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The making of the SPECTATOR

As a teacher at the Media Studies department of Institute of Business Management, during Fall 2015 I taught a course called “Magazine Production”. At  the end of the course, as their final project, my students produced an online magazine called SPECTATOR. It is a very interesting effort with quality stories on diverse subjects. My students have done me proud. Do take a look and read/share their stories.

Apart from the more formal Editorial I wrote for, here is look back at how we spent these four months.

The making of the SPECTATOR

By Farahnaz Zahidi

There’s a story. And then there’s a story behind the story.

So there’s a story of 23 strapping young individuals, and a teacher, who met in IoBM’s media lab one September morning, and embarked on a four month journey. The magazine that you are now looking at, Spectator, is the end result of those four months, which I hope you will read and enjoy.

What happens in the media lab stays in the media lab. Well, most of it. But here’s the thing. The whole exercise of being a student or a teacher of media studies, or being a journalist or a media person, is the inner compulsion to share information. Here’s some info about what happened during those four months.

The “Magazine Production” course has been exciting, to say the least. A class full of strong-headed individuals led to passionate discussions, resulting in both agreements and disagreements, and above all learning to disagree with civility and mutual respect. We had an eclectic mix of people in our class. We had the ideological young man who intersperses sentences with revolutionary poetry and the quotes of Karl Marx. And we had a young lady (I use the word “lady” intentionally) who has this royalty about her, in a very amiable way that made us feel we need to become classier. We had the photogenic hero whose one liners and crazy humour put everyone in place. We had someone who does not believe in conforming to norms and does not get threatened with getting less marks, but ends up doing well nonetheless. We had the student who reminded us that the best things come in small packages. And we had the best CR a teacher can have, helpful and efficient.

Each one of them is special and unique and brilliant in their own way. The ones mentioned and the many not mentioned here.

Incessant chatting, poring over each punctuation mark, loads of work, listening to Farida Khanum with hushed silence during tea breaks, bonding by sharing stories of our lives, reiterating the love of journalism and the written word, and a whole lot of learning. The fact that we were all studying how to produce a magazine meant we were not limited to one topic or genre of news and storytelling. Thus nothing was out of our domain. Above all, by dividing them into small teams for each assignment, the art of working as a team was taught to the students.

I say “we were all studying” because I have learnt though teaching these talented individuals. For that I am grateful, especially to the Head of Media Studies for his cooperation, support, and for having the perfect understanding of how media studies works.

Each one of the students and the teams (editorial team, marketing team, photography team, design team) have worked hard and pushed their boundaries.

This initiative is a labour of love. Here’s to the Spectator.