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Gone are the days when trainee journalists were given proper training like how one should go about an assignment , tap sources for story, build a network and write a proper copy.
My first day in my first office — Press Trust of India (PTI) — as a ‘trainee’ was an experience. I distinctly remember how I was striving to control my shivering legs and calm the chill down my spine in front of my boss who threw my copy a couple of times without even letting me know my mistakes. He just stared at me and wanted me to keep it re-writing till it matched his standards of perfection. While going on an assignment, I used to be grilled by him as to whom would I contact to get the required details for the story. However, he always used to assure me of his help before sending me on an assignment. Even he came to my rescue several times during the initial days of my professional life.
Do we have this kind of attitude in media offices now? Not the least. Actually, nowadays, there is hardly any training or guidance from seniors to the budding scribes. The boss believes in end product – the story –irrespective of the fact whether the reporter concerned has followed the “Code of Conduct” , “Ethics in Journalism”, “Rule Book” or “Style Sheet”.
I thought of using my reporting experience with students I am teaching or mentoring so that they get some basic idea about picking up right kind of assignments , making reliable sources and an effective network and then writing a flawless copy.
This section will be dealing with students contribution based on specific assignments. In return they will get picture by-line. In nutshell, a professional approach to mentor students and give them space here. Modern day youth is full of new idea and creativity, what they need is just a proper channelization of their creative energy so that they can earn a good name and be prepared to face the professional challenges ahead.