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Journalism education undermined by commercialism
"Since the popularity of TV Journalism in India, the practice across the country has more become a glamorous profession than the job of a social watchdog and, again, the job is mostly ruled by a kind of lifestyle than working like rats under the surface. A study by the Orissa's Bhubaneswar based 'Institute of Media Studies' indicates that commercialisation mouse has penetrated into (most of the) sugar coated journalism colleges of Orissa. However, the report of the study is just a tip of the iceberg. The trend has infected most of the institutes of the country that are into Journalism teaching. Unfortunately the 'watchdog' ethics are auctioned at the price of materialist bones."
Prekshi Arora: April 2, 2010
GREED FOR making money have forced many alumni of mass communication graduates to start small scale private colleges of journalism as a source of income in Bhubaneswar. A recent study by the journalism students of Orissa's Bhubaneswar based Institute of Media Studies'—made us draw a conclusion that –Yes, the bane of commercialism has penetrated into journalism colleges. And unfortunately the ‘watchdog’ ethics are auctioned at the price of materialist bones.
'Since the popularity of TV Journalism in India, the practice across the country has more become a glamorous profession than the job of a social watchdog and, again, the job is mostly ruled by a kind of lifestyle than working like rats under the surface'. (HotnHit Newsfeatures Editorial Input)
Boom in Orissa's regional media houses has made up the minds of various under category Gandhi division students to opt for this degree course. They are attracted towards the glamour of electronic media, in fact, they like themselves to be seen on the silver screen. Their decisions to opt for this course are further strengthened by these small scale colleges, who don’t have a strict entrance examination and the admission is possible even the day before the examination. Now, this is a double bonanza. Marginal course fee, copying facility provided by the college and certificate from government universities and also befooling assurances by the colleges that have accelerated the demand of journalism in Bhubaneswar.
Being an intellectual course it has taken the form of a commercial course for those students, who don’t have any other option after graduation. “I joined this course to add an add-on to my marriage profile,” says an MJMC student of our college. And for boys it is just a part time recreational course where they will get enough time to prepare for other competitive examination.
“One rotten apple spoils the basket”. But here the whole basket is rotten which spoils two, three red apples. Some students amongst these under category students lose their purpose that joined journalism with passion to do something for the society.
The teaching pattern in all these colleges is handled by IGNOU materials. Some (mass communication faculty in an institute) faculties enter the 10/12 classroom with speed of light and deliver the lecture that keeps on bouncing back in the class room and some consider IGNOU materials as ‘fast food’ and some teachers guide the students to search Google, wikipedia for clarification of their doubts. Kudos to IGNOU!—without them the smooth teaching pattern would not have been possible.
The practical aspect of journalism course is buried in the college's ground, because according to the college's policy, theory is much more important than practical. The practical room’s snaps of lined computers are displayed only in the prospectus for advertisement during admission session but, in reality, it has hardly two to three PCs in working condition. At the end of the course the students accumulate bunch of IGNOU materials.
Journalism ethics, journalist temper are only ventilated by the passed out students when a rickshaw puller, or bus conductor—charge them some pennies high than the usual price. This is the time when these students proudly say I am a budding journalist by showing their expired identity card. To much surprise they don't even dare to touch the daily newspaper during the entire term of the course.
Now, it is the onus of the state government to keep a vigilant eye on these colleges which corrupt the noble profession of journalism. Government should regulate the examination pattern. Proper and efficient regulation of rules in these colleges can only pump good journalists into the society. It is also on the part of those students to understand the real credibility of journalism and its ethics before choosing this course, besides being attracted by its glamorous side. They should not take this profession for granted.