Christmas vacation was a time to go back home, spend time with family and in our students’ case, report for and publish stories in their local newspaper! The Assam Tribune, Deccan Chronicle and Hindustan Times are just some of the publications our students landed stories in while at home over Christmas.
Taluk visit by IIJNM students
Our students returned from their first visit to the taluks in the last week of October laden with stories, experiences and insights from what many people call the neglected India. IIJNM’s students are required to spend one week every semester in a rural area, living among the people there. This gives them a flavor of what 70% of India faces every day, and how as conscientious journalists, our students can tell the story of these places. Their second visit is scheduled for the second half of February and from these two visits, our students will produce individual master’s projects.
IIJNM alumni win Laadli Media Gender Sensitivity awards
IIJNM alumna Vaishnavi Vittal, of the 2008 graduating class, has been bestowed with a Laadli Media Gender Sensitivity Award for her article titled "Government ignores us because we aren't educated and rich." Citizen Matters published her article in July 2010. Congratulations, Vaishnavi!
IIJNM alumna Deepa Ranganathan, of the 2011 graduating class, has been bestowed with a Laadli Media Gender Sensitivity Award for her article titled "Boys don't cry." The Alternative published her article in April 2011. Congratulations, Deepa!
IIJNM almnus wins "We Care Film Fest’ 2012" award
Mrinmoy Bhowmick of the 2009-10 batch has been declared the winner of the ninth ‘We Care Film Fest’ 2012 in the Under-30 minutes category. His film, “I Can Love, Too” sheds light on marriage and persons with disability, something most people often doubt The aim of the "We Care" film festivals which began in 2003 is to create awareness about disability issues through the medium of films and to foster integration in society by spreading the message of ability. The festival underlines the UN's commitment to inclusion -- in both development and human rights perspectives. Mrinmoy’s film was chosen from among more than 100 entries in his category.
IIJNM faculty and alumni announce with deepregret and sorrow the sudden and untimely death of our alumnus Raghuram Ramachandran. He was 22.
Raghuram graduated in broadcast journalism in 2011.He worked as a reporter for The New Indian Express in Calicut.
He left Calicut on Friday night to visit his family at Chalakuddi, a village near Thrissur, Kerala, to celebrate the festival of Vishu. He was traveling alone on his bike at 12:30 a.m. Saturday when his motorcycle was involved in a collision with a mini bus. According to news reports, he was transported to Westfort Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Raghu, as he was known on campus, is remembered fondly as a student who had broad interests beyond journalism. He was fascinated by Allen Ginsberg’s poetry and adored Arundhati Roy’s work. Raghu planned to publish a volume of poetry to be titled “Victim of a Dream, “according to Nagesh Hegde, a professor at IIJNM.
"Raghu was my roommate at IIJNM and a good friend. He was rebellious in his own ways, but his reporting and edit skills were enviable," Soumit Mazumdar said.
Raghu had strong political views and enjoyed a good argument like few others in his batch, faculty member Ron Feemster said. He chose to study at IIJNM because he believed journalism was a tool to combat injustice in society.
"He would have made a great journalist and would have lighted up many lives with his beautiful smile,” said Prajwala Hegde. “He was always ready to help people around him. I remember running up to him every time I faced a technical glitch because I knew there was nothing Raghu couldn't fix."
His fellow broadcast student Aritra Sarkhel said: "He was a budding news reporter with an eye for the unknown. He was always great with the camera. A budding poet and a man of many calibers,"
But most of all, his fellow students remember him as a friend.
"He was the guy with all the trivia and always made people laugh. He took stories by the horns and used to fondly call me Rintoo Baba," Anirban Ghoshal recalled.
Ankita Mehta said: "It just feels that he is still around us. I still can’t believe he’s gone. He was like my small brother and always full of masti. It is really unfair that he had to leave us. He will be missed."
Raghu is survived by his parents, Rathy and Ramachandran, and his younger brother, whom Raghu called “Kunjan.”
Nostalgia takes over alumni reunion
“Remember the resident evil?” Hoots, cheers and whistles reverberated through the auditorium as these words were uttered by Kanchan Kaur, vice dean, in the opening sequence of a video to welcome ex-students at the Second Alumni Reunion of The Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media, Bangalore.
The video took all the students on a nostalgia trip as faculty members spoke about the alumni and how excited they were to see them again. Laughter resonated and the alumni were reminded of their days in the college when the video ended with Kanchan Kaur lightheartedly telling them that they had to answer a news quiz later.
Alok Dixit, alumnus, delivered an engaging speech on his campaign ‘Save your voice’, that brought into the spotlight the issue of the government coming down upon social media platforms. He captured the attention of the audience when he spoke about the Langda March, a movement that he had spearheaded in various cities to spread awareness about the importance of freedom of expression.
Much revelry was had as the alumni bonded and exchanged anecdotes with the current students and teachers over a delectable meal in the hostel mess. After lunch, they braced themselves to play a game of snakes and ladders in the college campus, albeit with a twist, as they had to answer news based questions to move ahead in the game. They’re journalists, after all! Giggles were heard as the students struggled to answer the questions in the game, which ranged from the world of sports, entertainment and politics. Annie Nair, a student from the batch of 2011 won the game.
Venky, another ex-student floored the audience as he strummed the guitar and impressed everyone with his skills as he sang “Love is not a kiss on your lips, but a kick on your backside!” Christopher, current student at IIJNM, had the whole auditorium singing along as he played ‘Sutta’ on the guitar.
It was time to put their thinking caps on as the students proceeded to play the Crime Scene Investigation game. The atmosphere was tense as the teams ran around the college campus, locating clues, interrogating suspects that would lead them to solve the murder mystery. Prashant, Alisha and Sezal, students of Christ College emerged victorious in the game as they correctly revealed the murderer and his motive.
As the sun readied to set in the green terrains of Kumbalgudu, the alumni exchanged their goodbyes as they looked back on a fun-filled, nostalgia-driven day that they would reminisce for a long time!
IIJNM Placement Week
The year is spent running in circles, squares and what not to interview the right people, to put in the right punctuations and shoot the best footage to get the best story. You are pulled, twisted, turned upside down and polished squeaky clean over nine months till it seems you’ve spent months in what seems like a journalist’s equivalent of a car-wash and you're ready for the ultimate test—placement week.
Day 1 finds everyone devouring the morning newspaper while breakfast and tea lie unattended at their side. It’s not just breakfast that suffers; the efforts to remember the names of all the ministers, the scams they were involved in and the money that has vanished, leaves students running into walls and into each other. Deccan Herald is the first newspaper to conduct a test at the campus. The college has an almost equally strong television and print batch apart from a number of multi-media students. This doesn’t seem to matter. Almost all students have found their way to the right class room and are armed with their pens as the editor from Deccan Herald enters the room. After three hours of scribbling on paper and scratching their heads the students emerge.
“Now that wasn’t so difficult was it?” one student said. The responses were mixed. The atmosphere over the next few days as people from The New Indian Express, Thomson Reuters and Hindustan Times conducted tests was similar to that of school. After each test students would hurry out to discuss and check answers. Some students just remained silent, not knowing whether to jump and laugh or to cry.
Students were running in and out of classrooms and interviews with organisations like Hindustan Times, Kolkata TV, The Mint, International Business Times, The New Indian Express, CyberMedia and Times Now.
As the week went by offers began trickling in. Big smiles appeared on many faces and choruses of “Congratulations!” could be heard all over campus. Little and big disappointments were washed away with new hopes as more organisations extended offers and people hopped the picket fence from the student/ work experience at IIJNM to that of a working adult.
And so it continues. Before the college has ended the year, many students find themselves making arrangements to go to different parts of the country, while others are attending more tests and interviews. The big, bad, exciting world of journalism had better watch out. We're on our way!
IIJNM students interview New Yorker staff writer
Few magazines have a history as venerable or a reputation as celebrated as The New Yorker, so a group of students at the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media was delighted to get the chance to "sit at the feet" of one of its youngest and most talented staff writers recently.
Ben McGrath's article "Baghdad to Swarthmore," carried in the Dec. 26, 2005, issue of The NewYorker, introduces War News Radio, an award-winning weekly radio show produced by students of Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Penn., who put a human face on the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan by the simple means of making random calls to the citizens of those countries and interviewing them.
After reading McGrath's article in class, the students were assigned to compile three questions each for McGrath, 29, on any aspect of the reporting and writing of his article. The 90 or so submitted questions were narrowed down to 16, which were e-mailed to him at the address provided by The New Yorker. McGrath generously answered the questions put to him frankly and at length, providing a valuable insight into writing for the 85-year-old magazine with over a million subscribers.
Following are excerpts from the e-mail interview with McGrath.
Vidya Kishore Kumar: What inspired you to write this article? What quality of War News Radio attracted you in the first place?
Well, this story came to my attention, as so many do, through the old-fashioned form of social networking: through a friend of a friend, essentially. Marty Goldensohn, the head of the Swarthmore radio program, was friends with Mark Danner, a former New Yorker writer, and I think Danner called me and told me about it, suspecting I might be interested. He was right. The quality that attracted me to War News Radio was the brilliant simplicity of the idea: pick up the phone and call people, and maybe something interesting will come of it.
Vidya Kishore Kumar: What, in your opinion, is the most important aspect of War News Radio that catapulted it from its struggling days to the state of recognition it has today?
I’m sorry to say that I don't have any real insight here because I haven’t kept up with it. My guess is that the most important aspect is that the students were producing work of high quality, and that it attracted enough outside attention (from The New York Times, NPR, The New Yorker) to validate their early efforts and encourage new waves of students to keep at it. But that’s just based on my general understanding of human psychology, not anything specific to this case.
Paul Richard Dharamraj: Did you try calling Baghdad yourself when you found out about the story?
Good question! And I'm afraid the answer is no. In fact, it was a long time before I started using Skype myself. But, looking back at that story, that’s one of the things that stands out to me now: that Skype was then a novelty, something most people hadn’t yet heard of. I remember that the founders of Skype were delighted by the passing mention of their service in my story, and sent me lollipops that, in my foggy recollection, tasted awful.
Deepa Ranganathan: How did the journalists build up the trust with the local citizens there so they could gather information from them regarding their news stories?
The students didn’t speak Arabic, so there was a kind of selection bias at work: Ultimately, they were only getting through to Iraqis who spoke decent English, which is not an ideally representative sample of the population. I think the chances were probably greater that English-speaking Iraqis would understand what the students were after, and where they were coming from.
Sayan Chakraborty: Was the information gathered from conversations with local people different from the version provided by the government?
Yes, I think so, but also, the kind of information the students were looking for from local people was different from what they or anyone else would be asking of the government. I think they were specifically interested in hearing the personal stories of local people, not their political assessments.
Ananda Siddhartha: Did the students aim to come up with a proposal for corporate backing so they could expand their network and reach?
Another good question, but I’m afraid I don’t know the answer.
Ankita Mitra: As a journalist, what is your opinion about this new form of journalism produced by a group of college-going students?
I don’t know that I’d necessarily call it a new form of journalism. It seems to me like the oldest form of journalism: calling people, listening to their stories. They made good use of new technology, though.
Pradhija S.: Did you explore the potential safety issues (possibly resulting from leakage of sensitive information) in these kind of phone conversations, either with respect to individuals or with respect to a community in some form?
No, I didn’t, but these are excellent points/questions you raise.
Kruthi Gonwar: How credible is the information gained in this manner?
Well, there’s some reason for concern, obviously. One problem with only talking to people on the phone, as opposed to in person, is that you often can’t be sure who it is, exactly, that you’re talking to. Calling random strangers probably isn’t the best way to get hard facts, at least not without some fairly extensive vetting, but it helps to humanize the facts that you’re getting from more traditional outlets.
Namrata Nandakumar: Although it is not mainstream reporting, War News Radio seems to have had quite an impact. How would you say the information it provides has affected other media coverage of the war?
Again, I’m sorry to say that I don’t really have a sense of what’s happened with War News Radio in the last four years.
Prerna Changkakati: What are the important things to remember while writing such an article?
Too many to name! But see #15, below. And also, I always try to remember not to assume that the readers will know what I’m talking about. In other words, try to write with a confused and distracted reader in mind, as though you’re determined to get him up to speed.
Shweta Rao A.: Quoting a line in the article: “When not telephoning Iraq, the War News team occupy themselves with critiquing the President's speeches, assessing the ongoing media coverage...” How does the author, himself a reporter, think about the job that the Swarthmore students did in highlighting the other side of Iraq war compared with that done by professional reporters? Are professional reporters constrained by factors that don't constrain people working outside the media industry?
Well, I think we’ve all learned, in retrospect, that the mainstream media didn’t do a great job in reporting on certain aspects of the war, or the period leading up to the war. Generally speaking, groups of professionals in any field fall into certain habits over time, and most of those habits are useful, and were probably formed in response to certain recurring conditions that outsiders wouldn’t have any way of knowing about. But it’s definitely useful to have outsiders, whether college students or whomever, come along every so often and approach the same tasks without those habits, and remind the professionals of what they may be missing. Sorry to be so general about this, but I’ve never been to Baghdad myself, so I don’t have ready examples on hand.
Shweta Rao A.: What are author’s views on so-called citizen journalism? Does he think it undermines people's reliance on mainstream reporters?
I think citizen journalism that supplements professional reporting is a good thing. If it gets to the point of seriously endangering readers’ dependency on professional reporters, well, then that would suggest two things: 1) that the citizen journalism is of a high quality, and 2) that the professionals need to be more creative about finding ways to provide value to readers.
Avanish Tiwary: How did you manage to write such a humorous piece on this serious issue?
Well, I almost always try to make my stories at least somewhat humorous, so I guess the best answer would be: practice. My goal is never to bore the reader, because if you lose the reader’s attention, it doesn’t matter how serious your subject is, the point will be lost. One way to think about it is that you imagine trying to convey the information you’ve learned in the form of an anecdote related to a friend while walking. If you don’t lighten the mood at a certain point, your friend’s going to change the subject, or start daydreaming. There are exceptions, of course...
Arpita Kala: Don’t you think stories on Iraq might get a little boring, eventually? What do you plan to do then?
Um, sure. “What do you plan to do then?” Are you talking about me, or the Swarthmore students? In my case, well, probably only three or four of my two hundred or so stories for the magazine have been about Iraq, so I have the luxury of being able to jump around from one subject to the next, and therefore I almost never get bored. As far as the radio program goes, my impression, at least at the time, was that they did a pretty good job of balancing man-on-the-street coverage with more common political overviews and profiles of prominent personalities. I focused on the phoning-random-people-up theme because it struck me, in a way, as the most novel, and it was the one instance where college students, through their own initiative, were doing things that the mainstream professional press largely weren't.
IIJNM almnus selected for attending the "Future Media Leaders Program" by Thomson Foundation, UK
Thomson Foundation, a leading organization in media training and development has selected Deepika Bhardwaj , alumni of IIJNM batch 08-09 for the "Future Media Leaders Program" at Cardiff, Wales, UK. Deepika is one of the only five participants who have received a scholarship to attend this month-long course. The scholarship is worth £ 6900 and will cover training fee, accommodation, stay and travel during the program.
Mr Tim Rogers, Director, Training and Development, Thomson Foundation said, " You impressed us with your application and the thoroughness of your replies. I have no doubt that you are a most worthy beneficiary of one of our five scholarships and I am sure you will make a great contribution as a participant on our Future Media Leaders course"
The participants of this course will visit the House of Lords in London, the BBC, ITN and other such organisations. They will also meet leaders of media organizations in the UK. They will work on their leadership skills and on a team task to be evaluated at the end of the course. Apart from Deepika, a senior anchor from NDTV will also be attending the course.
The IIJNM Community wishes her the best.
IIJNM alumnus Nachiketa Maiti is no more
The IIJNM family announces with deep regret and sorrow the sudden and untimely demise of our alumnus, Nachiketa Maiti on Monday, March 1, 2010.
Nachiketa, a student of Broadcast Journalism in the Batch of 2008 was visiting his family at a village in Kolaghat, West Bengal, when he complained of chest pain. A primary check up showed no signs of anything serious. He was fine the night after, but it was "over" the next morning in his father’s words.
Nachi, as he was known on the campus, is remembered by his friends as a hard working student who fought all odds to achieve his dream of being a successful journalist. Since he had experience in television journalism before joining college, he would often guide fellow students.
“Nachiketa was a dreamer, a believer who had faith that hard work could create miracles and he was an example of that. He was an amazing Bengali poet and writer,” his friend Debolina Sengupta recalls.
“I got a chance to interact with him when we went shooting for a college documentary. I think he had worked really hard to come to the position he was in. I remember him telling me how difficult it was for him to study when he was young. He had great sense of business journalism. When he was doing an internship at Bangalore Mirror, where I worked, he came up with some brilliant ideas to write about. He will definitely be missed,” recalls Manasa Tejaswini.
“Nachi fought obstacles to get into IIJNM, he always wanted to do well to support his family. He was a very talented and hard working person. It is really unfair that he had to leave us at such a young age. He will be missed,” Sharath N. Murthy says.
The IIJNM faculty remembers Nachiketa with fondness and regret that a promising young life had to come to such a quick end.
Nachiketa is survived by his parents, elder sister and brother in law.
The faculty and students at IIJNM stand by his near and dear ones in this moment of grief and wish them strength.
IIJNM almnus wins National Media Fellowship 2009-2010
New Delh, December 2009 : Tsewang Rigzin, IIJNM Alumnus from Ladakh was among the 11 journalists, including two photojournalists, who were awarded the 15th National Media Fellowship for the year 2009-2010 by the National Foundation for India at the India International Centre in New Delhi.
Among them, Tsewang Rigzin, an associate editor of Epilogue – a monthly magazine published from Jammu – was the only one to win this fellowship for the year 2009-2010 from the State of Jammu and Kashmir .
The other journalists are from Assam , Jharkhan, Delhi , Orissa, Madya Pradesh and Chandigarh . At a function organized in New Delhi on 16 December 2009 at India International Centre, renowned journalist Ms Usha Rai gave away the fellowship awards.
The Foundation gives fellowships every year to invite young, mid-career journalists including freelance to research and publish articles on a wide range of issues concerning the less privileged, that need to be high on society’s agenda, but do not find mention there for a variety of reasons. Each fellowship award carries a citation, a trophy and a grant of Rupees one lakh.
IIJNM alumnus wins Developing Asia Journalism Award
Bangalore, October 26, 2009—Supriya Khandekar, IIJNM Alumnus and city-based journalist was awarded the Young Development Journalist of the Year Award at the Developing Asia Journalism Awards (DAJA) organized by the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) on Friday, October 23, 2009.
She was chosen among 22 finalists from all over Asia and the Pacific region for the award.
The story which fetched her the award was about Golahalli, a village near IIJNM, a few kilometers from Bangalore. Supriya first did the story for the IIJNM students’ publication, The Weekly Observer. She then joined a Bangalore-based website, Citizen Matters, where she did a fresh inquiry on the story and re-worked it. View this story on: http://bangalore.citizenmatters.in/articles/view/480-golahalli
Subbu Vincent, Editor of Citizen Matters says, “"I am thrilled to see Supriya Khandekar go on to receive this award. It is richly deserved, and our team at Citizen Matters was delighted to hear this. Supriya is a talented and spirited journalist, gifted with a sensitive intellect and the stomach for courageously getting into the complexities of our
Prof. Nagesh Hegde, renowned environmental journalist and Rajyotsava awardee, who teaches Development Journalism at IIJNM said: Supriya has that unusual capacity to find story ideas in the nooks and dark corners of the city where few women dare to go. She specialized in highlighting the plight of women of the parasitic villages in the outskirts of the city. I admire her tenacity.”
The annual award aims to acknowledge Asian and Pacific print journalists who cover development trends and the impact these have on the countries and people of the region. Journalists from developing Asia and the Pacific were invited to submit published articles on one of the following issues: poverty impact of the global financial crisis; government responses to the global financial crisis; infrastructure development; and climate change adaptation.
The IIJNM Community wishes her the best.
IIJNM student wins DNA weekly photo contest
Shravana Kumar’s photographs depict the daily life of Bangalore labourers through the photographer’s lens. This week, the DNA news agency selected his shot “Labourer’s Daily Life,” in which a man is shown transporting large parcels of clean laundry on his bicycle, as the winning photo in the “Pic Me Up” contest.
Shravan, is a print and new media trainee journalist at the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM) in Bangalore. He contributed his photograph last month to the DNA daily newspaper’s weekly photograph contest. About 50 photographers entered the contest.
The “Pic Me Up” contest committee members selected six of the 50 entered photographs and published in the DNA. The six chosen photographers, including Shravan, were invited to a viewing of all the photographs and to get the chance to see the various art and creativity of each photographer. The committee selected Shravan’s “Labourer’s Daily Life” photograph as the top entry.
“I was very happy, excited when I heard that I was selected, because there were about 50 participants,” Shravan said. The prize included a Sony Digital Camera, which was presented by the DNA photo editor. The contest was sponsored in part by Sony.
IIJNM Student wins poetry competition
Kartik Sharma, a broadcast journalism student of Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM) won first prize in a Poetry Competition in ‘Unmaad 2009’, the international annual festival at Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB).
The Hindi poetry competition ‘Delhi Durbar’ took place on Sunday, October 4 in the premises of IIMB. The theme of the competition was love or laughter.
The competition was spread over two rounds in which forty poets from all across India participated. In the preliminary round Sharma recited a poem on how important it is to love oneself. In the final round only ten out of forty poets were selected and Sharma was one of them. In the final round Sharma recited a poem on the love for our motherland and the responsibility one has towards her.
‘Delhi Durbar’ was one of the various events that took place in ‘Unmaad 2009’. Over 30,000 contestants participated from all over the world in this fest.
Sharma has won many other poetry competitions too but it was special he said. Sharma said that since he was representing IIJNM for the first time and that too in IIMB this award holds a special place for him. He also said that writing is an integral part of journalism so winning a poetry competition is equally cherishing for a budding journalist too.
"Gramin Dak Sevak" A short documentary film made by Deepika Bhardwaj, an alumni of IIJNM from the batch of 2008-2009 has won the All Asia Livelihood Documentary festival , Jeevika 2009 under the student category. There were 175 entries from all over Asia in the festival out of which 56 were student entries. The film was screened at The Habitat Centre, New Delhi and the awards were presented on 30th August. Deepika shares her experience with us.
" It was a great learning experience. The Film was well appreciated at the festival by filmmakers and everyone. Many people came to me telling that they never knew about this issue and the film enlightened them on the subject. Ms Gargi Sen , a noted filmmaker and one of the juries for the festival, congratulated me personally saying that the jury was unanimous on awarding the film as its short, to the point and very touching. The film has now been taken up by the General Manager, Postal department, New Delhi to look forward into the issue. I feel good that i have been able to help the GDS community through this film. Wish to thank each and every one who were a part of this journey with me. This award is dedicated to Late Mr Brent Hurd who has been an inspiration always."
IIJNM Student Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj’s (batch of 2009) master’s project was picked up by NDTV and aired on its breakfast show on May 6, 2009. Deepika was also interviewed after the film was shown.
The video, Youth Count, focuses on the youth and its participation in elections. Deepika has interviewed several youngsters, political experts, politicians and eminent personalities like Narayan Murthy, Mahesh Bhatt and Suhasini Haidar for the film. The film, she says, intends to create an impact in the minds of young people at a time when it is important that the youth participate in the country’s search for a strong political leadership.
Monday Morning Greens
It is important to critique society, but it is equally
important to give something back to it. On August, 25, 2008, the
faculty and students of the Indian Institute of Journalism and New
Media decided to do their bit by planting trees in their backyard.
Though the IIJNM campus is set amidst beautiful, green surroundings,
planting more trees is always a good idea.
The students and faculty planted around 35 saplings.
These included saplings of Coconut, Mango, Lemon, Pomegranate, Chicoo
and Jamun trees. Each sapling is the responsibility of one or two
individuals. During the course of the year, the students will water
and tend to their plants.
For most, planting saplings wasn't a first, but
everyone had a fun-filled experience. Some were initially apprehensive
to get their clothes muddy but getting their hands dirty brought
out the child in most. Everyone was really enthusiastic about the
whole exercise. Some students decided to place name placards near
the plants they planted and by the afternoon, many were already
running off to water their saplings. The enthusiasm should continue
throughout the year.
Members of the faculty also enjoyed themselves.
Some planted saplings while other watched and took pictures. It
was a pleasant change from our fast paced routines. The words from
William Henry Davies' 'Leisure' came to my mind-
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
The activity actually provided us time to enjoy
nature, which otherwise, we rarely ever appreciate. The trees that
were planted will not only help the students pause in their routines
and unwind but will also serve as a legacy of the batch of 2008-09.
It will be a unique inheritance, along with the Observers, articles,
videos and documents, for the future batches of IIJNM.
What are Placement Weeks made of? White Stripes, Jazzy Denims, Interviews and Yearbooks
thought it didn't really exist until the tribal council of 55 convened
on Monday night to debate border and encroachment issues. The line
of control was drawn up in a tense atmosphere, roughly separating
the print and TV students into two distinct ideological groups.
Conversations went like this: "why are
you not applying to IDG?"
The boy, innocent in the ways of the world
perhaps, exclaimed, "Because I am a TV student." For when
the group gets together and decides on a pact, you break out at
your own risk. Another print journalist said, [the boys] have all
decided... we will stick with our own streams."
Tough, murderous glances were exchanged between
the camps until Tuesday morning when our associate dean,
after stirring up a hornet's nest the previous day, pooh-poohed
the pact and asked print students to sit for CNBC.
"What have we trained you to be here
in IIJNM?" was her question, and the answer in chorus was,
Certain carefree journalists though, including
two jolly girls with a scooter exclaimed in private, "this
is for journalists we don't want to be journalists."
Others certainly wanted to be journalists.
Some were short listed for every opening (you know yourselves, and
we know you), some were not and acted stoic (a mallu journalist
said, "this was not my cup of tea"), and many dissolved
in tears at the first disappointment, but emerged stronger and more
carefree by the end of
the week. Everyone soothed their disappointments by watching multiple
movies by the day and burying their heads in Manorama yearbooks
by the night.
Daytime saw a steady stream of companies march
through conversations: Times of India, Press Association, IDG, TV-18,
TV-9, News X, Deccan Chronicle, Times Now, Kroll, Sakaal, Indian
Express, Emphasis, Genesis. Some companies failed to impress all.
The most serious girl of our batch once exclaimed, "as journalists,
we are supposed to uncover, and [this position] is all about covering
up!" But needless to say, we are all waiting for March Madness
with bated breath
and with fuller wardrobes. Shops on
Commercial Street did brisk business this week as IIJNM shopped.
Girls and guys changed and re-changed even as White Stripes were
banned from appearing on camera. Others bravely attended interviews
wearing chains on their denim, sweetheart tops and a so-what attitude.
In all though, at the end of this hectic week,
we emerged stronger and more united.
Here's to hoping that we all get jobs, and
there is 100 per cent placement! Cheers!
Disclaimer: not meant to insult anyone, and do
not take comments at face value.
Aspiring Journalist Award 2007: Four IIJNM students in final
students from IIJNM have made it to the final round of the CNN Aspiring
Journalist Award to be held in New Delhi on December 13. Divya
Gojer, Itika Sharma, J. Jagannath and Vineetha
Atreya, are among ten finalists chosen from among a few hundred
students from around the country. Students had to write an essay
on "Has the media broadened its reach only to narrow its focus?"
They will now compete in a spot news writing test and interview
to be picked winner in the broadcast and print areas. We wish them
all the best.
festival of lights Diwali was celebrated with great festive fervor
at the hostel of Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media. The
students of the institute got a well-deserved break from the academic
grind with a four-day long vacation.
spent the entire day of Chhoti Diwali chalking out plans for the
Diwali celebrations on the following day. There was a waft of the
festive spirit in the air. The entire supporting staff, security
guards and kitchen staff was engaged in decorating the hostel and
decking up every nook and corner.
students went on a shopping spree purchasing decorative items and
fancy lights to adorn the premises. Some of them occupied themselves
with spring cleaning and spruced up their rooms.
On the D-Day,
the sheer joy and festive gaiety reigned supreme. Every soul was
crackling with glee. Students and staff were absorbed in making
the Diwali celebrations a delightful experience. The girl students
decked up the floors with powders of myriad hues making psychedelic
hostel building was bedecked with tiny twinkling lights that dispelled
the gloom and darkness with their cheerful illumination.
the evening, students garbed themselves in ethnic finery and looked
their best in their traditional togs. They performed the Puja with
scintillating zeal. The spiritually -inclined students chanted mantras
and performed the Aarti seeking divine blessing for every member
of the institution. The faculty and the administrative staff graced
the occasion with their presence.
After the Puja,
the students and faculty wished each other a very joyful Diwali.
Following this, the students went on a cracker-bursting spree in
the basketball court.
The celebrations concluded on a sweet note with everyone savouring
the lip smacking culinary delights rustled up by the kitchen staff.
Diwali was a
fun-filled and memorable moment at the IIJNM hostel. The faculty
and staff made sure that students did not miss home on the occasion.
Onam at IIJNM
Malayali harvest festival of Onam was celebrated at IIJNM with all
the gaiety of the season. For ten days, students religiously made
pookkalams [flower rangolis] with great passion and
The last day,
August 27, Thiruonam brought out the best in everyone. From being
decked in traditional finery of sarees, set mundus and veshtis,
to preparing the biggest
pookkalam of all; from dancing before a limited but enthusiastic
audience to lighting the lamp before the Thrikkakkarappan
[a symbolic pyramidal representation in mud, of the Trimurtis],
the students literally stole the show.
few of them also joined hands to prepare Aviyal [a Keralite
curry] and tomato chutney on the eve of Thiruonam. The festivities
ended with a short, hastily-practiced kaikottikali (folk dance form
of Kerala), and compliments to each other for the wonderful day.
A really heart-warming way of staying connected with ones
culture in traditionally malnourished times.
Class of 2008 has 53 students from varied backgrounds. Theyve
studied science, engineering, commerce, literature, even philosophy.
Here is what they have to say on their first few days at IIJNM.
We have often
heard the phrase you never get the second chance to make the
first impression. IIJNM truly impressed me the first time.
I was more than happy to know that this is situated in the middle
of beautiful natural beauty. Teachers to infrastructure, it is all
so satisfactory. - Aditi Soni
inculcates in me an undying vitality, which enlivens me every moment.
In the month I have been here, I have changed my outlook to life;
after a year, I hope to change the world a bit. - Ratul Sur
faculty and easy access to facilities has already made long working
hours painless and sticking to deadlines, simple. Im actually
looking forward to the year ahead! - Anuya Ulpe
When I first
reached IIJNM hostel in the night, everybody was hunched over the
Bangalore map, preparing for the next days beat reporting.
It was like dream come true. - Sadanand Mohapatra
dinners, catfights and group work, we get it all at IIJNM. Music
is a way of life, as are one mark on news quizzes. No one escapes
the nightly gossip on the terrace; neither can anyone get away with
sleeping in class. But the usual notes get passed and the doodles
get drawn. Weve been given a whiff of the cheese, however.
And the faculty knows just how to draw on our whetted appetite.
The cats are looking forward to chasing the mice for a whole year.
Well then, let the games begin!! - Dielle DSouza
When I first
saw the IIJNM campus, it was raining incessantly and the buildings
looked grey. But the next day, when the sun came out, the place
was serene and beautiful. I never had to remind myself that I wasnt
in a school or a college anymore, because the teachers, and everyone
around me treated me like a practicing journalist, though I was
only starting. - Karen Solomon
World is Flat had a fleeting reference to IIJNM. This
piqued my interest at the time when I was in a quandary to decide
on which college to join for the journalist course. I feel vindicated
that I read the book and landed up in IIJNM. I very well know that
this is the lull before storm. But as Charlie Chaplin said: Life
goes on and thats progress. - Jagannath
no dearth of information that comes in from all sorts of sources.
Classes are more of a preparation for the industry, rather than
general courses. - Leanino Haralu
pushes you to your limits and exploits your true potential. I never
knew I could do so much work and manage to play and explore Kumbalgudu
in 24 hours! - Divya Gojer
the major cell phone networks decide that we are beyond range and
even the nearest village is two kilometers away, over the past one
month we had almost all the major media heads of Bangalore come
speak to us and we had some very interesting speakers all the way
from the US.
We have our
own added advantages of being the few privileged souls who get to
watch the milky way every night and get to breathe more of oxygen.
assignments and deadlines apart, trust me, youll still get
time to eat mint in class, star gaze, read, and watch India lose
miserably in cricket. - Sohini Datta
Amusing classmates, remarkable faculty, beautiful campus, noteworthy
guest lecturers, breathtaking view, interesting assignments, watching
movies as part of the curriculum, daily news quiz, table tennis,
scrumptious hostel food (sometimes oxymorons do exist) - that, ladies
and gentlemen, is IIJNM for me. And I thought Utopia was fictional!!
- Shilpa Krishnan
The way we are
asked to take our own decisions about certain things is the best
guidance that the faculty provides us with. I am experiencing experience
here in its true sense. - Shalu Yadav
When I first
entered the premises of IIJNM, awe overtook me. As the faculty and
classmates turned into friends in just a few days, it was really
like a dream come true. Life in any career is not smooth, and IIJNM
aims to train us just for that tough life ahead. Im just glad
that I came here. - Namitha Viswanathan
The road to
IIJNM was quite bumpy and I realized soon enough that this is how
journalism is also going to be. IIJNM is the place for an aspiring
journalist to realize his/her dreams. - Shashwathi Bhanukumar
The course seems
very interesting and we are all looking forward to it. Each elective
has something completely new and different to offer. And I cant
wait to start handling equipment in my TV class. IIJNM has definitely
made me think of home much less frequently than I thought I would.
I know I am
not a common person; I am a Journalist. Thats the difference
IIJNM made to me in just one month. What more do I say? - Ithika
return to a new semester, and some fun and games.
instructions to the 'T' can sometimes be difficult, especially for
20-something-year-olds. This was evident from Monday morning's task
that said: 'Read all the instructions carefully.'
It was the first
day (January 8, 2007) of our second semester at IIJNM, and the faculty
had organised a series of activities to help us recall the basics
taught in the first semester.
our first lesson (and feeling a little foolish), we got ready for
the next. The class was divided into groups, given old newspaper
story clippings and asked to find different angles for the same
story. Although it seemed difficult at first, with a little teamwork
we were able to come up with viable ideas for the most difficult
story angles. The game progressed over days. We identified sources
for our story and prepared a list of questions for them. A mock
interview session was conducted to imitate real life experiences.
We also dealt with limited (and nonexistent) resources, especially
while dealing with our sources. Lesson learnt: Teamwork is imperative
and time management is the key to success.
the second day we were presented with a lemon, asked to befriend
it and take care of it like a long-term relationship. After
two days of intimacy we were asked to identify the lemon among 40
others. The lesson was on how to treat our sources. Our constant
contact with the lemon was a personification of our relationship
with our sources.
is key. This involves talking and listening. To test our listening
skills, we answered 10 questions all of which had crooked
answers without posing any queries. After confusing Noah
with Moses and burying the survivors of an airplane crash, we realised
the importance of two-way communication. We played two other games
that highlighted the importance of listening (and thinking at the
same time) before asking questions.
does not come easy, but we thought creativity was synonymous with
journalism. When we solved a worksheet filled with brainteasers,
that do the rounds of 'forwards' on email, we realised how wrong
we were. Even after putting all our wit and might together we weren't
able to solve all questions. Through a series of games and worksheets
we also revised our grammar lessons. The usage of verbs, nouns,
adverbs, prepositions, pronouns, articles, etc, were made clearer
by playing 'Ludo' and 'Match the columns'.
list of games and tasks is endless. Our news recall was through
photographs, for which we also had to come up with a caption. A
stage of a burnt down village was set-up to teach us the sensitivities
and ethics of journalism. How to approach vistims of diaster
body language, style of questioning, presence of mind, etc, was
all put to task. We were sent on a scavenger hunt that taught us
how to think on our toes when time is a constraint. And students
who had taken business as an elective, gave a recap of the previous
semester through an interactive presentation.
Over the six
days, mentally stimulating tasks were interspersed with games and
fun, which made the learning unforgettable. And of course, the chocolates
awarded to winners served as an extra incentive.
cover the Chamundeshwari by-election
whole task of covering the Chamundeshwari by-election was more than
an assignment. It was a lifetime experience, where all our lessons
were put to practical application.
We, the students,
had divided ourselves into five teams of three members each. After
the Herculean task of waking up at 4 am and collecting ourselves
and the equipment, we left for Chamundeshwari at 5 am. For a while,
in the van we felt as if we were on a picnic, singing songs, having
fun and taking pictures.
Once we reached
the majestic Chamundeshwari hill, it was the time to pull up our
socks and get ready for the day ahead. Our first halt was the Superintendent
of Polices office where we got a list of the probable sensitive
areas. Our next task was to move ahead in our groups to the areas
assigned to us. We felt like soldiers on our beats with our armoury
of pens, notebooks and cameras. Each team covered at least seven
We talked to
people outside the polling booth and the presiding officers at the
booths. Though we could not meet most candidates, we talked to ward
presidents of the party concerned.
Being on the
other side of the fence-reporting, not voting, was a different and
enriching experience. Watching and reading the news is obviously
very different from reporting it, but we hadnt realized how
thrilling the latter would be.
By 5 pm, when
the voting booths closed, it was time to get back in the van and
head back. Dinner at a roadside dhaba completed the picnic spirit,
but we had work to do once we returned to the hostel-stories to
file and edit. But, the day when we went out and covered our first
ever election will be unforgettable for us.
Award 2006: IIJNM student in final
Murali, a print student of our institute, has made it to the final
round of the CNN Aspiring Journalist Award to be held in
New Delhi on December 14.The ten finalists chosen from among a few
hundred students from around the country who wrote on the subject
"Are sting operations justified?" will compete in a spot
news writing test and interview to be picked winner in the broadcast
and print. We wish her all the best.
A new approach
to story ideas: mind mapping
workshop on how to approach news stories was conducted by the IIJNM
faculty in November. The day-long programme, in which all the students
took part, was intended to help them look at stories from different
perspectives and consider ideas realistically.
The class was
divided into different groups of four or five for each part of the
This taught them the value of team-work and the importance of discussing
ideas with others.
The highlight of the workshop was mind-mapping. This
involved the students choosing a topic and mapping out everything
that they could think of related to it. The number of ideas that
everyone got from it was eye-opening.
important part of the workshop was when students took proposals
for stories that they had submitted before the workshop, and assigned
the news values of timeliness, proximity, prominence and so on.
By the time the exercise was over, most of the students realised
why many of their ideas were being shot down.
day, the students were made to think innovatively and go beyond
the classroom into the real world of journalism. It was an exercise
that all the students enjoyed, although they had to stay focused
the entire day.
workshop also taught the students about the importance of finding
different sources for a story. This was followed by a project where
each group was given a source suggested by another group and asked
to come up with possible questions.
The things the
students came up with often ranged from the merely far-fetched to
the completely ridiculous, but they came away from it with a better
understanding of how to go about a story.
The day concluded
on a light note, with different groups of students presenting what
they learnt from the workshop. While some groups just listed out
their thoughts, others did funny, impromptu skits.
Seminar at IIM Bangalore
students who participated in a Times Now seminar on civic issues
for the future of Bangalore at the IIM talking with the news channel's
editor in chief Arnab Goswami and singer and actor Vasundhara Das.
in August. Over September and October, the students were taken for
a two-day seminar and film festival on environmental issues held
at the Alliance Francaise by the Centre For Media Studies Delhi,
a lecture on "Media, freedom and the law" by former Supreme
court judge K T Thomas, a seminar on Hindutva and the media addressed
by several journalists led by Pioneer Editor in chief Chandan Mitra
MP, and a lecture by Swedish theologian Dr Hans Ucko on the Vatican-WCC
initiative for an ethical code of conduct for religious conversion
in India all aimed at giving them exposure to new ideas and
their proponents and to learn to report those along with staff reporters
of newspapers and televsion channels.
A trip to
June 14, 2006,Yercaud, I loved it, says Vaishnavi Ramakrishnan,
student from the TV department. Oashmita, feels that it was a good
break after a long and hectic semester. The journey from Bangalore
to Yercaud, though long, was entertaining because the Tina Turners
(Harsimran) and Lata Mangeshkars (Neetha Mahadevan) of the current
batch in IIJNM, performed all through out. The students on their
way played some hip-hop and Punjabi numbers, and a few of us could
not help dancing to the rhythm.
kept thinking that there is something missing here in this hill
station, and then I realized that I was looking for snow-covered
peaks here in the south, laughs Sophia. She feels that though
the group was small, everyone still enjoyed thoroughly.
In Yercaud we
stayed at Shevaroys hotel, where every room had a scenic view.
However, some of the rooms had other, amusing problems. The flushes
made such a noise that all the guests staying in the hotel knew
when one of us used the WC. I felt funny every time I had
to flush, says Suhali Sharma.
After lunch we took a small walk up the hill, on the wild side.
It was evident that our Professors--John Thomas, Kanchan Kaur and
Girish Bhadri were having a nice time. It was a nice trip,
said Prof. Kanchan Kaur. She added that the students were well-behaved
on the entire trip.
went to various View Points like the Ladies seat, Childrens
seat. Dont try seeing anything through the telescope
here at Ladies seat, it is not worth it, said Amit Bhosale.
Childrens seat is nothing but a rose garden and some of the
students began to think that they were Bollywood kings and queens,
and right there, in the middle of the garden, they sang and danced
around the trees.
also visited the Anjaneya temple inside a cave. Legend has it that
the cave extends to Talacauvery on the other side, and that it was
used by Tipu Sultan. Harsimran Shergill, agreed that there was something
eerie about the temple. I am getting goosebumps, said
also went boating and chose to pedal the boats. It was a work-out
session for them. The students decided to have a boat race, which
had no winners.
is not an ideal hill station after visiting places like Ooty, Kodiakanal
and Shimla, but the trip was a memorable one with faculty and students
enjoying each others company, keeping aside the student-professor
relationship, said Janani Sampath.
the 12th of May 2006 was a day of surprise for the students of IIJNM.
Four new cycles brought excitement in the otherwise hectic lives
of the young journalists. Their hearts were filled with happiness.
"It's a pleasant surprise," said Simran Shergill, "the
bicycles will be an added activity."
The four new
Huffy cycles were welcomed with a small inauguration ceremony. Students
and faculty gathered around the goods carrier in which the cycles
stood. These two wheelers managed to attract the attention of all
present. They stood there waiting to be taken, not realizing that
each person present was more than willing to help them out of the
carrier. The cycles ought
to thank The George Foundation and Mr. Krishna Prasad for making
them superstars. "It was Mr. Krishna Prasad's idea," said
Urmila Micheal from The George Foundation.
The first day
at IIJNM was the last day of rest for the cycles. They became a
hit among the students even before they reached the campus. Even
the faculty was seen zipping around, trying out the latest attraction
brought along mixed emotions with themselves. "It will help
in releasing tension, " says Simran. A means of transport between
the hostel and the institute may be the cycles' first job, but they
also become a motivation for many to keep themselves toned. "It
has given me the motivation to get up early in the morning and go
for a ride," says Sophia. The beauty and the aura of the cycles
did not spare even the non-riders. "It will be a stress buster
and I am feeling sorry that I don't know how to ride," says
Oasmita. And of course the lazy ones are way too happy with the
cycles. "It's nice that I don't have to walk up and down from
the institute to the hostel," says Papri Chatterjee.
The George Foundation's
efforts in keeping the students happy have not gone to waste. First
in the list of surprises was a volleyball ground, followed by a
table tennis table and then the four cycles. "We are happy
if the students are happy," says Urmila Micheal. Can the students
expect more surprises? "We want to improve the playing field.
May be we could clear more ground for soccer or cricket," says
Dr Abraham George, Dean, IIJNM.
Two of our students have won prestigious awards recently.
Rigzin of the Class of 2004 was awarded the Charkha-Sanjoy Ghose
Fellowship for Peace & Development - 2004-2005, in New Delhi.
Rigzin was among
three journalists who were awarded the Fellowship. The award included
a citation and a cash prize of Rs. 50,000/-
Khanna of the Class of 2003 has been declared the runner-up
for the CNN Young Journalist Award 2004. The award is given to upcoming
journalists in the age group of 22-26. This year the award was extended
to include journalists from Pakistan as well. Aman won the award
for his article Assault Rifles Hit Home, published in
April this year in Tehelka. The story exposed a dubious purchase
of AK-47 rifles running into crores by the Ministry of Home Affairs
from a Bulgarian gun-running firm.
wins Scripps Howard Internship
Gupta of the Class of 2002, returned recently to India, after
doing a four-month Scripps Howard internship in Washington, D.C.
Gupta, richer for the experience, is the first IIJNM student to
have won the international internship.
At present Vivek
is working as a copy editor in Times of India, Delhi.
I never seriously
thought of becoming a journalist until a year and a half ago. Thatís
one year of studying journalism and the following six months of
job-hunting without any luck. But if I had gone the old-fashioned
way of becoming a journalist in India, I would have given up a long
time back. Simply because this way involves training with a newspaper
for an indefinite period of time until one is considered useful
enough to be paid a little money even to meet oneís expenses.
I studied at
the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM) in Bangalore,
India, which not only gave me a venue to express my opinion, but
also taught me how to let the world know about it. Basically, it
gave me a fair idea of how journalism works. While at IIJNM, I was
involved in bringing out a weekly college newspaper called the New
Scribe and a weekly web magazine called the New Bangalore Online.
As an intern
at the Scripps Howard News Service, I hope to get exposed to American
media practices and compare them with whatever little I know about
Indian journalism. This way I shall try to grasp the good points
of both the Indian and American journalism styles and discard the
Howard Foundation Wire
1090 Vermont Ave. N.W. - Suite 1000
Washington, D.C. 20005
phone: 202-408-2748 fax: 202-682-2143 www.shfwire.com
NYT internship for IIJNM student
D Mello, one of our top students of the batch 2001-02,
is currently undergoing journalism internship in the worlds
prestigious newspaper New York Times, New York city. She is the
first-ever student selected from an Indian journalism school for
internship in the New York Times for which nominees from all over
the world compete every year. Tamara was previously working as a
reporter with Mid Day, Mumbai.
students are well on the byline track leaving their impressions
in print and on the Internet. Prem Paul Ninan published his very
first article in The Hindu on Priya Ganapathy's radio show in Bangalore
FM. Debarshi Dasgupta and Nadeshda Zareen's article on the Madarasas
was very well appreciated by both the media and the local madarasa
community in Bangalore. Ambitious and a star reporter in the making,
Hemali Chhapia is already a well known figure in the Bangalore investigative
circle by daring to expose numerous financial scams in the city.
Besides mainstream English newsapers, local language press has also
been using translated versions of her stories. Smita Sahay wrote
about the irregularities in the Drugs Control Department, long before
the Karnataka Lok Ayukta exposed corruption in the Department. Not
to be left behind is Sreerekha Pillai who is by now an almost permanent
fixture in the Karnataka Lok Ayukta Justice Vekatachala's investigative
circuit. She did an investigative report on the rampant illegal
sale of prescription drugs in Bangalore, much before the mainstream
media carried a report on this issue.
newly launched English daily Vijay Times is a major publisher of
our students' stories, starting with Karthik's interview with filmmaker
G. V. Iyer. Aman Khanna's feature on online lotteries was the lead
story in the Metro Plus section of the Hindu. His story on drug
abuse in the city was featured in the Living supplement of Deccan
Herald. Aman went all the way to the historical town of Hampi, nearly
600 kms from Bangalore, to do an exclusive story on a Belgian woman
who has been living in a cave there for the last 14 years. He has
dreams of getting it published in some overseas publication. Not
to be left behind, Amrita Thomas is waiting to see her byline in
the Hindu which has accepted her story on "Kalaripayattu." Smiti
Bharti had her first byline in the Forum Section of Deccan Herald.
students are quick to spot the newsmakers. Abhinav Patil grabbed
the opportunity to interview the world famous primetologist Jane
Goodall when she was in Bangalore to attend a conference on "Science
and Spirituality." Chinmayee Manjunath managed to question the Minister
for Women and Child Development Motamma on increasing dowry deaths
in the State. Preeti confronted sports psychologist Dr Sandy Gordon
at Bangalore during the controversy over cricketers taking their
spouses along with them for the World Cup matches in South Africa.
Amrita Thomas is on a regular chase of District Deputy Commissioner
to know how effectively the Government has been tackling drought
in villages around Bangalore. Dipti Jain is keeping a watch on the
work of judicial commission set by the government to probe the death
of former minister H Nagappa in the custody of forest brigand Veerappan.
writing abilities go beyond news and feature writing. Hemali's maiden
byline was a middle published in the Indian Express, while Sreerekha
Pillai has made a foray into creative writing by publishing her
first short story in Sulekha.com.
all the students and wishes all of them the very best in life and
of IIJNM attended a seminar on 'The declining child sex ratios
and the role of media' organized by a women's organization called
Vimochana on Saturday April 30.
of the Press Information Bureau, Frank Noronha, in his key note
address launched a tirade against the media which "is preoccupied
with the bold and the beautiful" style of coverage of women, instead
of delving into the root cause of social problems. Noting media's
'thundering silence' on the fact that India has the highest maternal
mortality rate in the world, he lamented that even women's publication
had resorted to covering only sensational news. "There
is little connection between the glamorous women the media projects,
and the reality of women's development in this country," he said.
was attended by the students and faculty members of key journalism
schools in the city. The students of IIJNM who were introduced to
the subject by Donna Fernandes during her visit to the IIJNM campus,
were exposed to a reporter's perspective and the investigative angle
of the topic during the panel discussion. Reporters from The Indian
Express and The Hindu, initiated the panel discussion.
The first day I walked into IIJNM, I was full of anticipation and
apprehension, to be in a place so far away from home, but now, after
being here for a week, I feel those were just momentary aberrations
because with the kind of curriculum lined up for us I don't think
I'll have time to think about anything else. Nonetheless I'm looking
forward to each moment of excitement, and of course the hard work
lined up for us. Until now I haven't experienced a dull moment.
When you make the decision to leave behind all that you are familiar
with, and begin a new phase of your life in a place you don't know,
with people who are strangers to you, there is always an extra degree
of apprehension and discomfort.... and I was somewhat wary when
I first moved into IIJNM less than a week ago.
overawed by the beauty of the campus - the breathtaking vistas and
the fresh crisp air, free from the grime of the city -- I have begun
to appreciate the opportunity that all of us have got to study in
such an inspiring and beautiful atmosphere. Every student here is
from a different place, and it was an interesting exercise getting
to know each other and finding common ground. As we are so isolated
from any form of civilization, in the first couple of days we were
forced to come up with ways other than long walks to conquer boredom,
and it wasn't easy! However, we have faced up to this Herculean
task. Apart from long and very entertaining sessions of dumb charades,
we have invented a game that has been christened 3POK (short for
the 3 Pebbles Of Kumbalgodu). Players will agree that it is a game
requiring the utmost concentration and dexterity!
from the fun that we have, there is of course a lot of hard work
that the program involves and this is only the beginning The facilities
are excellent, and the faculty very helpful - both factors make
it comparatively easy to give everything your best shot and go after
I am very enthusiastic
about the program, and have begun to consider IIJNM my home. I believe
that at the end of it, I will be glad I made the decision to come
Our country has been swayed by the influence of computers for quite
some time now; everybody wants to do BCA and MCA. Three years back,
even I decided to flow with the tide. I decided to do BCA from one
of the most reputed universities of India. But as they say: "Once
a rebel, always a rebel". I received a call from my conscience,
which told me to become the potter of my life rather than the pot.
And that's what brought me to IIJNM.
came to Kumbalgodu with a lot of inhibitions. Is the college as
good as it seems? Would I fit in? And a million other questions
kept bouncing up and down in my head. But as soon as I stepped onto
the premises of the college, all my queries were answered. The facilities,
the faculty, everything here is nothing less than the best. The
only thing required here is diligence on the part of the students.
And I hope I'll able to give all I've got, not only to maintain
the standard of the institute but also to come out as a better writer
and an enriched journalist.
First impression is the best impression, but this doesn't hold good
in the case of IIJNM. That's because the impression gets better
and better every day.
journalism dream is three years old and soon to be a realized. It
all started with a telephone call from the institute, leading me
here. The institute's website was a good starter and answered all
the queries that would arise in the minds of a prospective student.
The visit to the campus was impressive and reminded me of my alma
mater, which too had a similar ambience. The smell of fresh air,
the sunset behind hillocks, puppies wagging their tails to express
'welcome' in their language, 'ready to help' friends, homely food
and the friendly faculty are the few best things one can really
is a bad word here. 30 km from the city takes you a few centuries
back where people are happy, where you need not pay for water and
fresh air. Here there exists a different system altogether - a barter
system, where the goods are friendship, love, affection.
Since we were
aware of the tight schedule ahead of us, we wanted to cash in on
the little time available before the course begins. The first Sunday,
also being a friendship day, was spent at one of the busiest localities
in Bangalore - M.G. Road, with a movie at Rex. Coming back to the
Institute, we had all the liberty we wanted. The media lab has good
connectivity and user-friendly atmosphere. The sun set from the
media lab presents a striking contrast between virtual reality and
nature's treat. There's no end describing happiness, and the best
way to experience it is to get an admission here in the next academic
'It's a new day, it's a new start; it's alive with the beating of
young hearts............'. is the song and the initial thoughts
that came to my mind when I first stepped down from my vehicle and
took my steps towards the institution that I will call home for
Hailing from a city full of people and chaos, this was like coming
to paradise- amidst god's best creation where nature is at it's
best. The serenity and the splendid extravagant show of beauty really
take one's breath away. Although I was apprehensive whether I would
be able to settle down easily, I knew one thing for sure; I definitely
had made the right choice of making my dreams come true.
felt my journey seemed endless and the destination unknown. Even
the thought whether I would make it here crossed my mind. But once
I was here, it was crystal clear, that this was the platform that
will help me board the right train to my destination ---- the day
I would be known not as my parent's daughter but as a good journalist.
The first thought, actually a quote by Robert Frost, that came to
my mind when I reached IIJNM was, " two roads diverged in the woods
and I took the road less traveled, and that has made all the difference."
I am a BA in English Literature and I love writing as much as I
love nature. I would like to make a difference by writing and working
for a good cause. IIJNM is the best place where I can cultivate
my skills as a journalist and fulfill my dreams. The added advantage
of studying at IIJNM is the scenic beauty and the clean fresh air.
It also gives me an opportunity to get acquainted with students
of different languages and backgrounds -- a very good exposure for
an aspiring journalist.
I must say that my first impressions of IIJNM are really impressive.
The facilities that have been provided here are more than adequate
and the greatest efforts have been made to make us feel most comfortable.
Of course, efforts have not been spared to drive it in that we will
be made to slog it out, but well, that is what most of us knew when
we joined up. I welcome the opportunity that has been provided to
me to feel most satisfied with most of the time I spend, and I hope
that I will come out a better person in the process. Moreover, the
work that has been assured us is so intense, that it leaves no room
for any doubt that our writing and other journalistic skills will
be anything less than professional when we step out at the end of
it all. This does not mean that I am looking forward with eager
anticipation to that day, but rather, that I am seeking to enjoy
every moment of the time spent in getting there. The time already
spent with my batch mates and our ever-approachable teachers has
been so rewarding that I feel certain that the year I spend here
will pass all too quickly, much to my own disadvantage, nor will
any of the work become a drudgery. At least, such are my first impressions.
catch Internship and Job Fever
that time of the year when the students get an opportunity to work
in professional publications and media organizations. During their
internship, the students get to apply the journalism skills they
acquired in school. IIJNM is happy to announce that all the second
batch students have begun their internship in various professional
magazines, national dailies, broadcast and new media companies.
Internship is just a step away from getting the real job. The IIJNM
campus is abuzz with the pressure and the excitement of the students
starting their journalism career. Some students have already landed
their first jobs, others are attending interviews, there is never
a dull moment here at IIJNM. The following is the list of the students
and the media houses where they are interning or holding a job:
Advertising Agency, Bangalore
Hindu, New Delhi
Vijay Times, Bangalore
Vijay Times, Bangalore
Vijay Times, Bangalore
reporter/ Sub Editor
Times, New Delhi
Vijay Times, Bangalore
joy de vivre and robust laughter that would fill in the campus corridors
during the first semester have given way to a more somber outlook.
Lately it is determination, hope and a cloud of anticipation that
has settled on campus. Anxiety about grades, internship and job
placements are on the priority list of the students.
When they first
entered the realm of journalism, their choices and aspirations were
based on a cocktail of fantasy and facts. They toyed with the idea
of becoming a radio jockey, a television anchor, may be some one
like CNN's Christina Amanpour, perhaps write like the Wall Street
Journal columnist Tunku Varadarajan, or even better an investigative
reporter like our very own Aniruddha Bahal of Tehalka.com.
Now the students'
choices have scaled down from their romantic aspirations to more
realistic and down to earth roles of 'regular' reporters and editors
in magazine, newspapers and New Media. Most of them know where they
want to fit in. They are aware of the resurgence in the industry
and are determined to face the challenges.
media for me", says Vijayalakshmi, as a matter of fact. She
is looking forward to an internship that will allow her to get 'local'
to the core. Knowing Vijayalakshmi, we better watch out, for she
will set the papers on fire with her journalistic zeal.
local politics for Aishwarya, who wants to make use of her
creative writing skills. She plans to pen her way into the specialized
area of Brand Equity in The Economist Times. Aishwarya's penchant
for writing is well known on campus. From nose picking to serious
business, any topic is worth the words and time, if she sets her
mind on it.
is the nerd of the lot. Any technical problem, it is Swati they
turn to. A computer wizard, Swati loves to design and crack computer
codes. Although, electronic publishing and New Media is where her
heart is set upon, she doesn't mince words when she senses there
is an issue to be ironed out. Sensitive Issues relating to the North
East, minorities, migrants and societies on the fringe are some
of her favorite topics she loves to write about.
is the philosopher-student-journalist. Lincoln writes on myriad
topics: rural reporting, politics, technology, cricket and religion.
He hopes to make it to the permanent staff of the Calcutta based
The Statesman, to which he regularly contributes.
all the students the very best and would like to remind them that
it is they who will be responsible for recording and telling the
story of life and that they should be telling it well with courage
The first batch
of IIJNM students Narayanan Somasundaram and Sunirman
Ray have started their journalism career after successfully
completing their one year PG. Diploma. Narayanan is working as a
sub editor in the Indian Express, Madurai. Sunirman
Ray is leaving for Calcutta to join The Statesman.
All the best
and don't forget that "Journalists should not be so distant that
all they can hear are shouts, nor so close that they become more
conspirators than critics." -- Walter Lippman (1889-1974), columnist
for the New York Herald Tribune and the Washington Post.
Here is what some
of our students say:
Why am I here at IIJNM is the question that wakes me every morning.
Just two months ago I was 26 and working- is it the interesting
curricula, or the faculty, or my congenital (but sadly, unsuccessful)
yearn for writing?
Whatever, come once and see this Roadhouse Blues scenery all around
and you'll probably want to spend your whole life on the hostel
terrace............... welcome home!
I am a BA graduate. I have many interests, but if I say that I
am interested in people, I guess that about sums it. Intend to
channelize my violent energy into journalism. So, beware!!
From being a student of biology for my PUC, through being a student
of economics for my degree to being a student of journalism now
makes me look like one major erratic person who does not know
what she is doing. But who can point their finger at me? Just
in case there is somebody out there, let me remind you that there
are three fingers pointing back at you. Out here at IIJNM nobody
points a finger at you so long as you are ready for some real
hard work and you do it responsibly. Your life is your own business.
I am basically a student of science with a post-graduation in
zoology. I must admit that it was a giant leap to the field of
journalism. But I have always loved reading literary pieces. During
my brief stint with a Hindi daily I discovered that I loved journalism.
I believe that I will find what I seek here at IIJNM.
Life is not a cakewalk ó I realized this when I came out of college.
With an unsuccessful attempt at MBA entrances, I was at sixes
and sevens as what should be my next step. Journalism was the
last thing on my mind, though I got through three colleges offering
PG Diploma in Journalism in Delhi.
New Media struck the right cord. I applied to IIJNM because it
offered Web Journalism. Being a literature graduate, I took this
as an opportunity to improve my writing skills and spend as much
time as possible in front of the computer screen.
To put it simply, I like to work hard and play hard.
Hailing from God's own country, Kerala, I graduated a couple of
years ago in chemistry and was whiling away time anchoring a not-so-popular
program on Surya TV. Today I am at IIJNM for a better purpose
and if all goes well I should succeed.
Don't always take the trodden path; stray to where there isn't
any--- and blaze a trail.
I got that from Swamy Vivekananda. And thatís my motto. I want
to chart out my way, tread the untrodden path.
I have a computer background. An MCA or an MBA was therefore an
But I chose the road less travelled by-Journalism.
IIJNM is different. The method of teaching here is novel. We're
prodded to think; to delve deeper into concepts; trace concepts
to their source. I'd never been encouraged to do that till now.
I feel IIJNM is the best. It'll help me make a mark in journalism.
I tell myself history is created by those who break the rules.
A commerce graduate. But why did I take up journalism? It's a
question I often ask myself. Did I have illusions about the power
of a journalist, or did I crave the tag 'journalist' after my
Walking out of the family textile industry was difficult. But
my love for the English language prevailed.
I am a tennis player and have led my college team to two consecutive
university titles. Carnatic Music is my obsession and I am fluent
with the Veena. My credentials in this field include two concerts.
I am known to be hot!
I graduated in Arts with English Literature as my optional subject.
I grew up in a journalistic environment: my family has been publishing
Zeal, a tabloid in Tumkur, for the past 25 years.
I wanted to do my Masterís in English, but decided to learn the
skills of reporting and writing.
IIJNM has nevertheless been an eye-opener. Journalism is much
more than I thought it was.
I joined IIJNM after I decided on a career switch.
I am a literature-lover who lost his way in the concrete maze
of civil engineering. I found my way out after five years---and
into the IIJNM. Its emphasis on training and toughening, rather
than on endless lectures, makes IIJNM different from other journalism
Writing short stories was my major literary activity. I intend
to continue that, and widen into feature writing.
I stepped into journalism because I think it allows one to dive
into any subject and then step out when one's had enough.
Iíve also always enjoyed writing.
Much of the learning at IIJNM happens even as we casually converse
with our instructors and classmates. Learning here is not limited
to books and classrooms. Our instructors insist we analyse a lot
to understand what makes a particular piece a well-written one;
to see things in new perspectives.
Our beat-reporting sharpens our observation and questioning skills.
And our class discussions are thought stimulating. Such a curriculum
suits me perfectly: Iím not too fond of pedantic lectures.
Iím enjoying it.