This article is the second in the series Journalism courses in India. In this article we shall discuss the eligibility criteria, skills and job prospects in this field.
Journalism Course Eligibility
The eligibility criterion is as follows. A bachelors or a master’s degree in Journalism and/or mass communication is mandatory to pursue a career in this field. Internships, specialized training, fieldwork, etc improves one’s chances of landing a job. These days many young graduates resort to short film making. This has become a serious profession too. Many agencies are relying on YouTube to scout for new recruits. It is better to also focus on this area.
Like earlier mentioned, success in this field is only through ones innate abilities to perform well. You should try to build a portfolio of your work. You can also showcase your work on social media sites to garner attention. You never know, an agency can spot your work online and offer you a placement too!
One should focus on succinct and concise yet attention grabbing writing style if you are looking to make your mark in the content management / content writing arenas. Generally graduates with a flair for writing are preferred. One can also say that formal academic qualification is not essential to become a reporter or a writer.
Possessing the aptitude for creative presenting both orally and verbally is essential. Let me reiterate that please refrain from sensationalism. A journalist is expected to be resourceful, tactful, confident and organized while interviewing. They must have the ability to sift relevant facts and should be open to criticism.
Journalism Job Prospects
Many news agencies and TV channels offer employment to deserving candidates. One can also find plethora of opportunities in the web domain. You can also work as a freelancer online / offline. This helps you to gain experience and build a portfolio. Organizations like Central Information Service, Press Trust of India, AIR, TV channels like Doordarshan, ZEE, Star TV, etc are some of the reputed organizations.
Career options include working as editors, reporters, columnists, correspondents, freelancers, photojournalists, proofreaders, news analysts, etc.
Some of the job descriptions are discussed below:
A Resident editor is in charge of the overall functions of the publication. He supervises the collection, selection and presentation of news and also proofreads the final copy for publication.
A proofreader’s primary role is to ensure that the final text is accurate and error free. He checks for the spelling and punctuation before final printing. Sound knowledge of grammar is essential to excel and also should be able to pay attention to detail.
A Reporter is the one who reports events as and when they occur. He is the eye and ear of the news agency. These people are also supposed to attend press conferences, interview key people and live telecast from sites of incidents, etc. They collect the first hand report and present it unbiased.
A Columnist is a writer who contributes regularly to a publication. They write a regular segment within their particular interest and that too usually only one column. The topics range from politics, films to sports, fashion. He usually projects a point of view and could be either a critic or a commentator. They may also contribute to a several other news agencies the same time.
Photo Journalist is a visual reporter. They accompany reporters on assignments to take pictures that support the news story. These people are adept with photographic techniques like lighting, aperture, ISO, etc. Being quick and timing is essential.
Illustrators or Cartoonists make a social or a political comment on a lighter side. These are usually made on public figures and/ or events in the form of a cartoon that is funny yet witty. One classic example is the Amul advertisements in India.
The minimum salary as per government directive is INR 5500 to INR 9000/- for reporters. For senior reporters it is INR 5000 to INR 10500. For the chief reporters it is INR 7500 to INR 12000. These salary figures are not constrained. Most companies pay very well and very high than that listed here. Talent and experience can take a journalist places. Travel, stay and travel fare expenses are all allowances given in addition to the basic pay.