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Faculty in Spotlight

Dr. Eric D. Saranovitz

Dr. Eric D. Saranovitz, Richa Pant and Aarti Beetigeri talk about their teaching philosophy, Future of journalism and where J-education is headed...

My Teaching Philosophy

My primary goal for students is to get them to question the basic assumptions they have about the world around us. I have a student-centered approach to teaching, which means that rather than treating students as blank slates who need to be told what to do and what to think, I see my role as an advisor or guide who helps each student to develop and build on his or her own individual strengths. While I teach theory, I hope students can use theory to make practical choices in their lives and in their work. Working with what my students already know and with their preconceptions of the issues and topics that we are investigating, I am constantly looking to help them find opportunities of insight and understanding that they can apply to their professional and personal lives. I approach my
classes each day with the expectation that 'anything can happen', so student input and perspective is important in the process of building knowledge together as a class. As a teacher, it requires me to be vigilant and understanding of where students are, what they are thinking, and where we as a class are moving. In all of this, I am expecting my students to find their own voices as creative and holistic thinkers.

How does 9.9 SoC prepare students for leadership in journalism?

At the 9.9 School of Convergence, we try to take the best and brightest of potential media professionals and make them better by instilling the highest set of skills, values and work ethics in them throughout the year. While the curriculum borrows from journalism and media programs from around the world, we help students think about how they can adapt the skills and knowledge they learn in the classroom to the professional experiences they will encounter in the Indian context. Hence, through the combination of coursework and internship, we ask students not simply to replicate what is being done in the media industry today, but think of ways to do things better than they presently find, ensuring that they will be the leaders of the industry in the future. Our focus on writing gives students in all media fields the basics they will need to be the best storytellers in their chosen industry. Faculty members take a personal interest in every student, and try to find what most excites them, whether in their daily class assignments or in providing them with the best-suited internship placement. I think the fact that the school is in the heart of Delhi crystallizes the experience for our students, both in terms of excitement and diversity that Delhi has to offer and the access students get to both national and international media professionals and organizations in and out of the classroom.

What role do you think journalism plays in today's society?

The field of journalism is rapidly changing around the world. No longer can a journalist rely on a single set of skills or knowledge and hope to make a life-long career in any one medium. Today, expectations are that a broadcast journalist will be able to write in magazines and newspapers, newspaper reporters will be able to adapt their writing for the online space, and online journalists will be able to produce enticing stories in photographs, through videos and in writing. The era of the multi-media journalist is here! At the same time, the media world is globalizing, and professionals need to be ready to understand their changing audiences as a result. New technologies allow for new ways for the journalist to interact with the audiences he or she is writing for. Audiences are no longer limited to national borders so media professionals need to think beyond their own particular contexts. Finally, because the internet has given everyone access to all kinds of information, today’s successful journalist has to go beyond simply giving the facts and learn ways of becoming a compelling storyteller

Richa Pant

My Teaching philosophy

I love the profession and I try to communicate my enthusiasm for good journalism to my students. My class is not simply about learning how to use the camera or doing a great voice over or turning out a clean script; it’s all about being aware of the community we live in and the role we play in being responsible journalists. I encourage a friendly, relaxed atmosphere in class and my students learn the craft of broadcast journalism, through short exercises and practical experience. I promote self learning through debates and discussions to help my students think in ways and about ideas they’ve never considered, to help form their own individual world view. I believe learning is a two way process and I encourage them to take the lead, come up with ideas, and execute ideas under my supervision.

How does 9.9 SoC prepare students for leadership in journalism?

We at 9.9 SoC arm our students not only with practical skills they need to join the media industry but also give them a strong foundation in ethical journalism which
helps them stand out in any newsroom. We help broaden our students’ horizon by taking them to film festivals, organising talks on wide variety of issues by experienced journalists and experts. We aim to prepare a crop of young journalists who are passionate about their profession and who stand out as creative media professionals in every respect. We emphasise on out-of-the-box thinking and give our students an atmosphere where they can freely experiment with their ideas.

What role do you think journalism plays in today's society?

We live in the age of information. In an era of easy technologies and 24-hour news outlets, the face of journalism is changing as audiences get more sophisticated and even play an active role in being messengers themselves i.e. citizen journalists. Despite the ever-growing sources of information, there is increasing demand for accurate, independent and impartial news. Journalism continues to play a key role in our society, using its powerful influence to hold governments to account, expose scams and empower people and thereby strengthen democracy.

Aarti Beetigeri

My Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy is about sharing the wide knowledge and experience I have gained in my decade-long career as a journalist, with a strong focus on ethics, to help give India's next generation of journalists the best possible foundations for their career. I like to take a personal approach and give students as much one-on-one instruction as possible, to best focus on their individual learning needs and focus on their strengths and interest areas. I also give detailed feedback on class presentations and submissions. I work hard to build up students' confidence so that each and every one feels capable of entering the job
market, equipped with knowledge of what their best skills are.

How does 9.9 SoC prepare students for leadership in journalism?

9.9 SoC gives students access to a dedicated group of teachers. The small class sizes mean there is a focus on individual attention, with training tailored to the needs of individual students. With faculty from India and around the world, students have access to a wide range of experiences and instruction. Additionally, the internships and concurrent classes mean that students get informed from two sources at the same time: the reality of workplaces combined with the nurturing environment of the classroom.

What role do you think journalism plays in today's society?

Journalism plays a vital role in India today, particularly as it emerges as a global economic and cultural power. The media, being the Fourth Estate and the fourth pillar of society, serves as both the mouthpiece of society and a check against abuses of power. It's not enough to just develop the hard-skills of journalism, a good journalist today needs to develop a critical eye in order to assure that those in power remain responsible to the citizens.

TESTIMONIALS

SoC had some of the best teachers and the most interesting classes. For the first time in my life, I truly enjoyed education. Mahima Gupta

During my stint at ESPN Star, I worked on the convergence of editorial content for website, mobile and WAP – true to the spirit of SoC! Ranbir Majumdar

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