A career in journalism and mass communication is a good career option. The scope of career in journalism is really great, you can work with media, news blogs, websites, etc. In this article, I will guide how to become a journalist step by step.
A career in Journalism
Do you like to stay aware of the current events, trends, and other important news? making a career in Journalism is right for you. In Journalism, you get a chance to interpret the news with courage and clarity. Wait! are you thinking of Mass Communication when I talk about Journalism? There is a difference between Journalism and Mass Communication. Mass Communication is a much broader avenue covering that covers public relations, advertising, media, etc. On the other hand, Journalism is a part of Mass Communication.
What is Journalism?
In simple words, Journalism is a profession, that involves the collection and transmission of views, ideas, and information. Similarly, we can include web media too. The print media includes newspapers, magazines & journals. Similarly, electronic media includes radio and television. Likewise, web media includes online blogs, videos, press releases, etc. Generally, Journalists do their specialization in one or more fields like politics, art, economics, travel, entertainment, sports, fashion, business, finance, etc.
How to Become a Journalist?
As a matter of fact, a journalist’s job is exciting and inspiring. On the other hand, it needs a lot of hard work. There are certain courses which you can do to become a journalist. Today, in fact, everyone wants to stay updated. Truly, you should have good public speaking, writing, and reporting skills to become a journalist.
Required Educational Qualification
Normally, you can make your career in journalism after graduation in journalism. You can go for a degree in journalism after 10+2. After a degree in journalism, you can go for a post-graduation degree to progress in a career in journalism. Though some institutions offer one-year certificate courses in journalism but doing a degree in journalism is a better option. Moreover, many schools offer a B.A or M.A in mass communication or journalism. Even you can make a career after diploma in journalism or mass communication
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 an interest for news in 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 the practical skills to the 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:
- Bachelor of Mass Media and Journalism (UG, 3 years)
- Bachelor of Communication and Journalism (UG, 3 years)
- B.Sc. in Journalism and Mass Communication (UG, 3 years)
- BA in Media and Communication (UG, 3 years)
- BA in Journalism (UG, 3 years)
- BBA in Mass Communication and Journalism (UG, 3 years)
- MA in Journalism and Mass Communication (PG, 2 years)
- 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-
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.
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.
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.
To become a successful professional photographer or photojournalist or in simple words, 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 to 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 that potential and capability to handle all these under every circumstance then you must go ahead with this prospective career.
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