D.Y. Patil International University, Akurdi, Pune: Setting Benchmarks in Journalism and Mass Communication Education in India
D.Y. Patil International University

As today’s media and communication industry is changing at lightning speed, a school of media and journalism should focus on a range of skills and topics to prepare students for the rapidly changing media landscape. That is why the School of Media and Journalism (SMJ) at D.Y. Patil International University (DYPIU), Akurdi, Pune, focuses on providing students with the skills, knowledge, and ethical grounding they need to thrive in this era of new media.

DYPIU, founded in 2018, had SMJ as one of the first academic disciplines amongst other programmes. The SMJ draws its inspiration from the university’s objectives to facilitate capacity building and nurture holistic, socially responsible, and constantly employable professionals with a focus on future skills driven by digital transformation taking place across all domains.

To realize its objectives, DYPIU has been able to attract the right mix of faculty members. The School of Media and Journalism boasts of having faculties coming from various sectors of media and communication. While we have got well-qualified faculties from academia, we also have the ones who have got wide experience in print, electronic and online media. Besides, there are faculties who have also worked in the fields of PR, Advertising and Corporate Communication. Again, there are quite a few who have rendered their services in the area of content writing, a niche area for the aspiring media and communication professionals of the day.

Due to the interdisciplinary approach, DYPIU provides a more holistic and innovative approach to education and research that prepares students for the complex challenges of the 21st century. Interdisciplinary programs of DYPIU also address complex societal challenges by bringing together scholars and students from different disciplines to find solutions to real-world problems. All PhD programmes are conducted here under the School of Interdisciplinary Research. To break the traditional disciplinary barriers, we have mixed faculty sittings across schools, which establishes the importance of the exchange of creative ideas among faculty members in informal ways.

A very solid basis in journalism, video film production, advertising, Public Relations photography, radio, and media management is what this UG media programme provides. The infrastructure offers a well-equipped studio, a cutting-edge media lab, and smart classrooms that are constructed creatively, keeping the curriculum’s learning requirements. The School of Media and Journalism provides a holistic learning experience aided by Hololens, 360-degree cameras, drones, AR/VR sets, and other devices. Students can access world-class newspapers, books, and journals physically and online as well. This has enriched the learning experience of students. The SMJ has witnessed students’ performance being appreciated by their participation in the ‘50-hour film-making challenge,’ whose short film ‘Colour of Mystery’ has been adjudged the best international short film. Our students have also been invited as delegates to the world’s first summit for non-violence and peace in Bengaluru. In the field of Public Relations and Advertising, students have been conferred the national-level award by the Public Relations Council of India.

As part of the Academia-Industry connect, as a core element of our educational programme, students of SMJ had an opportunity to produce, design and report for the special budget coverage of a reputed daily – ‘Pune Times Mirror’ this year. The overall development of skills has led to decent placement scenarios with corporate houses like Vedanta Resources, MSL Group, The Hindu Business Line, Sakal, Delhi Government, India Abroad News Service, Zee Business, Fortuna PR, and mynation.com of the Asia Net News Network etc. visiting campus for placements.

Renowned Journalism and Mass Communication School

DYPIU uses a track-based approach that integrates technology into the educational environment in all its academic programs and at SMJ especially. Students have the option of specialising in disciplines including media production, specialised reporting, and advertising and public relations.

The learning philosophy of SMJ is translated through experiential learning. We do have a dedicated television show – ‘STUDENT’S TIME (available on YouTube), managed and run by the students. Every week new episode driven and managed by the students is gaining popularity in the mainstream media. Besides, we have pioneered an AI reporter who not only writes script but also delivers it on the screen as an AI reporter/Anchor. Furthermore, there is a national-level student driven YCC club under the umbrella of PRCI. Value addition to students in terms of knowledge enhancement is offered through guest lectures, study tours, industry visits and workshops/seminars.

The management is progressive and adaptive when it comes to inculcating the values of DYPIU in students in the learning process. It continues to regularly engage its students in discussions with media and communication professionals. Under the direct supervision of professionals, it encourages its students to get involved in a variety of media production-related activities, such as creating an internal diary and a newsletter and anchoring TV and podcasts. Students at SMJ receive assignments on subjects that are incisive in nature.

The academic learning at DYPIU promotes the amalgamation of socially relevant subjects and the concurrent development of the intellectual process and its expression. It consists of an inclusive curriculum coupled with activity-based learning.

SMJ’s niche offering

The School of Media and Journalism offers niche learning principles –

  • Learning Outcome-based Curriculum Framework (LOCF) to impart more skill based learning in alignment with NEP 2020
  • Imparting learning in conformity with 21st-century skill sets
  • Teaching pedagogy incorporating the latest ICT tools and technologies
  • Application-based teaching through experiential learning
  • Strong academic-industry tie-up
  • Core Learning Competencies – Creativity and Critical Thinking, Reflective Thinking, Analytical Reasoning, Research skills and Multimedia proficiency

Transforming the Future of Journalism and Communication

The futuristic approach helps students achieve the following.

Digital literacy: Students need to understand the technology behind media and journalism, including social media platforms, search engines, and analytics tools. Students of SMJ are using these tools to gather and analyze data, identify trends, and produce content that engages audiences.

Multimedia storytelling: Modern media and journalism require proficiency in a range of formats, from video and audio to text and graphics. Students of SMJ learn to tell stories using multiple mediums and tailor their content to different platforms – print, radio, television and areas related to marketing communication.

Audience engagement: Successful media and journalism depend on the ability to build and engage audiences. Students here learn to identify and understand their target audience, use social media to connect with them and produce content that resonates with their interests and concerns.

Data analysis and visualization: The ability to analyze data and present it in a clear and compelling way is increasingly important in modern media and journalism. Students of SMJ learn to use data analysis tools and create visualizations that help audiences understand complex information.

Collaboration and teamwork: Media and journalism are collaborative fields, and students should be prepared to work in teams to produce content across different platforms and formats. Students of SMJ learn to communicate effectively, give and receive feedback, and manage projects efficiently.

Ethics and media law: Media students need a strong understanding of ethics and legal issues that affect journalism, including defamation, privacy, and freedom of speech. Students of SMJ are equipped to navigate the ethical dilemmas that arise while reporting and producing content.

Ecosystem of entrepreneurship in Journalism and Communication: New age media and communication tools and its learning at SMJ help students to realise their dreams and to have their own start-ups. Innovations and incubation training and necessary resources support are extended to aspiring media entrepreneurs.

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