Journalists are not just messengers, but are social warriors who need to exercise power and restraint in their profession in order to excel, said Dr. Aditya Sondhi, Additional Advocate General of Karnataka, recently. He unveiled the official crest of the National School of Journalism, Bangalore (NSoJ) during the first convocation ceremony of the institution.
Established in 2014, the institution awarded diplomas to the class of 2016 amidst an audience of students, families and eminent personalities. The entire program was hosted and organised by the current batch of National School of Journalism.
Mr. Krishna Byre Gowda, Minister for Agriculture, was one of the chief guests at the event. Talking about his experiences with ill-trained journalists, he said that institutions such as National School of Journalism were an exception where a prospective journalist were being equipped with the right ethics, attitude and knowledge. He said the country was being run on Jugaad (a hack), and even though it was a frugal way to get the work done, it never yielded greatness in the long run. Addressing the problems of the media, he said often profit and constitutional responsibilities made one befuddled.
Professor S. Sadagopan, Founder and Director of IIIT-Bangalore, who was one of the dignitaries present, recalled the symbiotic relationship between the media and Information Technology. He said journalists were word processors and added that while word count, microprocessors and software were hugely influenced by the media, the IT sector had made people’s lives easier. “News is often confused with views”, Professor Sadagopan added.
Dr. Sondhi, a close friend of the NSoJ family and a member of the advisory board of NSoJ, spoke warmly about how far the institution had come in a year, producing a batch of young journalists who were ready to step into the industry armed with pens and microphones.
Mr. H S Balram, former Resident Editor of The Times of India, and Director of National School of Journalism, said “NSoJ’s programme is a highly selective course that identifies and trains India’s best journalistic talents. Through print, convergence and broadcast we give students the best platform to start their careers in the industry and shape the future of journalism in India.” He greeted the graduating batch of 2016 and spoke about their transformation from shy students to confident individuals ready to face the world, equipped with the relevant skills and morals.
The graduating class of 2016 took an oath as they were awarded their diplomas. The current class of NSoJ presented a song as a small token of appreciation. The valedictory speech was made by Khushboo Aneja, who was presented with the Best Student Award. The ceremony was wrapped up with a few words by Mr. Timothy Franklyn, the Chairman of the National School of Journalism, who delivered a vote of thanks and talked about the potential of NSoJ.
The National Anthem was sung in Bengali the language it was originally written by Rabindranath Tagore.
Among other distinguished guests were Jayant Kodkani, Resident Editor of The Times of India, Seethalakshmi, Metro Editor of The Times of India, Ravi Joshi, Editor of Bangalore Mirror, Pradeep Nair, News Editor, The Hindu, and Dr. Abraham Ebenezer, founder of Ebenezer International School and former principal of Bishop Cotton Boys School.