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Making the headlines



For that right view

CAUGHT IN the thick of an active media, you could feel the nation's pulse. On the "write" track, you could report, edit, create opinions on news far and wide. You could be the spokesperson of a concerned populace. You could shoot questions and pin down symbols of power. You could be all this and much more if your career option is something called mass communication.

The power of the media is no longer restricted to paper. The electronic media, the private radio channels, have their clout too. The mammoth guzzlers of news and views, debates and special stories, are out there to get the best out of media institutes. Forget the job hunt, be prepared to be hunted. If you have the right qualification, of course.

Media schools have mushroomed. Recruiting mediapersons as faculty, inviting guest lecturers to provide that all-round perspective to students, these institutes are on a competitive high. The tie-ups with foreign schools have only added to the professional edge.

Rush for seats

Talented, ready to write that first article, document that first story on film, the students are on the prowl to make the big break. In Bangalore alone, there are four big schools, competing to make a mark in the media training scene. And every year, the queue of students is only getting longer.

Reasons abound for this. For a city of six million, Bangalore has six mainline English dailies, four business newspapers and a variety of vernacular newspapers. Almost every television network has an office here. The demand for trained professionals is on an exponential growth curve.

Here is a glimpse of the big names in the media education and training field in Karnataka:

University courses

The Bangalore University Department of Mass Communication offers two postgraduate degree courses including a M.S. degree in Mass Communication and an M.Sc in Electronic Media. Both are open to graduates from any discipline and are of two years' duration. Candidates are selected on the basis of an entrance test. The department is equipped with a state-of-the-art electronic studio.

The Mysore University offers a M.A. in Communication and Journalism. Graduates in any discipline could apply. The course is of two years' duration and is based on the semester scheme. The academic structure is designed to open up opportunities in all avenues of specialisation — photojournalism, broadcast journalism, advanced print journalism, advertising and public relations. For more details, visit www.universityofmysore.org

The Mangalore University has a postgraduate course in Mass Communication and Journalism, open to students with any degree with 45 per cent marks or above. The curriculum includes papers on development of media, reporting, editing and print production, marketing communication, broadcast journalism, corporate communication and media law. For more details, call Ph: 0824-2287276/2287347 or visit www.mangaloreuniversity.ac.in.

The Karnatak University offers a similar postgraduate course in journalism, open to graduates from any discipline. The varsity has a well equipped laboratory.

Manipal Institute of Communication

This institute, which is part of the Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), a deemed university, offers a two-year M.S. Communication course and a B.A./B.Sc in media studies and information sciences. The second is a three-year, six-semester course, which offers specialisation at the end of the second year. Students can opt for media studies or information sciences in their final year, which would provide them with a B.A. or B.Sc degree depending on specialisations. They also have an opportunity to study French and German. For more information on the institute, browse www.mandipal.edu or call Ph: 0820-2571201.

Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media

Launched in January 2001 by the BS&G Foundation, the Bangalore-based IIJNM has a curriculum developed in association with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, New York. The BS&G Foundation is a partnership between the Adi Chunchanagiri Maha Samsthana Trust and The George Foundation.

To retain flexibility in its course offerings, IIJNM does not seek any national accreditation. The programme leading to a diploma or a postgraduate diploma in journalism builds on the student's already strong background in liberal arts, the sciences, law or other disciplines. "The purpose is not to train candidates for the next job in the field, but to educate them for significant careers," says an institute professor.

Healthy interaction

Here is how the training goes at IIJNM: "During a full academic year, students work in the high-pressure deadline atmosphere of the journalism profession through their assignments in reporting, writing, editing and using presentation tools.

Teacher-editors who have also been or still are working journalists critique individual assignments and closely supervise the students' production of the in-house newspaper, magazine and Web publication." Print, Web and Television are IIJNM's areas of focus. The curriculum tackles core courses in reporting and writing, ethical and legal issues, and tools of journalism. Specialisations are offered in political reporting, international news coverage, business, arts, sports and several other electives. The programmes offered are: postgraduate diploma for students with a Bachelor's degree; diploma course for students who have completed pre-university or Standard XII; and a part-time certificate course for those who want to be trained in a specialised area of journalism for a semester.

IIJNM offers "concentrations" in newspaper journalism, magazine journalism, New Media (web journalism), and television journalism. Students concentrating on newspaper journalism must take the workshop that requires producing an in-house newspaper. Magazine journalism students produce a monthly magazine, New Media students produce a weekly on-line publication and television students produce television programmes.

The institute also offers an i-Learning project to facilitate professional development in the Indian media. This is done through online learning courses and interactive forums. It is designed for working journalists and media managers for improving their skills at their pace. Training will cover courses offered through the diploma programmes, with practical training at on-site workshops.

For more on IIJNM, call Ph: 080-25448928/25448929/25440164 or visit www.iijnm.org

Sri Sri Centre for Media Studies

This institute offers a 10-month diploma course in journalism. The emphasis is on practical training where students work under deadline pressures and on-the-job conditions. Spread over three terms, the one-year programme begins in mid-July and ends in May. In the first term, from July 19 to September 30, students from both print and broadcast streams work on a common course content and are introduced to concepts from both the areas. The students also go through foundation courses in History, Economics, Sociology, Political Science and Media Management.

During the second term, the print media students should bring out a weekly tabloid while the electronic media students should put together a weekly news bulletin or documentary. In the third term, students learn a module on web journalism and complete their master's project, working as interns in media houses.

Asian College of Journalism

Launched in Bangalore about 10 years ago and now based in Chennai, this reputed institute offers a postgraduate diploma course in journalism. The core of the ACJ curriculum in the first term is an extensive series of lectures and workshops on gathering and presenting news.

There are five required courses in the first term, which include: Reporting, Writing, and Editing; Tools of the Modern Journalist; Key Issues in Journalism; History of the Media; and The Media, Law and Society. In the second term, students learn to select, report, edit, and produce pieces in the form required by the particular stream they have chosen. They build on their skills in interviewing, researching and news gathering, and sharpen their ability to recognise and develop stories. For more on ACJ, contact asian_media@vsnl.com or call Ph: 044-28418254/55.

Many colleges in Bangalore offer journalism and communicative English as optional subjects in B.A. They include Christ College, Jyoti Nivas College, NMKRV College for Women, Garden City College, Mount Carmel College and Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain College.

The Centre for Film and Drama in the Pioneer School offers a postgraduate diploma in film and dramatic arts. The school is located on 5th Floor, Sona Towers, 71, Millers Road, Bangalore-52.

Career options

*Journalism: Jobs can be either field or desk-oriented. Reporters are out in the field, covering events of local, national, foreign, sports, defence, political, economic or business importance. Sub-editors and their seniors edit the reports filed and make them ready for publication with apt layout and headlines. Columnists and other commentators write analytical articles for the editorial pages. *Broadcasting: You could get a break in the electronic media as announcer, news reader, presenter, correspondent, video jockey, radio jockey, editor, producer, script writer, technician, cinematographer, sound engineer or actor.

RASHEED KAPPAN

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