New media students of the ACJ are prepared to spearhead change in emerging digital journalism tools and continuously evolving integrated newsroom practices, particularly in the South Asian context.
Students are introduced to a curriculum that is on par with worldwide trends relating to production, delivery or dissemination and consumption of news in innovative multimedia digital formats across multiple platforms. In fact, the curriculum is flexible enough to incorporate the latest tools and techniques which are yet to be adopted by the industry.
Students host their textual and multimedia stories on an online platform - the ACJ Newsline - and their work through the year is compiled in a digital portfolio which showcases their individual digital journalism skills.
In the first term, students are introduced to the basics of newsgathering, news and feature writing, copy editing and mobile journalism (MoJo) using the latest Apps (applications).
In the second and third terms, New Media students use the Integrated Newsroom to run a news website in real-time, often competing with other big entities. This involves a number of skills such as tracking, selection and budgeting of news, newswriting and copy-editing for web, ensuring SEO requirements, producing and embedding videos and multimedia content, planning and executing live coverage of events (politics, sports, entertainment events, for instance) as they happen anywhere in the world, but accessible through online/social media platforms, and, lastly, leveraging social media for newsgathering and news dissemination. This hands-on module, supervised by faculty, gives students a first-hand experience of digital newsroom practices.
Training will also be imparted to students in interactive, multimedia and social media storytelling, infographics and podcasting. Students are taught to reshape content to meet the demands of the web, mobile and social platforms in practical sessions. This also includes the use of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) for story-telling, and the use of drone for journalism.
Students will also be introduced to data journalism, data visualization and interactive web documentary.
During the second and third terms, the students are put through intensive field based news reporting, besides being trained in writing news analyses and opinion pieces.
The module on Feature Writing, Creative Non-Fiction and Storytelling Techniques is delivered in an interactive style across three semesters. It is a blend of in-class workshop sessions, field reporting and editing classes. Students will be encouraged to improve their lateral thinking skills by borrowing narrative techniques from films and other mediums and will be taught how to draw from fiction in order to write compelling stories.
A comprehensive copy editing module aims at training students in editing and processing of copy for digital platforms. It involves detection and correction of factual and grammatical errors, stylesheet compliance to produce coherent, structured and tightly written news stories. In this hands-on module, students work on a series of practical exercises of increasing complexity – from basic copy processing to advanced rewriting of stories.
The core journalism and digital skills acquired during the first two terms are given practical application in the reportage for the signature course Covering Deprivation (at the end of term 2) wherein the students are expected to produce text and digital stories as well as mobile documentaries (MoDoc).
Besides core digital journalism skills, students are trained in editing and production of news, opinion and features pages for Print media using industry-standard software. In addition to multi-skilling, New Media students get to learn the contrasting styles and practices followed by the New Media and Print Media with regard to newswriting, copy processing and graphic and page design.
New Media students will take up the Integration Course in either Print or Broadcast where the core skills needed for these media and platforms are taught with focus on new formats of storytelling and different production processes.
Throughout the programme students are also required to participate in a number of collaborative reporting projects with student journalists from several universities around the world.