The Indian Institute of Journalism & new Media

This year, we went on a recruitment drive for students. We advertised in newspapers, magazines, educational fairs, and colleges in the major metros. 125 students applied for admission. Of these, 15 could not secure bank loans, and six withdrew their applications. We eventually enrolled 43 students.

We introduced radio broadcasting in the curriculum. Eight new high quality recording studios, air-conditioned labs and edit rooms have been added. High end flat screen HP computers have replaced the old computers for print, internet, radio and TV students.

New dorms were constructed and a basketball court, table tennis facility and bicycles have been provided for students’ physical exercise and recreation. Students provided input about the kind of food they would prefer and every effort has been made to meet their needs.

John Thomas was appointed Vice-Dean. Kanchan Kaur is Associate-Dean for Academics, Nikhat Aslam is in charge of Television, and Shankar Venkataraman has been appointed Assistant for the TV program. Several new faculty members have also been appointed.

This is the essence of the update Dean Abraham George sent to the Board of Directors of IIJNM and the International Center for Foreign Journalists in October 2003.

Academic Year 2003

The new academic year started in early August with 17 full-time students and a part-time student, most of whom are young women. One student from Ladakh in the Himalayas wants to start a newspaper.

Arul Selvan has replaced Jyothi Kiran as the New Media faculty member. He has just returned from England where he did a brief study of multimedia technology at Oxford University.
As per the recommendation of the Advisory Board, Michael Fowler, a Knight fellow assigned by the International Centre for Foreign Journalists, has been appointed as Vice Dean. Mike is a veteran journalist and has held editorial positions in several newspapers. He has worked in Egypt and Cambodia. The academic program will run well under Mike's guidance. Mike is joined by his wife Susan, also an experienced journalist who has specialized in international and business reporting.

Professor Anand Sagar has been appointed Associate Dean responsible for Student Affairs and Administration.

Professor Fowler and Professor Sagar met with the Bangalore editors of The Times of India and the Deccan Herald. Mr. H.S. Balram, Bangalore editor of The Times of India was interested in IIJNM workshops either for his newsroom or for other newspapers.

The workshops planned were:

a. Freedom of Information Laws
Mr. H.S. Balram was interested in IIJNM taking the lead in testing the new laws. Our students have letters patterned on the ones used in American FOI work. Mike Fowler has also researched the new Indian law that was passed last year as well as the Karnataka law of a few months ago.

b. Buisness Reporting
Susan Fowler has spent the last decade evaluating company performance based on her investigative journalism skills and has earned awards for her work.

c. Legal Reporting
Mr. Balram also expressed his concern for editors and journalists cited for contempt for running afoul of Indian sub judice laws. How to report aggressively on court procedures and judgements was the challenge posed to IIJNM.

d. Investigative Reporting
Source credibility was the major concern here. Documents to back up information are one remedy. It was decided that student successes or failures in attempts to get documents would provide the necessary starting point for this workshop.

e. Writing Style
All media institutions agree that good journalistic writing improves readability.

e-Learning Modules

The BBC selected IIJNM and the government-run Mass-Communication Institute in Delhi as official partners in India for promoting e-learning of journalism. IIJNM will be developing e-learning modules for nearly all the courses offered within a couple of years. Those modules will be offered for distance learning. The plan is for distance learners to complete required courses for a diploma off-site and then to spend 3 months on-site for publishing workshops.

Broadcast Curriculum

a. Television
Plans are afoot for stating a television curriculum next August for the start-up of the academic year of 2004. Several editing software such as Final Cut Pro, Avid, and Adobe Premiere are all being evaluated by us. The required hardware - workstations, servers, controllers, fast storage devices, archival storage, digital camera, etc. will add up to some $75,000 - 100,000 in initial investment alone. We appeal for an interested organization to help us with partial funding.

b. Radio
Our plan is to set up a radio broadcast curriculum in 2005. Subsequently, we plan
to set up a radio broadcast production studio for news programs.

Student Placement

We are very encouraged by the fact that media organizations in Bangalore and elsewhere, are seeking out our graduates. Institutes that have hired our students speak well of their writing, editing and software skills. We are confident, too, that our students have imbibed values of professional journalism and we hope they will contribute towards improving governance in India and strengthening its democratic institutions. We will see 100-150 graduates of IIJNM in major media institutions over the next five years.

Significant Events (November 2002)

Guest lectures during November included:

Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer, noted Mumbai-based Muslim community leader and Islamic scholar on secularism.
John Devraj, a noted sculptor/musician/architect/theatre buff who works with young children, on the latest initiatives taken by the government-run Born Free school with which he is associated.
Pradeep Nair, Chief Copy Editor TOI, on the basics of subbing.

A Series of workshops titled "Environmental Journalism Seminar & Workshop " was held in 5 major cities in India (Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata). This was organized by IIJNM jointly with International Centre for Journalists and a local host in each city. The 2-day program was intended to provide local journalists with valuable environmental journalism skills and knowledge that can be put into practice.

The Bangalore workshop, held at the IIJNM campus was inaugurated by Dr. Upendra Tripathy, Chairman of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board on Friday November 29, 2002. Distinguished members of the panel included Mr. Ullas Karanth, Director of Wildlife Conservation Society, India program, Mr. Nagesh Hegde, assistant editor of Prajavani, Mr. Sairam Bhat of Center for Environmental law. A film presentation titled 'Mindless Mining' on Kudremukh mining industry was well received and was the highlight of the day. There was a lively interaction from the media and students of journalism on the topics that were presented. Mr. Adam Glenn moderated the workshop.

Significant Events (September-October 2002)

Rita Henley Jensen, editor-in-chief of the US-based WomensEnews has joined the IIJNM advisory board. A former senior writer for the National Law Journal and columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, Jensen has more than 20 years of experience in journalism and journalism education.

The IIJNM Newsletter was launched in October 2002.

Internships abroad for the students of the Class of 2002:

  • New York Times internship for IIJNM student, Tamara D'Mello: Tamara was selected for the prestigious New York Times internship for journalism students. She is the first ever student to be selected from an Indian media school for internship in the New York Times for which international nominees compete every year.

  • Vivek Gupta, IIJNM student (2001-02) was selected for the prestigious Scripps Howard internship.

The previous batch of students got jobs and internships in major institutions.

Important Visitors and Guest Speakers

Ms. Helen LaFave, Deputy Public Affairs Officer from the US Consulate in Chennai visited IIJNM. During an hour-long interaction with the faculty members, Ms LaFave spoke about her own experience with the press as a diplomat in India. Ms. LaFave also had a brief interactive session with the students.

Nazreen Bhura, Resident Editor, The Asian Age, lectured on the local/national Indian media scene in general.

Uttam Kumar, Hollywood animator, who has now set up his own animation agency in Hyderabad, spoke on the fine art of animation as a media tool

Mr. P. Ramaiah, journalist-turned-member of Karnataka Legislative Council, a former journalist with The Hindu for over four decades before he was nominated to the Legislative Council, gave valuable tips to students on covering the Legislature and the Secretariat.

Dr. H. Navanish Prasad, Principal, SKB Ayurveda College, Bangalore, an expert in alternative medicine, both ayurveda and acupressure, gave a lecture on health.

Mr. Max Martin, Chief of Metro Bureau, The New Indian Express covered the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) at Johannesburg.

Rohit Bidappa, from Cadence Systems, spoke on corporate communications & business reporting.

Faculty News

Mr. Anand Sagar who was with The Peninsula as its Assistant Editor in Doha, Qatar has joined IIJNM as a professor for the current semester. He worked with the Gulf News (1989-2000) in Dubai and was also its Bureau Chief in New Delhi. He was earlier awarded an international scholarship in Journalism Studies and was at the University of Oxford as a member of its prestigious Visiting Journalists Fellowship Programme. He has also worked for several other newspapers like The Pioneer and The Indian Post, as well as India Today.

IIJNM congratulates faculty member Viji Sundaram on winning the South Asian Journalism Association (SAJA) Award for her story "Where's the Beef? It's in Your Fries." published in India West.

Mr. A. Narayana has been selected by the Ford Foundation for its prestigious International Fellowships Program 2003. The fellowship will enable Mr.Narayana to pursue his doctoral studies in a University abroad.


The Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media was inaugurated on 29th December 2000 on the grounds of the campus.

Reputed Indian journalists like Mr. Ravindra Kumar, Editor and Managing Director of The Statesman; Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief of The New Indian Express, Barkha Dutt, NDTV correspondent, and others from local Bangalore papers were present. The keynote speaker was Barbara Crossette, UN Bureau Chief of The New York Times. She applauded the vision and goals of IIJNM. Her husband, David Wigg, a retired senior British journalist, lent his support to the occasion.

Arun Jaitley, Union Minister for Law, SM Krishna, Chief minister for Karnataka, Balram Jhakar, former Speaker of the Lok Sabha, and DB Chandre Gowde, Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs graced the occasion as guest speakers and well-wishers. Swamiji gave his blessings for the venture, and Dr. George emphasized that a strong, free and independent press is essential for our democracy.

Text of Welcome Speech by Dr. Abraham George

IIJNM has an experienced and qualified founding faculty who believe in the vision of the institute. The syllabus is designed on the lines of the curriculum at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, which awards the Pulitzer Prizes for excellence in writing each year. Columbia University has lent its academic support to the institute. IIJNM has state-of-the-art equipment for web journalism, as well as a well-stocked library. The modern and futuristic design of the building and the interesting landscaping of its grounds, together with its quiet location away from the bustling city environs, is an ideal setting for women and men of letters. Aspiring young and not-so-young journalists will find a haven to nurture their idealism and interest, and to hone their talent for written expression.

The first batch of IIJNM students was welcomed in mid-January 2001. The next batch joined the institute in August 2001. The students and faculty are a close-knit group, which in true journalistic tradition burns the midnight oil to achieve its targets. For more detailed information, please visit:

Visit our web site:



[ home | projects | news | volunteer | donate | contact ]