An alleged attack on a token journalist happens, and it finds potential to divert the enumerable actual attacks on other journalists which have never been highlighted with half the importance into silence.

Not that people already couldn’t care less about journalists getting killed or harrased, all the attention of such matters has been credited to one person who would appear in all major searches, if one inputs, ‘attack on journalists’ as keywords.

Given the state of the fourth pillar of democracy in our country, whose performance is reflected in it’s awesome rankings, there’s no denying the fact that journalism has faced a heavy blow. India ranks 142nd out of 180 countries on Freedom of Press Index as of 2020 and it keeps getting worse every successive year. The Committee to Protect Journalism (CPJ), reported that our nation ranks 14th among states where journalists are murdered and killers go free. A study titled, “Getting Away With Murder,” revealed that 21 journalists were killed between 2014-19, and not a single conviction has taken place since 2014 against the targeted attacks on journalists for thier investigative works. Looks like the convicts have a licence to kill, but who gives them this license?

The study mentioned earlier reported that the list of perpetrators who attack journalists is inclusive of government agencies, security forces, political parties, local mafia, etc. A very basic inference from such a study is suggestive of the malign intention of the people in power who wish to dastardly silence the ones who dare to speak. Therefore to swift them into silence is the most viable and lucrative alternative.

Image Credits: Instagram/Ravish Kumar
Image Credits: Instagram/Ravish Kumar

Interestingly, silencing can be done in a legal way as well. Kashmiri photojournalist Masrat Zahra whose works have been published by Al Jazeera, Washington Post, The Caravan, etc was recently booked under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), which is an anti terror law resembling the Rowlatt Act of 1919. The pictures clicked by the Zahra were deemed to glorify “anti-national” sentiments and dent the image of law enforcing bodies, (the same bodies who are accused of terrorising journalists). Another journalist Gowhar Geelani, who has been heavily vocal about assault on journalism and state of Kashmir was also booked under the same act and there’s an FIR filed against The Hindu’s Srinagar correspondent-Peerzada Ashiq as well. However, Kapil Gujjar and Komal Pandey who have actually managed to terrorise people are living freely. Dalals who masquerade as journalists and spread fake news, instigate communalism, and spread Islamophobia everyday have no trials against them. Looks like there’s a pattern which is adhered to while earmarking as to who gets to be labelled as “anti-national’ and faces contempt of court.

If physical harassment is not enough, defamation cases are filed, spyware attacks are aimed, and mental harassment is dispensed through threat calls and trolling. Journalists are paying a very heavy price for doing their jobs and a growing intolerance towards independent media has landed a lot in hospitals, prisons, courts, and obituaries. From Gauri Lankesh to Shujaat Bukhari to Navin Nishchal to Sandeep Sharma, and to all other journalists who have lost their lives while reporting, current media should remember them, and hang their heads in shame every time they buckle under and tandem to the Power- which is the sole reason for a peevish state of journalism today.

Feature Image Credits: NYC Street Art

Umaima Khanam

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Looking at student journalism in Delhi on the occasion of National Press Day, an account of student journalism through the eyes of students. 

 Journalism was and still remains to this day one of the most dangerous, exciting, albeit under-appreciated professions. The case remains more so, In India. media freedom group, Reporters Without Borders released a report in 2018, which put India fifth on the list of the maximum number of journalists killed in 2018, the death count being six. In the current atmosphere, many students at Delhi University (DU) and universities across India look at journalism as a career option. For many students, this career starts from the undergraduate level through college magazines and organizations such as DU Beat where valuable experience on how a media organization functions can fit into a students timetable.

For many students, working in student media and student journalist has been an enriching experience. As Chhavi Bahmba, a first-year student at Sri Venkateswara College and a correspondent for DU Beat says, “Student journalism has been one of the most liberating things, and the highlight of my college life. It has given me access and a platform to write. Also, people around me also get a voice as I can put their thoughts forward. It’s been a stepping stone to my career.”

There is also the fact that deadlines and missing them are one of the deadliest sins in media, and working as a student journalist inculcates that. Aditi Gutgutia, a first-year student at Lady Shri Ram College says, “It compels me to write as a habit and makes me fight the urge to procrastinate.”

According to Faizan Salik, A student from Jamia Millia Believes that exposure is one of the most important aspects of a student journalist as he goes on to say “ it is a veritable bridge that can expose you to multiple dimensions of life which is untouched otherwise and hence promises some good amount of fermentation in the long run.” He also goes on to talk about how it working for that can be a challenge but that is something that he and several others have had to overcome. He says, “Being a part of something like this in a university like Jamia was a challenge that we at The Jamia Review, a student-run journal of Jamia Millia Islamia has taken a step further and hopes to incorporate everything that it requires to achieve our goals.”

There are, of course, negative aspects too, some of which are synonymous with journalism as a profession. Jaishree Kumar, a third-year student at Ramjas says. “I learnt that journalists are treated badly and worshipped. It is also rewarding and exhausting at the same time.”

There are the obvious downsides of handling so much workload along with regular classes, and another problem put up by Jaishree was how working for student newspapers not associated with the College administration also doesn’t help attendance as even though her teachers are supportive of her work, they cannot give her ECA attendance.

In conclusion, in the current politically charged climate, student media has given aspiring journalists a place to hone their skills. The experience that we get is valuable and the experiences and contacts that we build cannot be found anywhere else.

Feature Image Credits: Scopio



Prabhanu Kumar Das

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 Imagine a world where characters from the of the TV series ‘Game of Thrones’ would choose the pen as their weapon and don the armour of journalists. Read on as our correspondent envisages a parallel universe where killing would stop in the money-minting TV series, and instead, words would flow.

The‘Seven Kingdoms’from writer George RR Martin’s brain are expansive and diverse. Apart from the television channel  HBO, don’t you think there should be a mechanism that would keep every citizen of ‘Westeros’ aware of all the songs of ice and fire that are playing around in this world? Let us take a look at how a weekly ‘Westerosi’  newspaper  would roughly look like:

Sansa Stark

Column: Showbiz

Sansa talks, looks and feels like a perfect princess from Disneyworld who accidentally got transported to Game of Thrones. While growing up, all Sansa has done is adorn her hair, talk about royal weddings and the whole glitz and glamour of belonging to a ruling family. Amidst the usually violent and gory news of Westeros, a few ineffectual articles on the glamourous celebrities of Westeros would be a welcome respite for the public and Sansa would be the perfect journalist for the job. Instances of some articles that might feature on the column are “The short hair look: Who wore it better? Cersei or Ellaria Sand?” or “Ranking Daenerys’s  boyfriends.”

Petyr Baelish
Column: Gossip

If you thought the showbiz section on wardrobe, fashion and entertainment are nonsensical, then wait for the gossip column by ‘Little Finger’. This would be the area that would cover all the scandals and hearsay in the Seven Kingdoms based on information gathered by Lord Varys and the young journalists, his little birds. Knowing how sly and offensive Baelish can get, it is no wonder that in the reports, he would always prefer to keep the by-line of his reports anonymous.

 Tyrion Lannister

Column: Wisdom and humour

As he describes himself, Tyrion drinks and knows things. He also talks a lot, a tad bit too much which is enough to bring down the ego of many a big man. With the turbulent political system of ‘Westeros’,  Tyrion takes wields the pen to express himself to all the people across the borders, writing on tactful war strategies and wise anecdotes along with sarcastic observations of the people he meets. There might be a few grammatical errors here and there as he writes mostly when he’s drunk (which is in fact, a common occurrence) and because the Westerosi Weekly would inevitably have bad Editors.

 Arya Stark

Position: Undercover Criminal Journalist

You can’t write about something in a realistic fashion until you have experienced it. From a young age itself, Arya Stark has experienced troubled times. The circumstances have surely made her bolder and not only that, these experiences can make her money too if she delves into the foray of criminal journalism. Considering how sneaky she is, she can reach any tavern, forest or palace of the kingdom. Learning the ability to change faces would only help her to go undercover and write first-hand accounts.

Samwell Tarly

Column: Science and Tech

Samwell Tarly eats a lot. Samwell Tarly also reads a lot. Whether it be the Dragon glass discoveries or remedies for Greyscale disease, Tarly can cover everything related to the sciences in ‘Westeros’. However, considering how Tarly goes overboard with his research, it is highly unlikely that his section in the paper would have a wide readership.

Tormund, Jon Snow, and ‘The Hound’

Column: Letters to the Editor

This particular space on the paper involves the non-journalist players expressing their queries and views to the Editor. The usually dumb and naïve Jon Snow can be expected to ask “Has anyone seen Ghost, my direwolf? I care for him deeply but I left him again” and “The Brothers of the Nights Watch give me salty looks as if they are about to kill me. Should I trust them?”.  Sandor Clegane (The Hound) would be the one who is writing sarcastic hate mail, so much so it would be highly likely that the Editor heavily censors Sandor’s words or doesn’t publish them at all. Similarly, letters by a ‘Wildling’ like the merry drunkard warrior Tormund Giantsbane would be filled with grammatical errors and strangely creative cuss words.


Feature Image Credits: The Hindustan Times

Shaurya Singh Thapa

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Nowadays, free speech and safety of student journalist are at stake. The internet, while being one of the most convenient and easy tools of communicating one’s opinions, has become a breeding ground for all sorts of ugly trolling and young student journalists are being coerced into self-censorship and presentation of mild and soft opinions. 

George Orwell once said, “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” If liberty could actually be reiterated in Orwell’s locution, then maybe today is not a very liberal time. It has always been presumed that student journalism is a product of a hobby, enthusiasm, or just a part of résumé. When young minds actually do come out to pursue this avocation, they want to speak out their minds, feel liberated and important in penning down opinions, and be vigil about their surroundings. Social media can be seen both as a boon and bane for all the students who want to express, but the ‘bane’ factor is now showing its true colour in all forms.

As a young writer myself, I feel unsafe. Why? Because of the fear of trolling, online harassment, or being tracked down to express slightly radical or anti-establishment views. Almost all the student writers now undergo the pressure of self-censorship, that is, before publishing anything online or elsewhere, we need to deliberate upon who will get offended with which statement and how will it be seen in whatever context. Ugly trolls on any opinionated piece creep out from anywhere and the writer is excessively abused/mocked at for being even slightly leaning towards any side. For female students, it’s even worse.

I duly understand the vital fact that freedom of expression works both ways and if a young journalist has expressed one’s views, then the people who read/hear them are also entitled to express counter views and opinions. What goes wrong is the mockery in the form of filthy abuse and threats (rape threats, too) being associated with the counter views expressed in a journalist’s piece. The art of intelligent and less verbally violent disagreements based on facts and logically consistent arguments is being lost out in this growing illiberal world. Quoting Martin Luther King Jr., “Our lives begin to end when we become silent about things that matter”, young independent student journalists should not lose their spirit of expressing and being opinionated while what the society can do is to create a safe space to counter those opinions in less derogatory manner.
Feature Image Credits: Tech Crunch
Oorja Tapan
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There is no doubt that, each year, Delhi University attracts acclaimed personalities from across the various fields. So, it was no surprise that on year 2016-17 the varsity was host to an array of journalists, social activists, politicians, comedians, business tycoons and Bollywood actors who visited the campus. We take a look at all these visits of 2016-17:

  • Dr Shashi Tharoor attended SRCC Youth Conference

September 2016.

The eminent author and former diplomat shared his personal experiences in Delhi University and spoke freely on controversial issues such as secularism and the current national leadership, while also entertaining questions from the audience. Many other distinguished personalities like Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, bestselling author Anuja Chauhan , comedian Papa CJ and director Prakash Jha were present to grace the event and speak to the young audience.

Read full article here


Dr. Shashi Tharoor at SRCC

  • Anurag Kashyap goes candid at Hindu College.

October 2016

Noted filmmaker Anurag Kashyap was cordially invited to an event “Update  Democracy” organized by the Hindu College’s Symposium Society in association with Polit. Anurag candidly talked to students about things as varied as censorship, finding the right career path, and stories from Anurag’s college days. He spoke exclusively to DU Beat before the event and said, “Right now, there’s a whole lot of chaos and a lot of noise and we don’t really know what people want. Who gets heard is decided by who’s the loudest – whoever can afford to create more noise, gets heard.”

Read full article here


Anurag Kashyap at Hindu College

  • P. Chidambaram attends Blisspoint ’17 at Sri Venkateswara College

January 2017

On 23rd January, 2017, former Finance minister P. Chidambaram arrived at Sri Venkateswara College as a chief guest for Blisspoint ’17, the annual fest of the Economics department. The minister spoke about the origins of a liberal economy, since the theme of the fest was ‘Celebrating 25 Years of Economic Reforms’. His speech, laced with advice for the younger generation, seemed befitting for an audience comprising economics enthusiasts.

Read full article here


P. Chidambaram at Sri Venkateswara College

  • Durjoy Dutta attends  Zion’17 at Jesus and Mary College

February 2017

On February 21st, 2017 Mercatus, Marketing Society, Jesus and Mary College organised their Annual Marketing Convention – Zion’17. Mr. Durjoy Datta , bestselling novelist, an entrepreneur and screenwriter was present in a capacity of  the Guest Speaker. During the event Mr. Durjoy Dutta enthralled the audience by his sense of humor and success story. He talked about how he was able to come out of his work life to do something he is passionate about.

Read full article here


Durjoy Datta at Jesus and Mary College

  • His Holiness the 14thDalai Lama graces Jesus and Mary College

February 2017.

Dalai Lama addressed the students of Jesus and Mary College on February 7th, 2017. In his short speech, his Holiness spoke about how institutions like various colleges in Delhi University have blossoming potential to produce compassionate human beings, he then went on to express his undying adulation for Mother Teresa and also touched upon relations between China and India.

Read full article here


His Holiness at Jesus and Mary College

  • Romila Thapar examines the idea of Heritage at Miranda House.

February 2017

On 15th February, 2017 eminent historian Prof. Romila Thapar along with Prof. Kumkum Roy participated in a conversation on ‘The Many Meanings of Heritage’ in an event organized by the History society of Miranda House. Pertinent questions on the idea of heritage were raised and addressed by the two speakers.

Read full article here


Romila Thapar at Miranda House

  •  Najma A. Heptullah inaugurates centre for North East studies in Miranda House

Dr. Najma A. Heptullah, governor of Manipur and Prof. Dinabandhu Sahoo, Director of Institue of Bio resources and Sustainable Development (IBSD) celebrated the second edition of annual North East Fest, Leirang organized by Miranda House’s North East Cell on 27th February. The guests inaugurated the IBSD centre for North East studies in Miranda House.

Read full article here


North East Fest at Miranda House

  • Bollywood at DU

Delhi University takes pride in producing some of Bollywood’s most famous actors, singers and directors. Perhaps, that’s one of the reasons why the campus is abuzz with the attendance of Bollywood hot-shots throughout the year.  While some came to promote their movies, perform during fest session or simply to visit their alma mater. Here is a glimpse of who all visited the varsity from film industry.

Actress and theatre veteran Ratna Pathak Shah inaugurated Reverie 2017,  the annual cultural festival of Gargi College. Actress, model and an alumna of Gargi College, Urvashi  Rautela also visited Gargi College and reminisced about college days when she was a part of Enliven, the western dance society. Sanya Malhotra of Dangal fame also visited her alma mater Gargi College on the third day of the fest.

Singers like Armaan Malik,  Shalmali Kholgade, Raghu Dikshit, Jasleen Royal of Love You Zindagi fame, Prateek Kuhad, Anish Sood, Kanika Kapoor and Jubin Nautiyal and Sukhwinder Singh serenaded the crowd at Delhi University through the fest season.

Lucky Ali, with his evergreen voice, performed his classic commercial as well as indie hits of the last two decades at day 3 of Tarang- annual cultural fest of Lady Sri Ram College. Musical maestro Kailash Kher performed with his band Kailasa at Nexus, Sri Venkateswara College’s Annual Cultural Fest on 25th of February.

While most star nights went on pleasantly,  Diljit Dosanjh’s concert was cut short with just a couple of songs due to the unruly crowd and various circumstances for safety reasons at Confluence- The annual cultural festival of Hansraj College.

Actor Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan promoted their upcoming movie, Badrinath Ki Dulhania, at Hindu College on March 3rd.

Actor Akshay Kumar, Tapsee Pannu and Manoj Bajpayee arrived at Gargi College ?on March 27th, to promote their upcoming action spy-thriller – Naam Shabana.  Apart from the usual song and dance, Akshay Kumar also emphasized on the importance of Martial Arts for girls and women. ?


Ratna Pathak Shah at Reverie 2017


Alia and Varun showing their moves at Hindu College


Dazzling the DU stage


Lucky Ali serenading the crowd


Akshay Kumar and Tapsee Pannu at Gargi College

Picture Credits: DU Beat Archives

Niharika Dabral

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