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ACJ launches Integrated Newsroom

The Asian College of Journalism has set up a state-of-the-art Integrated Digital Newsroom in its Chennai campus. The Integrated Newsroom will be used to impart hands-on training to journalism students across streams to produce and disseminate interactive, multimedia content on web and mobile platforms. Unlike a computer laboratory or a classroom, the Integrated Newsroom has an open, non-hierarchical environment in which students collaborate and deliver fresh, relevant and meaningful content tailored for multiple digital platforms. The student will be trained in a newsroom environment to handle text, photographs, audio, video and interactive multimedia elements such as infographs, timelines, maps, charts, slideshows and web graphics which will be used judiciously for news storytelling.

The Integrated Newsroom is equipped with two video bays and one audio bay, besides 16 modern workstations, equipped with a wide range of software tools and applications necessary for producing multimedia content. Students and faculty supervisors get to use an interactive digital board for teaching, for exhibiting student work – either while in progress or on completion – for suggestions and critical feedback, for news listing and assigning work, and also for holding interviews in distant mode using applications such as Skype and Google Hangout. The newsroom with acoustics and lighting for recording and shooting has a large centre table which acts as a hub for collaborative work and four arms for workstations.

The primary objective of the Integrated Newsroom is to evolve journalism of technological convergence and multimedia storytelling. We will explore newer and more efficient forms, styles and language, of course, without compromising or diluting in the cardinal principles and core values of journalism. Ultimately this has to be about enhancing journalism, not about dabbling with gizmos. The primacy of journalism will continue to be emphasised and students will be encouraged to produce relevant, meaningful and in-depth content in a fresh, exciting and accessible manner. We are confident of evolving fresh approaches to journalistic practices which comfortably ride the digital technology without becoming enslaved by it. Through this initiative we hope to influence in a positive manner the digital journalism practice in Indian newsrooms. The newsroom of the future is work in progress and we are uniquely placed to shape it to the best advantage of journalism and democracy.

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