Friday, October 26, 2012

A college newspaper professional journalists will be proud of

The second issue of The Chronicle, produced by the First Year students of Commits, arrived on the evening of October 16 and what a brilliant issue it is!

Congratulations are in order to all who made such a HUGE effort to ensure there's something for every reader on every page. This eight-page issue (with a two-page "Commits Chronicle" section) not only looks good but also "reads good".

The First Years have raised the bar again!

Three cheers and two thumbs up for the co-editors, writers, layout artists, photographers, illustrators, proofreaders... and everyone else who provided moral support and encouragement.


And now to take a closer look at the newspaper:

ON PAGE 1 (see below)
1. A must-read inspirational lead story by Second Year AVC student ANKITA SENGUPTA, an inspiration to women everywhere. I salute her courage in doing what she did and then agreeing to write about it. (I want to add here that her interview with Lesle Lewis in the previous issue of The Chronicle was something a professional journalist would have been proud of.)

2. A gutsy and thought-provoking piece by NATASHA REGO on "18 Again" and other so-called "woman empowerment" products.

3. SONAKSHI NANDY's personal take on sharing her Facebook password with her mother.

ON PAGE 2 (see below)
An unusual heart-felt feature by NINNITA SAHA on the advantages and disadvantages of being an only child. Plus, two stories continued from the front page.

ON PAGE 3 (see below)
Four intelligently written articles that combine wit, irony, and sarcasm. And the topic? Men and women and the gender wars. And the writers? ABHILASH PAUL, ANJALI SURESH, SONAKSHI NANDY, and RAJARSHI BHATTACHARJEE. And the accompanying illustration, which is the best I have had the privilege to publish in the college newspaper EVER, is by SNEHA SUKUMAR.

ON PAGES 4-5 (see below)
1. A report by ANKITA MITRA on the exciting quiz conducted at Commits by senior media professional and veteran quiz master Pratibha Umashankar.

2. The three co-editors MAITREYA J.A., NATASHA REGO, and SONAKSHI NANDY share their experience of working on their first issue of The Chronicle.

3. "Notable & Quotable" interesting highlights of events and happenings, at Commits and in the lives of Commitscions.

ON PAGE 6 (see below)
1. "Aftertaste convinces you that power can blind any human being. Even a mother." POORVI KOTHARI reviews Namita Devidayal's best-selling novel.

2. Manga fan(atic) SAUMYA IYER gives us the lowdown on the Japanese comics that have gained popularity the world over.

3. RAJARSHI BHATTACHARJEE reviews How Will You Measure Your Life?, a book that will help you to "understand what counts".

4. The editors pick the books they love and the books they don't. (They know how to stoke a controversy, don't they?)

ON PAGE 7 (see below)
1. Think seriously about playing Scrabble on Facebook and doing something useful on the social networking site
— for a change. That's good advice from MAITREYA J.A., who elaborates on this theme in the lead piece.

2. The always popular "Horror-scope", written in limerick form this time by LEANNE PAIS and SAUMYA IYER. Read the dire "predictions" to understand why this column is called "Horror-scope".

3. Check out the Clueword, put together by MAITREYA J.A. give your grey cells a light work-out.

ON PAGE 8 (see below)
1. Yes, girls love playing video games. And they love blowing up things, too, ANKITA BHATTACHARJEE and RISA MONICA KHARMUTEE tell us.

2. A first-hand report by SWATI GARG and LYNSIA PATRAO on why playing Laser Tag is "a lot of fun".

Now, back to ANKITA SENGUPTA's incredible Page 1 story and the many encouraging comments that have been pouring in. Here are a few of them:

Commitscion NEHA MEHTA KOTHARI (Class of 2010): Read Ankita's story and I must say hats off! Girls like her should be a big deterrent to those who misbehave with women. I'm so proud we have people like Ankita around. I hope all the Commitscions will take some inspiration from her and teach the "over-smart" guys a lesson.

VENKATESH BALIGA (Software professional): WOW! Very Happy to know that JHANSI KI RANI still exists.

SANJAY BHATT (Seattle Times journalist): Wow. She showed some guts to stand up to this and even more to share her story with the public. Thanks for sharing.

Commitscion MONIKA KHANGEMBAM (Class of 2012),  posted on Ankita Sengupta's Facebook wall: Sweetie, I just read your piece in The Chronicle and I must tell you I am so proud of you! What you did was exceptionally brave and trust me many of us cannot muster that courage. Be brave, strong and smart, as always. All the best. :)

SHAGORIKA EASWAR (Senior journalist and editor of two Toronto-based magazines): Oh, wow! Good for Ankita! There aren't too many young girls/women who would dare do what she did for the reaction she provoked is all too common. The victim is made to feel dirty. We have all heard/read of the revictimisation that goes on and the initial reaction of the bystanders and cops sent shivers down my spine. But the spunky kid stood up to them all alone at that. It's easier to feel brave with a back-up. Give her a big high five from me!

CHANDRAN IYER (Senior journalist, former editor of Mid Day, Pune): Wonderful. India needs more such women.

MARIANNE DE NAZARETH (Senior journalist and Commits guest faculty): Good for you, girl! More power to your pen and to your empowering of women who would normally have backed off and kept quiet.

ASHISH SEN (Communications professional, theatre personality, and Commits guest faculty): Congratulations, Ankita! This IS inspiring. 

VASANTHI HARIPRAKASH (Independent journalist, documentary filmmaker, and media trainer): Damn good one! Here is a promising journo.

AMIT NAIK (Pharma professional): Atta Girl!

JESSU JOHN (Communications executive): Yes, atta girl. Very proud of you.

VIDYA NAYAK (Homemaker): God bless you Ankita. You have made all women proud!

Commitscion ANKITA BHATTACHERJEE (Class of 2014): This is one awe-inspiring article!

Commitscion ARPAN BHATTACHARYYA (Class of 2010): Good on you, Ankita. And I'm glad you didn't leave all the reprimanding to the police. A nail is a small price to pay.

RAJEEV GUPTE (Merchant navy captain): A girl full of guts and grit.

MAIMUNA MOTAFRAM (Homemaker):  Am so proud of Ankita. May other girls learn to emulate her in similar circumstances and stand up to such reprehensible behaviour with the same courage and guts.

  • Along with pursuing her Master's at Commits, Ankita Sengupta has been working as a freelance journalist with Deccan Herald. Like the good professional she is, Ankita knows she has to deliver the goods; if her commissioning editor wants her to write about fashion trends, then that is what she will write about. So last month, Ankita turned in a piece about shrugs. This month, Deccan Herald published her feature on jeans; and she has just submitted, at the commissioning editor's request, an in-depth piece on how women can get ready for work in a jiffy. At the same time, she is hoping to publish her story about dragging the molester to the police in Tehelka's "Personal Histories" section. We wish you all success, Ankita!

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