This course forms the backbone of the programme, with its emphasis on imparting the ‘core skills’ that define professional journalists. Students learn to gather facts, cultivate sources, and write in clean, crisp language through a mix of laboratory work and outdoor assignments. As the academic year progresses, students begin to tackle stories of increasing complexity, learn to get beneath the news and add layers of relevant context. Through special assignments and feedback sessions, they hone
their editing skills, generate story ideas and attune their news judgement. The reporting, editing, and writing classes continue through the second and third terms
This is the flagship course of the programme, accounting for about 25 percent of the total sessions. Trainers from Bloomberg instruct students on The Bloomberg Way of reporting news as well as the high ethical standards expected of Bloomberg journalists. During the course, which runs through the academic year, students get hands-on experience with the highly acclaimed Bloomberg Terminal, mining it to access real-time financial data from around the world.
Through intensive training sessions, students learn to write with authority, use the terminal to add value to the stories, and get acquainted with various data visualisation techniques. They are also taught to find the “why” and “so what” angles to a news story. During these sessions, students learn to get in-depth knowledge across asset classes, such as shares, bonds, foreign exchange and commodities.
Trainers from Bloomberg’s digital team explain the nuances of writing for the web, telling students why the headline and first paragraph matter the most for mobile journalism. They also explain the importance of clear content strategies and how to drive audience engagement through them. Students also get to understand how to use social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp. As the course progresses, students learn how to turn a story idea into a multimedia presentation, using interactive graphics and data. They are also trained on how to put together professional scripts for video as well as the best practices for the medium.
With the blurring of the lines that distinguish various journalism streams, it’s important for modern business journalists to learn to be able to tell a story across platforms and mediums. The integrated journalism lessons and workshops prepare students for just such an objective. Through some state-of-the-art tools and applications, students learn the fundamentals of online and broadcast news, and get acquainted with modern storytelling techniques that can enhance the reader experience. This course continues into the second and third terms.
This course aims to train students in the use of basic statistical techniques, enabling them to tell a story more effectively by harnessing relevant data sets. Students will learn to make quantitative assessment of available information from different sources, and to present them in easily digestible forms. The focus will be on making effective data presentations: tables, graphs and other forms of visualisations. The course will combine lectures on various topics with practical exercises using actual
data. In the lab sessions, students will be given assignments that require them to apply these concepts and techniques, and write narratives based on statistical analysis.
This course deals with current issues impacting the world of business. Students attend a series of lectures offered by senior journalists, renowned scholars and entrepreneurs on various issues affecting business and economy, including regulations, government policies, trade agreements, politics, climate change and disruptive technologies. This course will expose students to different points of view and equip them with the knowledge to grasp the workings of business and economy better.
The course will introduce the class to the fundamentals of economic analysis. It will begin with a brief consideration of microeconomic approaches to production and consumption. It will then examine the main national income accounting identities and explain how to understand important concepts. The idea of a short-run “equilibrium” of the economy, how it is achieved, and how imbalances are corrected according to different systems of analysis, will be considered. Students will be taught how to
interpret macroeconomic trends and their determinants, fiscal and monetary policies, inflation and balance of payment and exchange rate movements.
A large part of business journalism relates to companies and their performance. This course will give students a keen understanding of how they are set up, how they are classified, and the nature of the regulations that affect them. Students will be exposed to such concepts as the nature of a limited liability company and its historical evolution into the dominant form of business organisation today. Besides explaining governance issues, the course will deal with the major components of the Indian corporate sector, ownership structures and the sources of funds.
The History of Corporate India
To truly understand and report on Indian business, it is important to know its history. This course will give students perspective on how the history of business in India is inextricably linked to its colonial past as well as the struggle for freedom. Students attend a series of lectures by journalists and renowned business historians who will explain to them how centuries under foreign rule emasculated the country’s business and economy. The course will have lectures on the early years of Indian business, the pioneers of Indian business, the Bombay Club and the post-liberalisation era leading up to the start-up boom.
business, the pioneers of Indian business, the Bombay Club and the post-liberalisation era leading up to the start-up boom.
This course will provide an in-depth look at the Indian stock markets, helping students understand the evolution of finance. Students will be familiarised with financial instruments such as stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities, the risk-reward equation that is intrinsic to making assessments of their benchmarks, and the metrics that can value them. Students will also be acquainted with the regulatory superstructure relating to various financial instruments, and the crises that have
arisen when these are violated – in letter and in spirit. Students will also get an understanding of how changing regulations have affected the performance of companies.
Data visualisation is a key aspect of data journalism. Representing data visually enables readers to efficiently absorb key aspects of any data set. Trends and patterns within the data, and so-called ‘outliers’ or extreme values which may be of interest, can be far more easily discerned if data is represented visually, rather than merely in textual form. Basic data visualisation should be a part of every journalist’s repertoire of skills. This module will cover: the need to visualise data; how to represent data; and visualisation tools that can be used, among other things.
Some business stories need to be told in narrative form, with the proper context and background. Long-form writing has its own set of guidelines, and this course will teach students how they can make best use of them while pushing the boundaries. It will cover topics such as the relevance of long-form journalism in the age of internet and dwindling reader attention. The course will include an assignment where students will be given a brief news item and told to develop it into a long-form story of 1,000-1,500 words.
Investigative Journalism relates to reporting of facts that are otherwise concealed either deliberately by someone in power, or because of a lack of transparency. In contrast to conventional reporting, where the “news” is often provided by others, investigative reporting requires the journalist to unearth the material through his own initiative. Where the subject of investigation is of real public interest, the story may have a major impact. Students will have to produce a major piece of investigative work at the end of this course.
If business journalism is industry-focused, personal finance journalism positions the average individual at the centre of the story. It decodes news from the point of view of the average person rather than a macro view or a corporate-first view. This is a highly technical genre of journalism where the skill set needed includes understanding of numbers, regulations and events, and then writing so that an average non-finance person can understand.
care about personal finance; the growing space for utility journalism, mutual funds, insurance and fintech, among other things.
Understanding and Reporting the Contours of the New Economy: Less Cash and Share Economy
On 8 November 2016, the government announced the demonetisation of high-value currencies. Given that these currencies accounted for 86 percent of the money in circulation, it turned out be a disruptive moment for the economy, the reverberations of which are still being felt. But at another level it provided the biggest stimulus to what was till then a nascent idea: e-wallets. This push to the ‘less cash economy’ is
now assuming many new forms. Similarly, the entry of the likes of Uber has fundamentally altered personal urban transport options.
Accordingly, the course will first outline the contours of the new economy—including the legal and regulatory framework and evolving consumer behaviour—through the use of reading materials, conversations with industry representatives and guest lectures by industry experts. Thereafter, it will provide first-hand experience of reporting and edit the story through in-class assignments.