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Indian scribe to head Reuters institute

Sarmila Bose has worked mainly with the Ananda Bazar Patrika group, writing in English and Bengali on politics and public policy issues.

india Updated: Oct 13, 2006 13:37 IST

Prominent Indian journalist and academic Sarmila Bose has taken over as director of the newly opened Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism in the University of Oxford.

The institute, based in the university's Department of Politics and International Relations, will be officially launched on Nov 20. The Reuters Foundation has extended funding of 1.75 million pounds over five years to the institute.

As a journalist, Bose has mainly worked with the Kolkata-based Ananda Bazar Patrika group, writing in English and Bengali on politics and public policy issues. She has also contributed to The Hindu, Indian Express and Business Standard.

Bose told IANS: "As the institute is international and comparative in its perspective, and India is an open society with thriving media, I certainly expect India to feature in our research projects and events, including participants from India".

The institute, she said, is specifically international and comparative in approach and will bring together academics and journalists "in a productive engagement on substantive issues related to the content of news media".

Bose has held teaching and research positions at Harvard University, Warwick University and George Washington University and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Her experience of both worlds of academics and journalism will inform her directorship of the institute.

Bose, a fellow of Green College, said: "Oxford University is in a position to apply the highest standards of analytical scrutiny to public information provided by news media, in a global, comparative framework. The institute will bring the depth, rigour and range of scholarship at Oxford in a vibrant and productive engagement with the world of practice."

Over the years, several Indian journalists have spent time at Oxford as part of the Reuters visiting fellowship programme for journalists. The fellowship programme has now become part of the new institute's activities. Bose said that future journalist fellows will have the additional opportunity to take part in the institute's research projects.

The Chair of The Reuters Institute Steering Committee, Tim Gardam, said: "Bose's appointment reflects the mission of the Reuters Institute to bring a consciously global perspective to the practice of journalism and its implications in the digital age.

"She is uniquely qualified to lead the conversation between the worlds of academic research and practising journalism worldwide at a time when the divisions between local, national and international news are breaking down."

The Head of the Department of Politics and International Relations, Professor Neil MacFarlane, said: "Bose's career embodies the bridge we are trying to build between journalism and academic life. Her training at Harvard and ongoing professional academic activity ensure the rigour that we expect from the institute.

"Equally, her extensive experience as an eminent broadcast and print reporter ensures that the institute will speak effectively to the practitioner community in journalism. The appointment of Bose also speaks of the institute's desire to understand the evolution of media in its global, as well as national context."

Paddy Coulter is the institute's Director of Studies and Financial Times columnist John Lloyd is its Director of Journalism.

First Published: Oct 13, 2006 13:37 IST