Friday, 30 April 2010
Counselling: Journalism After Plus Two
A seasoned journalist says that journalism can be taught in six months. Yet another experienced editor opines that it is premature to do journalism after +2. A professor of journalism asserts that a basic degree in the arts or sciences followed by Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism is the ideal mix for those who wish to choose journalism for a career. And my views are in complete agreement with theirs.
However, for those who are eager to straight away join B.A. in Journalism & Mass Communication, I think some guidance is necessary on some key factors.
First, choose the right educational institution. Any institute worth its salt will have a navigation-friendly website that is updated at regular intervals. The older the institution, the better it is; and if journalism is the only course taught there, it must be really good. Check the website for accreditation details, especially its validity period. According to newspaper reports, many top institutions have not applied to NAAC for re-accreditation and have been advertising their courses with an expired accreditation certificate.
Parents and prospective students of journalism have a right to know the curriculum and syllabus before they join the course. Therefore, these documents must be on the website; if not, it is better for the applicants to go elsewhere. Equally important is infrastructure. Is there a television studio? A campus newspaper? A campus radio? A multimedia laboratory?
If you find that all these are fine, then you need to look at the faculty. Do they have industry experience? What are their qualifications? They may even have a doctoral degree. One must be cautious here because the Ph.D may not be in journalism. Since the media industry pays very well, it is quite difficult to get staff having both industry and academic experience. Find out whether the staff members have a masters degree in journalism. A newspaper report in the Times of India has revealed that the Department of Media Sciences is strangely headed by a mechanical engineer.
Today’s world is driven by a media economy; therefore, it is not surprising if the candidates are carried away by the glossy promotional material. Think and think again. And ask this most important question: “Is this an academic institution or a business organization?” It may be a hard fact that privatized education is a business, yet you must insist on getting every rupee’s worth. I hope you get high marks in +2 so that you do not have to bargain for a seat in any institution.
An institution may fail many of these tests and yet be Number One because of its illustrious alumni. If the alumni of an institution have won recognition in journalism, then that institution is certainly the right place for you to do journalism after +2.
Friday, 2 April 2010
S. Muthiah Releases Barefoot
— Appeared in the April 2010 issue of the Journalism Online newsletter —
Barefoot, a sort of community newspaper put together by some 30-odd students of the Department of Journalism in SRM University, was released on Friday (25 March 2010) by the noted historian and editor of Madras Musings, Mr. S. Muthiah. Dr. Sridhar Krishnaswami, Head -- School of Media Studies, received the first copy.
Rahul Lahkar, editor of Barefoot (I MA JMC), welcomed the audience consisting of the faculty and students of the departments of journalism and visual communication at the MBA Seminar Hall and introduced the chief guest. Outlining the newspaper's vision, he said: "As students of journalism we were curious to know the various aspects of making a newspaper and how things are put together. In the initial stages Barefoot was not away from hiccups on how to go about the various aspects of reporting, editing, page designing and printing. But the curiosity to lay hands on it made us believe that all our efforts will make us learn and it will be a practical experience. We started, stopped, stood up and started again to make ourselves believe that we could do it." And they did it; and, as he says, 'intend to move on with the same determination, enthusiasm and energy in order to learn more'.
Geetha Bharathi (I MA MC), who had suggested Barefoot's tagline 'creating imprints', sang the prayer song. It may be noted that K.R. Ramu (I MA JMC) had designed the nameplate.
The chief guest Mr. Muthiah said that the basics of journalism could be taught within six months and what mattered most was practice. Recalling the days when he was the Honorary Dean of this school, he said he had planned to run the BA programme along practical lines -- a course in which students would have to bring out a fortnightly or weekly newspaper. But his dreams fell flat for lack of funds, he said and urged the current Head to press the university to finance Barefoot, which at present is a wholly student-driven initiative.
Mr. Muthiah said that Barefoot had much scope of becoming a vibrant journal as the Tambaram-Chengalpet stretch was a boom area for community news. He pointed out that all community newspapers had to depend on advertising. "But there should be enough content to make a difference to the community," he added and hoped that the Barefoot team would make a difference within a year.
Congratulating the newspaper's editor Rahul Lahkar (I MA JMC) and his team, Dr. Sridhar Krishnaswami urged them to continue with the good work, making each issue better than the previous ones. A community newspaper, he said, would help the students look beyond academics and get a larger picture by focussing on the immediate environment. However, he urged them to involve the experienced journalism faculty such as Prof. Venkat Pulapaka and himself. "We will make it a success!" he concluded.
Sooraj Rajmohan (I BA JMC) was the compere. Chinmayee Mishra (II BA JMC) proposed a vote of thanks.
Tuesday, 2 February 2010
10 years of journalism online
Journalism Online is an amateur ezine with a professional touch. It doesn't pay its writers; it doesn't receive subscriptions from the readers; and it doesn't have any dealings with advertisers. Yes, Journalism Online is not a business but a service. It has always laid emphasis on ethics, substance and aesthetics.
The first issue appeared in March 2000 with just five names on the mailing list, including two email addresses of mine. Now with over 900 members, Journalism Online has indeed come a long way in its 10 years of existence. Since it functions from two free domains, readers need to bookmark these urls:
Journalism Online website (launched in May 1999):
Journalism Online newsletter (launched in March 2000):
Rather than the website, it is the monthly newsletter's 10th anniversary that this article wishes to highlight and celebrate. Journalism Online has had little successes. Subhash Rai's Indian Online Journalism published my `Confessions Of An Editor' in its update of November 12, 2002. In March 2003, Sevanti Ninan's The Hoot listed my name as one of the key persons in Indian new media. In September 2004, Journalism Online was one of the sites featured for a week in Yahoo! Groups Editor's Picks.
Journalism Online has been cited even in print. A couple of its editorials have been reproduced by other publications. Some websites have found the site good and, therefore, linked to it. And a thrill of pleasure rushes through the editor's spine on those rare occasions when someone wishes to get an article published in the newsletter.
The ezine has been a primitive venture right from the start. It is plain notepad journalism. No audio. No photo. No video. Just chunks and chunks of text. And that is how it wishes to remain; the online medium itself being an accidental and perhaps necessary evil for communication.
Media students, if they use the separate search engines at the aforementioned urls, will find a lot of material about journalism and its related fields, not necessarily from an examination point of view. There are articles on academic journalism written by experts. There are over a 100 editorials (all written by yours truly) with pungent remarks about the state of the Indian media. This is not to say that Journalism Online specializes only in diatribe. It has praised The Hindu, Times Of India and The Indian Express when praise was due, but it has not hesitated to treat itself to a hunting crop (as Sherlock Holmes did with two swift steps in `A Case Of Identity') when it became absolutely necessary.
Journalism Online thanks its writers (the list is long) and its readers (usually silent) for keeping alive this newsletter that offers less of news and more of ideas.
-- Appeared in the February 2010 issue of the journalism online newsletter: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/journalismonline/message/120 --
Monday, 18 August 2008
Friday, 25 April 2008
Thursday, 28 February 2008
Yet another chess hat-trick
By A Spectrum Sports Reporter
(reproduced from Spectrum, dated 16 February 2008)
N. Watson Solomon, Assistant Professor in the SRM School of Journalism and Mass Communication, recorded yet another hat-trick when he successfully defended his title, which he first won in 2006, in the inter-collegiate staff chess championship conducted by Guru Nanak College recently. Only last month he won for the third time the inter-collegiate staff chess championship conducted by Sri Ramachandra University.
He scored four points in as many rounds and was assured of the title in the penultimate round itself. Among the players he defeated were Dhanasekaran of Nazareth College, Ravi Kumar of the Madras Christian College and Francis Xavier of Vellore Institute of Technology. Watson refused a draw offer from Xavier and played for a win. Xavier’s knight sacrifice and Watson’s ‘blunder’ pin could in no way alter the outcome of the game.
Monday, 18 February 2008
Asst. Prof.'s chess hat-trick
By A Spectrum Sports Reporter
(reproduced from Spectrum, dated 1 February 2008)
N. Watson Solomon, Assistant Professor in the SRM School of Journalism and Mass Communication, won for the third time the inter-collegiate staff chess championship conducted by the Sri Ramachandra University at Porur on January 24, 2008. He retained his title with a perfect score of 4/4. He was assured of the title in the penultimate round itself as his nearest rival was trailing him by a full point.
However, it was not a cakewalk. Players from Sri Ramachandra University and Nazareth College gave him anxious moments. In the final round, a tactical move by Janarthanan of Sri Ramachandra University took Watson by surprise and it was the clock that really came to his rescue. Even as Watson was attempting to redeem his position, Janarthanan lost on time.
In an earlier round with Dhanasekaran of Nazareth College, Watson sacrificed a rook and chased the opponent’s king across the board. But Dhanasekaran found the right defensive moves and Watson had to sweat it out before posting a well-earned victory. In the previous two events, he did not meet with such stiff resistances on way to the title. Hence for him this victory, though the most difficult to get, is the sweetest.
Watson has also been the winner of the inter-collegiate staff chess championships conducted by Guru Nanak College in the past two years. This year, the championship is likely to be held by February end.
Wednesday, 21 November 2007
first tamil presentation
I presented my first paper in Tamil titled 'Tolkappiyam Chuttum Cheithi-iyal' at the tinai social order conference at the Madras Christian College on November 2, 2007. It was a wonderful experience.
Tuesday, 30 October 2007
Tuesday, 16 October 2007
Essays In Ecocriticism
Essays In Ecocriticism,
edited by Nirmal Selvamony, Rayson K. Alex and yours truly, has been published by Sarup & Sons, New Delhi. It will be released in Chennai on October 27, 2007 (Saturday). Mr. Sashi Kumar, Chairman, Media Development Foundation, will release it and Mr. Dwight Atkinson of Temple University, Japan, will receive the first copy.
Two of my articles 'Visual Media: An Oikopoetic Perspective' and 'Green Density Measure Of A Literary Text' find a place in the Essays In Ecocriticism.
Newer | Latest | Older