Being a journalist had always been a long unfulfilled quest of mine, until I enrolled in the Asian College of Journalism in 2016. The process was simple enough, one can file their application online or download a copy and mail over a hard copy. I chose the former and sent in the requisite application fees as well. The application fees cost me around INR 2360 and the business, financial journalism streams are slightly higher. The MA (Journalism) has many streams which we can choose from the 2nd year onwards. For admissions, I had to appear for an entrance test and the rest, as they say, is history. I had to admit, that I had certain thoughts on what a career in journalism should be like, but ACJ surprised me on all counts, from the faculty to its infrastructure. Today, ACJ College stands out as a college of journalism, from the rest. It was established around 1994 in Bangalore. Since then, it was shifted to Taramani, Chennai to an 80-acre campus. The grounds are extensive and well designed. The ironic part is that the college was first established by the Indian Express group, and offered only print journalism. But today, it offers several streams, each being managed by a well-talented faculty, along with an exceptional curriculum, one that certainly helped bring out the best in me.
Although the ACJ only offered print journalism at the start, today it offers several streams. It offers MA in journalism with specializations in four streams, including print, business, television, and radio. I opted for business and since then, had never looked back. At ACJ, the course is divided into trimesters. And as a student, I learned about the basics of each stream, during the first trimester. From the second trimester onwards, we are encouraged to pick any one stream, from print to media. It was an enthralling experience and I certainly managed to learn the best, from ACJ. Today, it has gained a reputation as one of the best journalism schools, all over India. The college certainly has a great curriculum but what still stands fresh in my mind, is that as students, we were often encouraged to practice what we learned, in real-time. I as well as the others had to develop news items, on a daily basis, it certainly came in handy. I would rank ACJ 9/10 on academics.
The faculty here are both skilled and experienced professionals. They certainly managed to groom us while instilling the best in each one of us, while teaching us the ropes on how journalism works. From guest lecturers to core faculty members, the professors go out of their way to ensure that we are all well trained. As a news stream student, we were certainly taught by the very best, including BBC professionals to N Ram, the veteran Hindu editor, etc. The faculty rating would be 11 on 10 from my side because it’s impossible to find such loving and caring faculty.
As students, we are asked to pick electives in addition to the core subjects. These more often than not ensured our placements. As a result, some of the top companies in journalism from Wion, Republic to Reuters turned up for the interview. The college backed us and gave us ample training and exposure to crack such peanuts. I am calling those interviews peanuts as 90% of us managed to impress the recruiters and had a job post that which I boasted in not just my friend's circle but also in the colony where my parents stay. I would rank Asian College of Journalism placements 10/10.
On-campus hostels are available. The fees in my time for 1 year Period was 95000 INR. The residential campus for both boys and girls was inside the campus and because many North Indians and students from other parts of India show up here the mess was not a compulsory option. One had the liberty to arrange their food from elsewhere because the mess only served south Indian dishes and had Sambhar Rice almost all evenings.
One of the things that impressed the heck out of me was the fact that ACJ comes with an integrated newsroom. Apart from this, it came with several labs, furnished newsroom studios for in-house productions, camcorders, etc. It certainly has everything that a college of journalism must have and more. The campus has residential blocks for students and teachers. The solar panels are installed at all buildings and all the electricity consumed by the college is generated by them. In years to follow the college will produce extra electricity as well as that is the ultimate target. There’s one main college campus that has all the hi-tech facilities and most notable of them being a multi-media class hall. The library was well stocked but it lacked a study area. There were 10-12 video editing suites. Last but not least the auditorium was simply outstanding.
The grounds are quite extensive and the college comes with several facilities, including the unique MS auditorium. The 350 seater auditorium, by itself is quite remarkable for its unique design, which offers utter clarity of sound. The college also offers several events and organizes them regularly. I found the several field trips, interactive sessions to be worth it. It certainly helped me gain a foothold in journalism, today. On the whole, the campus was well designed, with wide, open grounds in a modern setting. The seniors were as helpful as anyone and the college fest which was the biggest charm was celebrated by students on a whole and everyone appreciated each other’s efforts.