Life of a Journalism Student – Mystical but Indecisive

Journalism tipsLife mein sab settle ho jaye ga boss”, those were the words I heard from my best friend who just dropped by my apartment only to give justice to our friendship of nine years soon after we finished our board exams. My life as an adult started then. My next senior part of life was now only a pea sized hole in front of the vast black hole of life. I hadn’t the slightest idea what my next step would be. I think I was going to settle in for some bachelor’s course or maybe B.Com, I don’t know.

My harsh silence was a nauseating reaction for anyone who troubled me to the depth of irritability – and that was what my little brother was lingering to do one afternoon while I was doing my own research for a right course and a right place (as I knew in the world I wouldn’t stay in Agra, my hometown, any longer) to study. My eyes went across the courses that Delhi University offered as I ‘scrolled’ down for some intensive and creative course which involved less mugging up and more analytical thinking. Making crude decisions wasn’t part of the plan, since I saw that Delhi University ranked number one in India Today’s College survey. I was so fascinated by Lady Shri Ram College that I used to check its website everyday to see the cut-offs going lower by each list. I couldn’t make the cut-off list so I thought of entering in for CATE in English and CJET for journalism both that needed an entrance exam for LSR, the other were on merit basis. Neither a stone hit me nor a thorn pricked me to think that Journalism needed some basic general knowledge skills which I hadn’t any. I just knew one thing – I wanted to write and make my writings known. I got my CATE result and CJET results but in both I again failed to get LSR. Anyways, Kalindi College was known for having quite many toppers over the years in this Journalism course, so in my third counseling I chose Kalindi.

There are only five colleges in Delhi University that offers this roller-coaster course. And Kalindi is one of them. I wasn’t very proud but I wasn’t even very dejected. My first year was crunchy. The syllabus is vast but very intellectual. Sometimes, I think that anyone who just follows and only learns each unit of the syllabus can be the world’s most knowledgeable person. That race is what we’ve all entered. In my second semester I realized that no matter you are in LSR or any other College, it is how you make life when you step out of College that matters. Since, this course is very practical, creative, analytical and intellectual one’s mental acumen is suddenly slanted to a very different pattern of thinking. The world doesn’t seem the way you always thought it would. It’s the brightest time when you begin to know the in depth of every little detail known. Like watching advertisements – by viewing one you come to know the strategies a particular company has followed, many communication theories are influenced that tell us more about the psychology of the audience and what must be shown through a  medium.

I have learned that journalists have every possible solution to a problem. If not, then they will highlight the problem so much that it sets an agenda for the masses to talk about it. In this way many media houses gain their momentum for scandalizing, special reportage or undercover reporting. Being a journalism student, we are taught to always report with an unbiased mind and tilting is a forbidden land. But in actuality, when we are given assignment to analyze different news stories covered by different types of media and inter-media coverage, the reality of biasness is disclosed. A journalism student is taught journalism ethics set by the Press Council of India, but are these ethics followed in actual practice,  I wonder. They don’t, said a teacher of mine. But this course is taught by actual people from the media industry. One thing that bugs me is that, the more you know about the industry, the less you want to ravish the deep mystery of journalism. But all set and done, once you enter, there’s no turning back. Its pulls you like gravity. Because what you want to do gives you that but with a consequence.

Studying the College’s best course and most sought after courses in DU, it seems that we are fed to keep us ‘malnutritioned’. When it was my first day of college, I was horrified to see a rat infested classroom that almost looked like a dilapidated and haunted mansion except that is was small dim room. If not fair to keep the other course students in proper classrooms and us, who pay the maximum fees, actually have to set up our lectures in this pothole. We anyways had to study. Next we never had a journalism lab. And I also noticed that many journalism Colleges of Delhi University actually lack the basic infrastructure that journalism students require for them to provide. When we were going to release our first broadsheet, the College never gave funds for publishing nor when we had to host our department fest. Sometimes, I feel government bodies’ working remain the same everywhere. While working on our newsletters, we actually encountered the sensationalism and biasness that today’s media instill among the masses. I realized no matter how much this course teaches me, I still have to follow the rules of ‘gatekeeping’ (it’s a theory where, every information has to undergo through a filter system set by the editors or broadcasters till the information reaches the audience). But that’s only one side of the coin.

In future prospects, journalism is an awesome course to take when you want to go into news, politics, lifestyle, reporter, correspondent, films, broadcast, critics etc. The syllabus is an amalgamation of everything every media field that one has to explore. We learn from history of communication till camera handling techniques.

I would say, only a journalism course can help anyone to be intelligent if he’s not without studying. Rest, I’m still savoring every aspect of speckle that it offers. And it’s wonderful!

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