Story from the Convocation Issue dated May 26, 2011 brought out by the students of the ninth batch of MASCOM.

Chinnu Rajan
KOTTAYAM : This July will see the inauguration of the 10th postgraduate print journalism training course at MASCOM (Manorama School of Communication), an institute that many journalism professionals consider to be one of the best in the country. Students who underwent training at MASCOM agree that the training has prepared them for newspaper work in the best way.

Shubhankar Adhikari an eighth-batch student now with The Telegraph in Kolkata, said that bringing out MASCOM’s lab newspaper, The Fourth Estate, was gruelling training in editing and page-making and the rigid deadlines were the closest a student could get to the actual process in the newspaper industry.

Business Line senior subeditor Ram Mohan, who was in the third batch said MASCOM focuses on the basics. “Though many deride such a teaching process, being strong in the basics is the only way to become a better writer or editor,” he added.

Sanjay Shankar Pandey, a sixth-batch student, currently the senior subeditor with the MiD DAY in Mumbai, said, “I have no hesitation in saying I didn’t know how to put words together and form a sentence before coming to MASCOM. But now I make a living out of it. Your entire career depends on what you learnt over there and not what you were taught.” .

Delhi-based senior Asianet reporter Deeju Sivadas, who switched to television after his training in print journalism at MASCOM said, “A student trained here is considered to be a proper journalist.” A fifth-batch student and a sub-editor at The Hindu, Bangalore, Shalin Thomas said, “The best people of the industry come as guest lecturers to teach and the guidelines they give certainly help.”

Nirmala Nair, subeditor with DNA Mumbai and a sixth-batch student, said the training given in MASCOM is "exactly like working in an actual newspaper. If you can survive 10 months of MASCOM, you can work anywhere.” Srinivas Ramanujam, a senior copy editor with The Times of India, Chennai, said going out and looking for stories for the lab paper helped the students the most. “If you can find stories in Kottayam, you can find them anywhere in the world,” quipped the fourth-batch student. The editing guidelines also helped him a lot, he added.

 “For instance, when I wrote 'per acre of land', KTO (as director K Thomas Oommen is widely known) told me, ‘You can’t have acres of water, can you?'" Mr Adhikari was nostalgic when he recalled the frantic timetable at MASCOM. But he said, “Though the schedule is punishing, the newspaper world is much tougher. It was while working with my colleagues who are from other institutes, I realised the difference the MASCOM training makes.”

Manorama School of Communication