Media and Communication is an area which not only directs the politics and society but also sets agenda for all stakeholders in society. Media Activism, not only in India but world over has boosted morals of public,drived society and quite often has acted in a way that judiciary and government has changed its wrong decisions.In 1990s which was shaken back by many high crimes and very recently Nirbhaya Ganga rape case are such examples where Media Activism has played a decisive role. Similarly in 1970s two investigative journalists of Washington Post in USA brought Watergate scandal before public eye to the extent that impeachment was brought against President Nixon and he was removed.
As a Media Academic who has been in Media Teching,Research,Training and Administration I feel that there are many a things which a Media School can inculcate among the students.Gone are those days where an apprenticeship in a news paper inculcated journalistic instincts in freshers. It took long and was very frustrating . Media Training is as important as is for Medical,Engineering and Management hence its very obvious that aspirants of Media must get a formal education in a Media School whether its full time UG,PG or Ph.D. program or Short Term courses.
Now coming to some of the strategies which a Media School needs to grow itself and make it one of the best Media Schools.
Academics should be at forefront in a Media School and teaching should be divided as under:
a) Classroom teaching
d) Field Exercises
f) Training and Placement
h) Grooming and Counseling
i) Revision of syllabus at regular interval and inducting new courses in line with changing pattern in media
Being in Media academics for past 20 years and having experience of setting up Departments of Media,Journalism and Mass Communication and currently having responsibility of setting up a Faculty of Social Sciences which has seven major departments, I have significant experience on Running,Administering,Managing,Teaching,Research side of Media and fully trust that if above methods of teaching is adopted a media school will only grow and never fail.
Some of the Courses which a Media School can have in modern times are:
- A Course on Social Media,Whistle Blower and Citizen Journalism
- A Course on Mobile Journalism
- A Course on Radio Broadcast and Radio Management
- A Course on Media & Audience Research and Surveys
- A Course on Broadcast Technologies
- A Course on Mediatization and Media Industry
- A Course on Film Appreciation
- A Course on News Agency Journalism
- A Course on Data Visualization and Data Journalism
Whether we accept it or not but a Media School will be successful when its courses have good ratio of student enrollment. This is true in India that most of good Journalism students are coming from north India if we talk about Hindi Journalism and from South India and W.Bengal if we talk about English Journalism. If our admission and marketing department can have regular tab and have data from these zones and continuously takes feedback and talk to students by e-mail and phone we can have good number of students. When I was asked to set up a Department of Journalism and Mass Communication in St George College(which is now a University in Bangalore) ,I started it from scratch and enrolled 102 students in one year of time. Similary in Amity University and also in Teerthankar Mahaveer University Moradabad where I served as Deputy Director my focus was increasing number of enrollement,giving focus on academics, syllabus improvement.I also set up two Community Radio Stations –One at Amity(Radio Amity) and another at Teerthankar Mahaveer University(Radio TMU).
Following points always helps increasing number of students .
1-Good Counseling during admission
2-Since most of students are New in the City hence providing them all help needed like assistance in finding accommodation, guiding them on commuting and so on
3-Guiding and assisting them in Internship and Job.Always remember that Admission and Placement are like two ends of a pipe.If Placements are good then admission will automatically be excellent.
4-Telling them positive sides of syllabus,teaching methods,course curriculum and infrastructure
5-Keeping the word and promises made to students
6-February-August is admission season in India.Try to exploit these month by putting best feet forward and setting up temporary camps in state capitals if needed
7-Have a ready to use database of all schools and colleges which must be used to send admission and Media School’s broacher to them.
A tight and organized administration always gives a good impression on students, parents and organizations which recruits student of the Media School. Administration should take care following things:
1- Hostel and P.G. Facility- Admin should ensure that a relatively cheaper and semi furnished accommodation is made available to all needy stuents where food,water,cooler if not A/c,warm water is available.
2- Classroom- Admin should ensure that classrooms are equipped with all necessary equipments like LCD Projector, Camera with Tripod(For Camera Classes) ,Sound System for any AV presentation and classrooms are kept neat and clean.
3- Discipline- One added responsibility of administration is discipline which should ensured whether they are students or faculty or staff.
4- International Tie ups –
International Student Exchange programs, tie ups,guest lectures are very crucial for a Media School and me having a Global Network can play an important role in this area and can ensure tie ups with:
-ESJ Paris(Paris School of Journalism-World’s First Journalism School,Set up in 1899)
-British American University,Florida,USA
-Some of Top Indian private Universities
-Universities in East European & CIS Countries.
I hope that if a Media School follows above four verticals it will never fail.
(Author of This Write up is an Awarded Academician/Journalist/NASA Certified Educator/Interdisciplinary Scientist/Awarded Intel,Sec,Def Expert and Peace Award Winner)