MASCOM’s print journalism course prepares students to work in print or digital media. The course is organised in three trimesters, each of 12 weeks duration. In addition, students will serve a three-week internship after the third trimester and undertake at least two field trips during the course.

Nature: Full-time
Duration: 10 months ( 3 trimesters)
Diploma offered: Postgraduate Diploma

The 2019- 2020 academic year

The PG Diploma Courses will begin in July 2019.

The focus of the course is to maximise the employment potential of students. Accordingly, the utmost emphasis is given to hands-on training, while ensuring students acquire a solid grounding in journalism theory. The course aims at producing journalists who will become fully-functional members of the media industry in the shortest possible time.


Eligibility

Applicants to the courses must have a Bachelor’s Degree in any discipline from a recognised university. Students who have appeared in their final examination may also apply. However, they will have to furnish adequate proof of graduation for their admission to be regularised.

Selection

Candidates aspiring to join the courses are expected to have a good academic record, a keen interest in current affairs and politics, a deep commitment to journalism as a career and sound writing skills. Admission will be on the basis of the candidate’s performance in a written test and an interview.

Medium of instruction

The medium of instruction will be English. However, a limited number of seats will be available for students who are also proficient in Malayalam and intend to pursue a career in Malayalam journalism..

Course fee and payment schedule

The total fee for the course is Rs. 1,00000/- plus Service Tax as applicable of which Rs. 20,000/- shall be paid to secure admission, Rs. 40,000/- in the first week of the second trimester and Rs.40,000/- in the first week of the third trimester.

A day in the life of a MASCOM student

Classes begin at 8 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. with a lunch break from 1:15 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 15-minute tea breaks at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. A typical day's programme is given in the Structure.

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 newspaper 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

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. 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.

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

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.

  • Newspaper management
  • Reporting sports Film & TV in India
  • The Constitution of India
  • Newspaper circulation
  • Gender issues
  • Indian economic policies
  • Indian legal system
  • Indian foreign policy
  • Newspaper production
  • Ecology and environment
  • Business journalism
  • Crime reporting
  • Investigative reporting
  • Developmental issues

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.


Computer training

During the first and second trimesters, the students will receive computer 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.


Digital Journalism

In this module, students are trained by digital media professionals to adapt their writing skills for the new media. This capsule also gives exposure to the latest developments in the area of digital journalism. This includes SEO, analytics and monetising content. This is a common module for print and broadcast students.


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.


Field Trip

The students of MASCOM are taken on field trips to hone their skills in spotting and developing news stories outside their base of Kottayam. All expenses are met by MASCOM.

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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.

Career Prospects

MASCOM’s course aims to make students employable. The hands-on training culminating in the production of weekly lab newspaper makes this aim become a reality. Print students have found employment with leading print publications, web portals and television channels. A few have set up their own media companies.
A detailed list of organisations where MASCOM students were recruited can be found in the placements section.


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. MASCOM helps students to 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.