current events experiential journalism

Curriculum Based Experiential Learning

Learning Objective: Documentary Film Making

The experiential program in journalism offers real time learning in multiple apects of mass communication through a cultural osmosis experience. The learner during the expereince is immersed in local culture and traditions through a rich tactile, visual and kinesthetic interaction at a community ceremony. Through the experience the learner develops a deep emphatic understanding of the subject, historical significance of the ritual and the human emotions behind the practices.

This powerful and deep understanding could lead to journalism that is multidimensional, honest and compassionate.

Integrated Curriculum

An experiential program based in North Malabar is designed for students of mass communication who are required to create documentary films as part of their curriculum.

Through the experience the learners get an opportunity to experience the culmination of thousands of years of coastal culture while they interact with local communities and participate in ancient Theyyam rituals that are intrinsic to the identity of coastal Kerala.

Turning back the pages of time, the students also relive and share the horror and suffering of the ordinary people who are tragic victims of the Endosulfun Poisoning in Kasargod area. The human story of atrocities against vulnerable populations come alive through the experience.

The story essayed by the journalist in their documentary after this experience, brings to life the pain and suffering that the victims have endured for decades.

The Experience: 3 Aspects

  • Theyyam: From the jostling city of Bangalore the students are transported to this ancient ritual invoking the Gods. The sound of live drums beating, the energy emanating from the Theyyam Goddess, the scents stemming from the temples, the reverence of the people, and the powerful performance all form part of the experience. The students also experience shooting documentary films in the difficult conditions. Jostling for the right spot, the heavy traffic of people in front of their cameras, children trying to peep into their frame or the close proximity with the Theyyam goddess, all form part of the learning experience and offers a reality check into the world of journalism and filmmaking.

  • Endosulphan Poisoning: During the experience the learners’ visit the victims’ homes, interview families affected by the adversity, meet social workers involved with the cause and visit community initiatives like a school for affected children. The documentary film captures this expereince.

  • Bombe-Yatta: This is a Puppet Yakshagana art that is unique in its creativity and now a dying art form. The students experientially learn about Bombe Yatta, meet the man instrumental in preserving this artform, Mr.K.V Ramesh and create a documentary on this endangered art

About the Region

North Malabar, seeped in history, denotes an area covering Kasargod, Kannur and Wayanad Districts. . Rich in culture and tradition, it is home to the Kalaripayattu martial artform and Theyyam rituals.

Learner Profile

Journalism Students


Kasargod, Kerala

Group Size:



Oct to Feb


Customized Programs akin to this and around other specialization skills can be designed and scheduled to suit curriculum needs in your institution


Click here to read the Blog on the program facilitated for Students from Commits, a Visual Communication and Media College in Bangalore. The students completed their final year documentary project through the course of the experiential program.


Click here for You tube Play list of Videos taken at the Experience