It's all about talent

It's all about talent

CAREER CHOICE

An old saying goes —“The pen is mightier than the sword.” A career in media is today as popular as one in engineering or medicine was a couple of decades ago.

In India, there’s a whole world in media beyond television and newspapers that is making journalism both attractive and lucrative.

Course work

Commits offers a two-year full-time Master’s degree course in Mass Communication. The college is affiliated to the Makhanlal Chaturvedi University of Journalism, Bhopal, set up by the Madhya Pradesh government. “At Commits, we try to ensure that our students understand the  industry thoroughly before entering the profession, so our courses are tailored to meet industry requirements and much emphasis is laid on practical course work.

Our students are able to apply what they learn in class when they produce the college newspaper and the television news bulletins; the newspaper is circulated widely among students in Bangalore and other cities while the bulletins are evaluated by senior journalists.

In addition, students turn in reporting and editing assignments, make presentations on current affairs, and, in the third semester, also produce documentaries, radio features, and a fiction film, all of which help to enhance their understanding of the media industry.

We also have journalists coming to teach at Commits as guest faculty; some of these journalists are our own alumni who have made their mark in the industry. Commits also arranges internships with newspapers and television news channels for students interested in journalism,” says Ramesh Prabhu, professor of journalism, Commits, Bangalore.

The Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media (IIJNM) was the first to introduce a course in journalism covering science and technology; among the first to start a stream in radio; and it is the only journalism school that webcasts their students’ bulletins live.

In keeping with its legacy, from this academic year, IIJNM has started a stream in multimedia journalism where students bring together text, audio and video for delivery in different platforms. Students produce slideshows, audio and video podcasts and work with infographics to bring meaningful stories to the online reader.

The institute has also given considerable attention to investigative journalism. For the past two years, IIJNM students have used the Right to Information Act to ferret out information that was hidden away in government files to produce stories that made headlines in local and national newspapers.

IIJNM’s courses are state-of-the-art, addressing contemporary concerns, be it rural reporting or covering social and religious issues. The areas of specialisations that students study — political reporting, covering business and finance, development reporting or international reporting — provide them with the background to gain a perspective of the present.

Says Dr Abraham M George, dean and founder, IIJNM, “Additionally, IIJNM has been working toward collaborating with various foreign universities and institutions to enhance its programme, as well as to bring their degrees to our students. It now has an agreement with the City University, London, for a student exchange program. A select number of students from each other’s college will be able to attend the other’s programme for a full semester, without having to pay additional tuition fees.”

Career options

With the media in expansion mode in India, there are opportunities galore for young journalists with good education and appropriate work experience, at least in the form of internships. It helps if journalism aspirants have written articles in the college newspaper and also helped produce it, and if they have worked on television news bulletins and radio features.

Newspapers, magazines, television news channels and radio stations want young people with the right kind of practical education and training, and, this is very important, the right attitude. Newspapers recruit freshers as sub-editors or reporters; television channels hire newcomers as bureau reporters, desk staff, or production staff; and radio stations are keen to employ young and enthusiastic professionals in the programming and production departments.

Ranita Hirji, dean of studies, Commits, says, "Our two-year Master's degree course in Commits is the ideal mix of theory, practical training and industry internships that turns out competent communications professionals and our 100% placement record every year is ample proof of this. Commitscions achieve success not only with their knowledge and expertise but also with their ability to function as balanced mature individuals with the right values of integrity, consideration and cooperation. A Commitscion is trained to be an exceptional individual and an exceptional team player.”

Opines Prof Varadesh Hiregange, director, Manipal Institute of Communication, Manipal University, “Journalism, as a career option today, has a broad range of choices from newspaper journalism to new media journalism. Radio and television figure in-between. Interestingly, in India, growth of new media such as web news portals has not affected newspaper circulation as a whole unlike in the United States.

Moreover, growth of private television channels (news channels to be specific) over the years, has expanded the scope of journalism as a career. Meanwhile, journalism schools are also offering specialised courses in politics, art and culture, film studies, business, sports, environment, development, etc.

It also helps students to focus on certain areas after learning the basic skills of journalism. It should also ideally help them to select their newspaper, magazine, channel or a portal which can best suit their taste and strength. However, the basic duty of a journalist, to be a ‘voice of the voiceless’, should remain the same amid the glamorous world.”

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