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Scholar-Journalist of the Week: Inspiring stories of fearless women journalists

This week’s scholar-journalist Shivani Singh says it’s the responsibility of journalists to expose the truth

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First year student with School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC), Apeejay Stya University (ASU), Shivani Singh is from Punjab. The Apeejay students completed her class 12 from Kendriya Vidyalaya in New Delhi. In addition, she has also completed three levels (levels A1, A2, and B1) of French language course from the British Academy. When asked why she chose to pursue journalism, she explained, “I come from a political family. My grandfather was the Assistant of former Prime Minister Shri Manmohan Singh. My father was previously working with Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration and then transferred to police headquarters. From here I’ve got interest in politics and hence, I’m here.”  

Recently, the 19-year-old filed a webinar report on fearless journalism that was organised at her institute. The key speakers for the webinar titled “Invisible to Invincible” were three distinguished women journalists namely – Seema Mustafa, the Editor-in-Chief of The Citizen, Ritambhara Shastri, former Chief News Editor of the United News of India (UNI), and Naz Asghar, the Founder Editor of India News Stream and former Bureau chief of UNI, Delhi. 

In her report, Shivani encapsulated inspiring stories of these journalists who conveyed to the journalism students to practice the art of fearlessly reporting. Read on about Shivani’s experience:  

Your article has received great views on our platform. How do you feel?

When I got the news that I have been shortlisted as the ‘Scholar-Journalist of the Week’, I was delighted. It will be really beneficial in my line of work.

What is your idea of fearless journalism?

Fearless journalism, as I understand it, must be done correctly. I think fearless journalism is similar to fire – you have the urge to make a difference which may be difficult but it’s not impossible to master. For me, it simply means “truthfulness, factually correct, and unbiasedness.”

What is the importance of fearless journalism in a democratic society?

We’re talking about a democratic society, which means that the people are in charge. If we do not criticise the administration, they will not act in the best interests of the country. Even the Indian Constitution allows us to criticise the government giving us the right to free speech. If there isn’t any fearless media, then you live in a corrupt society. The media’s job is to expose the truth. 

Journalists you look upto or who inspire you?

Ravish Kumar and Seema Mustafa are two names that come to mind. This is because I believe they are courageous, fearless, unbiased, and they take a stand. They are fabulous.

What kind of articles/books do you prefer to read? Who is your favourite author?

My preference in articles would be current affairs or something on politics. Jumping to books, I like to read horror novels and historical books.  It’s difficult to choose the author as I find all authors are great in their own field of work. 

What does writing mean to you? When did you first start writing? Which was your first article/story?

It’s just a visible emotion as we are conveying our message to the world. The art with words is writing. I started writing as I joined my course with Apeejay. My first story or I would say I earned my first byline with my story getting published in Apeejay Newsroom. It was a report on the sports day organised by our university. Here is the link: https://apeejay.news/19468-2/

What are your key learnings from writing? How do you improve your writing as well as storytelling skills?

I am focused on enhancing my clarity of thoughts, communication, and critical thinking abilities. The learning doesn’t stop. With each passing year, I am looking forward to adding new skills, getting in-depth knowledge on various topics and applying those in my assignments and project work.

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.

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