Mumbai students give campus magazines a facelift
Tanushka Vaid, a first-year BCom Financial Markets student at HR College, Churchgate, has always been passionate about reading and writing. While in junior college, she wrote for a lifestyle magazine for youngsters. When she entered the degree college, she felt the need to have a platform where students can share their experience and express their creativity using words. She floated the idea with a few of her friends, and in January ‘HR Speaks’, an online monthly magazine was launched.
While most city colleges have their annual magazines, which are largely made up of reports of the college activities and achievements of its students and staff, more frequent campus periodicals were rare.
In the recent years, students at two city colleges — HR College and Ruia College, Matunga — have started monthly e-magazines that offer a more diverse and engaging content to readers. In addition, two older quarterly campus publications — Insight by Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) and Spandan of Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) — have been reinvented in the form of web portals, allowing for a more frequent delivery of content.
The current crop of campus publications have a wide array of articles, ranging from students’ experience in college to their view on current affairs. There is space dedicated for creative writing in the form of stories and poems and happenings in the college.
Students said the magazines have been received well by their peers.
“HR Speaks features stories of their friends and seniors about moving to the city, playing sports and having relationships. Many students told me that they loved the articles,” she said, adding the students could relate to the writers’ experience.
Ojas Chaudhary, one of the editors of Ruiaite Monthly said their magazine has an average readership of around 500. The magazine was started in 2015 and has been published regularly — an issue or two are skipped during exam months. Around 80 students look after and contribute to the magazine. The digital copy of the periodical is uploaded on the college website and its link is circulated on social media.
The editorial team has taken a few initiatives to popularise the magazine. “Our reporters do a live coverage of the college festival. We also conduct a monthly discussion in the college on various topics,” said Choudhary.
The older publications in the city continue to deliver the content to students, albeit in a digital avatar. Around 2016, NMIMS relaunched Spandan, its quarterly magazine, in the form of a web portal, to ease off the pressure of putting together a magazine every three months. The website ensures that the events and happenings in the institute are reported without any lag and articles can be posted as and when they are made available.
Students at IIT-B also converted their quarterly magazine, Insight, to a web portal. However, a print version of the publication is still made available every six months.
For Shweta Singh, an assistant professor at HR College, and faculty in-charge of HR Speaks, publishing the magazine on the web, instead of physical form, was a natural decision.
“Most of the students are tech-savvy. Rather than skimming through a physical magazine, it’s much more convenient for them to read it online,” she said, adding the digital copies of the periodical are circulated on social media for a wider reach.