THEY come to India from all over - from Africa, Latin America, Asia - imbibing skills, learning the 5 W's of journalism in a country widely recognised as having one of the world's freest and most robust media.
Every year, around 50 budding journalists from different countries come to New Delhi's Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) for a four-month course in Development Journalism.
Conducted twice a year, in a tree-flecked campus located in south Delhi, the course attracts a number of students, mostly from the developing world. Explaining the objective of the course, Sunit Tandon, director of IIMC, says: "Our Development Journalism course is meant for mid-career journalists who come mostly from nonaligned and other developing countries.
Our endeavour is to give an opportunity to them to develop an expertise in several aspects of communication and development."
The course which started way back in 1979 has been organised under the relationship-building Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme initiated by the Ministry of External Affairs.
It contains six modules: defining development journalism; role of mass media in developing countries; new technologies; various aspect of reporting and editing; economic journalism and media freedom, law and ethics.
By the end of four months journalism students become more knowledgeable about communication and development issues.
They also develop a range of skills - from analytical to computers and writing, while improving their competency in specific media streams.
In short, they become more well-rounded professionals as they acquire both theoretical and practical skills required for media practitioners in developing countries.
"Students come from all over the world, from Africa, South Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe," enumerates Dr. Sunetra Sen Narayan, ITEC Associate Professor and coordinator at IIMC.
While more than 44 institutes all over India offer different training courses under the ITEC programme, IIMC is the only institute that offers a media course which is conducted in batches of 25, starting every August and January.
For the students, this mid-career learning experience has been hugely rewarding. "The experience at IIMC is very useful.
"The course has helped me to understand different aspects of journalism as it is practiced in developing countries while different tours during the course have helped us to learn about India's rich cultural heritage," admits Mohammed Humayun Kobir from Bangladesh who has just completed the course.
"Inevitably after the course, our alumni always report back to us when they get back home.
"They tell us about either switching to more lucrative jobs or to jobs that they are more interested in as a result of participating in the IIMC course.
"They all stay in touch.
It makes us feel so proud," Tandon says.