Tomorrow starts now: Fact sheet for a media college

Media has played a crucial role in the modern world and in the current turmoil, the need for well-versed professionals is being felt more than ever before

The UPES School of Modern Media organized an insightful and interactive webinar on ‘Tomorrow starts now: Fact sheet for a media college’. The experts enlightened the audience on the latest trends, challenges and opportunities in the field of Journalism and Mass Communication. They also took questions from modern media aspirants, their parents and educators.

The esteemed panel comprised of pioneers from the media world: Mr. Alok Verma, National Award winner and Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Newzstreet Media Group and Mr. Rohit Gandhi, Editor-in-Chief, Democracy News. The webinar was moderated by Prof. K.G. SureshDean, School of Modern Media, UPES.

The panellists discussed the challenges and scope of media at length. Excerpts:

What are the current trends, opportunities and challenges in the media world?

Mr. Rohit Gandhi: Digital is the only way forward. In this age of information communication and technology, media will thrive more on video-based content. By 2022, 93 per cent of all the content we view will be in the video format because it brings more credibility and authenticity. This will push for more active journalism, also known as Guerrilla Journalism, calling for direct coverage from the field rather than sitting in luxurious studios and sipping your coffees. We will be looking for people having clarity of purpose on what they are doing and why they are doing it.

Mr. Alok Verma: Technology has impacted every aspect of our lives including media and communication. Media always had access to technology but now the common man, too, enjoys this privilege. The emergence of new platforms like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook have empowered people to express their views; you can see it is raining content everywhere. But what we actually need is relevant content.

Broadly, we look at journalism in two ways: Programmed or Creative Journalism and Applied Journalism. These categories are intertwined by threads of similarity in terms of content; the difference between them lies in their approach. We need to understand that journalism is not about churning out content from our social media handles; it takes a lot more than that. Today, the media industry needs trained professionals to carry forward the legacy of sincere and responsible journalism. 

We look at journalism in two ways: Programmed or Creative Journalism and Applied Journalism

What are the most important skills required to have a successful career in Journalism and Mass Communication?

Mr. Rohit Gandhi: The last decade has been a journey full of transitions in media.  To thrive as a media professional today, one must be research-oriented and should have an eye for detail. Considering the plethora of information we have access to, accuracy is of key significance. This profession demands the virtue of honesty to be apart of the ethos. Journalists should have a strong understanding that their content must not invade upon anyone’s privacy. We prefer people having a journalism degree as that reduces our basic training efforts and facilitates quick and smooth inductions.

Mr. Alok Verma: Like any other technical domain, we expect our workforce to be through with concepts, theories, best practices, practical exposure and hands-on training by experts. In my years of experience in hiring and nurturing young media professionals, I have come across two kinds of aspirants:

 1) Those who want to become a journalist

2) Those who want to grow as a journalist

Modern media schools should nurture their students to grow as a journalist. They can do so by hiring credible faculty having enriched on-the-ground experience in reputed newspapers or television. Institutes must strive for excellence and rigour in training these young professionals by inculcating in them the right attitude, values, ethics and skills.

What is the significance of learning about Modern Media, Electronic Media and Language for journalism professionals?

Mr. Rohit Gandhi: Media is the business of communication, where you reach out to people through your words. A media professional must have an acumen towards articulation and a lot of empathy to make his/her content impactful. To sell your stories, you should possess the knowledge of psychology, human behaviour or Emotional Intelligence as you call it today.

Mr. Alok Verma: Without the knowledge about media in detail, you have nowhere to go. The ability to read and write is not enough for becoming a journalist. One must understand that you must train well to become a successful media person. Learning from experienced faculty members, picking up fine nuances of journalism from accomplished mentors, interning in reputed newspapers and media houses, experience of working in studios and language labs, doing research projects under senior journalists are the must-haves to succeed in this domain.

During the webinar, Prof. K.G. Suresh also highlighted the importance of technology, best practices in journalism and mass communication, the significance of personality development through soft skill mediations and his vision to bring the best of the industry to his students.

(Compiled by Preeti Aneja)

To watch the webinar recording, click here                                                                

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