It’s easy to assume that with the growing popularity of electronic and digital media, print journalism has a decreasing number and quality of jobs to offer. However, the print media is still the most flourishing of them all. India saw circulation of 99 million copies of newspapers in the year 2007 itself. Careers in print journalism are therefore in much more demand now, Dailies, weeklies, broadsheets, tabloids, magazines – the options are endless.
A journalist has the responsibility of expressing not only facts, but also a point of view. The immense responsibility of informing and influencing people lies on the shoulders of a journalist. Skills such as computing research analysis, collecting information and presentation will take you along way. Discipline time and stress management are personal traits that can help you climb the career ladder. Honesty is the top most priority in a journalist’s profession along with accuracy and no distortion. Integrity in the profession is important. This career track takes two forms – editing and reporting.
A sub-Editor is an important part of any magazine and newspaper. It is the sub, as they are called who gives shape to a story.
A good sub-editor can make a good read out of the shoddiest of write-ups. Equipped with a good judgment of language form, implication and reason, editing is a path that can lead to revered positions in organizations such as that of the Editor.
A reporter presents to the world significant events that can affect, or have affected a large portion of the population. The number of news papers community news letters, regional and national are on the rise and along with them there is invariably the rise of reporters of increasing caliber. A reporter must not show off what he knows instead he /she must present what the public must know. A reporter’s job is different from that of the editor as he / she has to objectively collect information about the events taking place around the reader. The reporter does the field work, and one of the most outstanding traits of a reporter is his reporter is his people skills and the ability to obtain correct information at the right time. It is said that old news is no news an publications houses around the world will have a rising demand for this profession as they race against one another to be the first to cover any event.
Columnists are specialist in certain areas of knowledge or study who contribute to a publication with reference to their field of specialization. Some publications dedicate weekly columns to these ideas and many a times people come to relate a specialist with the publication his /her article is printed in.
No graduate fresh out of college is offered space in a publication just because of his / her qualification one requires experience and specialization to be a columnist. An aspiring columnist may be asked to cover certain events and based on the analysis he /she presents of the given matter over a period of times and the level of excellence one may be then offered a regular a regular column.
A photojournalist plays a role similar to that of a reporter by conveying facts and stories. The difference is that while the reporter may use words the photojournalism uses symbolic visuals. The photojournalist requires impeccable timing, and should be prepared for surprises. Apart from skill and knowledge about photography what matters most is that the photo should be taken in the correct time bracket. A photojournalist like a literary journalist cannot afford to let the moment pass because the scene that could be clicked can change drastically in a matter of seconds. As more and more desktop publishing techniques are being used and technologies available in abundance, most publications are hiring consistent photographers for the job.
One could start with sending in pictures to publications and as one improves on the skill, job opportunities increase.
A freelancing professional can play any or all of the roles above, but is not affiliated to only one publication.
A critic analyses and brings to light the pros and cons of any concept or product. The role of a critic also involves appreciation of good work, be it literary, artistic, political, cinematic etc. This would imply that one must have strong reasoning skills, as well as a well rounded understanding of the matter at hand. While it could take a while to be a full fledged critic one can start with reviewing the subjects of interest and commenting on them with a fair and open mind. With practice expertise and variety one can eventually take the title of a critic.
There is a variety in this field as well, apart from being the regular content critic one can venture into the commercial aspects of critiquing. Pranav is a film business analyst and the editor of a 56 year old weekly film business journal. As far as skill is concerned, apart from a good command over the language it is basically knowing the industry’s performance trends, viewer trends and preferences, film economics good business judgment and good PR. The responsibilities, he says include having a good accuracy rate, and reporting factual business data in depth.
As is obvious careers in print journalism are not only wide in number but also in scope. Those in the print journalism have scope to support, change or challenge beliefs. Thus, employment factors and professionals in this field continue to be in demand and hence an education in this direction will pay in leaps and bounds.