How to Make a Career in Journalism in India

Journalism Career

Do you like to be well informed and aware of the prominent current events, trends, and other important news, and at the same time interpret it to others with confidence and clarity? Do you wish for all this and more, then Journalism is the perfect career opportunity for you. Wait!!! Are you thinking about Mass Communication when I am talking about Journalism? If you are, then I would like to clarify that both these terms are different from each other. Mass Communication is a much broader avenue covering various fields such as public relations, advertising, media, etc. and Journalism is just a part of this avenue.

So let us now discuss what Journalism is. In simple words, we can describe Journalism as the profession involving the collection and transmission of views, ideas, and information, mainly current events, through print and electronic media’s and, more currently evolving, web media. The print media include newspapers, magazines & journals, electronic media includes radio and television and web media include online blogs, videos, press releases, etc. The Journalists, i.e. professionals engaged in this field, can be specialists in various sectors viz. politics, art, economics, travel, entertainment, sports, fashion, business, finance, and many more.

How to Become a Journalist?

It is undoubtedly true that the journalist’s job is exciting, inspiring, and a “full-of-life” kind but also involves a lot of hard work. So, you want to be a journalist? This writing throws light on the steps one can take to enter the field of journalism.  In the present world, as technology is advancing day by day people prefer to keep themselves updated with every small issue trending around. With the introduction of various broadcasting media like news channels, television sets, radio stations, social media had brought a targeted audience together and opened endless doors and job avenues to the aspirants who are proficient in public speaking, writing, and reporting.

Required Educational Qualification

The journey in journalism is an unending process and every day teaches you a new lesson. To become a  journalist one must study for a bachelor’s degree in journalism and for this degree, one must complete 10+2. There are various journalism courses after 12th  and for Postgraduate degree courses, a graduate degree in journalism is required. Some institutions also offer one-year certificate courses in journalism for which the minimum eligibility required is 10+2. For a career in this field, various journalism schools offer B. A or M.A in Communication or Journalism, Diplomas in Journalism and Mass Communication, and various other certificate courses.

Journalism is a broad field and there are courses in specialized areas of journalism like a photo, sports, television, press law, etc. Please note that no course or training can claim to make somebody a qualified journalist. The courses can only throw light on the technical aspects. In this profession, one must have a piece of interesting news and skills to write and produce news stories in an accurate, concise, and interesting style. In the recent competitive era, if you wish to work professionally in print, broadcast, or Internet journalism, it is of utmost importance for you to show the right knowledge base and practical skills to potential employers. Doing a degree course in journalism might give an individual a chance to work as a journalist, but to become a good journalist, one must have an aptitude for presenting news and stories in a precise and appealing manner, which can strike the intelligent quotient of a reader, and at the same time ignites the reader’s passion to read every sentence with utmost interest.

Go to Journalism School

J School or Journalism school generally refers to graduate or master’s degree programs in journalism, offered by various institutions or schools in India such as the Saraswati Music College, Flame University, Wigan & Leigh College New Delhi, Asian College of Journalism, University of Delhi, International Institute Of Mass Media, Amity School of Journalism & Communication, Xavier Institute of Communication (XIC), Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication, Lady Shri Ram College University of Delhi, Academy 18 networks Ltd, Institute of Mass Communication Manipal, Kamla Nehru College DU, Asian Academy of Film & Television, Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication, The Advertising Academy, National Institute for Media Studies (NIMS),  Indira Gandhi National Open University, South Delhi Polytechnic for Women, Sir Aurobindo Institute Of Mass Communication, Sardar Patel College of Communication & Management New Delhi, EMPI Institute of Advertising & Communication, National Institutes of advertising New Delhi, YMCA Centre for Mass Media, Jawaharlal Nehru University Centre of Media Studies, Department of Media Studies Christ University Bangalore, Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media, Times School of Journalism and AJK Mass Communication Research Centre.

Some of the mainstream and important journalism courses offered by these schools are:

  1. Bachelor of Mass Media and Journalism (UG, 3 years)
  2. Bachelor of Communication and Journalism (UG, 3 years)
  3. B.Sc. in Journalism and Mass Communication (UG, 3 years)
  4. BA in Media and Communication (UG, 3 years)
  5. BA in Journalism (UG, 3 years)
  6. BBA in Mass Communication and Journalism (UG, 3 years)
  7. MA in Journalism and Mass Communication (PG, 2 years)
  8. M.Sc. in Mass Communication (PG, 2 years)

In these schools, the course material has been carefully curated by the industry experts to match the latest and most current needs of the industry. These comprehensive programs train students and they can learn:

  • Basics of Journalism & Media
  • News Production Process
  • Reporting Skills, Techniques & News Beats
  • Television Anchoring
  • News Writing Techniques
  • Various News Formats of Television News
  • Television Feature Story Production
  • Interview Techniques & Panel Discussions
  • Television Studio Production & PCR Operations
  • Video Editing
  • Camera Operation & Multi-Camera Setup
  • Voice-over Skills

Complete an Internship

Earlier, the basics of journalism were often learned through internships, apprenticing, and trial-and-error on-the-job experience. Nowadays, learning the principles of journalism is something that happens in a classroom, and learning the practices of journalism is dependent on real-world experience. To get placed in a better position in top companies, one should have a proper plan and find out various ways to improve the skills and get enough knowledge about the industry. Joining as an intern in any Media Company will provide you with a lot of practical experience. In many colleges or universities, summer internships are also open to independent candidates who may or may not be enrolled in an academic journalism program.

Choose an area of Specialisation

In the past, professional journalists can work in two main areas – Print and Electronic. The print category consists of journals, newspapers, and magazines and the digital or multi-media category consists of television, radio, and the internet. Be it a digital or a print medium, journalists have a bag full of career options. This promising field of journalism offers substantial career opportunities such as-

News Editor

This person is obviously on top of the line, to become a News editor, a person needs at least 6 to7 years of experience as a Senior Sub Editor. He has to supervise the final quality of the paper, generate new ideas for stories, and is finally responsible for the final outcomes.

Reporter/ Journalist

A Reporter or a Journalist is the most basic but essential position, a reporter collects the story information and reports the news to the audience with high-speed accuracy and clarity. Required for both print and digital media, a reporter must have the ability to pull out the facts of a story, conduct interviews, and gather first-hand information.

Proof Reader

The story has been written by the reporter, but proof reader’s job is to evaluate and compare proofs with the edited copy. A proofreader scans the reporters’ copy and for this job, he must possess skills in grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Photojournalist

To become a successful professional photographer or photojournalist or in simple words, a visual reporter one must be efficient in taking pictures that represent a news story and be willing to work in difficult conditions.

The aspirants can choose a career as a Columnist, Cartoonist, Writer, Correspondent, Researcher, Anchor, News Analyst and can work in media houses, news channels, publishing firms, and freelancing. The zeal to achieve fame and success leads to so many events every day, around the world, that to broadcast such important information, there is an immense need for talented and skilled journalists. And to become one, you require lots of confidence, courage, knowledge, awareness, and potential along with a necessary degree or certification in journalism. Some sort of training or internship coupled with the formal study of this career has been always beneficial for the aspirants who are about to enter this private or government job sector and truly want to succeed in it. The pay package offered purely depends on the skills of the aspirant.

As we know that every successful person has to climb a heap of rocks to reach that level, so is the case in this career also. While you gear up for this booming career, do prepare yourself for the criticism, pressure, and challenges that come in handy with this profession and if you feel that you have the potential and capability to handle all these under every circumstance then you must go ahead with this prospective career.

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