The IIJNM News Factory:
Week after week, you will find the lights at the IIJNM lab on all night and the students hard at work writing, editing and designing the pages for the three publications they bring out: The Softcopy, The Observer and The Beat.
Week after week, they are at the news factory churning out that perfect story that makes the difference, with the right headline, the right story angle with the right picture. To the uninitiated, it would be an ordeal; but for some it is a passion.
Multimedia students have learnt the tricks of the trade. They now know the difference between how to produce an online newspaper versus how to write for a print newspaper. In the beginning came a series of linear articles that lacked internal and related links, summary and pictures. Articles were long and would scroll down forever.
Now they know how to chunk them into different headings and into different pages if necessary. Their design skills have improved too, with new media students taking turns every week to try their hand at the art of designing a web page. Every edition they add a new dimension to the website, whether it is by updating regional headlines automatically with the help of news aggregators. They are constantly enthused to keep it fresh. During the second semester, they should be producing in-depth stories that are multimedia enabled web pages.
The Softcopy is updated every week, ensuring that the website is dynamic, pulsating and informative.
The fourth batch of students have decided to add a touch of substance to their weekly newspaper by changing its name and masthead from the earlier ‘The New Observer’ to The Weekly Observer. So it is now the TWO for short.
TWO produces hard news after the Tuesday and Thursday weekly beat. Also, there is enough number of soft news stories that make the paper interesting. Friday is the dreaded day as it is the edit deadline. At most schools elsewhere, the students chill out on their weekends, but here at IIJNM the students are working on their stories, for Monday is when the paper has to come out. For an archive of past issues, click here.
Bangalore’s CityCast is a new website that IIJNM has launched this academic year as a venue for broadcast students to stream their stories, especially if they are not in the news bulletin.
The students write, shoot, record and edit their own stories and upload them to YouTube. The students also write their own headlines and anchor leads. Some stories air in the weekly news bulletin (newscast) or radio bulletin, but almost all the stories are posted on CityCast. A small group of producers use all of the broadcast stories to build CityCast on deadline. The students produce original stories and publish them in bulletins and on websites on a weekly basis. These stories were produced by IIJNM’s trainee journalists in the broadcast sequence.
The Beat is a monthly magazine brought out by the IIJNM students. The objective of publishing it is to give practical training to the students in various aspects of magazine journalism. The magazine is edited and designed by students who have chosen magazine writing as their specialization. All students contribute articles to the magazine to make it lively, introspective and interesting.