International Multimedia Institute Launches in India

Aug 262010

New Delhi – Aspiring journalists in India can now train in an 11-month digital media program that emphasizes the best professional practices. The International Media Institute of India started classes in the Delhi suburb of Noida this summer with 30 students.

The participants come from across India—as well as from Bhutan and Liberia. The classroom mimics a newsroom with students constantly reporting and publishing stories. Students learn everything from the fundamentals of newswriting and editing to podcasting and Web design. Courses are taught in English and Hindi.

“Our students will stand out because of their digital know-how, high standards and ability to report on important issues facing India,” said International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) President Joyce Barnathan. “As Indian news outlets grow, there will be an increasing demand for our graduates.”

The institute is run by ICFJ and its Indian partner, the Society for Policy Studies (SPS), a think tank of Indian journalists and policy affairs analysts. It is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The Graduate School of Journalism of the City University of New York (CUNY) is providing curriculum support.

“The main aim of the program is to train students in a manner that enables them to move into live newsrooms effortlessly and efficiently,” said SPS President Tarun Basu. “Inquiries have already started coming in for next year.”

The institute’s special features include:

  • A mobile news service called Village Voice that covers 20 rural villages. Students develop stories and help train rural citizens to produce daily news reports in this living laboratory. In another effort to reach India’s underserved communities, the institute provides scholarships to deserving students.
  • Training in 10 specialty areas including business, politics, arts and health.
  • A faculty of experienced Indian and foreign journalists from news outlets such as IANS and Indian Express, as well as ESPN in Singapore, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in the United States, and the BBC.

School administrators include:

  • Dean Sunil Saxena, an experienced online and print editor. He served as founding dean of the Asian College of Journalism. He also headed the development of 12 news Web sites for the Indian Express Group.
  • Knight International Journalism Fellows Jody McPhillips and Dave Bloss. Bloss and McPhillips launched journalism schools in the Republic of Georgia and East Timor. They are seasoned newspaper reporters.

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