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‘This is a great time to take up journalism’

International Centre for Journalists to launch its PG diploma in journalism in India starting August

education Updated: Jun 29, 2011 11:11 IST
Gauri Kohli

Having trained around 60,000 journalists across 25 countries, the International Centre For Journalists (ICFJ) is collaborating with an Indian institute to introduce a one-year PG diploma programme in journalism in Delhi. Sharon Moshavi, who has worked for media houses such as Business Week, Forbes and the BBC and is the vice-president, New Initiatives of ICFJ, tells HT Horizons about the new project.

What’s your definition of a good and intelligent journalist?
One should have qualities such as curiosity and persistence to excel in their respective areas of expertise. Possessing the passion for telling stories and converting this passion into a mission can lead to a satisfying and rewarding career in
journalism.

What are the career prospects in this field, particularly in India?
Career prospects are bright for trained journalists. Mushrooming of several news channels and expansion of the print and online media in India and abroad is helping employees get more options and exposure to report several issues of social, political, economic and cultural relevance at the national and international levels. This is a great time to take up journalism.

Tell us more about the ICFJ setting up its first campus in India.
The International Center For Journalists (in association with a Mumbai-based education provider) will start the World Media Academy in Delhi in August this year. We will offer a one-year postgraduate diploma programme to students, the fee for which is R 1.25 lakh. Television reporters will have to write print stories, at least for the web, and newspaper reporters will have to shoot videos and do televised reports. And both will have to be comfortable in the digital world of web-based journalism and hyperactive social media. The faculty would include Todd Baer, who has been a journalist with CNN for many years, and Christopher Conte, academic director, who would impart hands-on practical training to students. The curriculum for the programme has been designed by ICFJ. Students will also undergo a two-week preliminary programme before the actual session starts.

We will also give scholarships to students from a few states such as Kerala and Jammu & Kashmir. We also have a tie-up with the University of Nebraska, US.

How important is training in different forms of media for an aspiring journalist?
To keep pace with the growth in the media sector, journalism education also has to be deft. Learning the nuances such as ethics and writing style and boosting technical knowledge are important as well as advantageous.

What are the placement opportunities for students?
One can get placed with Indian as well as with international media organisations. The graduates of the programme in other countries have gone on to work at organisations such as Al Jazeera English, and ABC Australia. Our focus is on imparting hands-on practical training and on-the-field exposure to students, followed by
apprenticeships in these media houses.

What is the application process and admission criterion to study at the ICFJ campus in Delhi?
The admission criteria includes a written test where candidates will be asked to write a 300 to 400-word report. They will also be asked why they want to be journalists. We chose Delhi because it’s the media capital of India. For details, visit icfg.org (email to learnjouranlism@gmail.com or call 9971498348).

Has ICFJ trained journalists in other countries as well?
We have trained around 60,000 journalists in more than 25 countries such as China (where we offer a master’s in global business journalism), Pakistan (where we have an exchange programme between American and Pakistani journalists), Bangladesh (where we helped set up a women’s TV news agency), and Malaysia (where we trained citizen journalists), among others.

How important is studying at a foreign university for Indian journalism aspirants?
Studying at a foreign university helps you get experience about international media and learn the international standards of journalism. It helps you get a better grasp of important issues.

If you get a chance to study at a foreign university, it can be an added advantage to your career.