Independent mass media representing diverse views are vital to the functioning of democracy, to the pursuit of public welfare, and to the protection of the people’s entitlements.
In India the tradition of a pluralistic, relatively independent press dates back more than two hundred years. Enriched by its active involvement in the freedom struggle, the press has developed impressively since Independence and it continues to register growth as the trusted source for news and informed opinion and analysis.
Television became dominant since the mid 1990s when private cable and satellite channels, especially news channels, entered the scene. Though Online Media made their presence felt in the late 1990s, it was with the turn of the millennium that they registered a sharp and varied growth at a pace that now made them the fastest growing in the sector.
Technological convergence and integration leading to production and dissemination of news across multiple platforms, and multitasking journalism incorporating text, video and audio have combined to redefine the nature of delivery of news and the journalistic skillsets necessary for it.
In India, as in other developing countries in Asia, there is a vital need to consolidate media strengths, overcome weaknesses, and raise the professional, intellectual, and ethical standards of journalism, so as to bring the performance of the media up to advanced international levels.
It has also become necessary and important to distinguish and safeguard verified, credible journalistic content from the indiscriminate fare the social media is awash with.
The media can be no better than their practitioners. It follows that the growing demand for trained staff from news organisations must be met with a crop of educated young people, not only with the necessary professional skills but also with the broad knowledge, integrity, and social commitment that will make them outstanding journalists. The Asian College of Journalism is dedicated to the task of producing such journalists. It is a postgraduate college designed to provide students with world-class journalism education adapted to the specific needs of India and other developing countries in Asia. It seeks to prepare its graduates to achieve the highest standards in all branches of the profession, keeping in focus the trend and thrust of convergence and digitisation in the media, and the consequent demands for multiple skills made on the contemporary journalist.
One of the strengths of the Asian College of Journalism is the flexibility in updating curriculum periodically in response to the swift changes in the media industry and practice. Over the years, the college has made changes in the curricula of Print, New Media and Broadcast, to make the course Future Ready. As an academic institution, ACJ has been ahead of the industry in predicting future needs and incorporating required changes in the curriculum.
Students from ACJ have proved to be in high demand and several alumni are already at work in all areas of journalism. Their success is a tribute both to their talent and to the institution that educated and trained them.