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Career as Journalist

Last Updated By Harleen Kaur on 22 Aug, 2022

Career as a Journalist

About Journalist

Individuals who work as journalists inform the general public about events around the world. Because a journalist's job entails questioning government decisions, the media is given such authority. Do you ever wish to be someone who can provide information to the general public? Do you want to be seen as credible and important? Then a career in journalism is for you. In today's world, where the internet is flooded with fake news, you can effect change by pursuing a career in journalism. Being a journalist entails a lot of news gathering and fact-checking, which can ideally result in a qualitative change in society. Students can major in Journalism or Mass Communication to pursue a career in journalism.

Journalism is a dynamic, fast-paced, and very competitive field that includes skills such as writing, editing, and researching. Journalists play a major role in the development of a nation. They gather information about business, politics, culture, arts, history, economics, entertainment, and sports. They are professionally trained people who investigate and report events, issues, and trends to the audiences through magazines, blogs newspapers, books, radio, television, and social media. Journalists have a number of roles and responsibilities that they must consider throughout the course of their entire careers. The job of a journalist involves interviewing sources, attending events, conducting research to uncover interesting and significant news, interviewing key persons (witnesses, sources, etc.) to obtain more information, maintaining notes and audio recordings, reading press releases, liaising with editors, sub-editors, designers, and photographers and verifying statements and facts. 

Journalist: In a Nutshell

Journalism careers are full of both excitement and responsibilities. One cannot afford to overlook details. Because it is the small details that reveal the story. A journalist will write a news article based on those insights. A career in journalism can be stressful at times, but if you are passionate about it, it is the right choice for you.

What is the role of a Journalist?

People who choose a career as a journalist are storytellers. Journalists look for stories on a wide range of topics, from social and political issues to sports and entertainment. He or she writes and reports on the news. The journalist provides information so that readers can form opinions and make informed decisions. However, being a journalist in India and getting to this point takes a lot of hard work, especially with the spread of fake news on the rise. A journalist spends time reading news releases and developing story ideas, verifying facts, researching and thoroughly investigating a single topic, and conducting interviews. The workplace of a journalist may differ depending on his or her roles and responsibilities. People who pursue careers in journalism may work for a variety of news-sharing platforms with a range of responsibilities, including reporting, broadcasting news, producing content (including videos), and producing photography and images for social media platforms or even the print media.

Eligibility to become Journalist

Journalism Courses at UG Level

  • Candidates must have completed higher secondary education in any stream from a recognised state or central board.

  • Candidates must have scored a minimum of 50% marks (for general category candidates) and 45% marks (for reserved category candidates) in class 12.

  • Candidates must have cleared class 12 with English as one of the subjects. Some colleges also conduct entrance examinations for admission.

Note: The eligibility criteria and other requirements for some colleges/universities offering journalism courses may vary as per their norms and standards.

Journalism Courses at PG Level

  • For PG Diploma courses, candidates must have secured at least 45% marks in aggregate or any other equivalent qualification. Some colleges conduct entrance examination for admission into PG Diploma courses followed by the Personal Interview.

  • For masters, candidates must have a bachelor degree in Journalism and/or Mass Communication with a minimum of 50% marks. Few colleges conduct entrance examination for admission into masters.

Types of Job Roles Journalist

There are several career choices and job profiles for journalists. Following are some of the job profiles for journalists that one can opt for:

Photo Journalist

The job of a photo-journalist involves taking photographs or film video segments, capturing images in an authentic and ethical manner and editing photographs or video for publication.

Researchers

To be a researcher, one must be creative and inquisitive. The job of a researcher involves doing the research work for the channel or the website.

Copywriter

Copywriters are responsible for generating words, slogans, and audio scripts that accompany advertising visuals. He/she is responsible for taking a client's advertising brief and generating original copy ideas that grab the attention of the target audience.

Public Relations Specialist

The role of public relations specialist involves creating and maintaining a favourable public image for the organizations they work for. They shape public perception and increase brand awareness.

Editor

Editor work on newspapers, magazines, and online media. The job of an editor is to work with writers to plan and edit content for publication. Editors have to ensure uniformity and continuity of the print media.

Reporter

A newspaper, magazine, news agency, radio, or television reporter has a job of informing the public about news and events. They work on tight deadlines in a fast-paced environment.

Social Media Specialist

A social media specialist is responsible to work for a brand or organization. He/she communicates with the public through social media platforms to build a favourable reputation.

 

Skills Required to be a Journalist 

To pursue a career in journalism, you must possess a number of skill sets. The required skills for a journalism career in India are listed below.

Writing Skills: It doesn't matter if you write in English or another language; you need to be able to express your ideas and thoughts clearly. The majority of journalists will begin writing before they begin work. Building knowledge of various writing styles is just as important as producing well-written content. A regular reading and writing schedule is a good way to develop this skill. Nowadays, keeping up a personal blog makes it much simpler to maintain an online presence. Learn how to publish your work and how to leave the room when you want criticism

Technical Knowledge: Even though many journalism courses concentrate on teaching students the intricacies of print, publishing, audio and video journalism, and digital journalism, one should also become familiar with the technical knowledge of how to legitimately get words, for instance, on a digital website

Investigation Skills: Every journalist is expected to devote their full attention to any article. To know current news, you must first know where to look, how to find the story, research the story, and finally, tell the story in an unbiased, uncorrupted, and precise manner. This necessitates the perseverance and commitment that journalism necessitates

Work Ethics: This is related to work quality. A piece of journalism must be both authentic and factually correct. As a result, understanding the ethical requirements is critical in order to be a responsible journalist. One who is not under pressure to exploit sensationalism for commercial gain
 

Employment Sector/Industry for Journalist

There are plenty of career options that one can consider after pursuing a journalism course. Some of the top sectors/industries that require a journalist are mentioned below:

  • Public Relations

  • Corporate businesses

  • Teaching

  • Marketing

  • MNCs

  • Law Firms

  • Consulting Firms

  • Sales

Top Recruiting Companies for a Journalist

Journalism is one of a popular and fastest emerging career fields among today’s young generation. Few of the leading recruiting companies where a journalist can find employment opportunities are listed below:

  • Hindustan Times

  • Malayala Manoram

  • The Pioneer

  • The Hindu

  • Outlook

  • Network 18

  • India Today Group

  • Zee Network

  • India TV

 

Career Path for Journalist

The career path for a journalist has been tabulated below:

Photojournalist: A photojournalist is someone who uses photography to report the news. One can combine events with a journalist, take photographs to represent written stories, or attend events alone, doing both. The photographer must control the photography equipment and make quick decisions in order to capture important events during the event. He or she may encounter physical danger, crowds, or inclement weather on occasion

Feature Author: A feature author writes longer, more detailed stories that provide context for the news story. This type of writing necessitates extensive research in order to produce a longer and more informative article. It is not uncommon for research to take years to complete

Sub-editor: A sub-responsibility editor is to take news articles and format them to meet the requirements of a specific newspaper, magazine, or website. Sub-editors don't gather the data themselves; instead, they concentrate on how the current issues might be improved to better appeal to particular audiences

Editor: The person in charge of choosing what appears in a newspaper, magazine, or news report is known as an editor. As an editor, you are dedicated to publishing articles that should be written by journalists and you make all final choices with the success of the hiring organisation in mind

A journalist's pay varies according to his or her experience, specialisations, and skills. An intern in journalism can anticipate receiving a stipend of up to INR 5,000 – 10,000 per month. A beginning journalist can expect to make between INR 15,000 and INR 20,000 per month on average. A journalist typically makes INR 30,000 per month in salary. With experience in the field, a journalist is promoted to higher positions like senior journalist, sub-editor, executive editor, editor, head of the news department, and editor in chief.

Planning to choose Journalist as your career?

Pay Scale/Salary of Journalist

The salary of a journalist is dependent on several factors such as, education, industry, experience etc. One can apply for various entertainment channels, news channels, newspapers and news agencies for jobs after completing journalism course. Following are some relative salary figures for various job profiles of journalists:

Job Profile

Starting Salary per annum (in INR)

Mid Level Salary per annum (in INR)

Senior Level Salary per annum (INR)

Copywriter

172,888

298,315

617,479

Editor

184,838

359,978

916,592

Reporter

120,805

303,391

614,631

Note: The above figures are an estimate and may vary from individual to individual and company to company. 

Books & Study Material to Become Journalist

Choosing right set of books will be useful to the candidates willing to pursue a course in journalism. Below are some of the best books and study material for career in the field of journalism:

  • How to Become a Good Journalist by Raza Elahi.

  • Arihant Mass Communication Journalism Entrance Examination by D. Mittal.

  • Sap Guide to Journalism Mass Communication Entrance Examination by Panel of Experts.

  • Issues in Mass Communication by J.S. Yadava & Pradeep Mathur.

  • Media Planning: A Practical Guide by Jim Surmanek.

  • Media/Impact: An Introduction to Mass Media by Shirley Biagi.

Pros of becoming a Journalist

  • Being a journalist helps you to develop various skills such as writing, reporting, editing, headline writing, photography and page design.

  • One will become skilled at interviewing sources and will have an opportunity to write various kinds of news/stories about a variety of topics.

Cons of becoming a Journalist

  • Journalism is an extremely competitive to get into and there is a low job security.

  • One will have to work on unsociable hours that includes late nights, weekends and holidays.

Career path for Journalist

To become a journalist, one must attain the minimum academic benchmark if they are looking at how to become a journalist. The academic qualifications required for journalism course are mentioned below:

Subject Combination – Any Stream 

FAQs about Journalist

Is become a journalist a good career option?

Journalism is a successful career choice and is incredibly satisfying, but how well you fit into this role depends on you. Despite the growing numbers in mass media and communication channels, viewer numbers have also risen at a tremendous pace. This has allowed journalism to become a lucrative career path for many aspirants. Journalism is a demanding field and plays a key role in the nation's growth. So, Yes it's an excellent field to get into.

What's the difference between a reporter and a journalist?

The biggest difference between a reporter and a journalist is that a reporter is someone who covers specific news stories for television or newspapers, while a journalist is a person who can report, write stories distribute the news and carry out a host of different mass media activities to facilitate the spread of information across different platforms.

What is the average cost of becoming a journalist in India?

In order to become a journalist in India, students may have to spend money in between INR 2 Lakhs to Rs 15 Lakhs.

What is the highest paying journalism job?

Content writer, Staff writer, News producer, News editor, Social media planner, Content manager etc are some of the highest-paying jobs in journalism.

How much does a journalist earn during his / her initial career days?

A journalist is usually hired with an annual salary package of INR 1.5 LPA to 2.5 LPA at the beginning of his or her career.

How long does it take to be a journalist?

You must first obtain a Bachelor degree in Journalism and Mass Communication (BJMC) after completing Class 12th examination in any stream from a recognized board. You can also pursue a Master's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication after graduation. As journalists who wish to advance in their profession, some choose to study even further by pursuing a PhD in journalism that usually lasts for five years.

What does a journalist do?

Journalism as a broad career offers a wide range of profiles. They can work in different fields of media such as TV, radio, journals, magazines, etc. A journalist usually works on various tasks such as reporting, editing news, feature writing, photojournalism etc.

What are the skills required to become a journalist?

In order to become a successful journalist, you must possess excellent written communication skills, verbal communication skills, knowledge of media production and communication, analytical thinking, an ambition and a desire to push themselves and succeed.

Who is a journalist?

A journalist is someone who investigates, gathers and presents information as a news story. Journalists can be seen in journals, newspapers, radio, TV and the internet.

I am pursuing BMM in Journalism (Media & Mass Communication) to become a Journalist. What other career options do I have ?

You could become an Editor after studying BMM in Journalism (Media & Mass Communication).

I am pursuing BJMC in Journalism (Media & Mass Communication) to become a Journalist. What other career options do I have ?

You could become an Editor after studying BJMC in Journalism (Media & Mass Communication).

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