Career in Video Journalism

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Video Journalism as a Career Option

A sharp eye and a mix of creativity and technical expertise will serve you well in a career as a Video Journalist. A Video Journalist covers newsworthy events including political speeches, demonstrations, press meets etc., usually attached with a Television Channel or News Agency. He also needs hand – eye coordination to produce footage without missing any important piece of information. He needs skills to handle variety of technical equipments as well as a wide range of eminent personalities.

Occasionally a Video Journalist will work as an Independent journalist, covering stories, editing and uplinking the stories. The working hours fluctuate for a video journalist as stories can crop up any time during the day. Traveling is inherent for Video Journalist, many times he will have to travel long distance within country and outside country to cover news stories. A story can range from a local event to an international event. Sometimes working hours are long, and there is always a looming deadline to meet.

The Indian Television news business is changing faster since half – an – hour first news bulletin telecast in 1965 to present independent 24 hours dedicated News Channels.

Video Journalist Careers :

Nature of Video Journalist Work

Video Journalist need creativity and technical expertise in producing news footage choosing and presenting a subject and selecting the appropriate equipment with variety of accessories like lenses, tripods, filters and lighting.

Today, Electronic News Gathering ( ENG ) Cameras have advanced facility to adjust settings like shutter speed and aperture automatically as well as manually, facilitating greater creativity and technical control over news capturing process. Recent advances in Broadcast Technology make it possible for Video Journalists to capture, edit and transmit the stories easily and faster from remote locations.

A Video Journalist has to be patient and methodical in order to capture the best shots, secure interviews, develop story packages and ability to report to work on time and perform the job responsibilities in a timely manner in order to meet scheduled deadlines. He also has to develop a thorough knowledge of events, issues, and newsmakers in assigned markets and beats.

He has to maintain a thorough knowledge and practice of all aspects of television news gathering and story production and decide which audio and visual elements to include in packages. He has to maintain positive image while dealing with the public and covers factual information to maintain the viewers interest and understanding.

Video Journalism Skills, Knowledge and Abilities

Video Journalists need good eyesight, artistic ability, hand – eye coordination as well as good understanding of Photojournalism. Also functional knowledge on Television news – gathering equipment including cameras, tripods, microphones, lighting and other field equipment and should possess skills and ability to assist in setting up and dismantling video production equipment.

Video Journalist in the process develop extensive knowledge of news – makers and events across the coverage area and cultivates strong sources. He also deals professionally with public, in gathering and reporting news.

Video Journalist Career Outlook

The employment opportunities for Video Journalists are expected to increase as the number of News Channels and News Agencies has been growing considerably. The demand for Video Journalism career is so high and Video Journalists can expect tough competition for job openings.

Additional growth may be possible as Web Journalism grows in the coming years due to increase in number Websites working on News. Many of Video Journalist cater to the needs of Industry and are salaried staff and others are self – employed, they are called as “Freelancer Video Journalists”.

Video Journalist Working Conditions

Working conditions for video journalists vary considerably. Video journalists employed in Television Channels and News Agencies usually work six days a week. Video Journalist work on strict deadlines, often work for long hours, must be available to work on short notice, irregular hours, frequent travel to distant places for short and long periods. Work in dangerous and all kinds of weather situations covering various stories including natural disasters, accidents, political rallies etc.

Video Journalism Training and Education

An aspiring Video Journalist should require preferably a college degree or diploma in journalism or Videography. A Video Journalist’s technical skills are more important than formal education. The best way to build technical proficiency is through vocational training or extensive work experience.

Basic courses on Videography covering equipment, process and techniques are taught at a wide range of Journalism schools, colleges, Universities, on – the – job vocational training centres. All the major channels run their own in – house training for their staff from time – to – time.

Institutes Offering Training on Video Journalism

Presently many Departments of Electronic Media, Mass Communication, Broadcast Media of Universities and Institutions both Government and Private are offering Post graduate and Under – graduate courses. They have included Video Journalism as a paper in Curriculum. Some institutes offering courses in Video Journalism are as follows :

  • Bangalore University ( Department of Studies in Electronic Media ).
  • Indian Institute of Mass Communication ( IIMC ) New Delhi.
  • Asian College of Journalism Chennai.
  • Film and Television Institute of India ( FTII ) Pune.
  • Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media ( IIJNM ) Bangalore.
  • Bhavan’s Institute of Communication and Management Mumbai.
  • Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication Pune.
  • St. Xavier’s Institute of Communication Mumbai.

At the beginning of the career, a Video Journalists can earn a modest salary which is somewhere between [rupee] 10,000 to [rupee] 15,000 per month with other lucrative fringe benefits. The salary grows with the time and experience. Those who have acquired perfection in the field are being highly paid.

The salary package depends on the television channel they are working with. Outstation assignments will cover travel and stay expenses in addition to the salary. Senior Video Journalists can earn as much as rupees one lakh per month and sometimes it is even higher.

Television Channels and News Agencies prepare panel of Freelance Video Journalists for unrepresented areas and they are paid on assignment basis. Freelance video journalists, purchase their own equipment, they incur considerable expenses acquiring and maintaining their cameras and accessories.

Conclusion

Television Channels started hiring professionals as Video journalists to perform a job that used to be performed by non – professionals. With Rapid expansion of Television News Channels, employment opportunities for Video Journalists are expected to grow as fast as the average for all occupations in Media.

The video journalism is widespread due to the satellite technology and digital broadcasting. In the coming years news programming and distribution will be more on Digital technology, what is being called ‘New Media’. Linked together by that very technology, Television Channels have been adopting new and innovative roles in covering stories by using OB Vans for remotely broadcasting live program from the scene via satellite and through digital broadcast equipment.

The profession of Video Journalism allows one to work anywhere, it may be the village where he lives or any location of his country or any part of the world.