Most people know that journalist write research based stories and features articles to inform readers about issues and events in the news. They collect local, national and international news through interviews, investigation and observation. They write news stories for publication and broadcast; they receive analyze and verify news and other copy for accuracy they may conduct interviews for radio and television programs. They may research and report on developments in specialized fields, such as medicine, science and technology etc and prepare regular feature columns and stories on specialized topics.
If you have a nose for news the courage to present issues the way they are, and an inclination towards expressing thoughts perfectly in words, then perhaps you are crafted to be a journalist.
News reporters write and present reports on daily news. An investigative reporter will cover stories that may take days / weeks of exploring leads and gathering information.
Sub-editors: edit written copy prepared by reporters and correspondents design and lay out pages add headlines and allocate space to stories to stories and articles.
Feature writers: focus on detailed stories or present commentaries on specific new topics
Columnists: write regular segments on a particular interest such as gardening or fashion.
Sports reporters: specialize in news from the world of sports.
The editor is responsible for the editorial content the style in which it is written and presented.
On radio and television, the news anchors / readers present news stories, introduce video taped news or live transmissions from on the scene reporter. They may be part of the team gathering the news and writing reports. Television and radio reporters may have to compose and report news live as it happens.
Undergraduate journalism and mass communication programs are a recent trend, but it is always better to have a liberal arts background to broaden one’s horizons at the undergraduate level. A postgraduate program in journalism provides training in the technicalities of the field.
Graduates from all disciplines are eligible to join the postgraduate program. Many institutes conduct a written test and interview as part of the selection process.
Postgraduates in economics, commerce, business management and allied fields may enter directly on the basis of their academic background, if they have the right skills.
The media sector is booming with more publications and products entering the market. There are publications, news channels, business channels, business publications and the list just goes on and on.
Journalists therefore enjoy diverse employment opportunities within print, radio, television and online media. Within each of these, are opportunities in English and any regional languages. All areas are currently booming, so there is no dearth of choices for aspiring journalists.
Journalists are versatile and adaptable. The knowledge and skills they develop are widely valued in careers in PR, reality TV, publishing and marketing. Large organizations employ journalists in communications and media management positions.
Even with all these opportunities entry into journalism remains competitive. Vacation jobs, freelancing and internships working on college magazines and writing for various publications would generate samples of published work adds value to applications and placement there after.
Experienced journalists are enjoying a variety of opportunities and salaries are booming fuelled by the growth of television and launch of new publications and broadcast channels. Prospects for employment are good, and growing as the networks, multiply and spread, trying to provide news 24X7 (traditionally described as round the clock).
1) University of Mumbai, Department of Communication and Journalism, Mumbai
2) Indian Institute of Mass communication, New Delhi
3) Asian College off Journalism, Chennai
4) AJK Mass Communication Research Center, Jamia Milllia Islamia New Delhi.