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STUDENT SPEAK
20 Jul
SPICE MUMBAI: Launch of the New BMM Course & New Academic Year 2018-19

In Blog

St Pauls Institute of Communication Education, Mumbai held their ‘Inauguration Day ’ on Monday, July 16, 2018, to celebrate the launch of the new Bachelor of Mass Media (BMM) course and the inauguration of the new academic year 2018-19. The BMM undergraduate degree, affiliated to the University of Mumbai, is offered exclusively for ‘Women Students’. About 220 guests, students, faculty, parents and well-wishers of the institute and Society of St Paul, attended the ceremony.

During the ceremony, attended by Rev. Fr Varghese Gnalian, Provincial Superior, Society of St Paul; Rev Fr. Dr. Dominic D’Silva, Director- St Pauls Institute of Communication Education; Chief Guest Ms. Faye D’Souza, Executive Editor, Mirror Now; and  Dr. Sunder Rajdeep, Chairman- Board of Studies, University of Mumbai; students, parents, faculty got to know about the new academic year in store at the institute.

The ceremony commenced with a prayer urging us to be ‘the light’ which encouraged students to put  their talents for the betterment of society. This was then followed by the ceremonious lighting of the lamp by all the dignitaries.

After an introductory speech by Rev Fr. Dominic D’silva , Director, spoke about his high hope for communication media research, with its impact on communication today & its ability to influence society , and the institute’s plan and processes in place to help students build successful media careers.

Speeches by distinguished guests continued. Rev. Fr. Gnalian spoke about the Pauline Communication Mission, the vision and mission and the tie in with media- studies today. He also blessed the institute, the chief guest, other dignitaries and audience members, while declaring the new academic year open.

Then Chief Guest, Ms. Faye D’Souza (Executive Editor, Mirror Now) took to the podium to deliver the keynote address. A well respected journalist, she spoke about contemporary India and the role of the media today. She spoke about the role of the (educational) institute in training future media professionals; the power of ‘not hiding your voice’ but engaging in and questioning the discussions and decisions rolled out by the government and ‘powers that may be’.

Drawing further inference from the multi religious prayer, Ms. D’souza, expounded on being the ‘salt of the earth’, laying emphasis on ethics and conscience; the sense of right and wrong; developing a circle of influence, the attitude of hard work - and even the ability to spell correctly (drawing amused smiles from the faculty members in audience) - all the while ‘thinking of the job ahead of you’ as a media professional.

Dr. Sunder Rajdeep, with his warm and encouraging words about St Pauls Institute of Communication Education, spoke of the institute’s continued focus on media studies, to make media education accessible to all, especially- women. He officially launched the Bachelor of Mass Media program at this ceremony and presented Rev. Fr. Gnalian with approval letters to commence the new course.

Dean Carol Andrade, encouraged new students to participate in the learning process; speaking about impact of reporting, the influence media has over society, while focusing on the tremendous impact of the press-media-society relationship. She wished all students ‘Good Luck', telling them to prepare well for all the work in store for them during the academic year.

Fr. Francis Xavier, Asst. Director, delivered the vote of thanks and mementos were presented to the Chief Guest, the Guest of Honor and the Provincial Superior respectively.

After the inaugural ceremony, several guests toured the campus to see the state- of- the -art facilities, while some students waited on to click pictures with the popular, well respected and well regarded Ms. D’Souza.

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16 Jul
St Pauls Institute of Communication Education (SPICE) bags Best Vocational Training Institute Award.

In Blog

 

And the winner is….

How will you feel when your name is announced after these four magical words? Surely, you will be elated on your big win.

We hope you can imagine how we at St Pauls Institute of Communication Education, on receiving the BEST VOCATIONAL TRAINING INSTITUTE AWARD at the Edumeet and Excellence Awards held on July 12, 2018 at Hyatt Regency, Kolkatta.

It is such a big honour to be acknowledged by specialists and experts in the skill development sector, for shining in service to our mission-media studies. The recognition of our contribution to preparing students to be ready for the job reaffirms our resolve to strive in the areas of media studies and technology, ethics and social responsibility.

ASSOCHAM as an apex chamber of the nation has been   regularly   engaging   itself   with   the   policy   makers, education     bodies, social organizations, and international agencies, Institutes of Excellence to bring the desired reforms in the education sector for building an eco-system of sustainability both socially and economically. The apex chamber has undertaken many initiatives to bring reforms in education   especially in the country’s need to improve quality from early year on, the    gross    enrollment    ratio    in    higher    education, employability and skill development.

ASSOCHAM INDIA organised the Edumeet and Excellence Awards to take forward the agenda of quality and growth in education. There is a need to adopt a transformative and innovation approach to education, encompassing pedagogy, curricula, technology, partnerships to be relevant and Government of India is working towards it.

An achievement, indeed!

The contenders were all first class and outstanding in their field so we are deeply honored on receiving this award and recognition as the best vocational training institute.

His Execellency, Governor of West Bengal, Mr. K.N Tripathi said quoting a study that " we have 497 million people seeking education, who fall in the age group of 5-24 years, or about 37.1% of the country's total population. They form an important segment in accelerating economic growth.  Time has come up again in the present age to build modern centers of excellence which will put increased focus on learning outcomes''. H. E Mr. K.N Tripathi also released the ASSOCHAM Knowledge Report at the function.

Perminder Jeet Kaur, Director said, “ASSOCHAM is the oldest leading apex chamber of India set up in 1920 and it represents the interests of more than 300,000 direct and indirect members. Every year ASSOCHAM awards excellence that helps standardizes a service or contribution to an extent that it deserves to get recognition, fame and position in our social, professional and competitive environment.”

Swami Vedatitananda, Ramakrishna Mission Shilpamandira, Belur presented the award to Fr (Dr) Dominic Savio D’Silva of St Pauls Institute of Communication Education.

Rev. Fr. Dr. Dominic Savio D’Silva, is the Director at St Pauls Institute of Communication Education. A permanent Research Faculty at St Pauls Institute of Communication Education, Mumbai, he has also conducted research methodology lectures at the University of Mumbai.

He holds a Doctorate in Sciences of Communication from the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS), Rome, Italy, and a Masters in Communication from the same university. He has a Postgraduate diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication from Xavier Institute of Communication (XIC), Mumbai. He received a Trainer Development Skills Certificate from Dale Carnegie & Associates, Inc. and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety of the Federal Republic of Germany.

We would really like to thank everyone involved, especially the Society of St Paul, the team at St Pauls Institute of Communication Education, Mumbai- the management team, staff members, faculty, and the jury members and judges who did an amazing job of choosing from such exceptional institutes.

 

 

 

 

 

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14 Jul
5 reasons why crime reporters should have SOME knowledge of forensics

In Blog

In her blog, Pathology Expert, Dr. Amy Melinek, author of the best-selling book titled “Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 bodies and the Making of a Medical Examiner”, has included A Forensic Primer of Journalists in which she says,

“Forensics is complicated, and sound bites are few. But always keep in mind that you are exploring a story about a dead human being. You owe it to that person—and to your audience, and to the public record—to get the details of the death investigation rigorously right.”

Sadly, judging from the standard of crime coverage in India, one would imagine that this is an alien concept and that nothing is owed to the dead – or the living, for that matter. Given that crime is unendingly fascinating and that crime reporting continues to enjoy a high level of popularity even among journalists, this is a pity.

Who can forget the criticism of the media in its coverage of high-profile cases like the Nithari serial murders, the horrendous details gleefully uncovered by reporters in the murder and dismemberment of TV executive Neeraj Grover by Bollywood starlet Maria Susairaj and her then fiancé, the murder of journalist J Dey in Powai, and, most memorable of all, the killing of 13-year-old Aarushi and the family servant in Delhi in 2008.

In each case, hungry for so-called exclusives, the media wrote increasingly wilder and ever more sensational stories. In the Aarushi case, they resorted to absolute slander, conjecture, and speculation about the victim and her family.

They swallowed everything the police told them, attended every press conference enthusiastically and seemed to suspend both disbelief and common sense. The case resulted in the parents of the child going to jail, and it was only after they served four years did the High Court in Allahabad acquit them.

Ironically, much of the credit for their release is being laid upon the fine piece of investigative journalism and reporting in the case by another journalist, Avirook Sen, but that is another story.

In the Dey case, similar wild conjecture resulted in another journalist being imprisoned without bail. She was released last year, but the case is on-going.

In the Neeraj Grover case, the media enthusiastically reported that the body of the victim had been chopped into 300 pieces! Did anyone actually stop to count? At which point was this done, when the remains were found in two bags far from Mumbai? Where did they get this information – from the police or the accused? Nothing was clarified, no follow up done on this vital piece of information. The alleged apathy of the police.

Some years ago, South Mumbai was transfixed by reports that small children were turning up dead near the shanty towns of Gita Nagar in Cuffe Parade. There were few resemblances between the cases, but the idea of a serial killer on the prowl proved too rich for the media to resist.

Then followed highly critical reports on the alleged apathy of the police, and predictably, the next reported development was bizarre. The police claimed to be picking up hundreds of men at random with the avowed aim of subjecting them to random DNA tests.

All of this was faithfully reported, as if DNA testing, which is very expensive, could be done merely to keep the media at bay. Again, no-one asked when the results would be available or questioned why the rights of these random men were being violated, in the absence of any evidence linking them to the deaths even circumstantially!

Forensics refers to scientific tests or techniques used in connection with the detection of a crime, and a reporter who wishes to develop as a crime journalist should understand this is a tool to enable truthful, objective and fact-based reporting. There are REASONS for this:

1.) You know whom to approach for a particular piece of scientific information. Thus, understand that a coroner gives you the status of a body, but a medical examiner will be able to elaborate on the coroner’s report and tell you the exact methodology of death.

2.) Forensics helps you figure out differences in terminology. EG, a homicide is not the same as a murder. The first is a death at the hands of someone who may not necessarily even be charged if the investigation shows there was no criminal intent, or that the death was an accident. A murder shows criminal intent.

3.) Forensics enables you to ask intelligent questions. When you are told a man has been picked up for allegedly raping his own small daughter, ensure the facts are complete. Was the child examined medically at the very least? Has he or she been placed in a safe shelter? Have anyone’s human rights been violated in the investigation of the so-called crime?

4.) Forensics also have to do with some knowledge of the law and policing in society, hence a journalist reporting crime with an exposure to this discipline will be able to do a much better job than someone who writes from the perspective of rage or sympathy, or with a view to exciting the public as sensationally as possible.

5.) Finally, forensic tools enable best practices in investigative journalism, the foundation for any story that requires legwork and brainwork to write credibly.

This is not to say that crime reporting needs a degree in Forensic Science in order to be effective and beneficial to the reading public. But every reporter, faced with a crime beat, would benefit from exposure to a module on forensics as a journalistic tool.

Such a module would include core topics, like eyewitness memory, interviewing techniques, the difference between evidence and proof, and how to unravel the threads in complex cases, simplifying so as to keep readers informed and authorities on their toes. So that the journalist becomes a collaborator with police and law in the business of communicating the worst and the best aspects of society to itself.

In other words, to be a proper crime reporter, one must ensure that one is fair to one’s readers as well as the victim and the accused, for both are protagonists in the story of man’s inhumanity to man.

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12 Jul
8 Copywriting Tips that Will Make You an Expert

In Blog

Copywriting is nothing but Persuasion in Print.  To be a great copywriter, you need to constantly practice and work on your craft.

If you wish to get into advertising, you should definitely start working on copywriting from day one itself.

In order to improve your copywriting skills, here are 8 tips you should keep in mind.

Research like you do your dishes, Clean & Shiny

The best copywriters are the most tenacious researchers. Like miners, they dig, drill, dynamite, and chip until they have carloads of valuable ore. - Legendary copywriter Gary Bencivenga

Write a Thought-Provoking Headline.

Copywriting

Your content may be great, but if it does not catch the attention of the reader what is the whole point?

A good & catchy headline can grab one’s attention and all you need is a person’s attention.

If you cannot write a good headline, write the body copy first and then go back to working on your headline.

The Right Words, in the Right Context

Context is a spoken or written statement that introduces or follows a specific word or passage.

It is a situation that surrounds an event that explains a circumstance. How will you understand the second paragraph of a chapter if you do not read the first paragraph? 

The context needs to be intact so that readers understand the next line and are able to relate to the topic

Make it about your audience - write with your customer in mind.

Always treat your audience with respect. Do not put them off by talking down to them or by being condescending

Ensure your copy is reflective of this. After all, you need them more than they need you when trying to close a sale.

Do not address your readers as a group. Pretend you are writing only for one person at a time. YOU is the keyword here.

Write often. Every day if possible.

Writing is like learning to play an instrument. They both require disciplined & dedicated practice. Like exercising your fingers when you play the Guitar or the Piano.

Research & learning can only get you so far. Eventually, you have to sit down and write, and the more often you do that, the better you will get at it.

“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” – John Steinbeck

Simplify your content for a better reader experience

When you write in plain language, your target audience can easily read, understand and take action the first time they read your content.

Writing plainly erases vagueness. You save your readers a lot of time and effort, which means your customer support team spends less time clarifying confusing content

Use words people would say out loud.

Try words like "use" instead of "utilize," "about" instead of "approximately" and "try" instead of "attempt."

Rely On Visuals

Gone are the days of text-heavy pages with dense paragraphs and wordy explanations. Today, leading brands subscribe to the theory that a picture is worth a thousand words. 

Ask Questions - solve problems and create/ provide value

Questions are quite magical — they interact with our brain in an entirely different way than statements. They engage us & get people to do things we want them to do.

As a writer, your most important responsibility is to capture & keep the attention of your readers. That is why it is important to vary the length of your sentences, so you keep it interesting & easy to read.

Use a Powerful Call-to-Action

Make it irresistible by using clever call-to-action that inspires a reader to react. Powerful words, affirmative statements or questions, and subtle closing lines are all necessary for great copywriting.

Here are some examples of clever call to action options.

1.) Netflix - Call to action button – Join free for a month

Netflix uses persuasive text to guide you to their free trial. They let you know how convenient their product is with the ability to watch anywhere as well as the ability to cancel if you are not satisfied.

2.) Ikea

Pop-up Call to Actions are more in-your-face way to get visitors to convert. They normally lead to newsletter sign-ups, downloads, or blog subscribe forms like IKEA does here.

3.) Uber- CTA Buttons: Sign up to drive | Start riding with Uber

Uber's looking for two, very distinct types of people to sign up on their website: riders and drivers. Both personas are looking for very different things, and yet, the website ties them together really well.

4. Instagram - CTA Buttons: Download on the App Store | Get it on Google Play

Since Instagram is a mobile app, you will see two black Call to Actions of equal size: one to download Instagram on Apple’s Store, and another to download it on Google Play.

The reason these Call to Actions are of equal caliber is that it doesn't matter if someone downloads the app in the App Store or on Google Play. A download is a download.

Conclusion

Copywriting is a skill that can take you a long way in the advertising world. 

The good news, however, is that there is a huge resource of copywriting tips available online.

Just keep practicing and follow these tips and you will definitely see a huge improvement.

)…

6 Jul
7 Steps to find the Perfect Internship

In Blog

Internships can be an awesome experience or they can be daunting depending on where you work. The perfect internship can make your career and help you accomplish wonders later in life.

But for those of you who have been living under a rock and don’t know what an internship is, let me simplify it for you.

The term internship means a student or trainee who works in an organization in order to gain experience or fulfill an education requirement, most often than not, without any pay.

Also commonly known as “FREE WORK or FREE EMPLOYEE” in the eyes of most students and low budget start-up companies, an internship can be a life-changing experience.

Agencies are constantly looking out for talented interns because honestly they are cheap labor, eager to learn, and are more often than not, easily dominated to do any sort of task however menial it may be.

However, from a student’s perspective, the right internship can lead to the right job and consequently to your dream career.

So let us break it down to a few simple steps that you must do in order to bag your “Perfect Internship”

Make a Solid Portfolio or Resume

It can be a bit challenging to make a strong resume when you have no experience to add.

However, that can be remedied if you take up freelance projects, volunteer in college or community events or do free online courses with certifications offered by many reputed online companies like Udemy, Hubspot, Khan Academy and so on.

All of this adds more value to your resume even if you do not have any formal work experience.

Publish Your Resume on Job Sites

With the explosion of the internet in India, you can easily use Google to search for job opportunities, however besides that; there are specific sites that dedicated for Internships like Internshala & Intern Theory to name a few.

There are professional social media sites as well like LinkedIn that you use to increase your connections as well as search for jobs and internship opportunities.

Career centers or Recruitment agency

Colleges or Universities have their own Internship Cells that can help you find the agency that would suit your profile and skills. These are generally handled by Staff or the Human Resource Department.

Every year there are plenty of Job Fairs conducted where various companies put up their requirements for an Intern. It is recommended to visit such fairs, as they will help you network & increase your options to various fields.

Financial Needs/ Stipend

Some internships do not offer a stipend. Others will just offer to cover-up your basic travelling expenses at an entry-level position.

You need to see if the stipend offered justifies the amount of work allotted to you. Before deciding to join the company or agency you need to make your mind up if you are comfortable with the stipend offered.

College Graduates or Summer Interns

Interning at an early stage gives you a better perspective about the field you might want to consider.

Placement cells provided by reputed colleges such as St Pauls Institute of Communication Education, Xavier’s Institute of Communications, Rizvi College etc. will definitely help you get ahead of the game compared to your peers.

Internship duration

Internships are mimic your actual job, which means your commitment level will be tested. So before you join always check the duration of your internship.

Each company has its own internship tenure.

Identify Your Career Interests

You will want to be sure before joining an agency if that internship will help you pursue your future goals or be of any help to you.

The point of doing an internship is to gain relevant experience in the field of interest. This will have a positive impact in your resume and help you landing your dream job.

Conclusion  

The right internship can open a vast number of opportunities for you. It does not matter if you do not have any formal work experience yet.

Community service, online certifications, college events, etc. can all collectively make a compelling resume.

Start implementing these steps from day one itself and you will see a stream of opportunities come your way.

)…

4 Jul
7 Ways to Identify Fake News on WhatsApp

In Blog

With the increasing instances of Fake News being circulated on WhatsApp, which has resulted in the violent deaths of 12 people in the past one month in India, the need to identify the authenticity of messages has never been more crucial than now.

In the latest case of mob violence, 5 men were killed by villagers in Maharashtra's Dhole district due to rumors spread on WhatsApp pertaining to child kidnappers.  

Even though the government has now sent out a warning to WhatsApp asking the messaging giant to stop the spread of fake and provocative news, it is our duty as users to fact check and verify information before spreading it on social media.

So how do you check for fake news in India? The task is not as complex as it sounds.

Here are 7 ways to identify if the messages you receive on WhatsApp are fake or authentic.

1.) Always Be Skeptical

Don’t take every message you receive on WhatsApp to be true, especially forwarded messages. Always be skeptical of the authenticity of such kind of messages before sharing it. It is better to wait for a number of media outlets to share the same news rather than sharing something that has not been verified.

2.) Perform a Keyword Search on Google

If you notice a suspicious message on WhatsApp and are not too sure whether it is true, perform a Google Search of selected keywords from that message.

If the information is authentic, a lot of articles will populate on the top of the search results.

You can then check the source of these articles and make an informed decision.

3.) Use Tools to Debunk Fake Images

Not every image you see might be true. There have been numerous instances of morphed images shared online especially on WhatsApp to insight violence or share a political agenda.

Fortunately, there are a number of free mobile tools available that you can use to verify if an image is real or morphed. Here are some of the tools you can use:

Google’s Reverse Image Search

TinEye

Fake Image Detector

All of these tools are reverse image checkers, by uploading an image on any of these tools, it will scan the internet and check if there are images similar to the one you have uploaded.

Morphed Image of President Jacob Zuma dancing up close and personal with singer Babes Wodumo shared on social media in 2016

If an image has been morphed, you will be able to see the original image in the search results.

4.) Do a Social Media Check

Check the social media accounts of institutes or organizations involved in the rumors. More often than not, they will try to debunk any misinformation spread about the company themselves.  

5.) Scrutinize the Headlines

If a message that you receive on WhatsApp has a headline that predicts a future disaster, there is a high chance that this is a fake message.  

I am sure you must have received messages on WhatsApp about the world ending in 2012? That is one example of a predictive message.

Does the content of the message make you angry? That could be a fake message too.

Scrutinize the headlines of every message you receive. You will soon be able to spot a genuine one from a fake one. Predictive disaster or messages that induce anger are spread just to cause panic and violence among people.

6.) Check the URL

Always check the URL’s links that you receive, especially the domain name. Most of the sites that spread fake or unverified news have ridiculous or outlandish domain names and are not well known.

7.) Reach Out to Fact-Checking Media Organizations

There are a number of outlets on Twitter like SM Hoax-Slayer (@SMHoaxSlayer), Alt News (@AltNews) and Boom Fact Check (@Boomlive_in) that constantly call out fake news.
 

You might have had the video on your WhatsApp by now. It's viral showing cars crashes into nothing or into a Ghost car which is not visible. The title says "GhostCrash" All these crashes sends shivers down the spine, looks so real, as if they crashed int… https://t.co/QrzfrazJn9

— SM Hoax Slayer (@SMHoaxSlayer) July 4, 2018

 

WhatsApp Fake News

 

Boom Fact Check Fake News

You can reach out to them if you find messages suspicious or fake.

Conclusion

Fake News can have drastic and often fatal consequences. It is our duty to be vigilant when it comes to sharing information online.

Always verify the source before sharing messages on WhatsApp and when in doubt, just wait to check if the news is shared on other popular outlets. Mass media can be a powerful medium, we should learn to use it responsibly 
 

)…

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