New Multimedia School Brings Global Perspective to India’s Dynamic News Environment

Sep 222011

The World Media Academy – Delhi has launched its inaugural class with 18 students from around the world, each of them enrolled in a 10-month graduate journalism program in television, print and digital media. It is a joint venture between the International Center for Journalists and Greycells Ltd., a Mumbai-based education company.

The World Media Academy – Delhi has launched its inaugural class with 18 students from around the world, each of them enrolled in a 10-month graduate journalism program in television, print and digital media. It is a joint venture between the International Center for Journalists and Greycells Ltd., a Mumbai-based education company. The WMA facilities boast a full, professional television studio, digital chip cameras and Final Cut Pro editing machines.

An expansion of an earlier, ICFJ-sponsored project. WMA is preparing tomorrow's journalists in India and across the region for a world of converging media. "Television reporters will have to write print stories, at least for the web, and newspaper reporters will have to shoot video and do stand-ups and televised reports," says Sharon Moshavi, ICFJ's Vice President for New Initiatives. "And both will have to be comfortable in the digital world of web-based journalism and hyperactive social media."

Classes are underway during a critical time for journalism in India. Hundreds of new television stations are being licensed, magazines abound and newspaper circulation still posts healthy gains. India is one of the world's most dynamic economies, and media are an important part of its rapidly changing scene.

Knight International Journalism Fellow Todd Baer, an award-winning correspondent for Al Jazeera English and CNN, is the dean and CEO of WMA-Delhi. Other WMA faculty will include longtime ETV Marathi correspondent Amey Polekar, journalist and teacher Theo Yardley and Tinku Ray of the BBC World Service. Guest faculty include ABC News Anchor Bob Woodruff, NBC correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin, NBC News correspondent Mike Taibbi, and Al Jazeera English anchor and correspondent Sohail Rahman.

After receiving basic training, students work in a television newsroom setting; the school occupies space that was once a working TV station.

"I think of it as 'convergence within a medium,'" Baer says. "With India's media still growing rapidly and making healthy profits, they aren't really ready for full convergence. But there is definitely a need for journalists with a wider range of technical skills. By starting now, these students should be more ready than many American journalists were when full convergence comes."