George Sebastian,Dean, Mathrubhumi Media School

George Sebastian

Dean, Mathrubhumi Media School

Having been in the forefront of India's independence movement, Mathrubhumi newspaper has today grown to become one of the top ten newspapers in the country. Over the years this visionary media organization has proven its expertise not only in print journalism but also in FM Radio, TV channels, and online journalism fields, and have achieved positions of leadership on a national level. With the intention to impart the craft of journalism as well as to prepare young aspirants gain a competitive advantage in the ever-changing world of media, Mathrubhumi Group has taken up the responsibility to set up an exclusive media school in Kochi. George Sebastian, Dean, Mathrubhumi Media School says, “We believe that quality media education for young recruits is critical for the entire media industry. There are quite a few institutes offering courses in journalism, but I doubt whether any of them has an in-depth curriculum and practical exposure similar to the course structure of Mathrubhumi Media School. The course has been designed by taking inputs from academicians and senior journalists in the industry. Because of in-house capabilities in content and technology across platforms, hands-on training in all aspects of media is possible; thus enabling students to also gain the practical exposure they require for a wholesome media education.”

Combining practical inputs with the core principles of journalism such as respect for truth, the hunger to uncover, discover and inform, and the grit to tell stories, Mathrubhumi Media School offers several comprehensive courses supported by a best-in-industry curriculum for aspiring journalists. “At Mathrubhumi Media School, we adhere to the basics yet expose the new generation of journalists to the rigours of the fast-moving world of media. In a world besieged by information and misinformation, we strive to prepare youth to find facts, and present them with integrity and confidence.” George went on, “Besides the usual subjects that are taught in communication schools, we have added subjects like economics, Indian heritage and culture and ‘The World around us’. It is essential for a journalist trainee to have a thorough understanding of the environment in which they live and should also have knowledge about culture and tradition of our country and its communities,” he stated. Since the Mathrubhumi Group has an active presence in all the facets of the media industry,the students
of the Media School will get the benefit of participating in sessions led by experienced inhouse professionals from their own newspaper, magazines, online portals, television, radio,and events, as well as guest faculty from the industry.

"It is essential for a journalist trainee to have a thorough understanding of the environment in which they live and should also have knowledge about culture and tradition of our country and its communities"

Along with these, the institution offers various interesting sessions by senior practioners of performing arts from theatre and cinema. The curriculum provides insights into areas like investigative journalism, feature writing, interview techniques, sports journalism, where seasoned journalists and writers share their insights and have interactivesessions with students. Well known trainers conduct seminars on personal etiquette and communication skills. Breaking conventional classroom teaching methodology, Mathrubhumi Media School promotes self-discovery and improvisation through group discussions and interactive workshops. Describing more about the institute’s unique way of teaching, George reveals, “Mathrubhumi Media School prides itself in combining theoretical knowledge along with hands-on media experience. For instance, Mathrubhumi conducts prestigious events like Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters, where students get the opportunity not only to attend sessions by national and international celebrity authors, poets and other literary figures; but also learn to put together news reports and publish a daily bulletin during the four days of the Literature Fest. Quite a few students obtained the privilege of earning their first by-lines by covering the event and contributing
reports to Mathrubhumi newspaper, our online edition and to Mathrubhumi News television. This is just one example of students getting the benefit of experiential learning. They will also have the opportunity of associating with the World Congress of the International Advertising Association being held at Kochi.”

Currently, Mathrubhumi Media School conducts one year full-timepost graduate diploma course with two options for specialization; ie, in print or broadcast. As part of the course, students get the opportunity of visiting Mathrubhumi Television`s studios, which is perhaps one of the most modern broadcast facilities in the country. They have actually been taken to the printing press late at night to witness the printing process of the newspaper, starting from page-making, preparation of plates,and printing of the newspaper on the Japanese TKS high-speed web offset press, and the operation of the modern Ferag Mail Room Solution comprising of Inserter, Counter and Wrapping of the newspaper bundles ready for
despatch – enabling timely operation without human intervention. Furthermore, Mathrubhumi’s CLUB FM studios offer students an insight of FM radio broadcasting; sessions by RJs, programme executives and business managers; giving students an insight into the operations of CLUB FM – Kerala`s most favourite FM frequency. In addition to all these, the institute’s lab journal 'The Spectator' is completely produced by the students, which enable them to put their knowledge into practice in the areas of writing, composing, page layout & design, and photography.

Mathrubhumi Media School’s distinguished faculty includes professionals with doctorates, who are drawn from print and the audio-visual industry with experience in teaching. Several others are research scholars pursuing their Ph.D. Besides teaching, the faculty of Mathrubhumi Media School has a role of mentoring the students; many of whom are from outside the city, and the faculty will offer assistance wherever required. “We are in the first year of the Media School operations and we will certainly make the courses up-to-date as we go on by including new subjects," George summed up. Already students have been taught the basics of pre-press workflow (Pagination & Content management) software like INDESIGN and ATEX, and television newsroom computer software including DALET. For the next academic year starting August 2019, the admission process will begin in June 2019; the batch will have 60 students. Admissions will be on the basis of written test, group discussion, and interview. We intend to initiate a course in digital journalism. We look forward to introducing more courses that are relevant to our times; as mechanics of content delivery undergoes transformation, as entertainment develops new programme formats, and as fresh media platforms emerge,” Mathrubhumi Joint Managing Director, Mr M V Shreyams Kumar is emphatic when he states that we have to equip fresh practitioners of media in latest ways to focus on creative narration, a marriage of cutting edge technology and the primordial human urge to listen to well-told stories. This reflects the commitment of Mathrubhumi Media School to media education.

George Sebastian, Dean, Mathrubhumi Media School
George Sebastian has thirty-eight years of experience in media. He has worked with almost all media platforms like Print, Television, and Radio. Prior to joining Mathrubhumi Media School as Dean, he worked in several reputed media organizations such as MTV, Hinduja Media Group, The Times of India, India Today, Business Standard and Mathrubhumi. He has been actively involved in academics and industry
training forums. George Sebastian was a member of the managing committee of the Bombay Ad Club, Association of Radio Operators and Media Research Users Council.