The Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at Punjabi University was established in 1974. During the last 36 years of its existence, the Department has produced over 400 journalists who are now occupying important positions in print and electronic media. Besides working in various newspapers, magazines, radio stations and television channels, our students are also active in the fields of public relation, advertising and teaching. In the beginning, the Department offered only one-year degree course i.e. Bachelor of Journalism. Master's Degree course was started in 1984 and the students had the option to join one-year course of Bachelor of Journalism or to go for two-year course of Master of Journalism and Mass Communication. From 1994, the Department switched over to the two-year integrated course of Master of Journalism and Mass Communication.
The Department takes great pride in sharing that the students produced by this Department are serving almost all the media today. They are working in leading newspapers like The Tribune, The Hindustan Times, The Indian Express, The Times of India, Punjabi Tribune, Ajit and many more as Editors, News Editors, Sub-Editors and Correspondents etc. There are many others who are serving in leading journals. The number of our students working in leading television and radio channels has increased tremendously during the last decade. Many are working on very important posts in Indian Information Services and in State Government's Department of Public Relations. More than 10 students are occupying senior positions as faculty in state universities, whereas more than 15 are teaching in private universities and colleges.
Two prominent Fulbright Scholars from USA have served the Department. Prof Richard Buttny from Syracuse University taught in the Department for 45 days in November-December, 2003 and Dr Shakuntla Rao came to the Department for six months in 2004. She taught in the Department from September 9, 2004 to March 2005. Both the scholars contributed to the teaching and research in the Department. They have also been contributing books, CD's and DVD's to the Departmental library ever since they have left the Department. In 2008-09, Dr Buttny taught an on-line course to the students of the Department.
The Department has been collaborating with Film and Television Institute of India, Pune for the last 10 years. Almost every year, FTII, Pune organizes a workshop on television production for the students of this Department. The Department was the first in the country to take initiative in this regard and it was appreciated in I & B Ministry's annual report. Prof. Navjit Singh Johal did Film Appreciation Course from FTII in 1989. Dr. Bindu Sharma did this course in1998.
Nine students from Ethiopia, who came to the Department on Government Scholarships, completed their Masters Degree programme in 2000. All of them are working in various media in and outside Ethiopia. In the light of the high standard of this Department, as it has been duly projected outside, they were recommended and sponsored by their government for advanced training in this Department. Baruk Opio, a student from Kenya also did his Masters degree from this Department.
Students of M.Ed and M.A. Education of the department are placed as lecturers in the various B.Ed Colleges of Punjab. Students of the department get jobs in B.Ed colleges and govt. jobs at school level as well.
Under the expert guidance of Head, Dr. Harjinder Pal Singh Walia. a Video magazine "Sada Campus" has been brought out by the students of department of Journalism and Mass Communication. It is a fortnightly magazine covering all the events and activities of the University. It was inaugurated by Dr. Jaspal Singh VC Punjabi University, Patiala. This activity will make the students well trained and well enable them to creat a niche for themselves in broadcasting journalism. The Department is also publishing a Lab Journal on its Desktop, "Campus Times" which helps the student's to readily adjust themselves in newspapers and magazines after completing their course. Some of the students have also been picked up by various newspapers and TV Channels, even while they were studying. The Department is also bringing out special issues of this journal on significant occasions.
A book," Punjabi Pattarkari--Nikas, Vikas ate Samaseyavan" based on the research papers presented at a seminar (1992) was published by the university. Prof. L.R. Nagpal, a former head of the Department, Prof N.S. Kapoor, Dr N.S. Johal and Dr Gurmeet Maan, Dr Harjinder Pal Singh Walia have written/edited more than 10 books on various aspects of Mass Communication. They have written few books on Punjabi journalism also. All the faculty members of the Department have been regularly contributing to the Punjabi newspapers and magazines in addition to participating in radio and TV talks and discussion. In December 2002, the Department brought out "Samajak Vigyan Pattar's" a special issue on "Mass Communication in Punjab : Challenges and Opportunities". All the copies of this journal has been sold out and now the Department is planning to bring out a book based on the revised and updated versions of the research papers published in this journal. Dr. Harjinder Pal Singh Walia has written a book on development Communication. This book has been published by Punjabi University, Patiala.