14th November 2007
Indian journalists get unique insight into UK media scene
“This programme is providing me with a unique opportunity to reflect on my daily routines in the newsroom. We all feel very privileged to be here.”
These are the words of Aditya Ghosh, special correspondent on the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, one of 12 Indian journalists currently studying at the University of Lincoln on the highly prestigious British Council-sponsored Chevening scholarships.
The three-month programme, which began on 1 October, takes in a four-week work attachment on a major British journal such as the Guardian, Times, Financial Times, Independent, Daily Telegraph, Observer, Nottingham Evening Post, the Scotsman, Manchester Evening News and New Statesman.
In addition, the scholars participate in a range of special, practical workshops looking at writing styles, investigative reporting skills, column writing, website production techniques, digital photography and so on. Visiting speakers include the investigative journalists Phillip Knightley and Tessa Mayes, award winning photographer David Woodfall, BBC diplomatic correspondent Bridget Kendall and Times columnist, broadcaster and novelist Libby Purves.
Subhendu Ray, senior reporter on the Indian Express, Calcutta, commented: ‘I’m particularly valuing the chances here to develop my writing style. We are being encouraged to inject a personal feel into our features. I’m not used to that so it’s very challenging and rewarding.’
Seminars take in a broad range of subjects – from terrorism and the media, human rights, mass media technology, media history, multiculturalism in the UK to the arts of media manipulation.
Visits to media centres around the country have also been arranged. Already journalists at the Guardian head offices in London, Manchester United TV, the Manchester Evening News and BBC Manchester have been grilled by the scholars. Trips to Oxford University, the Daily Telegraph headquarters and the Foreign Office in London are planned.
The programme is being co-ordinated by Professor John Tulloch, Head of the Lincoln School of Journalism, and Richard Lance Keeble, Professor of Journalism. Professor Tulloch commented: ‘The Chevening course will immensely aid the university’s profile in India because we are bringing into the school 12 distinguished journalists who are opinion-makers in their own country and showing them the best of a new and progressive university – as well as a refreshingly non-metropolitan side of Britain.’
And what, so far, has been the highlight of the course for him? ‘Certainly it was going with the students round Manchester United TV and realising we were looking at a global media operation which could take over the world! It has 143 million fans worldwide and their website is translated into Mandarin, Chinese and Japanese. We also saw great possibilities for our new proposed MA in Sports Journalism.’
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