Xavier University Bhubaneswar (XUB) hosted the annual media conclave, Communiqué XUB ’20, on the 31st of October, 2020. It was organized by IlluminatiX – The Media and PR Cell of Xavier University Bhubaneswar, the theme being “The Stories You Know, The Hardships You Don’t.” 

The event was graced by eminent personalities from the media industry who addressed the theme and shared their valuable knowledge and experience with the students. It was the first time Communiqué XUB ’20went online, yet, it was nothing less than the legacy it has carried offline. 

The event commenced with an address by Dr. Father Antony R. Uvari (Vice-Chancellor, Xavier University Bhubaneswar). He shared how the conclave brings to light the struggles individuals go through to provide news to the human race. Father E.A. Augustine (Registrar, Xavier University Bhubaneswar) explained with the help of an anecdote how one could not measure the worth of journalists; they’re invaluable to society. The event was moderated by Mr. Danish Manzoor (Editorial head, APAC, Newsweek Group). The speakers were Ms. Faye D’Souza (Independent Journalist), Mr. Harish Damodaran (National Editor, Indian Express), Mr. Mohammad Suffian (News correspondent, Aaj Tak\India Today), Mr. Aditya Raj Kaul (Independent Journalist) and Mr. Tejinder Singh Sodhi(Independent Journalist)

Mr. Manzoor welcomed the panel speakers by complementing the diversity by quoting, “Suits in the Studio and the Boots on the ground”, sharing with the audience how even today, there are journalists out there risking their lives and financial stability to bring the unvarnished truth to the public. Ms. Faye D’Souza shared the three most significant issues faced by Indian media today with the members of the audience. She emphasized on how the freedom of the press is subdued in our country and how journalists have to face the brunt of those who seek to keep the truth under wraps. Ms. D’Souza also shared how the content presented by news platforms leaves the audience unsatisfied and how media is slowly losing credibility. She stated that the purpose of news media should be, “not to report what might have happened, but to report what has happened.” Mr. Harish Damodaran suggested that the way forward to curb politics and investors’ influence on what is being reported is to have media generate revenue straight from the consumers without any middle-men. He shared that the prevalent journalism fails to talk about the relevant issues and is now caught up in a battle for TRPs, discrediting those who go the distance to bring us the truth. He stressed on the fact how journalism has been colluded tainted by religion, bias, and stardom and how it dampens down the real issues of unemployment and problems faced especially by migrant workers. Mr. Mohammad Suffian shared light on how the consumer base of the reporters grew during the pandemic due to lockdown and increasing anxiety levels amongst the former. He stated how reporters felt more responsible for getting every update regarding the COVID situation, and the job had virtually turned into a high risk and minimal protection profession. He stated the internal battle journalists faced between keeping their family safe and delivering news to the public. Mr. Aditya Raj Kaul shared that journalism is not something that can be taught, it must come from within. He shared how an individual who has to pursue must feel that he must seek the truth and not falter from the path despite the threats he may face. He shared how essential an apolitical, balanced, and accountable journalist directly contributes to society’s upliftment. Mr. Tejinder Singh Sodhi shared how the journalists are victimized and often compelled to face the brunt of the public’s frustration. He shared experiences from his life where he explained how media personnel is not just a mere witness of violent incidents, but also a victim. Mr. Sodhi shared how journalists put their purpose first, and all other needs second. He shared how, even now, many journalists have lost their lives trying to bring clarity to the public in times of uncertainty.   The session proceeded further with an enthusiastic interactive Q and A session between the panelists and the students. The thought provoking media conclave was finally concluded with a vote of thanks by Mr. Manzoor, the moderator followed by the host.