How to Become a Journalist | Journalism Career Guide |Course, Salary, Scope

Journalism is an activity or profession of writing for newspapers, magazines or news websites or preparing news to be broadcast. Journalism is a crucial part of mass communication and it covers a wide range of civilization in a single endeavour. 

Covid-19 patients cross 10 lakhs in India.”Don’t we all read the headlines on the newspapers or watch them on the television? It is exclusively through these sources that we stay updated and well informed. The personnel working amidst varied situations provides us with all the factual and accurate information. The modification in technology has brought about a massive change in our lives. Every news channel has its own official website and an online portal, enabling access to the latest news to internet users. This has increased the number of employment opportunities. 

 Career Classification in Journalism 

The journalism field gives birth to a lot of employment opportunities. After successfully attaining the required qualifications one can look forward to work in some major domains of journalism such as magazines, periodicals, newspapers, websites, TV channels, air channels and so on and so forth. 

Just like any other association, there are plenty of tasks in this domain. Right from discovering a news scene to writing a report on it and then publishing it, the content goes through a lot of processing and alterations in a very short span of time. Accomplishing this task requires a skilled person operating efficiently at every level of the procession. 

The career classification in the field of journalism mentioned below can be beneficial in discovering the skill enclosed in one and to achieve mastery in it to have a successful future. 

1. News Analyst 

As soon as news is reported to the channel desk for reporting, the researcher or news analyst confirms and checks the factual validation of the news to be presented. Most often a news analyst calls the source of information or arranges an interview with the person involved before coming to any conclusion. At present, everything is so advanced and fast when it comes to the spread of any news. Hence, a researcher must know how to read the codes and comprehend any occurrence which may be fit for covering as news like fire, accident, or any commotion. They report such occurrences to the assignment desk and keeps them up-to-date. 

A news analyst’s job plays a very important role in enlightening the news writers or news reporters about the happenings outside the studio premises. They are paid somewhere around Rs.2,30,000-Rs.7,30,000 on average. 

2. Anchor

Haven’t we all watched and liked the shows because of the person who presents it? The emergence of coming up with new content almost every day has led to the creation of several news shows which are working out extremely well because of the content and also the individual presenting it. An anchor is a person who hosts a theme-based show on any media platform. They are well informed and have exceptionally good communication skills. Basically, it’s their presence of mind and witty aspect of designing the information that makes or breaks the show. “Aap Ki Adalat” show hosted by Rajat Sharma is one such example. 

A news anchor can earn anywhere between Rs.3,40,000-Rs.5,00,000 on an average. 

3. Broadcast Journalist

A broadcast news reporter or also known as a broadcast journalist is a person involved in the reporting of news on platforms which are not of the print media. The broadcast journalist is usually the person who is eligible to cover almost all the events, shows, interviews, and they are specialized in broadcast journalism. The individual employed in broadcast journalism are confident, bold, clear, convincing and intelligent. 

This job includes good social status and the average pay is Rs.3-5 lakh at the initial stage which increases with time and experience. 

4. Fashion Journalist

With the fashion industry expanding in India and abroad, the demand for fashion journalist is also heightening. A fashion journalist is a person who specializes in the fashion industry and reports and writes news affiliated with this domain. He/she can operate either in the broadcast journalism or the print media. This domain has a lot of potential for the future as every individual is relatively more interested in this industry rather than the sports or politics field. 

A fashion journalist may be paid somewhere near Rs.4-5 lakh per year if he/she is really good at it. 

5. Sports Journalist

A sports journalist covers events and produces written columns or broadcasts for news related to the field of sports. A sports journalist can either be hired or drawn from the news reporters if their interest is in the sports world. The personnel in this field have a great future scope and with time and experience, they can even host sports events and become the presenter of sports-related meetings. 

A sports journalist is paid an amount of Rs.2-3 lakhs on average. 

6. Technical Writer

Technical writing is a professional skill of explaining complex things in a systematic and summarized manner. A technical writer is a person who is in charge of the written content shown on the television with great accuracy and a fast pace of delivering the information. Technical writers not only have a scope in journalism but multiple well-known organizations also hire them to write about a particular subject that requires direction, instruction and application. This specific field of writing is distinct from all the other types of writing. 

A technical writer earns an average salary of Rs.3,20,000 approximately. 

7. Visual Communication Designer

A visual communicator is a person who manages and the visuals of the broadcast journalism. He/she helps in conveying the information and ideas with the help of symbols, images or videos which are either made with the original photography methods or they are designed with the help of graphics. The scope of a visual communicator is vast as one can work in its subdivisions such as web designing, graphics designing, video editing or even in the field of advertising. 

On average, a visual communicator is paid a salary of Rs.30,000-90,000 per month based on his/her excellence and experience. 

8. News Writer

As the name suggests, the work of a newspaper reporter or news writer is to summarize and write the news for either publishing or broadcasting. It is a complex job as whatever be the content of the news, the authority would always want it to be written and conveyed in the most unique way possible. This also requires the individual to have excellent writing skills backed with a good vocabulary. 

A news writer earns an average salary of Rs.2-3 lakhs every year. 

9. Foreign Correspondent

A foreign correspondent is the person who does the recording of the news from a distant location outside the country. Every news channels have their foreign correspondents who keep them updated about the events going on in other countries. 

A foreign correspondent earns an average of Rs.1-3 lakhs every year. 

10. Photo Journalist

In order to make the news in the newspaper look reliable and realistic, the newspaper agencies hire photojournalists. The job of the photojournalists has become of great importance due to the growth in the digital market. Their job is to bring a photograph which can make a headline in the newspaper. The different angles from which the photos are clicked determines the length of the story that can be generated from it. Every situation’s news when published with a visual perspective can be more meaningful to its viewers. 

A photojournalist can earn up to Rs.4-6 lakhs per year based on their work.

11. TV Correspondent

A TV correspondent is a journalist or reporter who telecasts the news directly from the main scene area. They correspond the news from the remote, distant or such areas where an event may be held. This is a difficult job as they may need to be present at the location in different climatic issues and despite such complication, they are required to convey the news with a lot of accuracy and most often without any time to prepare. 

A TV correspondent works really hard and based on that they are paid somewhere near Rs.1-3 lakh per year.

 Pros and Cons 

Thorough assessment plays a crucial role before stepping foot in any career field. The tasks may look appealing in the initial stage because one may not be aware of the demerits of working in the domain. To have a contented future one must have proper knowledge of the pros and cons of journalism and they are enumerated below. 

Pros/Advantages

  1. This career provides an exhilarating life and it is different from the typical 9-5 job.
  2. It provides job satisfaction to the individual concerned by providing a status the society. 
  3. It helps in enhancing the communication skills and vocabulary of the person concerned.
  4. It helps in improving the creativity of the individual working in this field because of the various project they work on. 
  5. The personnel in this profession are always at their toes to stay updated which is the requirement of their job. Hence, it promotes awareness in the professionals of this field. 
  6. Journalism also provides freedom and platform to express the thoughts on a large scale. 
  7. It promoted critical thinking and also brings about healthy competition in the work field. 

Cons/Disadvantages 

  1. The occurrences happen without notice and at various locations which makes the job of a journalist a really complicated task. 
  2. It is not a 9-5 job which means it requires one to be work at uneven times. 
  3. There is no stability of work in this domain. Many people suffer financial instability as in the beginning the income is really low. 
  4. The work can be very demanding and hence one does not get much time for personal life. 
  5. There is a lot of political as well as social pressure on the person of this domain. 
  6. Coming up with new content on every single day can be challenging and at times it may give rise to a lot of research which requires a lot of time and energy.
  7. The advancement in technology has also given rise to huge competition and one may have to face a lot of rejection before actually getting work. 

Eligibility Criteria 

The initial stage in obtaining eligibility for procuring admission in the well-known journalism institutions is compatible with all of the other institutions.

  • The candidate must hold the 10+2 educational qualification in any stream.
  • The requirement for the postgraduate courses is that one must have a degree with a minimum of 50% score from a well-recognized board. 

A good knowledge of the general science and being well informed is the basic necessity. If one seeks a profession in this domain then he/she must be well versed and comprehensive with the language that he/she has mastered in. Although most of the colleges may require the fulfilment of only these criteria, other institutions may also conduct a personal interview or organize a group discussion for selecting the appropriate candidates. 

Various Courses 

There are a number of courses available for students looking forward to making a career in journalism based on the level of one’s interest and educational qualification. The courses are well formulated keeping in mind the needs of the students. The aspirant can look up to the best-suited course for him/her in any of the universities one wishes to join. 

The courses stand different for undergraduate, postgraduate and diploma students and they are enlisted below. 

  • Diploma in Journalism [ Undergraduate; Duration 1year ] Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication [ Undergraduate; Duration 2 years ] 
  • BA in Journalism [ Undergraduate; Duration 3 years ]
  • Bachelor of Journalism [ Undergraduate; Duration 3 years ] 
  • BA in Convergent Journalism [ Undergraduate; Duration 3 years ] 
  • Bachelor in Journalism and Mass Communication [ Undergraduate; Duration 3 years ] 
  • BA in Mass Media [ Undergraduate; Duration 3 years ] 
  • BA in Journalism and Communication Studies [ Undergraduate; Duration 3 years ] 
  • BA in Script Writing [ Undergraduate; Duration 3 years ]
  • BSc in Mass Communication, Journalism and Advertising [ Undergraduate; Duration 3 years ] 
  • BSc in Mass Communication and Journalism [ Undergraduate; Duration 3 years ] 
  • Bachelor of Media Science [ Undergraduate; Duration 3 years ]
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism [ Postgraduate; Duration 1 year ] 
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Radio and TV Journalism [ Postgraduate; Duration 1 year ] 
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Print and Broadcast Journalism [ Postgraduate; Duration 1 year ]
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Acting [ Postgraduate; Duration 1 year ]
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Direction and Screenplay Writing [ Postgraduate; Duration 1 year ] 
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Editing, Sound Recording and Design [ Postgraduate; Duration 1 year] 
  • MA in Journalism and Communication [ Postgraduate; Duration 2 years ] 
  • MA in Entertainment, Media and Advertisement [ Postgraduate; Duration 2 years ] 
  • MA in Multimedia[ Postgraduate; Duration 2 years ]
  • Masters in Communication [ Postgraduate; Duration 2 years ] 
  • Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication [ Postgraduate; Duration 2 years ] 
  • MSc in Television and Film Production [ Postgraduate; Duration 2 years ] 

Fees

There are a number of courses in journalism which helps the candidate to build their dream career. The fees or educational expenses depends on the courses as well as the institutions. Every institute may have its own set of charges depending on the facilities and the training offered to the students. 

On average, the fees for the undergraduate and postgraduate courses in journalism in India may range between Rs.1-2 lakh per year. 

Top Institutions 

A good institution can help in enhancing the proficiency of an individual and help in discovering the skills possessed by him /her. Every institution reaps its reputation by the students enrolled and linked with it. If anything, a good institution can provide a suitable atmosphere for the learners to excel in a very practical and competitive field of journalism in the country and abroad. 

The well-recognized institutions in India providing distinct courses for the undergraduate, postgraduate, diploma and doctorate degrees are enumerated below. 

  • Indian Institute of Mass Communication ( IIMC ), Delhi
  • Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media ( IIJNM ), Bangalore
  • Xavier Institute of Communications ( XIC ), Mumbai
  • Asian College of Journalism, Chennai
  • Indira Gandhi National Open University ( IGNOU ) 
  • Delhi University
  • Punjab University 
  • Jawaharlal Nehru University 
  • Times School of Journalism, New Delhi
  • Department of Communication and Journalism, Pune 

Career Scope 

India is home to people of various religions and languages. At present every single channel prevails with multiple languages. If one accomplishes mastery in any one of the languages and pursues journalism courses, he/she can have a really successful career. This domain is growing at a very fast pace. Depending on one’s interest, aspirants from all across the nation have plenty of opportunities waiting to be ceased. 

Top companies like Doordarshan, Hindustan Times, Times of India, NDTV, Navbharat higher people to work at various levels almost every year. There are numerous options in this field and one can choose to work in magazines, periodicals, newspapers, websites, TV channels, air channels and so on and so forth. With proper qualification and hard work, one can fulfil their dreams of having a successful career in journalism. 

Online Guides to become a Freelance Journalist

Some Good Books for Journalism and Mass Communication

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