December 1, 2021

Vishwakarma University – Center of Communication for Development

An Initiative of Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Vishwakarma University, Pune

Development / Empowerment

Communication for Development and Empowerment

To strengthen the role of communication in the development of the nation and redefine the contour of development bringing people at the center of the development process

Development defies precise definition and has been defined, discussed and debated from different perspectives. It has treated as a concept, approach, and ideal to achieve goals. As development cannot be fitted into a fixed rigid framework, so is development communication. Development journalism, development-oriented films and documentaries, pictures are part of the development communication umbrella. Whereas the two terms development journalism and development communication are generally used by communication scholars interchangeably, Shelton Gunaratne in paper- Old Wine in a New Bottle: Public versus Developmental Journalism in the US has said “Developmental Journalism has its roots in development communication which goes back to the work of agricultural extension carried out by large land grant state universities in the United States. Eventually, it developed into a coherent doctrine. Development communication emerged as a field of study during the post World War II years when the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America were asserting their right to independence, self-reliance and economic development. Its genesis is generally traced to the introduction and application of the agricultural extension also termed as extension education in most of the developing countries in early 1960s.”

Our effort is to research Indian and Asian concepts of development and communication.

Empowerment Communication

International agencies including the World Bank and UNDP have introduced the concept of empowerment to evolve an actionable framework to help power relations. The concept of empowerment is being used in education, counseling, social work, and the economic sphere.     

The majority of the development project proponents are insisting on the participatory approach and participation is impossible without empowerment.    

The UNDP has emphasized that media can play a crucial role in empowering vulnerable and marginalized groups. This can best be achieved if media support and media capacity development is directed in a way that enables the media to better respond to and reflect the information and communication needs of these groups.  This kind of media support can be called communication for empowerment.

In South Asian, Latin American and African perspective empowerment journalism/ communication has to be redefined considering the socio-economic structure. The role of media in empowering people and communicating empowerment has to be studied.   

This new branch of media studies is vital for communication/ journalism/ advertising and film students. Training in empowerment journalism/ communication opens opportunities in various sectors and gives an edge to students competing in the field of mass communication.

Our aim is to conduct research and facilitate dissemination information on empowerment communication