PG DIPLOMA IN PRINT JOURNALISM

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A MASCOM STUDENT

Classes begin at 8 a.m. and end at 5 pm. with a lunch break from 1.15 pm to 2.00 pm and 15-minute tea breaks at 10.30 am and 3.30 pm. A typical day's programme is given below.

COMPUTER TRAINING/SPEEDWRITING

During the first and second trimesters, the students will receive computer and speedwriting training in 30-minute sessions on alternating days. Computer training emphasises touch-typing, page-making, Photoshop and other software applications that are important to journalism and desktop publishing. Speedwriting improves the student's ability to take notes quickly and accurately.

NEWS AND NEWSPAPER REVIEW

These 60-minute daily sessions during the first and second trimesters are intended to help students dissect and analyse news in a professional manner. It involves learning the gatekeeper’s definition of news as well as understanding the news value and editorial slants of different newspapers. The student is expected to read and analyse the previous day’s paper before coming to class each day. He/she will be required to make individual presentations and analysis of the news, as well as the newspaper’s treatment of the events.

BACKGROUND MODULE

Background module classes are held in 90-minute sessions through all three trimesters. The modules are built around a variety of topics selected from a number of fields.

SOME BACKGROUND MODULE TOPICS :

The Indian political scene
The Constitution of India
Indian legal system
Indian defence politics
Science and technology in India
Arts and culture in India
Advertising and marketing
Public relations
Indian foreign policy
Newspaper management
Materials management
Newspaper productio

Computers for research
Newspaper circulation
Specialised mangazines
Reporting sports Film & TV in India
Gender issues
Developmental issues
Indian and Indo-Anglican Literature
Indian economic policies
Indian industry
World trade
Poverty in India
Ecology and environment

The criterion for selecting background module topics is their importance at the local, state, national or international level. Each of the selected topics would be considered a module and will be the focus of lectures.

JOURNALISM MODULE

These 60-minute daily sessions during the first and second trimesters are intended to help students dissect and analyse news in a professional manner. It involves learning the gatekeeper’s definition of news as well as understanding the news value and editorial slants of different newspapers. The student is expected to read and analyse the previous day’s paper before coming to class each day. He/she will be required to make individual presentations and analysis of the news, as well as the newspaper’s treatment of the events.

PRINT MODULE

The Print module classes are held in 90-minute sessions daily mainly during the first trimester and they deal with matters that are germane to the print medium. Some of the topics to be covered are various forms of reporting, writing leads, structuring a story, effective editing, using quotes, attribution, photo editing and writing captions, and page design and layout.

PRACTICALS

There will be daily practical sessions of 90 minutes each, during the first trimester. Practicals include exercises to improve the student’s news gathering, interviewing, editing, writing and related skills, through practical work in the classroom and field assignments.

TOPICS IN PRINT MODULE

What is news?
Categories of news
News sources
Construction of a news story
Sub-editor’s role
Editing
Intro/lead writing
Headlines

Captions
Follow-up reporting
Localising the news
Reporting what and how
Reporting crime and disasters
Honing writing skills
Using art and graphics

LANGUAGE TRAINING

During the third trimester, students are given training in spoken  English in 90-minute twice-a-week sessions. The course is intended to enable the student to converse fluently in English, thus improving his / her employability.

LAB PAPER

The lab papers - The Fourth Estate in English and Jalakom in Malayalam are the core of the course because they provide a medium for students to put into practice what they have been taught in the classroom. Lab paper production will begin with dummy issues towards the end of the first trimester and the first regular issue will be published in the beginning of the second trimester.

INTERNSHIP

Students are required to serve a three-week internship intended to expose them to the real world of a newspaper office so they can see and contrast actual practice with classroom instruction. Internships for students will be arranged by MASCOM but a student may arrange internship for himself / herself at any established newspaper house, subject to the approval of the Director. All expenses towards boarding and lodging during the period of internship will have to be borne by the student. A stipend will not be paid for the internship.

FIELD TRIPS

 MASCOM students went on a series of field visits to sharpen their skills in spotting and developing news/reports. An overnight visit was arranged to Kollam to expose them to the history, art, architecture and industrial undertakings in this thriving commercial hub of South Kerala. The places visited included Tangasserri, the Matha Amrithananda Mayi Madom in Amrithapuri, Kerala Ceramics in Kundara, Kerala Minerals and Metals in Chavara and some of the rehabilitation projects in tsunami-hit areas in Arattupuzha. The second visit was to Thiruvananthapuram and its focus was to enable the students to visit institutions of repute. They toured to Kerala Legislative Assembly and its library and museum, the Centre for Development Studies, the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre and ISRO museum, Technopark and the Sripadmanabhaswami Temple. They also spent some time in assessing its potential as a major tourist attraction. The students also attended a two-day nature awareness camp at the Periyar Tiger Reserve in Thekkady, the Naval Day exhibition in Kochi, the National Kite-flying competition at Munambam near Kochi, a three-day film appreciation workshop at St Joseph College of Communication in Changnassery, a national seminar on “Tribal performing arts” at St Stephen’s College Uzhavoor, and a seminar on “De-centralisation and Rural Development” at TMAM Research and Orientation Centre in Kottayam. In addition, visits were also made to an integrated agriculture farm at Chakkupallam near Kumily, the tomb of St. Alphonsa in Bharananganam, the Malankara Dam and an agricultural exhibition organised by Karshakasree in Muvattupuzha.

PROJECT WORK

Each student is required to prepare independently an academic dissertation on a topic related to any aspect of journalism or mass media. The selected topic and the project guide shall be approved by the faculty and the dissertation shall meet strict academic standards and practices. In addition, each student shall submit an investigative report on a topic cleared by the faculty. The report must be prepared to appear as a series in a newspaper or as a lengthy magazine article.

EVALUATION CRITERIA

The evaluation for award of Postgraduate Diploma is as follows:
Each student must obtain a minimum of 50% in each of the prescribed subjects and an overall aggregate of 50% to qualify for the Diploma, based on the marks secured in the overall aggregate, the diploma will be awarded with Distinction or First Class or Pass. Grading is decided on the basis of internal assessment and written examination with 70% of the total for internal assessment and balance 30% for assignments. A student failing to secure 50% marks in the individual or overall assessment may offer make-up assignments as determined by the faculty to raise his/her marks. A minimum of 85% attendance is required for a student to become eligible for the Diploma.

Manorama School of Communication