BSP is the official student media body of IITD and covers everything that happens here. It consists of journalists, technical editors, and web editors from the second year, chief editors from the third year, and Gsec/DGsec from the fourth year.
In BSP, work is divided on a voluntary basis where projects are floated on main groups and interested people can join accordingly. The willingness to work is a bit low though, and the journos/techies need to be pushed and reminded continuously to do their work. According to sources, approximately only 40% of the team work regularly while others are much less active.
The chief eds are quite approachable and are open to the concerns of the team. Regarding feedback on articles, sources feel that some chief eds provide holistic feedback while others don’t. The Gsec/DGsec are always in contact with chief editors but there were a few complaints regarding the time they take to respond to requests.
On the chief-ed level, there is complete independence on article topics and their execution. Journalists are also encouraged to come up with ideas of their own, which are taken into consideration. There have been multiple series that were based upon the idea of a journalist or a techie.
Most things happening inside BSP are healthily communicated to the journos/techies. However, there are some aspects, such as awarding Journo/Techie/Web-ed of the month, in which there is a great lack of transparency. There are a lot of rumours regarding which work is taken into consideration for the same, leading to people wanting to work only on specific projects.
Transitioning to an offline semester won’t be a very big challenge as the work done by the team will still be in an online format. The only changes will be that magazines will be printed and various kiosks will be set up on campus where they can be accessed. Lastly, team bonding has been much better compared to last year due to an offline meet and higher informal interactions within BSP.
Note: Series and events conducted by BSP every year such as 2nd and 3rd Year Internships, My Experiments with IITD, Uninvited, Prof Next Door, Bluffington, Gazettale etc have not been explicitly mentioned in the Projects section.
Reaching out for Op-eds (Muskaan): The Director has been approached for an Op-ed on language inclusion in the academic curriculum for the upcoming inquirer and there are also plans on reaching out to many other professors and other relevant personalities.
Video interviews (Muskaan): Video journalism has started inside BSP and the convocation was covered in this manner by a group of journalists and techies.
Bimonthly newsletter (Raunaq): TL;DR is a new initiative that was started this year to cover all the happenings in IITD and outside on a bimonthly basis. It has been a huge success and is currently the most popular piece of BSP.
Increased coverage of events held on campus (Raunaq): Despite the semester being online, some campus events such as the Teacher’s Day function and the Convocation ceremony have been covered. The newsletter TL;DR has also briefly covered many college and campus events.
Assigning Chief-Ed mentors (Muskaan): A group of journos/techies were assigned to each chief editor to increase interactions. Although many sources felt that this did not really increase interaction, overall there were some positive effects.
Informal sessions between Chief Eds and Gsec (both): There have been regular informal sessions between the chief eds and Gsec/Dgsec which have helped in team bonding greatly.
Design Workshop (both): In collaboration with the Design Club, BSP conducted a design workshop for everyone in IITD.
Merging Literati with BSW (Muskaan): This was considered and it was decided that it would be better to conduct Literati (now cancelled) separately and not with BSW.
Assigning specific roles to Advisory Panel (Muskaan): This was something that was planned but has been cancelled since it was decided that the weightage of the advisory panel should not be increased.
Editorial policy to enhance the right of expression that previously required various approvals (Raunaq): The policy is complete and only needs final approval from the Director and Deans at the next SAC meeting.
HOD Series: Another new initiative that has been started involves taking interviews of the HODs of different departments to help people inside and outside the department gain insight. This series is currently in the works and many interviews have been taken already which are going to be published soon.
Inclusivity Series: A new initiative, this series consists of a collection of articles that are in the works about the impact of gender, sexuality, caste etc on life at IITD.
Interviewing the New Director: The student body’s questions for the Director have been collated and an interview has been scheduled.
Events on literaryarts (both): There were some issues with the funding of the website which are now being sorted out.
Online IITD Portal (Muskaan): This is currently being worked on by the web team. The backend part has been started and the process of applying for the various permissions required is underway. The beta testing should start soon in January.
Official record of work done by the team to be maintained by Chief Editors for purposes of transparency (Muskaan): This was maintained during the first couple of months, but then it fell out of practice.
Feedback channels between all tiers of BSP hierarchy, and between the readership and BSP (Raunaq): There have been two rounds of feedback from Journos/Techies/Web eds on Chief Editors and many meetings between the GSecs and Chief Editors wherein feedback has been shared on Journos/Techies/Web eds as well as on one another. However, there has been no official feedback mechanism between BSP and its readers.
Increasing coverage of PG issues (Muskaan): PG issue coverage was to be increased and some points were going to be included in Inquirer, but then more relevant topics which included both PG and UG were given preference.
Supplementing Inception with personal anecdotes from the team (Raunaq): This idea was overlooked while sticking to the Inception template.
Increasing the frequency and visibility of anecdotal series like Humans of IITD, Prof Next Door, Alum Album and Scholar’s Blog (Raunaq): This has not happened as Alum Album and Scholar’s Blog have not been executed this term.
Editorials by Chief Editors on campus events (Raunaq): This was heavily dependent on the editorial policy which is still in the works.
Reimagining Muse as an annual multilingual literary and arts journal (Raunaq): Due to a schedule filled with other events and initiatives, Muse was not conducted this term.
Crowdsourcing entries for Bluffington and other creative series (Muskaan): These entries were meant to be uploaded on the Literary Arts website, which has been on hold as mentioned above.
Interactive polls and stories on BSP’s social media handles (Muskaan): The main purpose of this was to enhance BSP’s online presence and create informal interaction with the student community. The bimonthly newsletter TL;DR fulfils this purpose, so this point was dropped.
Increasing events that include freshers, particularly pre-fest (Muskaan): Freshers events were planned for Literati, which has been cancelled. Also, freshers joined after the midterm.
First years as freelancers (Muskaan): Since the UG students joined after the midterm and are very new to BSP, this has not been done yet.
Assigning specific journalists to every board on a rolling basis to report new developments (Raunaq): This could not happen as most of the term was online, hence it was difficult to understand how and when a board was communicating. Further, most boards had reduced activity due to the online semester.
Workshops for the team on writing, editing, survey-making and analysis (both): This has not been done yet due to lack of time, and also because they were envisioned as in-person workshops.
Conducting Literati events in collaboration with other colleges (Raunaq): Literati has been cancelled.
BSP has had a productive year filled with new initiatives and publications. They have successfully created a well-bonded team and look forward to the upcoming months of the tenure.
Written by: Parth Singhal