Electives form a vital component of the ACJ’s academic programme. Over the second and third terms,
all students take three elective courses chosen from a wide variety of offerings. At the time of admission
in July, all students are expected to submit to the Registrar a list of seven electives, in descending
order of preference. Ideally, students will have two electives in one term and the remaining one in the
other. Please note that students may not get all the electives of their choice. These courses, which may
be conducted in the form of lectures, seminars, or workshops, are taught by adjunct or full-time faculty
members who are experts in their fields and are drawn from both academia and the media. The electives
provide students an opportunity to study some of the subject areas introduced earlier in greater depth
and to learn certain specialised kinds of reporting.
The list of electives varies from year to year, and subjects may be added if there is sufficient student
demand. The following electives are offered for the year 2013-2014.
Identities in a Plural Society
Nalini Rajan, Professor, ACJ
The idea of what constitutes an “Indian identity” is of crucial importance to working
journalists. In a country of such bewildering diversity and pluralism, it is important
to analyse the social construction of identities. The reporter should be sensitive to
the specificity and particularity of individuals and groups while at the same time
locating them in the mosaic of the Indian social polity. While reporting on caste
and communal relations, the journalist must be alive to the sensitivities of her or his
This course is designed to give the student an understanding of the dynamics
of a pluralistic society through the study of contemporary popular culture, media
articles, and contributions by distinguished social scientists. The subject assumes
special relevance in the context of the constitutional interpretation of secularism,
culture, social and economic equality, and the nation state. Students explore the
question of identity against the backdrop of the experience of other multicultural
Critical International Issues
V. Suryanarayan, Senior Professor and former Director of the Centre for South and South-East
Asian Studies, University of Madras,
K V Krishnaswamy, Former Deputy Editor, The Hindu
Critical International Issues is an elective course that aims to familiarise the students with the important international
issues facing the global community. The course attempts to trace the path of International Relations (IR) as it has
evolved over the past century, shaped by the two world wars and the Cold War. The broad themes which have
dominated IR will be dealt in detail, such as the role of the United Nations, non-alignment, Intervention vs. Sovereignty,
Terrorism and Security; bipolarity, unipolarity and multipolarity; and the nuclear issue, especially the nuclearisation
of South Asia. This course will discuss important events in the Indian sub-continent, South-East Asia, China, Latin
America and the African continent.
Leading Issues in Economics
Venkatesh Athreya, Advisor, Gender and Food Security, M.S.
Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai
The elective will provide an analytical and historical account of the development
of the Indian economy since independence. The students will be introduced to
the role of international institutions like the International Monetary Fund, the World
Bank and the World Trade Organisation in the current context of globalization. The
implications of India’s path of development for growth, poverty and employment in
India will be discussed.
Students will be introduced to some basic concepts and analytical approaches in
macroeconomics. They will receive an exposure to policy debates over such issues
as food security and the implications of fiscal deficits, primarily in the context of the
Jayalakshmi Shreedhar, Medical Doctor and
This elective offers an overview of health journalism and trains students to make
sense of research reports and clinical studies, examine the pros and cons of public
and private health, discuss the coverage of outbreaks and epidemics, explore the
recent promotion of ‘packaged’ healthcare and contextualize the rise of lifestyle
diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. At the same time, poverty-related
diseases like malaria, malnutrition, TB, gastroenteritis, and occupational diseases
will be covered, along with social issues related to organs’ trade, infanticide,
sex selection and HIV/AIDS. The students will learn about the controversies
surrounding patent protection and human protection, new developments in medical
technology, patients’ rights and government health policies. In addition, there will
be information on traditional medicine and on mental health. As part of the course
work, there will be article reviews, group exercises, student presentations and
Covering Ecology and Environment
Nityanand Jayaram, independent journalist and social activist
Issues relating to ecology and the environment have received substantial, though
not insightful, media coverage in the last decade. The coverage, by and large, has
failed to make the linkage between environmental degradation and issues of justice.
The effects of environmental degradation are portrayed as affecting all of humanity
in a similar manner. However, an overwhelming body of evidence maintains that
the poor, the marginalised and historically oppressed sections of society suffer
a disproportionately high share of the ill-effects, while the well-off and politically
powerful manage to not just fare better in the face of adverse environmental
circumstances, but also benefit from the degradation.
Writing on environment and ecology requires an ability to make sense of social and natural sciences, in addition
to the conventional journalistic skills of identifying sources and interviewing. In covering science, the ability to
discern fact from conjecture becomes crucial. The role of industry and commerce (corporations), through their
control of media and scientific institutions, needs to be understood if one is to tackle the myth that all “science”
is science and that “science” is objective. The course will also touch upon some of the critical environmental
issues. More importantly, though, it will help students pitch environmental stories and identify environmental
angles to mainstream stories. This course will heavily emphasise “environmental justice” (Who gains? Who
loses?) as a framework to understand environmental problems, their causes and effects. The course aims
to develop research and analytical skills. This elective will be a combination of lecture sessions, field trips,
interactive sessions, research projects and role-play exercises.
S. Anandhi, Associate Professor, Madras Institute of Development Studies
Students studying to work in the media are engaged in the business of looking and
reporting, seeing and understanding. But one rarely looks and sees innocently. There are
ways of seeing which we have inherited from the past and which define vision itself. The
gender lens is primary in this context — it frames and naturalises inequality, deprivation,
violence, and injustice.
The course argues therefore that gender — as a way of seeing, living and understanding —
has to be both unlearnt and re-Iearned, in the interests of equality and justice. To do this,
the learner has to implicate herself in what she wishes to analyse, put herself in the middle
of her subject of study. This does not mean that the classroom turns into a confessional,
but it does mean that the everyday we take for granted be stood on its head and examined critically.
The course demonstrates how we may do this, both conceptually and practically. It begins with an examination of the
circumstances in which gender emerged as a category of analysis. It suggests that gender relationships are historically
contingent and goes on to demonstrate why and how we might want to deploy gender as a critical category.
The units that follow examine critically those personal, social and public sites where gender routinely ‘happens’: family,
kinship, community, work, sexuality, art, and culture. The last set of units is titled ‘Issues in Focus’. This section looks at
contemporary concerns using the gender lens: caste and community, political power, poverty, and survival..
D. Krishnan, Photo Editor, The Hindu
A course on basic photography and an understanding of light is given to all the students
in the first trimester.
This enables the students to get a working knowledge of professional photographic
equipment. Explanation of photographic terms like shutter speeds, aperture, film
speeds etc are taken up with practical examples.
The elective builds on that foundation. Sessions in shooting VVIP visits, covering
functions, use of the flash as a creative tool, are taken up in the elective classes.
The elective also deals with writing captions for photos. Students have to submit
two photo features on topics given to them. The work includes street and candid
photography. Lectures and slide shows by professional press and commercial
photographers supplement the course. Classes on basic Photoshop and photo
transmission are included in the elective.
The World of Cinema
Krishnan Hariharan, film director and scholar
There is no doubt that cinema has had a profound influence on the shaping of the
concept of the ‘world’. In this course, students will get an understanding of the
history of cinema, the various technical aspects of the medium, different aesthetic
approaches that have been taken in interrogating the subject, and the way viewers
all over the world have responded to this unique form of art and entertainment.
They will be introduced to the works of a few acclaimed masters from the world of
Cinema has had a great influence on the shaping of national identities, on ideas of
law and justice, on values centring on race and gender, and on the shaping of popular culture.
Students will learn to look at such aspects as the text of a film, the technological aspects of
the medium, how entertainment cinema is delivered to the viewer through the iconic presence
of the ‘Actor’, and how the text and the medium get renegotiated by the actor’s presence and
reach the audience.
The course will pay special attention to Indian cinema, its unique origins, the development of its
popular melodramatic form replete with songs and a large dose of family ‘values’ and ‘conflicts’,
and the impact of regional cable and satellite television channels on cinema. Have mass
television and the consumerisation of cinema through videocassettes, VCDs and DVDs altered
Politics and Ideology
Arvind Sivaramakrishnan, Senior Deputy Editor, The Hindu
All political actions, policies, and laws embody some ideas about society, politics, and
the good, as well as of human nature and human action, and therefore of what is right
and fitting for human beings. This holds even if the political actors concerned have no
interest in or no knowledge of political theory or political philosophy.
This course will introduce about a dozen major political theories and ideologies
and will use examples of political actions and events, so that we can identify the
ideological commitments involved and analyse the ways in which specific actions,
events, and policies express ideological commitments. The aim is for us to develop
an enhanced sense of the issues involved in any one topic or controversy, so that we
can ask better-informed questions of the participants and analyse the issues more
acutely. The participants and policymakers may include politicians, party officials, civil
servants, public and private sector organizations and managers, pressure groups, and
other bodies. Most of our examples will be drawn from South Asia, but we shall refer
to other countries and systems at suitable points as well. Wherever possible we shall
use supporting material from the mass media.
Subbiah Arunachalam, Distinguished fellow (Centre for Internet
We are living in a world increasingly shaped by science and technology. People
need to be aware of scientific advances as well as their implications. A good
deal of public knowledge about science is acquired from the mass media. The
reporting and coverage of science in the print, broadcast and online media
become a vital part of contemporary journalism.
The purpose of this elective is to train students to cover scientific and
technological developments and make a clear, accurate and compelling story
for a reader who may not be familiar with science. Students will learn to write
not only cutting-edge research, but also about funding and policy.
We will read examples of the best science writing today in newspapers, magazines and books for the general
reader. We will discuss the science that informs these stories. We will try to understand the techniques these
reporters and writers use to communicate abstract ideas and to make complex issues comprehensible. We will
also look at some not-so-good science writing.
The science beat in journalism is extremely varied. Students get to study and write on issues of local significance
such as drought, desalination or the fate of our ground water. They will deal with new frontiers in science as in
gene therapy, stem cell research, black holes and the future of the universe. The range of topics helps students
learn the challenges and excitement of making science accessible through a journalism of precision and liveliness.
A. Srivathsan, Deputy Edior, The Hindu
The urban turn we are going through is increasing the importance of cities in our life.
The sheer size, number and spatial convergence of activities puts cities as the engines
of growth and makes them epicenters of cultural production. For the same reasons,
they also become the sites of contestation. Some view cities and their growth as
parasitic and anti-rural. Others think India no more mainly lives in villages, but in cities
as well. An understanding of what forces shape urban life and development has
become compulsory to cover cities.
This course will offer an overview of urban development in India. It will focus on city
planning, real estate markets, city laws and culture of cities. Issues of infrastructure
investment, private partnership in city development and role of civil society in city
affairs will be discussed. The rural-urban divide and urban poverty would be one of the
key concerns of this course. A special section on the cultural and political landscape
will explore mapping tools to gain new insights into city life. The course will draw on
select writings on urban development and also include representations of city life in
popular literature, including films, as its resource.
Nirmal Shekar, Sports Editor, The Hindu & Editor, Sportstar
There is a great demand for good sports writing in India. In addition to theoretical
issues concerning the nature of sport and its function in society, this course leans
heavily on practical work. A good sports writer has to be, above all, a good writer.
While knowledge of particular sports and games is essential, it is not sufficient
to ensure high quality sports journalism. The exercises teach the do’s and don’ts
of good sports writing. Students learn how to read a game, profile famous and
little known players, and write on mainstream and marginal sports. They learn
interviewing skills through class work and practicals, develop the visual sense to
select and crop action-pictures, and prepare material for publication.
Sports appreciation is also part of the course. What do they know of sport who
only sport know? The course lays emphasis on context, and on both depth and
breadth in good sports coverage.
The course also considers the market for sports writing — what story to do, and
where to place it. It introduces students to the special requirements of sports
reporting for various media. Students read outstanding sports writers, including‘non-specialists’ who have written with passion on the sport they love: C.L.R.
James, Mike Marqusee, Norman Mailer, and Joyce Carol Oates, among others.
TCA Srinivasa-Raghavan, Editorial Advisor to the CEO, Kasturi & Sons
and Aarati Krishnan,Chief of Bureau Research, Deputy Editor, The Hindu – Business Line
TCA Srinivasa Raghavan
Mushrooming sources for business news and the wide availability of information has made business journalism an
extremely competitive and skill-intensive profession in recent years. Today’s business journalist is expected to not just
report events and developments in the world of business, but also to provide interpretation, analysis and contextual
information that makes the information useful to the businessman. The Business module on companies, markets and
finance is designed to equip students with these fundamental business reporting skills. Designed to provide even
students with a non-finance background with the required foundation on these subjects, the course is designed to
familiarize students with the essentials of microeconomics and macroeconomics. It will also acquaint them with the
key drivers across different sectors of the Indian economy and with what makes or breaks the cost structure and
profitability of firms.
Students will also be familiarized with developments in the corporate sector over the last decade with insights on
trends and variations in output and profits across sectors and the policy developments that affect them. The course
introduces students to the functioning of the stock market, how firms are valued, drivers of bull and bear markets,
asset classes such as equity, debt and alternative assets, apart from stock market regulation, investor protection, and
capital market reform in recent years.
Students learn to analyse issues raised by attempted or ongoing reform across key sectors such as banking
and insurance and discuss the problems of regulating a liberalized financial sector. Students also gain a basic
understanding of recent global capital market developments and the various international
stock market indices like the Dow Jones Industrial, S&P 500, FTSE, Nikkei, and Hang Seng.
This will be done with the backdrop of economic theory.
This will enable them to report on complex business and economic phenomena in a simple
and comprehensible manner.
The Business Reporting Elective is complemented by a specialised module offered by Mint
Covering Arts and Culture
Sadanand Menon, journalist and cultural critic
The course develops the context for reading arts and culture not as a soft package to
be tucked into a conventional weekend journalistic format, but as central to the very
comprehension of how a society functions. It focuses on the specificity and diversity
of the arts and culture context in India and Asia. It introduces students to the value of
empirical and analytical tools for studying the arts and culture. The course ranges over
the fine and plastic arts, books and literature, visual and electronic arts, performing
arts, cinema and mass entertainment, popular expression, craft and design. Several
critical issues are addressed, including issues relating to pre-colonial foundations of
cultural principles, the makings of a national cultural policy, the tension between state
patronage and private funding, and how the arts are housed. Through a brief history
and also a contemporary appraisal, students are introduced to the art of reporting the
arts — a critique of reviewing.
The course offers opportunities to visit artistic and cultural events, to meet and
converse with artists, and to generate an all round sensibility in this complex area
through lectures, debates, discussions, seminars, and actual coverage.
Making Sense of Politics
A S Panneerselvan, Executive Director, Panos South Asian & Readers’ Editor, The Hindu
A S Panneerselvan
The party politics of India is a brilliant polyphony. It is not like the cola-choice of the United States and other
major western democracies, where the choice is binary between Republicans Vs Democrats or Conservatives
Vs Labour or Christian Democrats Vs Social Democrats. Indian political reality is truly multi-party in its construct.
It has multiple representational characters as well as many intrinsic democratic deficits within like lack of inner
party democracy and entrenched glass ceilings.
The centrality of politics keeps democratic heritage on track and does not permit the army or the judiciary or
the executive to trample on the supreme will of the people. Comprehension of the current politics is central to
understanding the dynamics of our own growth and developmental models.
The course will explain the broad trajectories of three political strands of modern India: the nationalist, the
Left and the reformist. It will explain the salient feature of four phases that define Indian politics: the postindependence
euphoria that lasts till the split in Indian National Congress (1947-1969), the distortions and
subversions of the institutions between 1969 and 1977, the period of flux between 1977 and 1991, and the
contemporary phase of post-Mandal, post-Babri Masjid desecration, post-liberalisation coalition era (1991
to the present).
It will elaborate on the delicate division of powers between the Union and the States that provide the federal
balance. It will focus on how the finer elements of an asymmetric devolution that is inherent in the Constitution
to address the political aspirations of the people from different regions, for example Article 370 which confers a
special status on Jammu and Kashmir, are undermined by the desire to have an explicitly powerful centre.
The course will help students to understand the functioning of the democratic institutions like parliament, state
assemblies and local bodies and their relationship with the other arms like the executive and the judiciary. By
explaining the existing checks and balances framework, the course will enable young journalists to understand
the success and the failures of our political class.
Theatre and Performance
Padma. V Theatre Person and Faculty, Department of English, Stella Maris College
The course combines practical exposure to the training of theatre, the basic
components of theatre and the theoretical concepts of theatre making and
practice around the world. The thrust of the course would be to unpack the
matrix of aesthetics, politics and performance. It would also posit the emerging
trends in inter-culturalism and multiculturalism in the context of globalization,
commodification and homogenization. Finally, it would focus on cultural
nationalism and the way it appropriates the performative codes prevalent
Body politics and spatiality would be the realms in which performativity would
be elaborated. The linkages with gender, caste, religion and class would be
studied. Alternate ways of looking at evolving ‘glocal’ paradigms would form
the primary objective of the study. The students are expected to bring to the
course their own exposure and responses to the cultural context of their specific
region and context.
T.S. Subramanian, Associate Edior, Frontline
The elective course will emphasise that archaeology does not mean excavation
of artefacts alone but includes decipherment of scripts such as the Indus, the
Asokan-Brahmi, the Tamil-Brahmi, the Pallava Grantha, the Tamil Vattellutu, the
Sumerian script, sculptures, carvings, pre-historic rock art in caves, murals in
temples and palaces, copper-plate charters, exquisite bronzes and so on. (Despite
attempts by scholars from different parts of the world, the Indus script has not
been deciphered so far).
The course will deal with how archaeologists identify
a particular site for excavation, what are the indications available on the surface
of a site, how they excavate a site, how they analyse it stratigraphically, how
they date the artefacts if they find them and so on. The course will deal with the
discovery of stone tools used by hunter-gatherers, dated to several lakh years
before the present, the paleolithic tools, the neolithic tools, dolmens, cairn circles,
menhirs belonging to the Megalithic Age, how the Indus sites were discovered,
the history of the Indus civilisation, how vast it was, why it collapsed and attempts
at deciphering the Indus script.
There will be focus on Jainism, Buddhism, how
the Jaina and the Buddhist sites were excavated in India, the spread of Buddhism
to Sri Lanka, Burma and other countries, the artefacts including the Yakshi and
Yaksha artefacts belonging to Jainism, the Asokan period, the Nagarjunakonda
and the Amaravathi sites, the Pallava age (Mamallapuram), the Chola dynasty, the
Pandian and the Chera rulers, the Satavahanas and so on. There will be classes
on Angkor Wat and the Hindu temples in Laos and Vietnam.
Human Rights and the Postcolonial: Pathways in Literature
Akhila Ramnarayan, Scholar
Colonization and indigenous struggles for sovereignty and autonomy in postcolonial states
are key historical phenomena that have generated human rights abuses and propelled
social protest about these abuses. How do writers from different cultures around the world
represent human rights questions and concerns in their works? This course introduces key
topics and questions in human rights and postcolonial studies, highlighting the substantive
intersections between human rights and the postcolonial, in theory and creative practice.
We will examine colonial and postcolonial writings as part of human rights and social justice
narratives, past and present. Course themes will include environmental justice, intersections
between race and human rights violations, gender, colonization, and postcoloniality.
Reading (and writing about) Cinema
Baradwaj Rangan, Film Critic and Deputy Editor, The Hindu
This is a class that aims to encourage students to bring to bear on their cinema
viewing a unique perspective. Therefore, this will necessarily be a class about
watching cinema, which is not the same as leaning back in your chair and stuffing
your mouth with popcorn. Each class, the first fifteen minutes or so of a film will
be screened, and this will be followed by an interactive session where students
will come up and say what they “saw” (i.e. how they interpreted this segment with
respect to staging, acting, or any other aspect which catches their unique eye).
We will then discuss how to incorporate this unique perspective into “writing”
about cinema. At the end of the course, a film will be screened and students will
be asked to write an essay on how they “saw” the film.
— in association with UNICEF —
Shreya Ramnath, Research Associate, ACJ
The elective aims to introduce students to the concept of child rights, expose and
sensitise them to the broad range of issues affecting children in South Asia, with a
specific emphasis on India, and help them understand how to report on children’s
issues responsibly and sensitively.
The course will introduce child rights in a larger human rights context, explore the
notion of the child as a potential individual with rights, and examine some of the barriers
to the realisation of these rights. It will also explore the various dimensions of child
rights issues plaguing children and the exploitation and deprivation children face. With
emphasis on both ground realities as well as policy angles, the elective will examine in
detail some of the pressing problems in society today, including child labour, unequal
and gendered access to adequate education and health care, rising malnutrition,
violence and exploitation, and female foeticide and infanticide.
Media coverage tends to focus on the sensational, is often replete with stereotypes,
and ignores the array of real problems affecting the young the world over. More
importantly, issues are reported with little regard for confidentiality. The elective will
emphasise reportage with a human rights approach, and discuss the guidelines
for sensitive reporting by professional journalists, as well as the need for accurate
representation of children in the media.
Tim Holmes, Senior Lecturer, Cardiff School of Journalism, Cardiff University
Magazines are a distinct media form that demand specific skills, abilities and
knowledge from the journalists who create them.
This course will start by giving students an understanding of the political economy
of the global magazine industry, in print and digital formats, with specific reference
to the Indian market.
The main thrust of the elective, however, will challenge students to devise and
develop a new magazine concept. Starting with a bare idea, each student will learn
how to research and present a supporting business plan before starting to create
content to suit the magazine’s readership. Workshops on writing news and features
will help to reinforce good practice before students venture out to find and bring
back real stories for their title.
Then it will be time to establish a suitable design style and turn words and pictures
into actual pages.
At the end of the course each student will have a new magazine concept, a
business rationale to support it and a set of sample pages that demonstrate both
style and substance.
Music and Freedom
Gowri Ramnarayan, Musician, Playwright and Journalist
This elective foregrounds music as a live and contemporary art form, not in
museumised isolation, but as part of living, breathing material culture in the Indian
subcontinent. The focus is on classical Carnatic music, whose capital Chennai
affords excellent opportunities for live listening and interaction with practitioners.
Other genres from classical Hindustani music to folk forms, fusion music and film
music will also be explored in their context, and as vital features of the diverse sociocultural
milieu of India’s regions.
Whether in classical, folk or film music, poetry is a crucial component of all music
in India. Lyrics anchor moods which are melodised and nuanced through voice and
instrument. The bhakti movement has contributed so overwhelmingly to Indian music;
the work of poets in every language (Andal, Appar, Basavanna, Jayadeva, Kabir,
Sur, Tulsi, Mirabai, Namdev, Tukaram, Tyagaraja… Rabindranath Tagore) becomes
essential to understanding the development of raga and the concept of mood-based
improvisation in music. Exploring bhakti also enables drawing connections between
sculpture, painting, dance and music.
While India centre-stages vocal music, instruments from clay pots to strings tied to
a dried gourd, are vital to different musical cultures in the subcontinent. Studying
these instruments can become an exciting journey across linguistic and socio-cultural
specificities, promoting an understanding of eco-political and environmental issues
Music appreciation cannot be taught through lectures. So this elective will combine
lectures with demonstrations, interactive sessions, research projects, listening to and
viewing audio/video clips, and attending live concerts.
Creative and Critical writing
Vikram Kapoor,Writer and Professor
The creative and critical writing elective uses a mixture of classroom
lecture, in-class writing, workshops and production of work to familiarise
the students with the nuts and bolts of prose writing. Over the course of
the elective, we will discuss the cornerstones of writing memorable prose,
such as using autobiography to create fiction, choosing the right point of
view from which to tell the story, creating a memorable character, coming
up with a beguiling plot, drawing a setting, framing affecting dialogue,
finding the right language for the story, and, finally, editing and revising
a rough manuscript into a polished finished piece. The emphasis will be
on writing as a reader, and reading as a writer. Other than doing various
writing exercises, the students will also produce one short story of 1000
words and a critical commentary of 500 words. By the end of the elective,
students should be well-versed in the nuts and bolts of prose fiction, and
have learnt story-telling techniques that they can use to create fiction as
well as narrative nonfiction.
Journalism for Development
B. Jayashree, Media and Development Communication Professional
In an environment where communities in India and across the world are
exhibiting, sometimes very vocally, an enhanced consciousness of social and
development issues, the media has a larger responsibility in deepening the
understanding and space to development concerns.
The “Journalism for Development” course aims to equip students with skills
required to facilitate positive social change, from picking to packaging a
story. The course includes orientation to basic research to pick an issue, and
grasp its intensity, understanding the need for sensitivity to and awareness of
socio-cultural settings, being perceptive of vulnerability, exclusion, and similar
key issues. Through visits, discussions and participatory methodologies, it also aims to build capacity to delve indepth
into a story while grasping the larger picture. It will include discussion on methods of packaging, writing and
presentation of development stories to ensure greater connect with readers and audience.
The course aims to include a preparation to the reality of dealing with reportage and coverage of trauma – disaster,
conflict, destruction and disease – and lives affected by these, with appropriate terminologies, images and ethical
approaches along with efforts to facilitate positive change and development. The students will also work on a
key development issue of their choice, in an intensive campaign mode with participatory methods and audienceengagement
techniques, appropriate media mix and intensity, to try and put together the story that makes a difference,
to facilitate social change.
Investigative Journalism Techniques
Nikhil Kanekal, Journalist and Lawyer
This course is intended to teach students how to report and present investigative news stories and features. Student journalists will be taught how to dig for information, analyze data, and flesh out the investigative edge in stories.The class will also learn about and discuss topics such as corruption, public accountability, terrorism, unethical business practices, environmental hazards, public health and conflicts of interest that key people face in their private or public lives.
The course will include hard interviewing techniques, learning to piece together documentary and digital evidence, and explanatory ways of writing or producing a complicated story – since most investigative stories are intricate webs of information. By examining a few investigative stories as case studies, the class shall attempt to take students through the process of forming a hypothesis, collecting evidence and then presenting it in a cogent, lucid narrative.
The course will be kept platform-neutral as best as possible –
students from print, broadcast or digital media can take it – and teaching material will range from book readings, films, seminars on investigative journalism and guest lectures from investigative
journalists in the field.