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Grabs your heart and convinces your brain

John Tulloch is professor of journalism and director of the School of Journalism, University of Lincoln. He is also involved with the Chevening Scholarship’s ‘The Young Indian Print Journalists Programme’. Aanandika Sood spoke to him about good journalism and all that is new and happening on his campus

What is a good journalism school about?
A good journalism school has to have a definite approach to journalism. It has to believe that journalism has more to do than just acquire a skill-set. Our philosophy at the School of Journalism, University of Lincoln is based somewhere in the middle of English and Humanities. We are interested in the links between journalism and writing. We are interested in finding out how has journalism changed, its future, its role in the world.
A good journalist reaches out to the people. Good journalism embraces issues that people are concerned with. In our School the visiting faculty is a source of that. We have links with the BBC and the regional press and invite speakers. Students not only learn valuable lessons from such guest speakers but can also network after the talk itself.

Journalism in India. Comment.
India is on a growth curve right now. The universities here are out of touch with the real world. A lot of our teachers are working and they combine this work experience to teaching and research.
Good journalism should look after the range of needs of a reader. Over here, lifestyle journalism is looked at with contempt but services that provide good information to the reader such as information that will help him in his child’s education, planning his retirement etc. A newspaper should consider the social public interest dimension. It just has to be sophisticated in the way it is delivered.

What is new and happening on your campus?
We have just acquired a franchisee for five years for a 24X7 station. It will be staffed by the students and faculty of the media school. It will be a news station and transmitting to the city and 30-40 miles around the city. We have appointed a manager from the BBC and plan to involve various communities of the region with it.
Next we want to start a TV station, so that we have an active role in the community that we are staying in.

Last word on good journalism.
Good journalism is the one that grabs your heart and convinces your brain.

Until recently John Tulloch was chair of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Westminster. He has written widely on numerous topics including popular journalism, official news management, the development of ‘spin’ and press regulation. He is currently working on a study of popular journalism in the UK.

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