There has been a paradigm shift in the recent times in the domains of development and governance in India which has been brought about by new policy regime, changed business environment and globalization. Because of these contemporary conditions, the relevance of journalism has grown tremendously.
In view of the growing importance of journalism, several media houses, academic institutions and electronic channels have been established. The media has become the real mirror of society and polity and has become an effective platform for raising the problems and demands of the common man and providing him justice.
Changing times have revolutionized prospects in almost every career. Career in journalism is a prestigious profession and in some cases a highly paid one, which is attracting lots of young people. Journalists play a major role in the development of a nation. It is through them that we get information about daily happenings in the society. In fact, the purpose of journalism itself is to inform and interpret, educate and enlighten the people.
The opportunities for journalists are endless. But at the same time the job of a journalist is more challenging, as the new world is proving the adage that “the pen ( and the camera ) is mightier than the sword”. Since simple reporting of events is no more sufficient, more specialization and professionalism in reporting is required. That is why journalists specialize in diverse areas, such as politics, finance and economics, investigation, culture and sports for newspapers and periodicals.
As a career, there are three major areas in which journalism aspirants can find employment :
- Research & Teaching
- Print Journalism
- Electronic ( Audio / Visual ) Journalism
Journalism Research & Teaching :
While Higher education is an important source of employment for Journalists, Research too is a common career option within journalism. Ph.D. recipients in journalism seek employment in colleges, universities and research institutions. Many teaching positions, particularly in universities, and institutes, require research activities. This is the basis for the academic cliche, “publish or perish”.
Like most cliches, this one has some truth and a good deal of distortion. While it is certainly true that publishing books or articles is the foremost route to Job security and promotion and salary increases in most universities, this requirement applies more in settings where original scholarships is highly prized and supported.
Many Institutions, however, put varying degrees of emphasis on research or teaching as the primary route to advancement. Some value one over the other; many institutions are attempting to achieve the optimum balance between research and teaching.
Consequently, while few occupations specially require a degree in journalism, such academic training can be an important asset in entering a wide range of occupations. The area of employment for Bachelor of Arts or Master of Arts or Research ( Ph.D. ) Degrees in Journalism, can be a university, an institute, a business or media firm, in the non – profit sector.
Some are self – employed, and head their own research or consulting firms. It should be emphasized, however, that given the usefulness of their methods and perspectives, journalists have helped development and have branched out into many fields and career paths that utilize research but go well beyond the research function.
Print Journalism :
Print Journalism is all about collecting and editing news for newspapers, magazines and journals. Newspaper and magazines, big or small have always been major sources of news and information throughout the world and millions of readers go through them daily. Over the years, print Journalism has witnessed major transformation.
The newspapers and magazines today cover a wide range of specialized sections like political events, business news, cinema, sports, health and many other subjects which demand professionally qualified journalists. In print journalism one can work as editor, correspondent, reporter, columnist, etc.
Electronic Journalism :
Electronic Journalism especially through broadcasting has a lot of impact on the masses. Electronic media like television, Radio, Audio, Video and the web have made news, entertainment, information reach to very far and wide places. In the web, skilled people are required to maintain sites by web newspapers ( which cater only to the web and do not have print editions ) and popular newspapers and magazines that have their own web editions. In Electronic Journalism one can be a reporter, writer, editor, researcher, correspondent and anchor.
Personal Attributes / Skills :
For a successful career in the field of journalism, one should have an inquisitive mind, will power, an aptitude for presenting information in an accurate, concise and effective manner, organize one’s thoughts and to express these clearly both orally and in writing. Being polite and calm even while working under pressure is an added qualification.
At the same time a journalist has to be tactful, confident and organized while interviewing people from all walks of life. He should have the ability to sift relevant facts from the irrelevant. Analytical skills are required to interpret research and information.
Journalism Education :
Though there are many universities and institute offering Post Graduate Courses and facilitating research, a few of them are as follows :
- University of Lucknow Lucknow.
- Banaras Hindu University Varanasi.
- Jamia Millia University New Delhi.
- Indian Institute of Mass Communication New Delhi.
- Mudra Institute of Communication.
- Symbiosis Institute of Journalism and Communication.
- Indira Gandhi National Open University New Delhi.
( The list is indicative only ).
Journalism Careers Placement :
After completing a course in journalism, one can be a Research scientist with a media research institute or a government organization. During the research work too one can receive a monthly stipend besides other grants and facilities. One can also join as a journalist in a newspaper or electronic channel and earn good salary.