By Mark Austin
One hundred years ago, when automobiles were becoming a common sight on roads in the West, owners of horses didn’t insist that driving was too difficult, and so they would stick with their horses.
The benefits from owning a motor car exceeded those from owning a horse, and the new transportation technology face the same fate as horses. Their epitaph has already been written in the West, and it won’t be too long before Indians get most of their news in digital form.
Though print media is read widely and makes money, Indian news organizations are investing in online technology as well to satisfy consumers who want to reap the benefits that online media offers: most current information, searchability and shareability.
All major newspapers and TV stations in India have websites that are as important a means of news delivery as the original platforms of paper, radio and television, and are adapting their content for mobile consumption.
In a sign of things to come, while newspaper readership grew nationwide, it fell among young Indians from 37 percent in 2010 to 23 percent in 2011, according to the 2012 Hindustan Times Youth Survey. Digital media, meanwhile, showed a combined annual growth rate of almost 35 percent from 2011 Q4 to 2012 Q2, according to the latest Indian Readership Survey.
In this digital media environment, journalism students will benefit most from a practical, hands-on curriculum designed to familiarize them with each and every aspect—theoretical, practical and technical—of digital reporting.
The Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media, based in Bangalore, is a pioneer in the field of digital journalism education in this country. Its trainee journalists may opt to study in the Print, Broadcast or Multimedia streams. Those who study Print or Broadcast must produce multimedia work as part of their major project, the summation of their learning in the 10-month master’s-level course.
Trainee journalists in the Multimedia stream learn how to report news using the most effective combination of text, still photography, video, audio and graphics, integrating all in each story. They publish an online newspaper, The SoftCopy, whose design and content is entirely their own work.
Print and broadcast media will remain alive and active in India for years to come. Multimedia graduates, on the other hand, are now applying their in-demand skills in major news organizations across the country in cutting-edge journalism. Why not follow in their path?