Career in Journalism
"Journalism can never be silent: that is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumphs and the signs of horror are still in the air."
Coming from Henry Grunwald, the Managing Editor of TIME Magazine and the Editor-in-Chief of Times Inc, nothing could describe journalism better!
The definition of the word ‘journalism’ would take you back to the origin of the newspaper, where the profession of ‘journaling’ daily events, happening and announcements came to be termed as Journalism. In modern times, not much has changed and journalism still refers to the investigation and reporting of events, issues and trends to a mass audience. Given the power of mass media in today’s world, journalism is a much venerated profession. A journalist may find a role and position in any of the following media:
- Web-based Newspapers and Magazines
It is a profession that requires utmost levels of ethics and integrity. In news parlance, you will be tested to see if you have ‘a nose for news’, which essentially means whether you can look beyond the obvious and hunt for the truth. A journalist is also required to be an excellent writer if you are interested in print and online media. To be a successful television and radio journalist, you need to have an incredible verbal communication skills and a pleasing personality.
Journalists often develop an area of interest and make it their desired ‘beat’, or subject of reportage through their career. Most journalists at the start of their career try one or more beats to see which they enjoy more. More often than not, many news organisations assign specific beats to reporters so that they can test them better. Some of the most popular beats in the news world are the following:
- Defence and Strategic Affairs
Have you ever seen a news channel blink? That’s because news never stops! Journalism is a demanding profession and it’s definitely not for the weak-hearted. It’s almost a round-the-clock job, where a journalist is expected to be aware and available for any news development. As a journalist you will be expected to respond quickly, think on your feet, be resourceful and most importantly be inquisitive.
Courses and Eligibility
In India journalism as a field of study is available as both bachelors and post graduate degree courses. At the post graduate level there are also diploma courses available in the country. Some individual institutes offer certificate short-term courses as well and there are distance learning programs as well.
For a student wanting to study journalism as an undergraduate study, you can be from any stream. Similarly, for a post graduate program, your undergraduate degree does not matter as long as you fulfil the requirements of having excellent written and verbal skills, an interest in current affairs and have a go-getter persoality!
A word of caution – Due to the overreaching existence of media today, journalism and mass communication schools are mushrooming in every corner of the country. It is advisable to do a thorogh background check of the institute. Find out about the curricula, the teachers (check if they are industry trained), guest faculty, internship and placement history, workshops and exposure; you must also look for references, find former students of the institute and see what they have to say about the school and its course.
At undergraduate level one can do
- BA in Journalism
- Bachleor in Media Studies
- Bachelor In Mass Media
- BA in Journalism and Communication
- Bachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication
At Post Graduate Level one can do a
- Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism
- MA in Journalism
Most of the reputed institutes and Colleges take admissions through entrance exams. Delhi University takes entrance test for its graduate program in journalism and Symbiosis conducts SET for admission to SIMC (UG). Times School of journalism also conducts an all India Level entrance exam for admissions to its Post graduate Diploma Program.
Where To Study
Some of the prominent institutes offering journalism courses in India are the following:
1. Delhi University (Offered at 5 colleges).
2. Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune
3. IP University, Delhi
4. AAFT, Noida offers BA Hons in International Journalism, and B Sc in Mass Communication.
5. Apeejay Institute of MassCommunication, New Delhi Offers 1 year PG Diploma Advertising and Masscommunication, Social Mediaand Web Jornalism, TV and Radio Journalism and Production.
6. Times School of Journalism, Daryaganj, New Delhi Offers 1 year Post graduate Diploma in Journalism (English and Hindi).
7. Need Institute of Technology and Management,Haryana Offers BA Journalism.
8. Pune University, Offers BA journalism.
9. University of Technology and Management, Shillong Offers Bachelor in Journalism and Mass Communication.
10. Christ University
11. Mumbai University, Various colleges affiliated to Mumbai University like Ramnarain Ruia College, SIES College of Arts, Science & Commerce, HR College, KC College of Arts, Science & Commerce, St Andrews College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Jai Hind College
12. Indraprastha College for Women, Delhi University
13. Manipal Institute of Communications, Manipal
14. Asian College of Journalism, Chennai
15. Jamia Millia Islamia: MA in Journalism, New Delhi
16. Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi
17. Xavier Institute of Communication, Mumbai
18. Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media, Bangalore
Pay and Remuneration
The starting salary for cub reporter / trainee could be anywhere between Rs1.2 lakhs– Rs 3 lakhs per month. For a mid-level employee the salaries range from Rs 8 – 12 lakhs per annum. For senior editors, salaries range from Rs.20 - 40 lakhs per annum.
Journalism is a career where almost every fresher begins as a cub reporter or trainee. Generally a beat is assigned and you are expected to deliver quality news stories with great efficiency. Once you have established your forte in a chosen field of reporting, you can qualify to be a Correspondent / Special Reporter, one who has the ability to interpret, analyse and present news with a totalitarian view. The next step would be that of a Sub Editor, one who sorts the content to be published; rewrites news stories and correct grammatical errors. A sub editor also checks news articles for their innovative headlines and therefore must be someone with a deep sense of news, language and imagination. In a news channel, this person is typically part of the input desk that fine tunes the stories that are to be aired. Next up is an Associate Editor who assigns stories to reporters, ensures they come in on time, plans parts of the paper, designs the layout, writes and readies news, reviews and critical analysis pieces. In the electronic medium, this person is part of assignment/ output desk; he assigns stories, brings various inputs, arranges for footage from remote locations, and is overall responsible for the news that is produced on a daily basis. Editor is the one who heads the ship. It’s a position that comes with years of experience and demonstrated career of great news reportage. An editor gives a news organisation a vision. Typically he/she is the one who decides the voice of the paper / magazine / channel. As the most definitive face of the organisation, the editor is a position of great power and greater responsibility.
Journalism at one time was the domain of whosoever wrote written content or reported on a news story. The person who got the visuals and photographs were often called cameraperson / photographer. Today, however much of that has changed. Photographers have transformed into photo-journalists with their active involvement in bringing newsworthy pictures. Similarly, videojournalism is a dynamic process in the electronic news gathering process.
You may also like