Journalism is all about sharing and conveying information in such a way that the people who read your stuff get entertained, informed or sometimes even enlightened. Thus, if you are the one who thinks about a career in journalism, know that it is a huge responsibility. The writing part may seem easy; but standing for a cause, writing on it, fighting for it and even evangelizing it is a major task. But if you feel passionate about it, you can take path to become an award-winning journalist.
In this career guide, you would know what journalism is all about; where can you embark your preparation and how should you approach it; how to get placed in corporate house or media publications after completing your course in journalism; top-class media companies that offer jobs for journalists; specific skill sets required for being excellent at journalism; the honorarium you would be able to receive as a journalist; and lastly, the higher educational opportunities available to explore and make yourself more valuable.
How do we define Journalism?
Journalism is an art of journaling. In simple terms, a journalist is a person who journals the news, stories, insights, ideas, events and interviews without bias. There are basically two ways you can approach your profession as a journalist. Either you can take the position of field jobs where you need to go out and continuously be on a hunt for news, stories, cover stories and event coverage; or you can sit at the office and churn out stories and news from the collected information for the readers.
This is very difficult job as you need to go out and go through scorching sunlight, rain, storm and still you need to search for stories. If you are deeply passionate about field job, then you can opt for it. But if you feel that you are better at the softer side of the journalism like writing, editing, proofreading and articulating, then you should take the desk-job and become extra-ordinary in it.
Many journalists believe that only doing one part of the job will not feed their passion for journalism. That’s the reason they go to the bottom of everything and hunt out every minor detail, find out the lead and then write an enthralling story that grab the attention of readers. If you are one of them, where you need to do it all by yourself in order to have your passion fulfilled, then you should not choose desk job or field job separately, rather you should train yourself for doing everything that is required to do in journalism.
Where to start?
Every profession is a way to express our magnificence and by expressing our magnificence we always try to serve the greater good. Being a journalist is no different. If your dream profession and career choice is becoming a journalist who helps people know the truth and add value to their lives.
Thus the starting point is always about having a deep commitment to serve.
If you are the one who aims for reward and money and recognition, then your goal is short sighted and you may end up making a good living through journalism, but never amount to anything more than that. The whole contention of journalism is to present ideas that help people take positive actions toward their own selves, their immediate family, and their country and to the world at large. Understanding the commitment is a huge step. If you can be aware of this commitment toward your fellow beings, then the rest will fall in place very easily.
The most important after commitment is knowledge. You need to read every single thing that you can get your hands on and be thorough in learning. For that you need to read books, blogs, websites, newspapers and anything and everything. Without having sound knowledge of the world or of your immediate environment, you cannot become a good journalist.
The next important thing you should work on is about writing. As a journalist, the major chunk of your job is to articulate information in such a way that it can transform a whole crowd. Your writing should lead people to take positive action toward society. Thus, it needs to be very powerful and at the same time lucid. Practice putting down your thoughts on a journal every day to begin the process. You can also read stuffs in the newspaper and try to find out how you can construct sentences and phrases differently. Practice makes improvement and you need to be onto it until you become a powerful writer.
The last piece in becoming a great journalist is to learn the art of finding the lead in the story. Often it seems that after having all the information of the story, you don’t know what the lead is. Have the habit of trying to find out meaning in the gaps. Concentrate on what’s not told, what’s unspoken and what matters most in the story and then begin your search.
How to get placed after completion of Journalism course?
Usually you get placed immediately after completion of bachelor degree in journalism or mass communication. Many people have their graduation in different streams and then go for post-graduation degree in mass communication or journalism. The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. The only thing that requires for you to get placed is a commitment (already mentioned in the previous section) and a great deal of communication. Be confident in your approach and don’t sell yourself short. Know your cause for becoming a journalist. Once you are able to crack the code, your future is brilliant.
Top-notch media companies that offer jobs for journalists
All the media and news companies recruit journalist all over the world. Few of them are as follows –
- The Times of India
- Hindustan Times
- The Statesman
- Deccan Herald
- Aaj Tak
- Zee News
- India Today
- Dainik Jagran
Skill-sets required for journalism
The specific skill sets required for a brilliant career in journalism are as follows –
- Having a thorough knowledge of everything (idea is having depth of knowledge in different areas)
- Writing that is lucid, accurate, powerful and noteworthy
- Perfect way to interview people
- The ability to discern relevant from irrelevant
- Logical and having a great reasoning skill
- Tactful and compassionate
- Excellent soft skills and hard skills
Compensation is no bar for people having the passion to excel in this field. You can expect anything in the range of US $10,000 to $50,000 depending on your institute, experience, skills and expertise.
Higher educational opportunities
Education is the second nature of a journalist. She needs to keep on learning, every day and every time. Thus the idea of going for higher education often seems irrelevant. But if you would like to go in academics, then it is better to earn a PhD in Media/Mass Communication. Otherwise, you can do multiple course on radio communication, writing in journalism, creative writing, the art of interviewing and many more.