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Q & A

Options in journalism and mass communication

—File Photo

The learning curve: A student at Asian College of Journalism, Chennai, posing a question during an interactive session.

I am a BA (communicative English) student and would like to know more about journalism and mass communication courses, and institutions that offer these courses. What are the job prospects?

SOUMYA AND SARITHA

KOTTARAKKARA

Journalism and mass communication is one of the best suited options for graduates in literature or communicative English with a flair for writing. Currently we are witnessing a revolution in communication thanks to the convergence and integration of communication technologies. This has had its impact on journalism and mass communication.

Several universities and colleges have instituted courses to meet these new challenges. A Master's degree course or a postgraduate diploma course in journalism or mass communication focuses on a variety of disciplines such as print and electronic media, development communication, communication research, advertising and public relations.

There are several courses at the postgraduate level in journalism and mass communication viz. Master of journalism, Master of communication and journalism, Master of communication studies, Master of journalism and mass communication, and so on.

Postgraduate diploma courses are also available in this field. Visual media or visual communication courses are also conducted at the Master's degree level by a few universities and institutions. All these courses prepare students for a career in the print or electronic media.

With the advances in mass communication, many Indian universities have transformed journalism into mass communication or communication journalism courses. Graduates in any discipline are eligible for admission to Master's programme in journalism and mass communication.

Study facilities

The Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) is the premier institution under the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting that offers postgraduate diploma courses in journalism in English and Hindi. The course has specialisations like radio journalism, television journalism, advertising and public relations. Graduates in any discipline are eligible for admission. The selection is based on an entrance test and interview. IIMC has campuses in New Delhi and Dhenkanal in Orissa. Websites: www.iimc.nic.in; www.iimc.gov.in.

The Asian College of Journalism, Chennai, is another institution that offers postgraduate diploma in journalism. Website: www.asianmedia.org.

The Manipal Institute of Communication, Manipal, offers MA degree in communication for graduates in any discipline.

In Kerala

The Department of Communication and Journalism, Kerala University, Kariavattom, Thiruvananthapuram, offers a two-year fulltime Master's degree course in communication and journalism. The selection is based on an entrance test and the marks scored in the qualifying examination. Science graduates with at least 55 per cent marks in part III of the degree course and non-science graduates with at least 50 per cent marks in part III are eligible to apply.

The School of Communication and Information Science, MG University, Kottayam, offers a Master of journalism and communication course on a self-financing basis. Graduates in any discipline are eligible to apply.

DB College, Keezhoor, Kottayam, also offers Master of journalism and communication courses.

The Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Calicut, Thenipalam, offers a two-year fulltime MCJ course.

The Don Bosco College, Angadikkadavu, Kannur, affiliated to Kannur University, also offers MCJ courses.

The English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Hyderabad, offers MA degree in media and communication. The contents include scripting for radio and television, English for writing in newspapers, business writing, oral communication and presentation skills, educational technology, multimedia, visual communication, media in communication and so on. Graduates in English language and literature are eligible for admission.

Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi, offers Master's degree in media for graduates in any discipline. Website: www.ipu.ac.in.

The Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication, Pune, offers a postgraduate programme in mass communication with specialisation in print media and cyber journalism, public relations and corporate communication and broadcasting journalism. Graduates in any discipline are eligible for admission. The selection is based on an entrance test and an interview.

The School of Media Studies under the SRM University, Kattankulathur, offers an MA course in journalism and mass communication.

Several universities in the country offers Master's or postgraduate diploma courses in journalism and mass communication. The University of Madras, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, and Pondicherry University, Puducherry, offer MA degree course in journalism and communication or mass communication courses.

List of more such universities can be collected from the University handbook published by the Association of Indian Universities, New Delhi, available for reference at the University Employment Information and Guidance Bureaux of the universities in Kerala.

PG diploma

Postgraduate diploma courses in journalism is of one-year duration. The institutes of journalism under press clubs at Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam, Kozhikode, Kerala Press Academy, Kochi, Bharathiya Vidya Bhavanm Thiruvananthapuram, and the Manorama School of Communication, Kottayam, offers postgraduate diploma in journalism for graduates in any discipline.

Visual communication

Another related higher study option for graduates in any discipline is visual communication. Amrita School of Arts and Sciences, Brahmasthanam, Edapally North. P.O, Kochi – 682024, offers MFA visual media courses with specialisations in broadcast journalism and video production, applied art and advertising, and animation and content management. Graduates in any discipline with at least 50 per cent marks are eligible for admission. The selection is based on academic merit and interview. Website: www.amrita.edu/asas/kochi.

Radio jockey

Another different option is that of a radio jockey. Recently Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), New Delhi, (www.iimc.gov.in) has introduced one-year certificate radio jockey course. Graduates in any discipline having good communication and presentation skills can enter this profession. FM radios provide job opportunities to qualified and experienced hands.

Distance education

Some universities also conduct postgraduate level courses in journalism/ mass communication through the distance education mode for graduates in any discipline. The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) offers an MA course in mass communication and a postgraduate diploma course in journalism and mass communication in the July session every year. Ph.D. programme in journalism and mass communication are also available here. IGNOU, Regional Centre, Kaloor, Kochi – 17 provides study facilities for MA in mass communication and PG diploma in journalism and mass communication. Website: www.ignou.ac.in.

The Directorate of Distance Education, Madurai Kamaraj University, Palkalai Nagar, Madurai offers the MA course in journalism/ mass communication course for meritorious graduates in any discipline. It has study centres in difference parts of Kerala including Kollam.

PG diploma course in this discipline is also conducted here.

The Institute of Distance Education, University of Kerala at Kariavattam conducts a one-year postgraduate course in communication and journalism for graduates in any discipline. Webiste: www.keralaunviersity.edu

Job prospects

Those who pass these courses can seek employment in the print or electronic media or as Assistant Information Officer, Public Relations Officer and so on in the Public Relations Department and also join the Indian Information Service. Opportunities are also available in visual media and web portals too.

Those with Ph.D. or have cleared the National Eligibility Test for Lectureship (NET) can become lecturers in colleges or universities.

GOPAKUMAR KARAKONAM

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