Media Conference

After six days of festivals, talks, and performances, there was still more to go on this learning experiment.

On the 8th and 9th February 2014, I participated in the Zeitgeist Media Conference at the St Xaviers College in Mumbai. There were panel discussions by eminent media figures and entrepreneurs. They were three talks scheduled for the first day and another seven talks scheduled for the second day.

I reached St Xaviers College by 2 pm for the first talk of the day by Rocky and Mayur. They presented the food travel show Highway on My Plate on the NDTV Good Times channel were the first speakers. Learning points from their talk were:-

·     No man is an island, find people and team that can take your vision forward.
·     Risk Appetite needed. Assess your skill sets and then go ahead and take the risks needed.
·     Differentiate yourself in your industry – There are 50,000 people looking for the same job. How are you different?
·     Be a purple cow and create cronuts (a doughnut and croissant combined)
·     Whoever works hardest will not win. Whoever brings most value will win.

    Make music with the objects around you

Taufiq Qureshi an Indian classical musician and composer was the next speaker. He spoke about the importance of sounds in everyday communication. The talk was title sonic branding. Learning points were:-

·     Every brand has a sound we associate it with. The sound should be so different that when people hear it they must listen.
·     Sometimes the power is in saying less.
·     Use Sound Percussions. Different types of sounds can be created. Not necessary to create them from musical instruments only. You can use everyday objects to create music as well.

He showed us some video advertisements he had worked on and how he used everyday objects for some of his performances. This concept of creating sound from everyday objects fascinated me. It was similar to being able to learn from the world around you and not just from school. You don’t have to create sound from musical instruments only. Similarly you do not have to do all your learning at educational institutes only. You can learn from beyond as well. But the school still becomes one important aspect of your entire educational process.

P. Sainath and Responsible Journalism

P Sainath is a superstar journalist. He delivered the final lecture on the first day. I had seen Mr Sainath’s movie, ‘Nero’s Guests’ at another conference at St Xavier’s the previous year. He is an Indian journalist and photojournalist focusing on social problems and rural affairs. This was a talk I was really looking forward too. Mr P. Sainath was going to be speaking about how contemporary media is not as honest as it seems and why major issues of the country were not reported enough. Some of the main learning points I got from here were:-

·     Love your profession. Make sure it is what you always wanted to do.
·     Specialize in one field in your industry. Do not try being good at too many things.
·     Conventional Journalism has become the service of power.
·     Society needs to respect journalists more. Basic journalist earns as much as a desk clerk.
·     There is Paid News prevalent in popular media where a lot of the content that appears in papers are paid for and people are not made aware of it.
·     Why were there 512 journalists to cover a fashion week event and only 6 journalists to covers suicide cases in the city.
·     Great journalism always had a bit of dissidence.

There was a lot to take in, on the first day of the conference. I was very impressed by P. Sainath’s talk that evening.  I went home and saw another four hours of his lectures online.

Let us Learn Together
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