In a unique collaborative effort, journalism students from 10 universities in eight countries kept the news rolling for twelve breathless hours online on Thursday, with each university pasesing on the baton to another with their live broadcast productions.

Students from the Asian College of Journalism (ACJ) in Chennai joined the 12-hour global news relay, which is the brainchild of Sarah Jones, journalism lecturer, Salford University, Manchester, United Kingdom.

Around 40 students of the broadcast and new media streams teamed up to create the hour-long broadcast programme, said Priya Rajasekar, Head of New Media Department, ACJ.

Tanveer Gogada, television student and producer, said that ACJ’s segment covered issues ranging from the Indian elections and deprivation to Chennai-based stories. ACJ’s programme alternated between video stories, studio discussions, phone-ins, and photo stories from Dhanushkodi in Tamil Nadu, Nate in Maharashtra, Chitradurga in Karnataka and Konthong in Meghalaya.

The news relay that began at around 2.30 p.m. (IST) saw participation from universities such as Manipal University, Dubai, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, Malaysia, San Francisco State University, and Volda University College, Norway.

Devadas Rajaram, assistant professor, new media department, ACJ, said though the content was local, it had been adapted for a global audience. “The focus is on convergence. Students need to know how to take photographs, manage data, write and take videos,” he said. Vivek Narayanan, new media student, said they used tablets mounted on modified tripods and mobile phones while on the field.

“We also got to dabble in editing and anchoring for the project,” he said.

Sashi Kumar, chairman, Media Development Foundation and ACJ, said the initiative is anticipatory of the shifting trend in journalism. He said the rate of the growth of the internet is huge.

The rolling news programme went live at www.quaysnews.net.