Media Meet 2020

Our Guests

Dr Vinod K Jose


Journalist and Editor



Dr Vinod K Joseph is a renowned journalist and an editor hailing from Kerala, India. After attaining his graduate degree in Communications and English, he did an MS in Communication from Manipal University, an MA in Journalism from Columbia Journalism School, New York where he was a Bollinger Presidential Fellow, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi.

His contributions to Indian journalism are majorly in the area of narrative or literary journalism which has aided him receiving several awards like the Ramnath Goenka Award for his reporting on politics, Foreign Press Association award from Carl Bernstein, an honourable mention at the 2011 Kurt Schork awards in International Journalism for his work “River Deep, Mountain High” at the Institute for War and Peace Reporting. In 2010, Mr. Vinod was hired by the Delhi Press to relaunch The Caravan, India’s first long-form narrative journalism magazine. His exemplary profile on former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (Falling Man, October 2011) was mentioned in a centennial compilation of 100 Great Stories covered by Columbia School journalists. Today, he is the Executive Editor of the magazine, which is internationally acclaimed for its rigorous investigative journalism on stories about Indian politics and culture.

Dr Jose has set new standards for narrative journalism in the country. According to him, narrative journalism is a very comprehensive way of doing journalism and has to be done with a little more care to the facts and people at large. He also believes that “a journalist has three different hats: The hat of a good reporter, the hat of a good writer, and the hat of a good scholar.”

Want to hear what else Dr Vinod K. Jose has to say about Media Literacy and the current Media Landscape? Join us to listen to him as our inaugural keynote speaker at Media Meet 2020!

P Sainath


Indian Journalist, Founder Editor of PARI



Veteran journalist Palagummi Sainath is, in the words of Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, “one of the world’s great experts on famine and hunger.” With almost four decades of experience, Sainath is journalist extraordinaire, who has made it his life mission to cover rural affairs, social and economic inequality, and poverty, and stir the nation’s conscience.

P Sainath’s long and remarkable career speaks for itself. His career started with The United News for India in 1980. He has served as a visiting faculty for many reputed institutions like Asian College of Journalism, Chennai; Princeton University, etc. In 2011, he started the People’s Archive of Rural India while working for The Hindu which he later quit in 2014 to mainstream all his efforts into PARI. PARI’s aim is to cover those parts of India that are neglected by corporate media and bring them to the notice of the public.

In 1996, P Sainath published Everybody Loves a Good Drought based on the field reporting he had done in some of the poorest of the poor villages of India. The book earned him the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2007. He has won several other accolades, which include Amnesty International’s Global Award for Human Rights Journalism in its inaugural year in 2000.

Register for Media Meet 2020 and watch Keynote speaker of August 29, P Sainath address on the topic “Countering systemic Violence through Media Literacy”.

Bezwada Wilson


India Human Rights Activist



The 2016 Magsaysay award winner, Bezwada Wilson is one of the National Convenors of the Safai Karamchari Andolan, a human rights organisation that campaigns for the total eradication of manual scavenging and for the rehabilitation of all scavengers to dignified occupations. He is a crusader for the dalit community against the systemic discrimination. His constant efforts and dedication has resulted in the drastic decline of manual scavengers. He believes that his organization is not a formal body but rather a movement that currently involves over 4800 volunteers across the country.

His idea for the movement started with the basic thought that “nobody should do this kind of work” and it still forms the basis for all his efforts. As an integral part of the drafting and the execution of the Manual Scavenging Act of India, he believes that consolidated efforts by the government and uprisings by the manual scavengers can lead to a positive change. For his movement to create change, the Hindu deservedly called him “the Iconic Changemaker”.

Join us in understanding the role of “Media Literacy to counter Systemic Violence” through personal and experienced insights of Bezwada Wilson at Media Meet 2020!

Venkatesh HR


Director, Training and Research of BOOM FactCheck



Mr H R Venkatesh is an Indian Journalist, best known for working towards combating disinformation that has plagued the South Asian media. With around 17 years of experience as a journalist and having worked across various beats like business, sports and politics, Venkatesh recognises himself as a consultant, an entrepreneur and an organiser. He founded NetaData in 2016, a startup that focused on political accountability and combating ‘fake news’ and polarization in India. It was at Stanford University under the John S. Knight Fellowship that he took the opportunity to research on “how news organizations can collaborate to fight disinformation, bias, and polarization in communities in South Asia.”

Mr Venkatesh has held various positions in his career, namely- Editor at The Quint, Director of Communications at Change.org, Senior Anchor at CNN-IBN, Anchor & Producer at India Today and Business Correspondent at CNBC TV18.

A proud alumnus of CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bangalore, Mr Venkatesh developed an affiliation towards the field of journalism by The Adventures of Tintin and the National Geographic magazine.

When asked about his future endeavours, he says, “I like the idea that journalism is my calling or vocation, and I’m obsessed with raising the bar in its processes. Increasingly, I feel that the best way to do this is to work with journalists rather than be a creator of journalistic content myself. Wherever I go, I’ll try to keep raising the bar on journalism and collaboration. I won’t run out of things to do in this space for a few decades more!”

To hear his fresh take on how to “vaccinate ourselves against fake news, half- truths, propagandas and lies with media literacy”, join us for the plenary session on “Fact vs Fiction: Taming The Infodemic” at Media Meet 2020.

Nolan Pinto


Special Correspondent at India Today



Nolan Pinto is a well known name in broadcast media. He started off his career as a reporter and then sub-editor of Mid Day Bangalore, and later moved on to become a correspondent and anchor at News9 Bangalore and work for over six years. He has been working with India Today for over three years now.

A typical day in the life of Mr Pinto as a correspondent involves bringing light to various social development projects and various regional and national news stories. Being unbiased in his reporting has helped Mr Pinto gain credibility over his 12-year-long career. In the current light of events, Mr Pinto has taken upon him to report on the grave realities of Covid-19 pandemic. For the past seven months, he has been fearlessly working with health professionals, highlighting the dire circumstances the pandemic has caused. As a go-getter, he believes “The situation might be difficult, but there are always ways to circumvent all these hurdles.”

Understand more about the need for media literacy with experiential and reflective accounts from Mr Pinto’s personal experiences while reporting during the pandemic and more, on the plenary session “Fact vs Fiction: Taming The Infodemic” at Media Meet 2020.


Angad Singh


Video producer and Journalist at VICE News



With the goal of enlightening the western audience with stories from the Indo-Pacific region, Angad Singh, a passionate journalist from VICE News, has been taking steps towards achieving it. He has work experience from companies like CNN as a video development intern and an editorial intern. In 2016, he started working with VICE News as a production associate and became the associate producer in 2019. Currently, he is the producer of VICE News and is based in Brooklyn, New York.

Mr Angad is also an avid filmmaker and has won awards for his work, including Best Documentary for the film “Roots and Wings” at the Action/Cut Short Film Competition & Best Student Educational Film at the International Family Film Festival in California.

His interests vary from civil rights, social action and economic empowerment to environment and politics. Mr Angad’s work has been featured in many stories and reached out to diverse audiences. His perspective on various issues helps the public gain critical insights about current issues.

Hear what Mr Angad Singh has to say at the “Narratives from India: Community Stories & Media Literacy” plenary session only at Media Meet 2020!

Dr Kasun Ubayasiri


Program Director of Journalism at Griffith University, Queensland



Dr Kasun Ubayasiri, a former Sri Lankan journalist, and an esteemed member of the Griffith University’s Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance has gained immense recognition for his publications and contributions to news media on armed conflicts and reportage of human rights issues. Dr Ubayasiri is also a Research Associate at The Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security.

As a journalist, academic and an avid photographer, Dr Ubayasiri has spent time in the Sri Lankan conflict zone interviewing government officials, aid-agencies and civilian community members on numerous occasions.

Dr Ubayasiri realised very early on in his career that free press is vital for a robust and healthy democracy and that there is no logical reason to undermine it. He has always been an advocate of media freedom, an issue very close to his heart. He has a keen interest in issues around media censorship and democratic accountability.

Dr Ubayasiri is also the director of The Water Story, an initiative by the Journalism students of Griffith University, Australia to create socially and environmentally responsible communities. The Water Story aims at collaborating with journalists and leaders from around the world to create awareness about preserving precious water resources. He also has an eye for budding talent and is known to provide his students the practical exposure the media industry demands.

Let’s hear him share his experiences with us at the session: ‘From the Screen to the Streets: Media Makers and Democracy’ at Media Meet 2020!

M D Pallavi


Playback singer, Actor and TV Anchor



M D Pallavi is a renowned artist with numerous contributions to the Kannada entertainment industry, majorly in the areas of music, theatre, television and film. She has also contributed as a dubbing artist. Hailing from Bengaluru, she started her Hindustani classical music training at a very young age under Pandit Rajbhau Sontakke. She also got trained in Sugama Sangeeth under the guidance of late Mysore Ananthaswamy and late Sri Raju Ananthaswamy. After graduating in English, Journalism and Psychology from NMKRV College for Women, Bengaluru, she went on to earn another degree, this time in Hindustani music from Banaras Hindu University.

During her extensive and successful career as a playback singer, she was awarded the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar in 2018. She also won the Karnataka State Film Award for Best Playback Singer two years in a row in 2006 and 2007 for her song “Noddaya Kwate Lingave” featured in the film, Duniya. Ms Pallavi also had a successful stint as the anchor of the popular talent hunt show, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa on Zee Kannada.

She has been actively involved in theatre since her early years and has worked in various street plays and stage productions such as Hamlet, Maanishaadha, Muktidham and has been a faculty member for several theatre workshops. Her contributions to the television and film industry include roles in television shows such as Mayamruga and Garva. She was also a member of the cast of the National Film Award winning English feature film, Stumble and worked on the script and the direction of the film as well. She has also worked behind the screen as a dubbing artist for movies such as Aishwarya, Aa Dinagulu and Edegarike.

M D Pallavi is a multifaceted personality who has achieved a high degree of distinction not only in her musical career but in various areas of the entertainment industry and has established herself as a person who believes in expanding herself and excelling at everything, she invests her efforts in.

Join us at Media Meet 2020 to witness M D Pallavi enlighten us with her sharp observations on “The Power of Musical Storytelling”.

Prof. Tim Fenton


Director of Journalism, University of Essex



Prof. Tim Fenton is a former BBC Political Correspondent and renowned journalist hailing from the United Kingdom. He earned his graduation from the University of Bristol with a BSc in Politics and went on to further attain his MBA from the University of Bradford.

After working as a Political Correspondent for BBC, he later moved to BBC News Online, where he became managing editor and contributed to recruiting more than a hundred journalists during the expansion of online news. He has also worked for several commercial news providers and was the General Manager of the travel news website, gapyear.com for two years. In the course of his career, he has written for local weeklies and national dailies and edited the front page of BBC News Online. He has also made television for Newsnight and Newsround and has broadcasted live from Old Trafford and the House of Commons. On behalf of organisations including the UN and UK Foreign Office, he continues to work to improve the standard of parliamentary reporting in developing democracies around the world.

Tim Fenton has gained an extensive amount of experience as a journalist and correspondent working for eminent organisations like BBC and believes in developing students who can tell “Important, honest stories about the world in a compelling way.”

Eager to hear what Prof. Tim Fenton has to say about “Fact vs Fiction: Taming the Infodemic”? Join him and other renowned experts at the plenary session only at Media Meet 2020!

Prof. John Varghese


Principal of St Stephen’s College, Delhi



Considered to be one of the most renowned educators and academicians in India, Prof. John Varghese spearheads one of India's best and oldest educational institutions, St Stephen’s College, Delhi. Prof. John Varghese completed his Masters at Loyola College, Chennai and did his M.Phil in English Language and Literature at the Madras Christian College. His Doctoral thesis was in the area of Victorian Fiction and Psychoanalysis at the Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages (now EFL University) in Hyderabad.

He has taught at Loyola College, Chennai and George Mason University’s offshore campus at Ras Al Khaimah in Dubai. Before taking charge of St Stephen’s college in Delhi, he served as Head, Department of Communication at the English at Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad. Apart from his administrative achievements, Prof. John Varghese has supervised research work and written and edited books in both English language, literature and media.

As an educator, Prof. Varghese believes that “the potential of the students need to be fully channelised and harnessed to bring out the best in them.” Prof. Varghese brings along with him a substantial amount of experience and knowledge in both teaching and administration, including International Relations and qualities of punctuality and sincerity.

Gather insights and knowledge from Prof. John Varghese at the “Media Literacy and Praxis: From the Classroom to Citizenry” plenary session only at Media Meet 2020!

Dr Shakuntala Banaji


Professor of Media, Culture and Social Change at The London School of

Economics and Political Science


Dr Shakuntala Banaji is a woman of many interests. Hailing from London, UK, she is an eminent academician and researcher having published extensively on young people, children and media on various topics such as gender, social class, ethnicity, orientalism and racism, news consumption and Hindi horror films.

Her achievements include winning the European Award for Excellence in Teaching which has made a significant mark in the academic field. With a penchant for writing and research, she has authored and co-authored several acclaimed research articles and books such as “The Civic Web: Young People, the Internet, and Civic Participation (The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning)”, “Youth Participation in Democratic Life: Stories of Hope and Disillusion” and her very first crime fiction novel, “True Lake”.

Dr Shakuntala Banaji has encouraged discussions and written extensively on freedom, democracy, civic participation, the internet, creativity and much more.

Witness Dr Shakunthala Banaji enlighten us on “Bollywood, Citizenship and Media Literacy” as a keynote speaker for Media Meet 2020!

Malia Bruker


Documentary Filmmaker and Assistant Professor of Digital Media Production at FSU



Malia Bruker is a filmmaker, media artist, and Assistant Professor of Digital Media Production at Florida State University. Working primarily in the realm of documentary, Bruker’s films skirt the boundaries of non-fiction, drawing from artists’ moving image, dance film, and other experimental genres. Her films have screened at International Film Festival Rotterdam, Athens International Film and Video Festival, Sarasota Film Festival, Philadelphia Film Festival, Antimatter Video Art, and Chicago Underground Film Festival. Her current film, Batay La, lifts up the work of Batay Ouvriye, the anti-imperialist workers' rights organization in Haiti.

Keen to hear what Malia Bruker has got to say about Documentaries? Join us at Media Meet 2020 to follow the panel discussion on “Documentary Realism and Media Literacy.”

Baradwaj Rangan


Indian film critic and writer



Baradwaj Rangan, a well-known name in the Indian film industry is the senior editor for Film Companion (South). He was formerly with The Hindu and The New Indian Express.

He won the National Award (Swarna Kamal) for Best Film Critic in 2005. His writings on cinema, music, art, books, travel and humour have been published in various newspapers and magazines like The Hindu, The New Indian Express, The Caravan, Arts Illustrated, Open, Tehelka, Biblio, Outlook and The Cricket Monthly. His long-form story on Vikram was featured in The Caravan Book of Profiles, as one of their “twelve definitive profiles.” He writes a column on world cinema at Firstpost.

He has co-written the Tamil rom-com, Kadhal 2 Kalyanam. He has written the Tamil short film, Kalki. He has written dialogue and narratives for the dance dramas Krishna and Meghadootam. His short story, The Call, was published in The Indian Quarterly.

He teaches a course on cinema at the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai.

He has served as a member of the jury at the National Film Awards, and as a member of the selection committee for international films at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.

Baradwaj has contributed to various anthologies, including an essay in Subramaniyapuram: The Tamil Film in English Translation, and an analysis of Rajkumar Hirani in Behind the Scenes: Contemporary Bollywood Directors and their Cinema. His first book, Conversations with Mani Ratnam, was published by Penguin in 2012. His second book, Dispatches From the Wall Corner, was published by Westland in 2014.

Eager to hear what Baradwaj Rangan has to say? Join us at Media Meet 2020 and witness him engage in an tete a tete on “Cinema and Representation”.

Akash Banerjee


Political satirist and the host of #TheDeshBhakt, Founder and Head of SocialBakBak



If you’re looking for some fresh and sarcastic takes on political issues that surely put a smile on your face, look no further, Mr Akash Banerjee is the one that will make it happen! Akash with more than 25 million views on his web series #TheDeshBhakt - India’s first and largest political and social satire platform - puts his very own comic spin while discussing various topics concerning society, Indian politics, education, and fake news. He provides interesting perspectives for the audience to both laugh and reflect upon and aims to make politics and social issues easier to digest and fun to discuss especially for the digital generation.

His decade long media experience includes news anchoring and reporting at India Today and Times Now, authoring a book, writing articles for various publications, RJ’ing and radio broadcasting, public speaking, confidence-building, and media training. Up until recently, he was even the Vice President of Radio Mirchi! As a VP at Radio Mirchi, he mentored more than a hundred radio professionals across fifteen radio stations ranging from Srinagar to Shillong.

“Tales from Shining and Sinking India,” his book written in 2013 details the real-world operations of broadcast media. The book also consists of detailed events of many big news stories- 26/11 attack, sending Chandraayan to the moon, and so much more. The book now is part of the suggested readings of many media schools.

Akash Banerjee believes that the Digital Revolution is just at the infancy stage; especially political satire- where the audience is not able to comprehend the innocent jokes and take it seriously - resulting in outrageous responses. This ultimately leads to the content being funnier.

Hear what Akash Banerjee has to say about “Critical Literacy in the context of Social Media” at Media Meet 2020!

Saumya V Iyer


Mobile Game Producer at Gear Inc



With over 15 years of overall experience in the online games industry, Saumya V. Iyer has worked in various roles and specializes in production for live services in mobile games. Before becoming a producer at Gear Inc., she worked with Electronic Arts (EA), GSN (TV & Games), and as a Producer at JumpStart Games.

She is a certified Scrum Master with experience in managing Scrum, Kanban and waterfall processes. She manages a diverse team of designers, artists, developers, analysts, product managers and drives on the motto of delivering on time with the best possible standards. She constantly works towards improving, planning, scheduling, and leading to more efficient processes that cut delivery time and increase buffer time.

Apart from game production, Saumya has worked as a writer as well as a voice artist in various projects (English and Hindi). With a background in BSc Physics, this uber-cool techie has a keen interest in animal welfare, environmental welfare, and human rights welfare.

To know more about her take on the online gaming industry and its alliance with media literacy in the current dynamic scenarios, join us for a Panel discussion on “Video Games, Media Literacy and Social Change” at Media Meet 2020.

Kinita Shenoy


Writer, Editor and Communication Specialist



Ms Kinita Shenoy is an accomplished writer, editor, communication specialist and also a prominent personality in the media industry. She has served as the Editor-in-Chief for leading youth magazines such as Cosmopolitan Sri Lanka and yamu.lk.

A freelance content consultant and entrepreneur, Ms Shenoy has carved out a niche for herself in the digital world. She has also worked as a communication specialist for international organisations such as the United Nations and International Finance Corporation. After completing her bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Politics she went on to pursue her postgraduate degree in Political Economy and Gender Equality Studies.

As a strong advocate of gender equality, Ms Shenoy has worked on numerous projects and campaigns about women’s rights. She is passionate about creating equitable communities and believes that one should never be deterred in the fight against injustice.

Being a social media influencer has given her the platform to be bold and opinionated on matters that confront society, while simultaneously influencing and inspiring the youth to voice their concerns as well. Her stand against the pressing issues of colorism and racism has won her appreciation and admiration from all over the world.

Miss Shenoy is also an ardent traveler and her travel articles have been published in books and magazines such as The World Atlas of Street Food and the CondéNast Traveler. Her travel articles are definitely a must for those who are bitten by the travel bug!

Are you all ears for Ms Kinita Shenoy’s take on Critical Literacy in the context of Social Media? Tune in to Media Meet 2020 for an enriching and informative session.

Ambarien Alqadar


Writer - Director



Miss Ambarien Alqadar is an Indian-born writer and director. She is also an assistant professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, New York, where she teaches film production, history, and hybrid practices. Miss Alqadar has worked for some of India’s leading filmmakers and has extensive experience in the various aspects of film production including fund-raising, production management, and editing.

It was during her years of training at the Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, that she discovered her passion for screenwriting and direction. Miss Alqadar later became a Fulbright-Nehru Leadership Development Fellow at Temple University, USA, where she graduated with a postgraduate degree in fine arts (MFA) in 2012.

Her films have fetched her numerous national and international awards and have also brought Miss Alqadar immense recognition in the film industry. They have not only been broadcasted on national TV networks in India and the UK, but have also been screened at prominent film festivals in India, Korea, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Her films have also been screened in many well-known museums and galleries as a part of academic and interdisciplinary research.

Some of her award-winning films include Ghetto Girl, Four Women and a Room, Who Can Speak of Men and Elsewhere. Her upcoming film The Informant, based on her thesis short film, Ayesha, has garnered positive praise and appreciation for her in the film industry. It was chosen for the prestigious Athena Film Festival in New York in 2019.

Miss Ambarien’s films are psychologically and intellectually driven and also involve a mixture of various genres and technologies. The characters in her films are based on her autobiographical materials, early documentaries, and childhood fantasies.

Gear yourself up for an engaging and lively session by Miss Ambarien Alqadar on Documentary Realism & Media Literacy at the Media Meet 2020!

Sachidananda Murthy


Resident Editor of the Malayala Manorama



Mr Sachidananda Murthy is the Resident Editor of the newspaper Malayala Manorama and also of the magazine, The Week in New Delhi. He has more than 38 years of expertise in writing about national and international politics and governance.

It was during his frequent trips to Mysore in the initial days of his career as a journalist that made Mr Murthy realise that journalism consisted much more than politics and crime. Being a firm believer that writers propel literature and journalism propels literature, he has also spoken about incorporating literary elements in news stories.

Let’s hear Mr Sachidananda Murthy’s enlightening views on Media Literacy Praxis: From Classroom to Citizenry at Media Meet 2020!

Stephen Mcdowell


Director & Professor at the School of Communication, Florida State University



Stephen McDowell is a Professor and the Director of the School of Communication at Florida State University. Many of his research works revolve around the media and communication policies in India and Pakistan, which have been presented at several universities. Mr Stephen has worked to establish university contacts and academic exchange partnership between countries in America and Asia. His research and teachings address new communication technologies, internet governance and communication policies in Canada, South Asia and North America among others.

Mr Stephen has also served as an external reviewer for doctoral programs in Communication at Temple University and the University of Western Ontario while also serving as the Chair of the Communication Law and Policy Division of the International Communication Association from 2008-2010. Mr Stephen has written a book on India’s communication policies, globalization, liberalization and policy change: a political economy of India’s Communications Sector in 1997.

Mr Stephen is our speaker for the panel discussion on Media Literacy Praxis: from classroom to citizenry! Join us at Media Meet 2020 to hear his enlightening views.

Shweta Kothari


Journalist and Digital Creator



Shweta Kothari is a journalist, and a widely successful digital creator. Previously, Ms Shweta had worked as an anchor and the senior correspondent for News X, as a correspondent for CNBC TV 18 and was also a trainee journalist at BBC.

With an undergraduate degree in Journalism from the University of Delhi, she went on to pursue her post-graduate degree at the University of Sussex majoring in Journalism. In 2014, she also got certified as an NCTJ qualified journalist at the National Council for Training Journalists. Ms Shweta’s areas of interest include public policy and gender. Young journalists, all around India find Ms Shweta as a source of inspiration.

Are you all ready to hear Ms Shweta Kothari as she shares her experiences and thoughts as part of the panel discussion on “Facts VS Fiction: Taming the Infodemic”. Join us at Media Meet 2020!

Poornima Seetharaman


Lead Game Designer at Zynga, Co-founder of Pinaka Interactive and NammaLore Entertainment, Women In Games Ambassador


Poornima Setharaman is one of the founding members of the Special Interest Group on Women In Games with the India Gaming Forum (formerly, NASSCOM Gaming Forum). Currently, she is a lead game designer at Zynga and has been a part of the gaming industry for more than 14 years. She is the co-founder of game development studios Pinaka Interactive and NammaLore Entertainment and has previously worked with the best names in the Indian gaming industry, including Indiagames (Disney India), Jumpstart (NetDragon), GSN Games, Square Enix etc. Poornima is also a visiting faculty, project consultant and curriculum committee member at the National Institute of Design.

Her passion for games and her belief in using the power of gaming to create a meaningful and impactful change in thinking is her driving force. Ms Poornima is also one of the esteemed members of the Indian edition of Google’s Indie Game Accelerator initiative. She has worked across a wide variety of genres, including casual games, free to play games, FPS, RPG, MMO, social casino, and augmented reality.

To know more about her exciting experiences and words of wisdom join us at the “Video Games, Media Literacy and Social Change” discussion at Media Meet 2020!

Alexandre Le Voci Sayad


Director at ZeitGeist, Journalist & Educator



Alexandre Le Voci Sayad, the director of ZeitGeist - Education, Culture and Media and the Global Co-Chairman of the International UNESCO GAPMIL (Global Alliance in Media and Education) is a journalist and educator who majored in Social Communications. After attaining his postgraduate in Community Media from Casper LiberoUniversity, São Paulo, Brazil, he further went on to complete a specialisation in digital business from the University of California, Berkeley, USA.

In 1999, he co-founded the NGO Cidade Escola Aprendiz which has been promoting projects focused on culture, communication, education, community and intersectoral articulation in a co-participative system called Bairro-Escola (Learning Neighbourhood) and MyFunCity, a social platform which is based on crowdsourced information of citizenship and was awarded by the UN at the World Summit Awards (WSA). Alexandre authored the book, “Idade Media” and has been writing articles about education in the Brazilian newspaper, “O Estado de São Paulo”, for the last 15 years. He is also the founder and board member of the Brazilian Association of Educommunication Professionals (ABPEDUCOM).

Alexandre Sayad believes that “to reach a goal, you need to wander. And wandering implies experiencing.” To catch this distinguished personality, join us at Media Meet 2020.

Shilpa Mudbi Kothakota


Filmmaker & Theatre Practitioner



Shilpa Mudbi Kothakota is a filmmaker, theatre practitioner and vocalist born and brought up in Bangalore. She acquired her Masters in Filmmaking from the University of Technology, Sydney, in 2008 after which, she returned to Bangalore to direct films on agriculture, rural development and women’s empowerment for the Karnataka State Department of Agriculture, the University of Agricultural Sciences and Karnataka Mahila Samakhya.

Ms Shilpa was the coordinator of the 10th Annual Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival held in November 2014. She has also performed many roles as an actor, manager, singer and songwriter for the Indianostrum Theatre and represented them at the SMART (Strategic Management of the Arts) forum in 2015.

She is the co-creator of the Urban Folk Project which is an initiative to archive Folk art forms in Karnataka and use elements of these forms to build bodies of work that engage an urban audience with folk art practices.

Join us at Media Meet 2020 to witness Shilpa Kothakota illuminate us with her keen observations on “The Power of Musical Storytelling”.

Shagun Shah


Game Designer at BYJU’S



Shagun Shah is a creative professional who has a combined 7 years of experience in video game development, gamification design, digital campaign strategy, content writing and editing. His passion for game academia and design education has led him to teach a Master's level course in Video Game Management at Mumbai University, design a course curriculum for a Bachelor's degree in Game Development at Whistling Woods International, and conduct a published research on the subject of player behaviour at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Shagun is an active speaker at the India Game Developers Conference (IGDC) where he organizes workshops that explore the edgy fringes of game design.

Shagun currently works at BYJU’S (Think and Learn Pvt Ltd) and has designed experience templates and set up iterative design practices of 300 games for Disney. Shagun's personal creative pursuits include western classical singing, creative writing, 3D animation, pen-and-paper game design, and the development of pocket tools for creative tinkering.

Are you also a passionate designer and interested in video games? Join us at Media Meet 2020 at the “Video Games, Media Literacy and Social Change” panel!

Vishaka George


Journalist at PARI



Vishaka George is a Bengaluru-based reporter at the People’s Archive of Rural India (PARI). She reports on agricultural distress, labour issues, and livelihood opportunities in rural communities across various parts of Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.

As part of PARI for School Projects, Vishaka takes initiative in teaching school children about Rural India through the stories that are published in PARI. Vishaka has worked on reports like ‘Why is the climate changing like this?’, ‘Hoping for Swachh work after Tumkur polls’, ‘Promoting paddy’, ‘Reclaiming rice in Kerala’ among several others. Vishaka has graduated from Asian College of Journalism, Chennai, and has previously worked for Reuters. Vishaka has been a dedicated reporter for PARI and her passion and hard work can be seen through the articles and reports she has published for the organization.

To know more about Vishaka George’s passion towards PARI, join us at the “From Screen into Streets: Media Makers and Democracy” panel discussion only at Media Meet 2020!

Sherri Hope Culver


Associate Professor, Department of Media Studies and Production, Temple University


Sherri Hope Culver is an Associate Professor in the Department of Media Studies and Production at Temple University, USA. Sherri’s teaching style and consulting is centered on the business of media management and media literacy with a focus on children's media. She serves as Director of the Center for Media and Information Literacy (CMIL) and as the vice-chair of UNESCO’s International Steering Committee for Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL).

As a consultant, Sherri has advised children’s media companies such as YouTube Kids, Nickelodeon, and PBS Kids Sprout (now Universal kids) on educational issues, advertising policies, and media literacy inclusion. Having over 30 years of experience, working in media companies in top management roles, Sherri has given talks and presentations in 5 continents and over 19 countries on media literacy and children’s media topics.

Sherri has authored and co-edited several books, including The Media Career Guide and The Television and Video Survival Guide: An Insider's Top Notch Creative and Technical Advice for Your First (or next) Production among others.

Sherri was a 3-term president of the National Association for Media Literacy Education and currently serves as past-president on the board of directors. She is the host and producer of the podcast, Kids Talk Media, and the television series Media Inside Out.

Are you excited to hear Sherri Hope Culver’s views on Media Literacy? Register now for Media Meet 2020!

Pradeep KP


Filmmaker, Co-Founder of Pedestrian Pictures



Co-founder of Pedestrian Pictures, a Bangalore-based film collective, Pradeep KP is a filmmaker, actively engaged in documentary-making, film screenings, and cultural-political activism. He’s also a cinematographer with several narrative feature films, ad films and documentaries. He has previously taught at colleges across South India.

In Karnataka, Pradeep and his company have been actively involved in issues regarding struggles for Dalit rights, women’s rights, tribal rights, sexuality minority rights, class struggles, issues of environment and displacement, communalism and many more societal causes. Through his documentary films, visual reports, and articles, Pradeep has been creating awareness on these issues to get the attention they deserve.

‘Our Gauri’, a film about Gauri Lankesh, the fearless and robust journalist, was a personal tribute made by Pradeep K.R and his film company. It follows the journey of Gauri Lankesh’s career and the various struggles that she went through while fighting for communal harmony.

Eager to hear Pradeep KP’s insights on “Documentary Realism and Media Literacy?” Register now, for Media Meet 2020!

Prakash Ragupathi


Associate Creative Director at Kinnect



An accomplished copywriter, author, and entrepreneur, Prakash Raghupathi is the Associate Creative Director at Kinnect, one of India’s largest digital marketing agencies. A recipient of more than 20 awards including the ‘Young Achiever of the Year’ in advertising and marketing communications, Prakash is the epitome of all things creative. He has a ‘Never Say Die’ spirit, and has more than 10 years of work experience in the fields of advertising, branding, and print journalism. Having worked in top leadership roles, Prakash has a grasp of B2B and B2C communication, news reporting, editing, scriptwriting, and song-writing. With immense experience in advertising and interlacing a strategic approach, Prakash has gained recognition as a copywriter in numerous award-winning internal and external communication campaigns. Prakash is also the author of the book ‘The Armchair Anthology’. He has also conducted enthralling workshops on advertising and other communication strategies for the young entrepreneurs out there.

Hear Prakash Ragupathi share his take on “Trends in Consumer-Generated Advertising.” Ready, Get Set, Register for Media Meet 2020!

Priti David


Educator (PARI)



Priti David is a Journalist, Editor, and Teacher. She reports for the People’s Archive of Rural India (PARI) under P Sainath. Her areas of focus are Adivasis, health, education, and livelihoods.

Priti is the Education Editor at PARI and works with schools and colleges across India getting students to see the ‘invisible’ (rural) India, to engage, explore and empathise. She works with them to document rural issues and migrant lives as part of their course curriculum. She also teaches reporting on marginalised people.

She leads the team at PARI Education - PARI's education website launched in August 2020 which features work by students, curated, verified, and edited. PARI Education is also working with students in rural areas to get them to document their own lives.

An Economics Honours graduate from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University, she began her career with The Economic Times in 1989, covering marketing and new business. She moved to television in 1994 reporting for India Business Report on BBC World as the Bureau Chief (south), reporting on the people behind the news. She has also reported for CNBC ABNI and anchored business news programmes on different channels.

Dr Sumana Chattopadhyay


Associate Professor, Marquette University



Dr Sumana Chattopadhay is an associate professor in the Department of Digital Media and Performing Arts in the Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University, Wisconsin. Prior to being a part of Marquette University, she completed her Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Missouri, Columbia in 2006. Her key subjects for teaching include Political campaigns, social action campaigns, television as a global industry and international communication and her research interests include cross-cultural media coverage of crises, public opinion, political advertising, presidential debates, and political participation.

Besides being actively involved with the National Communication Association, she has also served as the program planner and as the chair of the Mass Communication Division. Dr Chattopadhay is also the Vice-Chair elect of the Political Communication Division and also been involved with the Undergraduate Curriculum Review Committee at the college level.

Join Ms Sumana and other prominent panelists in the “Media Literacy Praxis: From Classroom to Citizenry” panel only in Media Meet 2020!

Kavita Ratna


Director Advocacy of the Concerned for Working Children



Kavita Ratna is the Director - Advocacy at the Concerned for Working Children (CWC), a non-profit organization which has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize thrice. With over 29 years of experience, she has been working with CWC in various senior capacities related to communications, capacity building, advocacy, and resource mobilisation. She is a member of the International Advisory Group on Child Labour, Save the Children Canada and is also a member of the Expert Group Committee on Children’s Participation set up by the Committee on the Rights of the Child and UNICEF to prepare the General Comments of the CRC Committee on Article 12 (Right to Participation).

She has been a resource person for several international and national agencies including the Save the Children, Sweden, SIDA, Save the Children, Norway, UNICEF Mongolia, ECPAT – International, ILO, FORUT – IOGT, Norway, SIDA, Japan International Children’s Rights Centre, Japan. She has also been associated with the International Working Group on Child Labour (IWGCL) and the facilitation of children’s participation at local, national, regional and international levels.

Her key areas of interest as well as experience include Children's rights, Child labour, Children's participation, Democratic Decentralisation, Civil Society Participation, Developmental Communications.

To gain knowledge about Kavita Ratna’s perspective on “Community stories and Media literacy”, join us at Media Meet 2020!

Dr Anjali Monteiro


Professor at the School of Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences


Dr Anjali Monteiro is a Professor at the School of Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai where she teaches documentary and video production and also theoretical approaches to image-making practices. She is also involved in documentary production, media teaching, and research. Dr Anjali also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Master's degree in Economics and a Ph.D. in Sociology.

Dr Monteiro has achieved pioneering and innovative work in the field of media education. Working alongside Prof. K.P Jayasankar, she has made several documentaries and won various national and international awards at film festivals. Their films revolve around the problematizing of notions of self and the other, of normality and deviance, of local and the global, through the exploration of diverse narratives and rituals. Among numerous awards include the Basil Wright Prize 2013 for the film ‘So Heddan So Hoddan’ and the Jury’s commendation in the Intangible Culture category 2019 for the film ‘A Delicate Weave’ at the Royal Anthropological Institute Festival, UK. Beyond documentaries, they also worked together in co-authoring a book, “A Fly in the Curry: Independent Documentary Film in India.”

Besides having served as a jury member and a festival consultant to film festivals in India, Dr Monteiro has also mentored many award-winning students and fellowship documentaries as a commissioning editor.

Dr Monteiro also actively campaigned against censorship and for the protection of freedom of speech. Her writings focus on topics such as documentary film, censorship, critical theory, and issues of representation. She has also been a visiting professor at various universities such as the University of Western Sydney, Sydney, and the University of Technology, Sydney.

Want to hear what Dr Anjali has to share about “The Screen to the Streets: Media Makers & Democracy”? Register and join us at Media Meet 2020!

Dr Pablo Correa


Program Director and Assistant Professor, University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford


Dr Pablo Correa is the Program Director and Assistant Professor of the Digital Media and Communication program at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, Connecticut. He was also a visiting professor in the Civic Communication and Media department at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. Dr Correa specializes in digital media and documentary filmmaking with a special focus on the interests of the minorities such as the Blacks and Hispanics. His passion also includes teaching and inspiring people through the medium of documentary films. His documentaries highlight racial relations, stories of tension, and stories of perseverance and success.

Dr Correa won the Bronze Award for his film ‘Civil Rights Movement’ at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival 2015, under the ‘College Documentary Category’. The film was also screened at the 2017 Southern Margins Film Festival at Clemson University.

Dr Correa is currently working on projects commemorating Emmett Till who inspired the racial reconciliation movement in the Mississippi Delta. He also works as a web designer and a co-instructor for the Young Filmmakers Workshop that aims to empower the students from the Mississippi Delta high school to tell their own stories through digital media.

Catch Dr Pablo Correa speak in the panel, “What’s real? Documentary Realism & Media Literacy” with other renowned experts only at Media Meet 2020!

Dinesh Balliah


Educator, Trainer and Academic, Wits University



Dinesh Balliah is the coordinator of the career-entry honours in the journalism program at Wits University, Johannesburg, and is also the editor of the Wits Vuvuzela community newspaper, with a research focus on digital journalism. She is currently working on her Doctoral of Philosophy in Journalism and Media Studies at Wits University. She is also an amateur photographer.

Having served as the former public advocate of the Press Council of South Africa, Miss Balliah is also currently a member of the board of the Health-e-News Service and also an advisory committee member of the South African Media Innovation Project (SAMIP), which is an initiative by the Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF), an organisation based in New York. She has also served as a judge for the Standard Bank Sikuvile Awards for Journalism Excellence, the Forum for Community Journalists awards, and the Diageo Responsible Drinking Media Awards over the last few years.

Miss Dinesh was awarded the Faculty of Humanities Teaching and Learning Award for excellence in postgraduate teaching at Wits University in 2017.

We have a great lineup for you for the “Media Literacy Praxis: From Classroom to Citizenry” panel discussion! Watch as Miss Dinesh shares her thoughts on this topic only at Media Meet 2020!

Vaibhav Diwanji


Marketing Communications Researcher



Vaibhav Diwanji is an Indian marketing communications researcher and practitioner with over 10 years of experience in new media technology enabled and user-led communications and advertising. He also has an established track record of developing and directing strategic communication initiatives for brands and businesses from all over the world. Currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Communications at Florida State University, Mr Vaibhav also has an in-depth knowledge of human-technology interactions and their implications for individuals, organisations and brands as a scholar-practitioner.

Mr Vaibhav has taught subjects such as new media technologies, advertising, diffusion of innovative communication strategies and multimedia designing. His research interests include advertising, digital marketing, strategic brand management, social media marketing, re-marketing, user-generated branding and public relations.

We’re excited to have Vaibhav Diwanji as one of the panelists for the panel discussion “Trends in Consumer Generated Advertising.” Register today to hear what Vaibhav has to share on the different trends of advertising only at Media Meet 2020!

Pallavi Rao


Instructor & Teaching Assistant at Indiana University, Bloomington



Pallavi Rao is an Associate instructor at Indiana University, Bloomington with a decade of experience in teaching undergraduate courses on Race and Diversity in the media, film studies, communication, culture and society, digital media, and media writing. Her key areas in teaching include media literacy, recognizing media representation as cultural citizenship, and developing oppositional reading strategies and hermeneutics across content. She won the best article award for her article “The Five-Point Indian: Caste, Masculinity, and English Language in the Paratexts of Chetan Bhagat.” from the Journal of Communication Inquiry.

She’s a firm believer that a critical media pedagogy for methods of reporting, writing, and editing that are rooted in anti-racist, anti-caste feminist thinking is of urgent importance in J-schools and media institutes.

She has a Master's degree in writing and communication from Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, and has taught at the School of Communication, Manipal University for three years. Her key fields of research include cultural studies, journalism, digital media cultures, South Asia, globalization, caste and gender studies, and postcolonial media.

To gain extensive knowledge about the use of media literacy in studying and writing about community stories join us at a Panel Discussion on “Narratives from India: Community stories and media literacy” at Media Meet 2020!

Harsh Mander


Indian Author, Researcher, Teacher, and Social Activist



An advocate for the destruction of mass violence, hunger, and homeless people, Harsh Mander, an Indian author, and social activist has dedicated his life in eradicating these issues. He is the founding member of the National Campaign for the People’s Right to Information and is currently the Director of the Centre for Equity Studies, a research center focused on social and economic justice.

In an effort to eradicate these societal issues, he founded many campaigns- Aman Biradari, for secularism, peace, and justice; Nyayagrah, for legal justice and reconciliation for the survivors of communal violence; Dil Se, for street children, and Hausla for urban homeless people. He has worked for almost two decades in the Indian Administrative Service, serving both in Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh.

He was a member of the Core Groups on Bonded Labour and Mental Hospitals of the statutory National Human Rights Commission. His contribution also extends to various official national committees.

Mr Harsh Mander identifies as a human rights activist and peace worker, writer, columnist, researcher, and teacher, dedicating his life for securing the rights to food, housing, land, and the right to health. Mander has received numerous awards including the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award for peace work, the M.A. Thomas National Human Rights Award 2002, the South Asian Minority Lawyers Harmony Award 2012, and the Chishti Harmony Award 2012.

To gain his experiential insights on media literacy join us for a session on “Media literacy to counter systemic violence” at Media Meet 2020!

Sumeet Samos


Indian rapper and Student Activist



Sumeet Samos is an Indian rapper, student activist, columnist and one of the most prominent Dalit activists in the country. He holds a postgraduate degree in Spanish language and literature from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He released his debut music album “LadaiSeekh Le” in 2018, followed it up with albums such as “All You Know is Five Words” and “Jaati”, his recent one. Sumeet uses his talent to rap about his experiences of caste discrimination. His lyrics addresses the issues of localised histories and incidents, cases, and incidents of violence and oppression against the people from the Dalit, Bahujan and Adivasi communities.

Currently, he works with French Radio Live Paris to spread awareness about caste discrimination in India to global audience. In 2019, the Times of India listed him as “One of the 15 youths to watch out for in this decade.”

Having been associated with the Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students Association (BAPSA), Sumeet believes that rap is the most effective weapon to fight casteism and to develop a powerful anti-caste narrative.

Join us at Media Meet 2020 and witness Sumeet Samos recall his experiences and share his insights at the plenary discussion, “The Power of Storytelling”.

Dr Naresh Rao


Associate Professor in the Department of Media Studies, CHRIST (Deemed to be University)


Dr Naresh Rao is an Associate Professor at the Department of Media Studies, CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bangalore. He is also the recipient of the Khadri Achyuthan Memorial Samvahana Award 2017 for his contributions to the field of education. Dr Rao has numerous publications to his credit in reputed journals and periodicals such as the Elixir International Journal, Global Journal for Research Analysis, and Deccan Herald. His research interests include politics and the relevance of new media - especially social media - in today’s times.

Dr Rao believes in an interactive classroom environment and ensures that his students apply theory to practice. He encourages his students to look at new media through a critical eye so that they emerge as well-informed citizens and skilled media professionals.

Are you all set to hear Dr Naresh Rao on “Critical Literacy through social media”? Join us at Media Meet 2020!

Archana Vasudev


Founder of Talkative



Archana Vasudev, the founder of Talkative (talkative.world), hails from Bengaluru, Karnataka. She received her postgraduate degree in Communication and Media Studies from M.O.P Vaishnav College for Women, Chennai, and further went on to attain her M.Phil in Communication and Ph.D. in Communication, Journalism from the University of Madras, Chennai. She held the Head of Faculty position at Centre for Management Studies, Jain University. Her areas of interest include, advertising, marketing strategy, content strategy, and writing.

Archana Vasudev is the founder of Talkative, a company which specialises in a broad range of disciplines including communication, trend analysis, planning, management, and people relations. She had previously worked at Google as an Account Associate.

Eager to hear what Archana Vasudev has to contribute to the panel discussion on “Trends in Consumer Generated Advertising”? Join us at Media Meet 2020!

Ninad Samaddar


Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre, CHRIST (Deemed to be University)


Prof. Ninad Samaddar is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre Studies, CHRIST (Deemed to be University). He is known for combining the Vakhtangov style, movements and vocal and breath training to fully comprehend the art form of theatre.

After completing his graduation in CHRIST University, he went on to earn his postgraduate degree from the Drama Centre London Group and further attended the Boris Shchukin Theatre Institute in 2018. Mr Ninad was a lead actor in several departmental productions during his graduate course under the direction of late Ms Esther Yates, the founder of the Department of Theatre Studies, CHRIST. His endeavour in Taj Express; The Bollywood Musical took him to showcase his talent in the United States and Canada.

To learn more about theatre from Prof. Ninad tune in to the Plenary Session- “The Power of Storytelling” only at Media Meet 2020!

Sudipto Mondal


Investigative Journalist



Sudipto Mondal is an Investigative Journalist from Bangalore, who reports vastly on issues of caste, communalism, and corruption in India. Currently, he is writing a book dealing with the death of the Dalit Research Scholar Rohit Vemula and its impact on the discourse of caste system and also the 25-year history of the Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA).

Mondal has a key interest in caste-based studies and has been working fearlessly for years to give a voice to the backward classes in India. He had previously worked as a reporter for the Dalit Camera and published various articles for The Hindu, Hindustan Times, Al Jazeera, Live Mint, The Print, NYT, and The Federal.

According to him, his “kicks” lie in sports, caste, music, and religion.

Catch his opinions and insights on "Amplifying Voices: Media Makers & Democracy" at Media Meet 2020!

Arathi Manay


Community Anchor at Citizen Matters


A firm believer in “be the change you want to see in the world”, Arathi Manay is an independent market researcher, engineer and general consultant working with individuals and agencies across the globe. She is also a part-time community anchor at Oorvani Foundation and consults on financial matters to private firms and NGOs.

Ms Arathi formerly worked with Clear Ideas and Engine International (formerly ORC Research and Consulting), Right Angle/ Incite Marketing Planning, Kantar (Lightspeed Research) and Median Research (India).

Her expertise includes research design, instrument design, data collection (in-depth interviews), statistical analysis, field briefing, and reporting in the field of advertising. She is also keen on mobilising the citizens to write about things they encountered in their daily lives.

As a supporter of media literacy, Ms Arathi will join us at Media Meet 2020! Join us at the “Community Stories and Media Literacy from the Indian Perspective” discussion to interact and know more about her takes!