Knight Journalism Fellowship for Mid-Career Journalists

The The John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships has started accepting applications from mid-career journalists and journalism entrepreneurs for the 2016-17 batch.

About 20 journalists are selected each year. The best part of this fellowship is that you get to learn at Stanford University in Silicon Valley. It also comes with a sizeable purse ($65,000+), so you don’t have to worry about paying your bills while you are at it. JSK

This fellowship is given out every year to about 20 journalists from across the world. It’s highly competitive, but many Indian journalists have made it to the program before.

You need to come up with an interesting problem to solve in journalism. You also need to have 5+ years of journalism experience. For more about who can be a fellow, check out this link. If you are interested in applying, go here.


Call for Applications 10th ASEF Journalists’ Colloquium [Crisis Reporting]

The ASEF Journalists’ Colloquium, now on its 10th edition since 1998, will gather some 25 practicing journalists and experts from Asia and Europe for a closed-door, informal meeting to discuss important issues of common concern and its related media challenges.

ASEF Journalists’ Colloquium

The 10th ASEF Journalists’ Colloquium will focus on crisis reporting and what Asian and European journalists can learn from each other.

Travel to and from Luxembourg, accommodations, and conference meals will be covered by the organisers. Interested journalists can apply at

These Legendary Writers Started as Journalists

Reading surveys that proclaim journalism as one of the worst jobs in the world and the constant media bashing that has become the fad these days, one can easily get depressed being a journalist.

When I get into that zone, where I stop being inspired to do good journalism, or do the beat work that I need to, I try to remember that I belong to a tribe of great men and women who’ve inspired generations.

There are many I admire and look up to for inspiration. For this post, I’m just going to pick out a few great writers who’ve been journalists. Some of them died broke or depressed but they’ve made the world a richer place with their writing and journalism.

Christopher Hitchens: The ‘gadfly with gusto

Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011)

Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011)

Most people would say this about him: love him, hate him, but you just can’t ignore him. Christopher Hitchens was one of the foremost critics of organised religion and has had a great run as a writer. He began his career as a correspondent at International Socialism and moved on to various publications.  Hitchens died of cancer in 2011. For those who aren’t familiar, here’s a quick piece about him.

George Bernard Shaw: All great truths begin as blasphemies

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

You probably know Bernard Shaw as the playwright, the author of Pygmalion, co- founder of London School of Economics and a Nobel laureate. But you’d be happy to know that he’s done some journalism in his life. Shaw was a ghost-writer for a bit and later became a critic of the arts for various publications.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Gabo

Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1927-2014)

Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1927-2014)

Those who’ve read only one of his books would remember Love in the time of Cholera or One hundred years of Solitude.  Those who haven’t would remember him as Nobel Laureate.

“I’m a journalist. I’ve always been a journalist,” he told the AP at the time. “My books couldn’t have been written if I weren’t a journalist because all the material was taken from reality.” (source)

He is one of the pioneers of new journalism, or narrative non-fiction that I’m a big fan of.  Here’s a quick one by The Hindu’s readers’ editor you should read.

Erik Arthur Blair a.k.a George Orwell

George Orwell (1903-1950)

George Orwell (1903-1950)

What Orwell wrote in his novel 1984 is perhaps more relevant now than ever. It is also his most popular work. Animal Farm is the other. Orwell wrote articles for papers like Tribune, The Observer and Manchester Evening News. I recently finished reading his book Down and Out in Paris and London,  which narrates the days he spent with very little money and doing odd jobs. It was around that time he took on his first few assignments as a journalist. And here’s a fun fact: He was born in Bihar!

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)

Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)

Another Nobel laureate here. There aren’t many who haven’t read Old Man & The Sea. Some of it was taught in schools while we were studying. He wrote for a local newspaper, fought the war, authored books, was a foreign correspondent, covered the war and has many more creds to his name. His biggest gift to writers was his style– minimalistic and clean. He called it the iceberg theory. That is, facts should float above the water and the supporting structure and symbolism must operate out of sight.

Tip: The Hemingway app is one of the tools to improve online writing. It helps you write in a crisp and clear manner.

Mark Twain: Samuel Langhorne Clemens

Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Mark Twain (1835-1910)

One of the greatest humorists of our times served time as a journalist writing for  Virginia City newspaper, the Territorial Enterprise. Twain wrote mostly on travel before delivering Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn (the great American novel).

Image credits: Wikipedia

Also see: Best Journalism & Mass Communications Colleges in India

Best Journalism & Mass Communication Colleges in India

Ad: WordPress Workshop for Journalists: Setup & Run your Own Website like a Pro

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.

Asian College of Journalism (ACJ) in Chennai

Asian College of Journalism (ACJ) 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.

Official website.

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.

Indian Institute of Mass Communication in Delhi

Indian Institute of Mass Communication in Delhi

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.

Official website.

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.

Symbiosis Institute of Media & Communication in Pune

Symbiosis Institute of Media & Communication in Pune

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.

Official website.

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)

HatTip: John Thomas, Devina Sengupta.

Bangalore Based Citizen Matters is Hiring Journalists

Bangalore based Citizen Matters is looking for journalists. Here’s what they are looking for (from their website)

A smart, intelligent journalist to report for Citizen Matters, plus write news features and analysis on national topics for India Together (depending on the candidate)


* Full time reporting
* City-focussed news, analysis, interviews features
* Investigative pieces
* Hyperlocal news
* Data journalism


* Excellent command over English
* Should have read Citizen Matters and familiar with the type of content we publish
* Should care about Bangalore, related news and happenings
* Should love to read
* Kannada speaking a must, exemptions will be made in exceptional cases.
* Should be a self-learner, highly productive, efficient, capable of multi-tasking
* Skilled in communication and social media

Experience: 2-4 years, with exposure to news reporting in a magazine or newspaper. The ideal candidate has the stomach for hard reporting on tough issues, while being able to mix up his or her workload with feature writing from time to time.

For details, go here.

The Mint Digital Lab is Hiring

The Mint Digital Lab is hiring.

1. Front End Developer (Delhi): Send resume, cover letter and work samples to
2. Video News Producer (Delhi or Mumbai) – Business & Financial News
3. Video Editor (Delhi)
4. Camera Person/Videographer (Delhi)

For details, go here.

Government RTI Research Fellowship of Rs 2 Lakh for Journalists

The government is offering 4 short-term fellowships to researchers to conduct field based research on themes related to the Right to Information Act (RTI).

Anyone between the age of 25-40 from the field of journalism, civil society organizations associated with RTI, Researchers & Trainers in RTI can apply.

The 3 month fellowship will pay Rs 2 lakh in total in 4 tranches. Details here (pdf).

PS: The last date for application has been extended to 10 March 2014 (the pdf still mentions the old date).

The BBC is Calling for Trainees, it Pays Too

From the BBC site:

What’s on offer?

  • a one year contract paying £19k (non-London) or £23k (including London weighting) plus we cover some travel and accommodation expenses too
  • first-class training – led by the BBC’s College of Journalism
  • mentoring throughout the scheme from a senior BBC journalist
  • the chance to arrange a three-week work placement in an area of news of your choice during the year

What you need to apply:

To be considered for the JTS you need to be an avid follower of news. You regularly read the local and national newspapers, watch television and listen to radio. You also have an excellent grasp of social media.

There is no age limit and the scheme welcomes career-changers who have ambitions to work in broadcast news but have been pursuing a career in other industries.

More details here.

Changing the world of journalism? Apply to become a Knight Mozilla Fellow

Much of journalism has changed. Whatever is left of the old world order, is being hacked to fit the new world. Clearly, the future of news is entwined with the future of technology. And if you are a tech guy with  a passion for journalism here’s your chance to work with some of the world’s best newsrooms (NYT, BBC, Guradian…)

“Eight newsrooms around the world will be hosting Knight-Mozilla Fellows in 2012/13. Now is your chance to be one of them. Starting on April 9, 2012 and closing August 11, we are looking for developers and technologists who want to change the world of journalism for the better.”

To apply, click here.

To get involved with the Knight Mozilla OpenNews community, see site.

Asian Women Photographers’ Showcase: Call for submissions for 2013

Asian women photographers are invited to submit work for inclusion in a series of print exhibitions and projected slideshows curated by Yumi Goto (of Reminders Project and Photography Stronghold)  Exhibitions and screening will be part of the 2013 Chiang Mai Documentary Arts Festival held in Chiang Mai, Thailand from February 1st-14th .

The photo essays, series and bodies of submitted work may be about any issue, event or person but must have been photographed in the applicant’s native country. Completed bodies of work and ongoing projects are both acceptable.

Applicants who are ethnically Asian but were born outside of Asia are also eligible, but must submit a body of work photographed in their forefathers’ country. We have received numerous questions about this stipulation, so would like to provide the following random examples:

1. A woman brought up in France but born in Cambodia may submit work from Cambodia

2. An American woman with a Chinese mother and Filipino father may submit work from China or the Philippines

3. A half-Asian woman is also eligible

Please email Yumi Goto at if you have any queries on eligibility and she will be happy to consider your specific situation.

Submission guidelines

3 winners will get a print exhibition at the festival  – 7   finalists will get their work projected.

Deadline Dec 1st 2012

For more details see website.

Link via