KIT Thomas Oration 2024

The KIT Thomas Oration is an annual event dedicated to honouring the memory of the school’s founder, Mr. K. I. Thomas. This special occasion invites distinguished speakers to address a diverse audience, including senior students, faculty, parents, esteemed guests, and alumni of the Lawrence School Lovedale and Sishya. This event is a unique tradition at Sishya, and each year, it welcomes accomplished individuals from different fields who have achieved excellence in their respective domains to deliver inspiring speeches. This tradition aligns perfectly with Mr. KIT Thomas’ vision, which emphasizes nurturing Sishya students’ inquisitive minds and encouraging them to excel in their areas of passion. These lectures effectively stimulate curiosity among students and broadens their understanding of the diverse paths they can take to shape their futures.

This year, the oration was held on the 9th of April 2024. Mr. Prabhu Chawla, Editorial Director – the New Indian Express, was the orator. The hall was packed with young and old minds eager to listen to Mr Chawla address the crowd on the topic “Is the English Media Still Relevant in This Day and Age”.

He spoke about how in a democratic nation like India, the media plays a crucial role as the fourth estate despite the rise of the digital media. Newspapers remain a significant source of information though statistics show that more 15-20 million people do not have access to newspapers. Mr Chawla also highlighted how the English-speaking population is put on a higher pedestal and a certain perception is formed about them. While the primary purpose of media is to collect and disseminate information, English media often influences public opinion by framing narratives. Moreover, the commercialization of news, treating it as a commodity for profit, raises concerns about journalistic integrity.

He also addressed the decline in the relevance of English media, with even the educated straying away from traditional newspapers. This decline is attributed to the predictability of content and accusations that English media prioritizes sensationalism over factual reporting. The crowd was quite taken aback on hearing that English media often forms conclusions first, then tailors facts to fit preconceived narratives, disrupting the integrity of journalism.

Mr Prabhu ended his speech by saying that a true journalist is one who fears none and favours none. It was truly an enlightening speech for all.

The stage was then open for questions from the guests after which the oration came to end with the Vote of Thanks and the National Anthem.

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