Manisha Pathak-Shelat – a researcher of media and youth civic participation – discussing about the future of Media Education

Media Education Futures Conference 2014 includes a panel discussion about conference main topic, the futures of media education. One of the panelists, Professor Manisha Pathak-Shelat, comes from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She has a long professional experience in communication practice, research and education. Pathak-Shelat describes herself as “a communication teacher-researcher a sense of social responsibility and a keen interest in creative work.” As a goal she names a socially engaged scholarship which is both global and accessible.

Manisha Pathak-Shelat is interested for example in civic engagement, young people’s media culture and media literacy and gender. She considers “Digital Youth Cultures in Small Town and Rural Gujarat” to be her most important publication. It turns the spotlight on a group which is not so common in a research: young people. It also synthesized empirical data and theory.

You can find details of the paper on her academia.edu profile.

“I am very hopeful about the future of media education”, says Manisha Pathak-Shelat. The subject has sustained its interest and every year new groups of people get interested in it. Also people working with media education are very dedicated.

Besides the good points Pathak-Shelat mentioned some concern. Media education has not attained its due importance at higher education level: The number of university teachers and researchers in the area is not so high. Another worry is the situation of media education in national policy of countries. Finland is among the very few countries that have seriously addressed the issue.

When Manisha Pathak-Shelat was asked what are the benefits from attending Media Education Futures 2014 Conference, she mentioned three points: A vibrant dialogue with colleagues from all over the world, sharing strategies and ideas and finding some possibly ways to collaborate.

This blog text was based on a short interview and an abstract text.

Anne Heinonen 6.5.2014

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