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Journalism, A Career Option ?

Woman writing in a bullet journal, close up, pen in hand

Woman writing in a bullet journal, close up, pen in hand

Journalism is concerned with collection and dissemination of news through the print media as well as the electronic media. This involves various areas of works like reporting, writing, editing, photographing, broadcasting or cable casting news items. Journalism as career has great scope in India depending upon your city. The four metros are best options but tier 2 cities are also doing pretty good. … Journalism is a very good career choice in India, if you have a flair for writing, presentation, inquisitive mind and interest in news and the world of media itself.

What Is Journalism?

It is the role of the Journalism to spread information about every relevant happening in the world. Newspapers, radio, television and more recently the new media-internet has completely revolutionized the way news used to broadcast. Journalists have a very significant role to play in this practice.

Today a journalism as a career stands not only for a prestigious profession but also for a challenging career option. Journalists play a key role in the growth of any nation. The core purpose of journalism is to inform, educate and enlighten the masses on various issues revolving them.

As the new world has time and again, verified the saying that the pen and the camera is mightier than the sword, numerous opportunities for journalists have been generated all around the globe.

Today straightforward reporting of events is no more adequate, more specialization and professionalism in journalistic practices is being required. Therefore today, a wannabe journalist specialises in diverse areas, such as politics, finance and economics and the like.

Journalism Eligibility Criteria & Skill

Educational Qualification: for a bachelor degree in journalism, generally the minimum eligibility is set at 10+2 certificate and for Post graduate degree courses, a graduate degree in journalism is required. Some institutes and private educational player also offer one year certificate courses in journalism for which eligibility is 10+2.

There are also courses in specialised areas of journalism like sports, television, photo, press law etc. One must keep in mind the fact that no course or training can claim to make somebody a qualified journalist.

The courses can only educate persons in the technical aspects. For this profession one must have a nose for news in addition to an ability to write and produce news stories in correct, concise and appealing style.

Personal Attributes: one should have an curious mind, will power, an aptitude for presenting information in a precise, concise and effective manner. He/she should also be able to arrange thoughts and express them clearly in both forms of communications- written as well as oral.

Moreover, a journalist has to be diplomatic, confident and structured while interviewing the public and celebrities. Journalists must have the skill of filtering relevant facts from the irrelevant ones. The capability of accepting criticism and keenness to do considerable rewriting are also crucial in this profession.

Journalism is largely divided into two categories – Print and Electronic. Journalism jobs in the print media revolve around newspapers, journals, magazines, digests and news agencies. On the other hand, journalism through the electronic medium consists of television, radio and the new media-internet.

Journalism careers in print media

While you must develop a basic journalistic skillset before choosing an area of specialization, it will not hurt to know your options before you begin your degree. One of the career paths for you could lie in the print stream. They say print media is dying. Well, they have been saying that and they will keep on saying that. Print media is here to stay. That reader priorities and market response have changed is a separate debate.

To pursue a journalism career in print media, you must develop your writing skills right from day one. Be a wordsmith, the one that everyone would love to have in their newsroom. You will not be broadcasting live, but if you don’t meet the print deadline then even the best story will end up languishing in the rubbish bin. At the same time, the responsibilities of print media journalists are fast-evolving; they are now required to have some additional skillsets, including an understanding of online media.

Reporter: As a reporter of a newspaper, magazine, news agency, radio or television channel, your job will be to report with speed, clarity and accuracy. The intellect to distinguish a story and objectivity will be very important in this role.

Correspondent/Special Reporter: To be a reporter for a particular purpose, you must have thorough knowledge in a particular field like politics and sports etc. You must also have the ability to read between the lines and explain the news on the basis of your understanding.

Feature Writer: A feature writer’s job revolves around writing in-depth stories and observations on specific topics.

Leader Writer: They are concerned with putting across their views on news topics through editorial columns only.

Proof Reader: Proof Reader’s job is to evaluate and compare proofs with the edited copy. For this job one must possess skills in grammar, spelling and punctuation.

Cartoonist: you have to artistic and humorous to get recognition as a cartoonist. A cartoonist comments on public personalities and other happenings in a satirical manner.

Editor: Editor is the key head whose chief responsibility is to ensure uniformity and continuity of the print media. He/she presents the newspaper in an eye-catching fashion.

Critic: In order to be a critic, you will have to be well-read and experienced. Irrespective of the field one must have comprehensive knowledge in the subject concerned

Columnist: As a columnist, one writes for a particular segment in the newspaper or magazine. Your column would highlight your viewpoint concerning any topic under the sun like fashion, politics or films and the like.

Photo Journalist: To become a successful Photojournalists or in simple words, visual reporter one must be swift in taking pictures which represent a news-story and be willing to work in difficult conditions. Furthermore, He/ she should have the skills of writing appropriate captions and knowledge of the technical aspects of photography.

Journalism careers in TV and radio

Electronic media has plenty of opportunities to offer. You can choose to specialize in radio journalism, learning the art of retaining your listeners’ interest through your voice, or add a face to your story and as a television broadcaster. It is always handy, especially in the present day, to have an understanding of how things work in this industry – including the technological side. You can make do with writing a concise summary and broadcasting it for your viewers, but you will have incredibly higher chances of success if you also have some technical expertise, including knowledge of how to handle a camera and edit audio and video recordings.

Researchers: Researchers’ jobs revolve around doing the research work for the channel or the site. To be a researcher, you must be creative and inquisitive.

Broadcast Reporters: a broadcast reporter must have good communication and presentation skills coupled with a nose for news.

Presenters: Good communication skills, command over speech, diction and language, general knowledge, intelligence and the ability to be composed in stressful conditions are essence for this job. Additionally, presenter must also have a control over words and a good quality of face expression to convey the right tone of the news.

Journalism careers in online media

If you choose a journalism career in the world of online media, don’t expect things to be entirely different. When you work with online media, you must focus more on the art of storytelling and audience engagement. You must know how to present a story in a way that that could drive more traffic to your website. As a rule of thumb, you will be required to be good with words, just like every other journalist. You are also encouraged to have some video and photography skills, because the more assets you have, the better your story’s presentation will be.

There are a few important things to note here. Many students aspiring to become journalists are not naturally very good with words. And since all of what I have said focuses heavily on words, you might start getting second thoughts. Don’t! No one is perfect. If you are willing to learn, willing to go the extra mile to achieve your goal, then you will succeed.

Last but not least, these are just basic guidelines about what you can do with a journalism degree. There is much more to it. For instance, we haven’t even touched on photojournalism. There is a lot more to this profession, but hopefully this will serve as a helpful reference point for early-stage planning.

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