"Shocked", "disheartened", "sad": IIJNM alumni react to news of Journalism school's closure

"Dean of the institute Kanchan Kaur ma'am is my idol. In addition to many other things, she taught us how to behave, interact with others, stand our ground, and make a point truthfully," said Bajpai, an alumna of the institute
This is what they had to say
This is what they had to say (Pic: EdexLive Desk)

"Shocked", "disheartened" and "sad" were the three adjectives students of the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM) near Bengaluru used while expressing their profound sadness regarding the closing down of the institute. 

One of India's most renowned Journalism schools has closed its doors. Whether it is for this academic year or otherwise is the question on everyone's mind.  

"We were all rather taken aback. At IIJNM, the first lesson we learned was to double-check the news. Thus, even after learning about the situation, we weren't certain if it was real or a prank. We were informed by the faculty of the administration that the institution is not closing down permanently and that the decline in admissions this year is the only reason that they are shutting down for this year," said Snehi Shah, a student of batch 2022. 

Similarly, students Swalpi Bajpai, Batch of 2019 and Abhishek Sarkar, Batch of 2017 said the news was disheartening and sad.

"It is unfortunate for the budding aspirants. Now, what about their future? With its professional experience and unique courses, IIJNM undoubtedly has had an impact on students. The enrolled students will be left behind without any option," Sarkar emphasised.

Going back to IIJNM

Recalling their college days at the institute, the former students shared endearing experiences at IIJNM. Sarkar shares, "I was enrolled in the ten-month course which felt like a two-year one because we were taught innumerable topics and concepts. With all the assignments, research, contact-building, and networking with officials, IIJNM made us newsroom-ready." 

For Bajpai, IIJNM served as a stepping stone for her career. "Dean of the institute Kanchan Kaur ma'am is my idol. In addition to many other things, she taught us how to behave, interact with others, stand our ground, and make a point truthfully," said Bajpai, who is working as an Associate Producer with India Today

"The teaching we were given at IIJNM was practical and hands-on. Journalism was taught the way it was supposed to be. For our very first task, we were given general instructions and for the rest, we were encouraged to figure it all out ourselves, for example, how to pursue the story, whom to talk to about it and so on," shared Shah, who is now a Business News Anchor at ET Now

Shah, who is originally from Mumbai, stated, "It was scary and intimidating at first, but IIJNM provided a reality check. We learned that this is how our life will be if we are willing to stay on-ground after being flung into the deep end." 

Bajpai states that she still reads the news first thing in the morning, a habit she picked up at IIJNM. "We adhered to this practice, which IIJNM had instilled in us. Every day, they used to give the first lecture of the day on what the news of the day was."  

Sorry state of affairs

"The institute opened its doors in 2000 and since then, thousands of students have graduated over 23 batches. Everyone was taken aback, including the staff, professors, and pupils," Shah said, adding, "In India, there aren't many prestigious institutes teaching Journalism. It would be a significant loss for both current and aspiring journalists, if IIJNM were to close completely." 

"It may be temporary but it is surprising to see an institute like IIJNM going through such issues," said a disappointed Shah. 

According to Bajpai, the world of journalism is volatile, unstable and demands a lot from a person. "It is necessary to constantly remain on your toes and be available. The work is not 9 am to 5 pm. Nowadays, many choose a simpler path or a 9-5 job. Therefore, the attraction towards this profession has come down," she said. 

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