For aspiring journalists who dream of working in reputed newspaper houses and T.V channels or for copywriters/media planers/visualisers in big advertising agencies getting admission in a good media school or college is a first step to success. Apart from the newspaper houses and T.V channels there are also public relation agencies and event management companies that are part of the large media industry. With the healthy rise in Indian economy supported by the growing awareness about media among the mass of the society there has been a substantial rise in the media industry particularly in the news sector all across India.
Leaving aside rest of India if just Kolkata is considered as a case study then it will be fascinating to see at the number of regional 24 hours news channel, newspaper (monthly, fortnightly, weekly) that has entered the media market in the past 4 years. This rapid development has simultaneously increased the demand for educated and skilled professionals in the field. The skilled professionals mainly come from the media schools and colleges such as Calcutta University, Jadavpur University, St. Xavier’s College, Bhavan's Asutosh College of Communication and Management, Netaji Subhas University and several others based in Kolkata.
The glitz and glamour of media is so alluring that every year huge number of students try to get admission into the reputed colleges of Kolkata that offer M.A. or P.G. Diploma in Mass Communication and Journalism to add a new dimension to their career. But very few students do a basic reality check of these institutions before taking admission. After the end of higher secondary or ISC exam most of the students are mainly focussed on getting admission into a reputed college to add value in their resume in future.
In such mad rush the students actually overlook that mass communication is not that usual kind of subject that can be acquired just by taking notes inside a class. There is an immense need for practical classes in order to grasp the subject as well the market properly. But very few mass communication institutions in Kolkata leaving aside only St. Xavier’s College have the practice of practical classes that is essential to this subject. A student who has not done field work or internship while studying mass comm. is not practically fit for the industry that what is believed by the experts in the industry.
The P.G. Diploma in mass communication course in Jadavpur University is an instance that attracts nearly 3,000 applications every year out of which only 145 get through after admission test and a viva. Recognitions such as 'University with Potential for Excellence' by University Grants Commission (UGC), 'Five Star' status by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), First Indian University to earn SYLFF (Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund) status from the Nippon Foundation, Japan are the only reasons behind the rush among the studenst to get into J.U. mass comm. department.
Students realise the futility of the course when classes commence after puja vacation (november). There are only two to three full time professors and the rest are media professionals acting as guest lecturer. Most of the guest lecturers during the course remain busy with their respective job so they don’t find enough time and urge to visit the classes in J.U. As a result most of the time the classes are declared free. Rest of the time the classes mainly concentrate on theory and notes. Before the exam the same professors provide the students with pre-drafted notes that the students distribute among themselves and fetch the pass mark. Some students who do a little library work manage to get a first class. Very few media companies come for campus recruitment. Even the officials in the department are reluctant to invite potential recruiters. Compared to all these the department has kept the course fee to 15,000 at par with the course fee of P.G. Diploma in mass communication of Indian Institute of Mass Communication.
So students do some reality check before you want to study mass communication in Kolkata. Best of Luck...