People often ask me which is the best journalism college in India? What are the top mass communication colleges in India?
I’m an engineering graduate and I learned much of my journalism on the job. So I didn’t go to journalism school, except to give a talk or two. To most people, my advice is to study any subject of their liking and then apply to one of the companies that you want to work for.
The best way to start is as an intern or a trainee reporter and work your way up. Much of your learning will happen at the press club over drinks, chai, smoke breaks or in the newsroom when the deadline is like 10 minutes ago. You will do alright even if you don’t have that journalism degree.
However, if you must, here are some of India’s best journalism colleges. This is not a scientific ranking, but is based on my talks with dozens of journalists who’ve graduated from these institutions.
Asian College of Journalism
I’ve interviewed a handful of journalism grads from ACJ and worked with dozens of them, some senior to me. By my reckoning it is the best journalism college out there. Most journalism aspirants from South India prefer to go to ACJ, which is in Chennai.
The college is run by Media Development Foundation, a non profit trust run by journalist Sashi Kumar, N Ram (of the Hindu group) and some of the best in the business out there.
Finding a journalism job won’t be difficult if you’ve graduated from ACJ, which was founded in 1994 by the Indian Express group (BD Goenka foundation) and taken over by The Media Development Foundation run by the Hindu group in 2000. It has a great alumni network, and you will find them in almost all media houses. Most big media houses will hire from ACJ.
This could be said of almost all other J-schools out there but I’ve noticed that ACJ graduates mostly subscribe to left of centrist views and are idealistic when the begin their career.
Indian Institute of Mass Communication
For students from up north looking for a journalism degree, coming all the way down south to Chennai might not be the best option. The Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) in Delhi is one of the top rated journalism colleges in India.
I haven’t met a lot of people who’ve graduated from IIMC, but the few I’ve spoken to have only good things to say. The college has a long history (founded in 1965) and offers various courses including post graduate diploma in journalism.
Besides training graduate students, it also teaches Indian Information Services candidates who subsequently take up various government roles where Information & Broadcasting is involved.
The institute also has centres in Dhenkanal (Odisha), Aizawl (Mizoram), Amaravati (Maharashtra), Jammu (J&K), Kottayam (Kerala). But Delhi is the mecca of Indian journalism so the campus gives you a lot more exposure compared to others.
Symbiosis Institute of Media & Communication
Pune based SIMC started around the same time as the ACJ. The college offers a 2 year degree with 2 internships and different streams. It does well during placement, top channels and papers hire from SIMC. The college has top of the line equipment for those who want to do a course in audio visual.
Pune has a lot of students, pleasant weather and great culture. It is close to Mumbai and yet, is not an expensive city. SIMC is a residential college, so classes can go on and on. The college had 98% placement in 2014.
Other top journalism/ mass communications colleges in India
- Xavier Institute of Communication in Mumbai (Website)
- AJ Kidwai MCRC in Jamia Milia Islamia in Delhi (Website)
- Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media in Bangalore (Website)
- Manorama School of Communication in Kottayam (Website)
- Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Delhi (Website)
- MICA Institute of Strategic Marketing and Communication (Website)
- Trivandrum Press Club in Kerala (Website)
- School of Communications, Manipal (Website)