TOI launches 'I Want to Be an Editor' campaign

By Sumantha Rathore , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | November 16, 2009
The campaign, launched by The Times of India, will culminate in various sections of 14 editions of the newspaper being produced by 12 school kids

After the path breaking Teach India and Lead India campaigns by Bennett Coleman & Company (BCCL), the group has rolled out another campaign targeted at the young ones of the country. The 'I Want to Be an Editor' campaign, which kicked off on Children's Day (November 14), will reach out to 600 schools across the country, including a hundred each from Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bengaluru, from November 20.

Done in collaboration with MetLife Insurance, I Want to Be an Editor will take the school kids on a month and a half long project which will test their potential, offer them a close encounter with known personalities and give them hands-on experience of producing a newspaper.

The group has roped in renowned quizmaster and television personality Derek O'Brien for the initiative. Students of standards V to IX will be eligible for the contest and will be selected by the team of O'Brien on the basis of their knowledge on contemporary issues, grammar and written communication.

The shortlisted candidates will be further fanned by the class teachers, who will select six students from their respective schools. By the first week of December, the group is aiming to pit 600 semi-finalists against each other in an inter-school, intra-city and on the spot grand finale, which will comprise journalistic and GK quizzes. The semi-final will take place simultaneously in all the six cities, with 100 students participating from each city.

Two finalists will be chosen from each city, making a total count of 12 students. Led by former President Dr. APJ Kalam, the team will understand the nuances of the business from some of the inspirational figures from different walks of life, including science, technology, education, sports, entertainment and business.

Talking about the initiative, Rahul Kansal, chief marketing officer, BCCL, says, "Derek will hold quizzes to gauge the potential of the kids and enhance the qualities needed to be a good editor. After the selection, the kids will get special grooming sessions by Dr. Kalam and four other eminent people from various walks of life."

Kansal informs that the finalists will be given a week-long training on how to produce the paper. "These teenagers will produce a few sections including science, technology, education, sports, entertainment and business, along with each of the four icons of TOI," adds Kansal.

Kansal adds that through this effort, the group hopes to give tomorrow's generation an opportunity to voice their thoughts.

The exercise will culminate in a special edition of the TOI on January 4, 2010, where the above mentioned sections in all 14 main editions of the paper will be produced by the selected student.

© 2009 afaqs!