He managed to make a journalism subject relevant to even the AV aspirants in class

Every other Sunday at Symbiosis Centre for Media & Communication, I sit huddled up in front of my laptop screen, typing, typing and typing. With a number of assignments that need to be done every semester, I have developed a ritual altogether. During the week, I think about how to go about my assignments and start typing out my thoughts. On Sunday, I finish typing and editing and celebrate by watching a movie after hitting “send”.

Then came Mr. Ramesh Menon for a course on Basic News Reporting. Having an experienced, award-winning journalist teach you is just one of the benefits of being in one of the best mass communication colleges in India. Being more inclined towards Audio-Visual Communication than Journalism, I was not particularly enthusiastic about this course. That is, until the first class which began with “Interviews: The art of conversation.” Mr. Menon filled his lectures with anecdotes and shared with us from his large pool of personal experiences as an author, journalist and documentary filmmaker. He managed to make a journalism subject relevant to even the AV aspirants in class. Then he gave us an assignment which entailed on field reporting on a Pune-based story. The assignment required research, interview, on-field reporting and even a little bit of investigation.

I teamed up with 2 other girls in class and soon began thinking about the various issues that we could report on. We went around the whole of Pune searching for a unique story. We had 3 major leads: a transgender salon in the heart of the red-light area, a possible strike by electrical workers and the land issues faced by the Sindhis in the former refugee camp turned community. However, the transgender salon was shut down, electric workers didn’t seem to know of any possible strike and the Sindhis were getting everything that was promised to them by the government and their life seemed to be too good to report on. We were exhausted already.

However, inspiration came to us very close to home. One morning, we left early for college and noticed the people cleaning our streets. Some carried a broom in their hand while others sat in elaborate machines that cleaned the street. We now had a concrete topic: Sanitation Workers. That week, we interviewed several street cleaners working for either the government or APCC (Adar Poonawala Clean City initiative) and focused on the health and monetary benefits that those working for private organizations like APCC were getting in comparison to those working for the government.

On the Sunday that we had to submit the assignment, the three of us sat together to write the article and design the layout. This assignment made me realise the amount of behind-the-scenes work that goes into a single article. That Sunday after clicking “send”, I did not celebrate by watching a movie. Instead, I went on to read, read, and read some more articles on various topics covered beautifully by journalists.

Article By- Sindhuja Desai (Batch of 2019)

Photograph By- Sindhuja Desai (Batch of 2019)