Educating Future Journalists

Don’t shelf a dream

This past week was a busy one. But who cares when you get to live out a long awaited dream? It was around fall last year when the thought of teaching journalism crossed my mind. I had made a memorable foreign reporting trip that summer to India with a group of J-school students from Stony Brook University and thoroughly enjoyed mentoring and learning from these young minds.

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J-school students from Stony Brook University visited Bengaluru, India to report on the city. Check out more here

So, when life began to do what it does best, change, the notion of possibly contributing back into education featured on my many ‘things to do’ list. Timing is crucial for any dreamer.

Friday, July 15 was the day I got to sit in on an orientation that welcomed a new batch of future journalists who’d be attending class at the National School of Journalism. There were renowned names among the teaching staff for the batch of 2016-17. Among those were editors, commentators, best-selling authors and personalities within the journalism fraternity.

IMG_2813[1]I heard veteran journalist and founder of Bhasha News Media, Saswati Chakravarty extemporize about the challenges in journalism.  Just hours before her brief talk, the world had woken up to the tragic news of a truck driver that mowed down by-standers at a Bastille Day celebration in the holiday town of Nice, France.  Chakravarty didn’t miss her point about the reality of a de-globalized world. “The world is getting insular…leading to identity politics,” she said, while putting the breaking news of the day into perspective.

Journalism is like the human skull- its job is to protect the brain—the reporters who work among others and on their own, firing away perpetually on the issues that go beyond the headlines.

The world is grappling with a media monster- having a voracious appetite for the sensational, shocking and shallow reaches for the race we call humanity.

The change begins now.

A Morning At City Market, Bangalore, India

An Indulgence

Vendors and shoppers make their way through the busy corridors of City Market in Bangalore, India Vendors and shoppers make their way through the busy corridors of City Market in Bangalore, India

Students from the Stony Brook University  Journalism School interact withe sellers at the city market on the Journalism Without Walls 2015 foreign reporting trip.  Students from the Stony Brook University Journalism School interact withe sellers at the city market on the Journalism Without Walls 2015 foreign reporting trip.

Tied bunches of wood sticks used for pujas in Hindu households are one of the many items on sale at City Market. Tied bunches of wood sticks used for pujas in Hindu households are one of the many items on sale at City Market.

People in India purchase chillies by the 'handful' for approximately ten-15 rupees. Hopcoms, a popular neighborhood vegetable store sells chillies for 22 rupees or $0.34. People in India purchase chillies by the ‘handful’ for approximately ten-15 rupees. Hopcoms, a popular neighborhood vegetable store sells chillies for 22 rupees or $0.34.

Indian weddings or any occasion calls for garlands. A garland like this sells for 60 rupees or $1 approximately. Indian weddings or any occasion calls for garlands. A garland like this sells for 60 rupees or $1 approximately.

Women wholesalers haggle with customers to get the best price. Women wholesalers haggle with customers to get the best price.

A wholesalers closes a purchase deal with a customer. A wholesalers closes a purchase deal with a customer.

A rose seller is up before the crack of dawn in Bangalore. Getting a spot at the entrance of the market is crucial to getting more customers to purchase. A rose seller is up before the crack of dawn in Bangalore. Getting a spot at the entrance of the market is crucial to getting…

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JOURNALISM WITHOUT WALLS 2015- BENGALURU, INDIA

The journalism school at Stony Brook University undertook a foreign reporting trip to Bengaluru, India in the summer of 2015. The program, Journalism Without Walls is a unique experience for budding journalists to experience the thrill, challenges and learning that comes from foreign reporting.

Having done one of these trips back in 2013 to Turkana, Kenya as a student at the time taught me to value reporting and story telling in a whole new light. The journey to such regions is not only exciting, it’s filled with passion that you discover each day during the 10 day trip.

The students I co-led to Bengaluru as a fixer and mentor helped me understand better the workings behind a journey to a foreign land. It’s no easy task-especially when you are handed the responsibility to lead a team to report in the city you spent most of your years growing up. Breaking stereotypes, defining the city for what it is, today, and most of all, telling unforgettable stories that will, now, live on in the world of journalism.

THE STATESMAN FROM STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY

THE STATESMAN FROM STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY

University life in my opinion is the best expression of “real” life. From walking endless hours, relishing the dinner of two nights ago, planning night outs only to stay in and make it “happening” or getting the least expected bargains on that favorite pair of boots… it’s worth it. 

Read the latest offers on campus life at Stony Brook University as there’s so much more happening for a student these days, from theatre, music and dance, University life is not expensive, nor expected as we believed.