Mass Communication


Journalism as a course was offered in five colleges of Delhi University presumably, Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, Kamala Nehru College, Lady Shri Ram College, Maharaja Agrasen and Kalindi College. A separate Honours programme in Mass Media and Mass Communication was available in Indraprastha College for Women, only. The new 4-year undergraduate programme has amalgamated these courses into a single entity: Bachelor in Journalism and Mass communication (BJMC), offered in all 6 colleges.

As per the FYUP guidelines, students of this subject will have to take up 30 subjects in their course of study. The course located within the Faculty of Applied Social Sciences and Humanities (FASSH), has been designed to provide theoretical and practical knowledge, with the help of four skills based papers, and provides the students with technical skills to help them in their careers.

Admission: Cut off list based on merit

How different is the course now?
From a shift to Journalism and Mass Communication from plain old Journalism, a change is somewhat expected. However, when given a look at the course, it still happens to be extremely dominated by Journalism. The papers in the first year have been minimized to two per semester as opposed to the four earlier. While many papers have been shuffled to different years, a lot have been completely removed, for e.g.: Indian State and Democratic Polity, Indian Economy and Business and International Politics, find no place in the current system. Also, a contemporary paper like  – ‘IT and Online Journalism’ earlier taught in the first semester, has been dissolved into New Media (Semester 3) and Online Journalism (Semester 7) in the new FYUP.

Practical or Theory?
With the obvious decrease in theory papers, many papers from the earlier system find themselves extinct in the current programme or are amalgamated with various other subjects to create a new paper which represents them faintly. For e.g.: Global Politics and the media, in the 6th semester of FYUP, has extractions from various previous papers.  There is an increase in skill based papers which give practical hand on knowledge, like Print Production (Semester 3), Writing and reporting for Print (Semester 4), Documentary Production (Semester 6) and others. The course is definitely no longer just theory based. There are practical subjects in four semesters while two others have research based projects similar to the previous model of a dissertation. Papers such as Media and Cultural Studies and History of Media have survived the brunt of the FYUP, keeping the media theory bits intact.

Discipline Courses – IIWhile Political Science and Economics papers have been scrapped in the new system, the concept of ‘minor’ or DC-II courses might enable students to experience subjects such as Political Science and Sociology. With the present uncertainty around the concept, depending upon the college you are studying in you might be given a choice for your minor field. Most probably, these options would include courses such as English, Sociology and Political Science. You would then be doing six papers in the subject that would be your minor. So in the end if you do get to have Political Science as a minor subject, you would actually be studying more of the subject than in the previous system.

Applied Courses
One of the positive attributes of the FYUP, are the Applied Courses. While in the earlier system, Documentary production was a voluntary activity with no merit awarded to it and photography skills had to be acquired outside of college, FYUP carves out dedicated papers to this skill based subjects. Print Production (Semester 3), teaches students the various design softwares needed in print media. Still Photography (Sem 4) emphasizes on the importance of still photography in media and gives foundation knowledge on composition and framing alongside technical know how. Documentary Production (Semester 6), will provide specialized knowledge for Radio and Video Documentary. The final product of this paper will be a 12-min documentary by the students.

(Journalism and Mass Communication 2013 cut-off)

Expected workload
The students can enjoy a load free first year but there is an incremental increase in difficulty and subjects with each year, as opposed to the firm, four papers every year, in the previous programme. The students will have to manage their time and workload in the third year especially, with five papers at hand. Practical paper based projects will tend to take up a lot more time and energy of the student.

Scope for co-curriculars
Being a professional degree course, Journalism takes up a lot of time of the students, with classes six days a week. But, in the present system there is a relief in the first and second year especially, and students can engage in extracurricular activities.

Exit Points
There are three exit points in this programme. The supposedly Diploma degree after the second year fails to provide wholesome skills and knowledge to the student. These students will do far less number of disciplines as compared to the 4-year student. The biggest fallout will be in terms of the employability of the Diploma and Bachelor degree students who will exit after 2 and 3 years because they will be considered as students who failed to complete the entire 4 year programme. Exiting with a Diploma degree will be a complete waste of time.

What might improve is the ability of the graduating student to decide on his/her area of interest, as the course gives a brief outlook on all aspects of journalism. The reflection on Mass Communication and other aspects such as Marketing Communications can also help students take career paths in other fields.

With Journalism already being one of the most expensive subjects of Delhi University, students will now have to expend some more. Also, there is the common problem of a serious lack in the teaching department, with a lot of colleges resorting to Ad-Hoc teachers. While the course has not lost much of its originality, the inclusion of technical and skill based disciplines will be of much help to the student.

So while the subject will probably be more enjoyable due to the inclusion of skills based papers and projects, the theoretical knowledge and the fundamental knowledge has been decreased significantly.

(For analysis of other courses click here)

In a time where most coaching institutes at the school level are looked as money minting machines, this one clearly stands out. Pratham is a coaching institute that specifically caters to preparing students for various entrance examinations at the under graduate level.

Formed in 2009, Pratham is the result of the brain storming of 3 pass-outs of Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business studies. The bedrock of the idea of forming such an institute was to impart education to students that made them look beyond the 2 sides of books and build a smart career by widening their horizon and exposing them to the plethora of career opportunities that today’s world gives them. The International Institute of Financial Markets was formed by these 3 friends in 2008 and Pratham is a brand that functions under the banner.

Pratham aims to facilitate students in making an informed choice post class 12. They organize workshops in schools across Delhi introducing students to the various entrances, like Mass Communication, Law, BBS, BBA, BFIA etc. Pratham has coaching centres all across Delhi, where students are taught not only how to crack these entrances, but also build their personality, suited according to their chosen field of expertise. Pratham’s support to students is not only just limited to teaching how to clear entrances, but they further train you to clear the Group Discussions and Personal Interviews that follow. Such is the track record of Pratham, that in 2011, they had 6 All India Rank 1s, and in 2012 they had 7.

Pratham provides free entrance preparation to students who wish to reappear in the entrance exams, and also to a chosen 10 students. The atmosphere at Pratham is conducive to learning, where the teachers are more like friends, and help students in every way.

Pratham plans to expand its area of working to post graduate entrances like GMAT, SAT, CPT soon.

Visit www.prathamonline.com for further details.

After the overnight reduction in marks of students, this is the second time Delhi University has messed up marks of first year students. Two second year students of Indraprastha College for Women, the Mass Communication department suffered due to university negligence as they were marked absent for two exams which they actually sat for, thus getting ERs in those subjects.

When the web results were displayed, there were ERs against their names for two subjects. It was only after they were handed the mark sheet that they discovered their ERs were not due to bad performance but because their papers never reached the examiners and thus they were marked absent. Perplexed, they went to the examination officer of IP college Mr. Aakash, as advised by their teacher.

Akanksha Chitkara, one of the girls who suffered said that she was so disappointed to see an ER in the same paper for which she got a merit certificate in class 12, and could not believe her eyes. Both the girls were flabbergasted as neither expected ERs.

They were asked to write an application and attach photocopies of their mark sheets, attendance proof and ID cards to it and send it to the university office. “When we told the officer at the university about what happened and gave him our application, he just nonchalantly tossed it aside and asked us to come after 15 days” said a dejected Akansha Chitkara. There have received no word since that day.

The overnight reduction of marks, the mix up of question papers and now this fiasco. The question it raises is whether DU is equipped to handle the semester system. The university will have to tread carefully in future and avoid such blunders.