From the Desk of the Head of the Department

The word 'media' has multiple meanings. Glamour, reality, power, freedom, a tapestry of art, the voice of the masses, a symbol of resilience, opinion maker, social influencer . . . Every day, the definition of what the media is continues to change, as it expands to encompass its ever changing roles. Multi-faceted and representing multiple entities, it reflects a constant interaction between content and technology.

The understanding of this dynamic and the harnessing of its power is the challenge that we have posed to the students at the Department of Media Sciences, Anna University, ever since its inception in 2002. Media Education today has come a long way since its early beginnings in India when Annie Besant established the first communication training course in The Theosophical Society at Adyar in 1920. Today, at our Department of Media Sciences, we offer M.Sc. (Electronic Media) (five-year integrated) and M.Sc. (Electronic Media) (two years), besides a robust PhD programme. Here, we teach multiple media disciplines ranging from Journalism, Radio Production, Photography, Filmmaking, Television Production, Graphics, Web Designing, Video Game Development to Animation.

The Department of Media Sciences, Anna University, is a premier centre of media education and research in India. Its mission is to strengthen its existing media disciplines besides giving a thrust to science and technology communication. The Department is contemporary, internationally relevant and it meets the latest industry standards. The onus is on a clear balance between theory and practice, and a blended hands-on approach to learning. A teacher-student ratio of 1:15 ensures that every student is personally mentored and groomed. Critical thought and debate resonates in classrooms – a reflection of our dedication to mould media literate and morally responsible individuals. In January 2014, the Department with the backing of the Tamil film industry organised the biggest exhibition in commemoration of the Hundred Years of Indian Cinema. Regular workshops, lectures and interactions with experts and the industry have helped our students keep pace with changing technologies and media needs.

The Department envisions itself both as a knowledge giver and an active participant in social projects. It has worked with multiple agencies including UNICEF in Communication for Development (C4D) and outreach programmes with local communities, especially women and children. Anna FM, located within the Department, prides itself on being the first community radio station in India and creates content with the involvement of our students and women from the local community. Working on real time social projects and engaging in social research, as part of academic coursework, the radio station has helped our students gain social consciousness.

Research at the postgraduate and PhD levels is a strongpoint, and the Department boasts of many publications in internationally acclaimed impact factor journals. The academic standards of the Department have also been taken to further highs, through strategic partnerships, teacher and student exchanges with international universities like Erasmus University in the Netherlands, the University of Bern in Switzerland, Birmingham City University in the United Kingdom and the University of Kentucky in the United States. Such academic relationships have helped in the exchange of best practices. International internships have further helped broaden horizons, providing exposure to international work cultures and media industries.

All these efforts have seen the Department grow from strength to strength. Today, the Department’s alumni work in leading media organisations and in Government services. Looking towards the future, the goal of the Department is to emerge as an internationally acclaimed Centre for Excellence in Media Education and Research. Empowering students with knowledge and equipping them with the latest skills to take on real world challenges and to see them emerge as dynamic professionals is the force that drives this Department towards greater success.