The Jindal School of Banking & Finance (JSBF) and the Jindal School of Journalism & Communication (JSJC) have jointly launched India’s first postgraduate diploma in Data Journalism – a Residential PG Diploma for recent graduates and an Executive PG Diploma for working professionals. Students will learn industry-relevant programming languages and practitioner-oriented analytical and visualisation tools (including R and Tableau) in addition to courses such as journalism ethics and writing, business and financial markets, primer for journalists and media professionals in Statistics-Analytics-Finance-Economics (SAFE), and courses on socioeconomic and political issues of contemporary relevance in India and the world.
In the launch event held virtually on 27 January, a keynote address was delivered by distinguished Prof. Steve Doig from the Walter Cronkite School for Journalism at Arizona State University, USA, and a special address was delivered by Ms. Rukmini S., an award-winning writer who is one of the pioneers of data journalism in India. Using data is not only routine for journalists in the newsroom and data experts in industry and government agencies but also a driving force in storytelling and fact-based reporting as technology platforms, data methodology and data sources continue to evolve.
Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, Founding Vice Chancellor, JGU said on the occasion: “There have been numerous instances of journalistic investigation of the leakage of confidential information such as Paradise Papers where analysis of large amounts of data was carried out by journalists. In the future, the skills needed to crunch large data while ensuring that journalists speak truth to power will be extremely critical. The PG Diploma in Data Journalism offered JGU will create a new generation of journalists who will benefit from an interdisciplinary curriculum that promises to infuse much-needed data skills.”
Professor Tom Goldstein, Dean, JSJC said: “As technology continues to disrupt, the future of the industry will depend on what professionals in journalism, media and communication learn now. Offering a Data Journalism programme puts JGU on the cutting edge. It will help people not only face the future but create it.”
Professor Ashish Bharadwaj, Dean, JSBF, observed: “The vision of India’s first PG Diploma in Data Journalism is reflected in its unique curriculum. The two specialised schools of JGU together want to provide a practitioner-oriented training using an approach that involves not just data-driven research skills but also techniques from several disciplines, including computational data science, critical thinking, statistics, fundamentals of finance and data visualisation to tell an exciting story.”
In his keynote address, Professor Steve Doig said: “Data stories that the graduates of this programme will do will inspire other Indian journalists to learn such valuable skills, and the practice of data journalism will spread here in the USA and some other parts of the world. I look forward to seeing that happen.”
In her special address, Ms. Rukmini S. said: “It is important to think about power and privilege even when it comes to data and data journalism. I’m excited that this programme is centred in a university that has so many different disciplines to offer including politics, law, finance, etc. The students will learn important skills and they will make great journalists for newsrooms.”