We will begin a dedicated New Media course soon: KG Suresh, Director General, IIMC
India is witnessing an evident transformation in the way news is being consumed. Of course, digital media has shown tremendous growth without hampering the reach of either print or electronic media, but what's even more interesting is the constant rise in the demand for regional media.
Understanding the round-the-clock nature of change, KG Suresh, Director General, Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), in a conversation with exchange4media, talked about his plans to introduce a full-fledged course in New Media Journalism at the institute soon.
"A dedicated course on new media is shortly going to start, hopefully, in the coming academic session," he said.
Presently, IIMC has two large campuses including Delhi and Odisha's Dhenkanal. It also has four other regional centres in Jammu (J&K,) Amravati (Maharashtra,) Aizawl (Mizoram) and Kottayam (Kerala). Until now, only English Journalism was taught in all the regional centres other than Dhenkanal, where a diploma course in Odiya Journalism was also being run.
"We have started a full-fledged degree program in Marathi journalism from Amaravati campus and Malayalam journalism from Kerala campus in this current academic session," said KG Suresh adding that, "We have given a major push to Indian languages journalism."
"Campuses I felt should be relevant to the states where they are functioning and there should be more number of students," he said.
In regional centres, other than Dhenkanal, there are very few students who struggle to finish their diploma course having been taught either on Skype or by guest faculty.
"You cannot have eight or 10 students studying in a campus. So, we started these regional language programs. Now, the same campuses that used to have eight or 10 students are buzzing campuses with 30-40 students," he said.
Ending rumours about his plans to end English Journalism courses from the regional centres, he told exchange4media, "English will certainly continue but that won't be the only course because regional language journalism is growing by leaps and bounds. More people want to read, listen and watch news in their own respective languages."
Touted to be first of its kind, IIMC under the directorship of KG Suresh also initiated a course in Sanskrit journalism from the Delhi campus in association with Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha. The campus also has a journalism course in Urdu language.
While proudly speaking about his successful ongoing tenure, KG Suresh also told us that the process of expanding the regional centres, acquiring land and building full-fledged campuses is running at full pace.
When KG Suresh joined IIMC as the director general in March 2016 he was branded as a right-wing propagandist who had come to promote saffronisation of the institute.
On being asked about how he dealt with his critics, KG Suresh said that he was a follower of Swami Vivekananda's teaching and according to him everyone has to pass through three stages. The first being ridiculed, second facing resistance, and third slowly being accepted.
"I think after being ridiculed first, second year it was resistance and now I have entered the third year of my tenure and I think that now is the time for acceptance. Slowly they are accepting me because the campus is buzzing with activities," he said.
KG Suresh, who has previously worked with Press Trust of India, Doordarshan and Asianet as a journalist, also said that he would not allow journalists who are activists in the institute.
"This is a professional training institute. This is not Jawaharlal Nehru University," he added.
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