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    Career in Journalism | How to Become a Journalist - Scope, Job & Salary

    Journalism is a trend that fascinates individuals in terms of exposure. It generally refers to the creation, production, and dissemination of reports on recent or current events. A person who does this job is called as a Journalist. A journalist is an individual who collects, writes, records, and disseminates information to a larger audience. Journalists generally make the report on current events or issues by assembling related information and then conferring that information to the public. It takes years, keen observation and all your senses active to be a good journalist.

    Journalism is one of the most voguish career pathway for those who are interested in writing and digital media. It offers modern graduates multiple opportunities to study all facets of news-oriented writing in different areas encompassing politics, crime, travel, lifestyle etc.

    Like other professions, this profession also possesses various specializations. Journalists can be writers, TV reporters, photo or video journalists, each practising their particular mediums to craft appealing stories that resonate among the public while distributing the important information. The word journalism refers to the occupation, and citizen journalists employing their methods and techniques of collecting information.

    What does a journalist do?

    Today, the term journalist is quite enough to explain what this profession actually means. It owes a major role for the society in educating the public about current events and issues and the way they affect their lives. Journalists are called as the watchdog of the society as they possess keen observation skills and nose for news (like a dog) and notice each & everything happening in the area or country. Journalists usually spend most of their time interviewing expert sources or personalities, hunting for public records and other experts for more and in-depth information. Most of the time, they visit the places or scene where a crime or other newsworthy incident took place. Therefore, journalists basically are storytellers. They write and report the news stories regarding everything, from social issues or political events to sports or entertainment.

    With the advent of digital media, there are multiple specialist tasks for journalists. In large organizations or companies, journalists can specialize in only one job/assignment whereas, in small organizations, each journalist has to perform several different tasks/responsibilities.

    Here are some of the job profiles in which journalists have to work:

    1- Reporters: Reporters are a type of journalists who gather information or news and present it in a written or spoken form in news stories, feature articles or documentaries. Reporters work with the staff of news organizations as well as work as freelancers and write stories for whoever pays them.

    The general reporters are those who incorporate all sorts of news stories, but some of the journalists are professionally specialized in specific areas like reporting sport, politics, crime or agriculture etc.

    2- Sub-editors: Sub-editors are the ones who take the stories/information written by reporters and placed them into a form that suits or satisfies the specific requirements of their particular newspaper, magazine, bulletin or web page. Sub-editors do not collect information on their own. Their job is to focus on how a story can be best be presented to their target audience. They are often known as subs. Their person in charge is called as the chief sub-editor, usually abbreviated to chief sub.

    3- Photojournalists: A photojournalist is a person who uses photographs or pictures to deliver the news/information. They either have to cover current events along with a reporter and takes photographs to demonstrate the written story or visit the news events by his/her own to confer both the pictures with a story and caption.

    4- The editor: Editor as a profession is considered above the above-mentioned profiles.  An editor is generally a person who takes the final decision about what is covered in the newspaper, magazine or news bulletins. The person working as an editor is responsible for all the content and the journalists. He/She are assigned several deputies and assistants in order to help them.

    5- The news editor: A news editor is a person in charge of the news journalists. In small organizations, the news editor makes generally all the decisions regarding what stories to cover, who will do the work and where. In larger organizations, the news editor also has a deputy, usually called as the chief of staff, whose specific job is to allow reporters to different stories elected.

    6- Feature writers: The feature writers are those who work for newspapers and magazines, writing longer stories which usually give a base or framework to the news. In small organizations, the reporters have to write feature articles by themselves and the person in charge of feature writers is often named as the features editor. In the larger radio or television stations, they have specialists staff members who produce current affairs programs like the broadcasting equivalent to the feature article. The person in charge of producing a special current issue program is ordinarily called the producer of the organization and the person in charge of all the programs in that series of producing programs is called the executive producer or EP.

    7- Specialist writers: The special writers are those who are employed to produce particular commentary columns or reviews of things like books, films, art or performances. They are generally elected for their knowledge or information about specific subjects or their capability to write well and the small organizations practice general reporters for all of such tasks or jobs.

    Journalists are someone who is responsible for identifying topics or subjects that are more essential to the public and then searching the well-researched stories on these particular topics. It is a broad discipline that includes several specialist divisions including technology, politics, breaking news, entertainment, and lifestyle. Therefore, journalism is actually a form of storytelling based on facts, figures, and information.

    Why become a journalist?

    Why be a journalist? is a big question that comes in the mind of every third person who wants to enter into this field. People who invade into journalism for a variety of reasons, there are four main objectives:

    The urge to write-

    Journalists are basically a significant group of people in most developing countries. The fond of writing lies in their blood. Many young people who view themselves as upcoming novelists or authors can opt journalism as a way of obtaining a living while improving their writing skills. Although writing for newspapers, magazines and writing for books demands several qualities, the ambition to be a great writer or author is not one to be deterred in a would-be journalist.

    The hunger for knowledge-

    Curiosity is a natural behaviour of people's characters and a requisite ingredient for journalists. Thousands of youngsters enroll into this profession with the desire and hunger to know more and more about the world. These professionals are not only limited to specialize in certain fields of study. But many of the critics accuse journalists of being insane, and in fact, journalism by its very essence and nature excites people who are inquisitive & curious about everything taking place in this universe. Most of the journalists tend to comprehend little-little bits about so many things, rather than a cluster about any single topic.

    Knowledge is something that can help you become a normal employee to a big prominent personality. It has many uses and advantages. It can solely support you to make a fuller and extra impressive person. It can also grant you power over other people, especially people who do not hold that appropriate knowledge or information. One should always keep in mind that power can be utilized in a positive way to improve and enhance people's lives in a self-indulgent way to advance and encourage oneself.

    The passion to be known and to explore

    Most people want their work to be recognized and approved by others. This helps them to proffer their value. Some of the people further want to be recognized and identified by themselves, so that they possess a particular status in the cores of the society. It’s not a bad idea to desire to be popular, but this obligation never becomes your foremost reason for becoming a journalist. One can not be a good journalist until he runs more for impressing and fascinating your audience rather than working for their needs and requirements.

    The desire to sway for good:-

    The desire of influencing others for a good motive is a quite impressing and good decision. If one works for this very reason, then he/she must be praised. After understanding the potential of the printed or spoken word or image in rural areas, some people join journalism for the same power that will be given to them in order to influence people. In many countries, plenty of politicians owe backgrounds and experiences as journalists. It is an apparent question that whether they are journalists who jumped into politics or actually politicians who practised journalism as a stepping stone.

    Love to Serve People

    This is an influential belief that journalists or media persons control the mass media but the real journalists are those who recognize and perceive their position as servants of the public. They are kind of channels through which information or data streams and they are the interpreters or speakers of events. This recognition which is paired with the desire to influence can provide good campaigning journalists who perceive themselves as the trendsetter for the common men or women. They are always ready to work for the cause of the underdog, detect corruption and injustices of office. This plays an important role in any democratic process and should be uniformly valuable and welcome in nations where a non-democratic government controls and regulates the press or media.

    There is a big difference between the desire to influence matters for your own benefit, and the urge to do it for others. One should never practice journalism for miserly ends but can utilize it to promote the life of other people by memorizing that they may not agree with you forever on whatever these amendments should be.


    Eligibility criteria for becoming a Journalist:

    To become a journalist, one needs to go through the directed eligibility criteria which are as follows:

    ➣ It is obligatory for the candidates to be passed 10+2 level with 50 % of the minimum marks from any recognized educational board.

    ➣ Aspirants who have qualified intermediate from any of the streams are also eligible for becoming a journalist.

    ➣ There are no such restraints on the age of the candidates to pursue any course related to journalism discipline.  

    The main thing that matters in the field of journalism is the hunger for knowledge and the instinct for this particular field. Here are some attributes that are requisite for being a journalist.

    Traits and Attributes required to be a Journalist:
    • Courage and Boldness
    • Exemplary communication and writing skills
    • Knowledge of Technology
    • Investigative Skills
    • Research skills
    • Ethics and Integrity
    • Objectivity and focus on your target audience
    • Self-confidence,
    • Keyboard and IT skills
    • Ability to formulate unique ideas
    • An eye for editorial


    How to become a Journalist?

    Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism

    The very first towards becoming a journalist is to acquire a bachelor’s degree in journalism discipline. Aspirants are recommended to go for the degree courses to enhance and groom their skills required for being a journalist. Before jumping into the field of journalism, he/she must be assured that he possesses all that skills that a journalist needs to have in himself/herself. In the Bachelor’s programme, students will be taught the basic intro of mass communication, writing, reporting, editing, electronic media, constitution etc, almost every subject because journalism is not about a single topic, it covers every aspect of news today.

    Step 2: Pursue an Internship

    To enhance and groom up your attributes, candidates are required to attain an internship experience of at least 6 months. An internship experience can help you know what you have to perform when you’ll get the desired job. A work experience matters a lot in the field so it is obligatory for the candidates to pursue an internship. While attaining the internship, candidates will learn about writing skills, editing, reporting, etc. So, by hook or crook, you must gather an internship experience after your course or while pursuing the course.

    Step 3: Seek Employment

    After pursuing the course successfully, candidates are required to find out the employment and job opportunities by visiting different news channels and media houses. A candidate with excellent communication and writing skills can easily get the chance to do the job and enjoy the profession. There are numerous news channels in India with innumerable job opportunities like reporters, editors, content writers, video editors, graphics designer etc. So, join the news houses and excel in the field by selecting the right optimum job.

    Step 4: Advance Your Career

    It is the last step towards becoming attaining this career opportunity. After doing the course, experience from internship and job, one can advance in the field and join high-profile jobs like directors, editors, producers, etc and can even open up their own news channels to excel in the field. At this point in time, aspirants are suggested to do business and attend lucrative job possibilities.  

    • The Role and Responsibility of a Journalist:

    Journalism is a profession whose demand is growing day by day with each and every increasing individual. There is a big list of the candidates who are hunting for jobs in this very field to become a journalist. A journalist is a person who acts as a hub of so many professions under it. The main job of the journalist is to educate, guide, and instruct the people regarding the current happening in the world. They collect, gathers, researches, make records and distributes information to a larger audience to make them aware that our earth is overseeing these changes and incidents. They inform and acquaint the public discussion or dispute so that the educated people will be ready to advance choices and deliver connected, attributed, reliable, verified, authorized, and sourced news.

    With his/her sincere efforts, a journalist is the only person that can make a qualitative and quantitative change in society. He/She holds the patience quality to work along with the politicians, bureaucrats, and criminals to perceive their view and bring them to the public forum. If a person contains all these features that allow him /her to do all these works at varied hours, then Journalism is one of the excellent career options one can pursue. It is possible to transfer the news/information among television, radio, newspaper and publishing work.

    The job of a journalist typically includes:-

    • Writing, editing, and submitting a copy
    • Reading press releases
    • Researching articles
    • Establishing and maintaining contacts with prominent personalities
    • Interviewing and examining sources
    • Attending events
    • Proofreading
    • Verifying or testing statements, facts or figures.
    • Being up to date with privacy, contempt and defamation law
    • Cooperating with the editors, sub-editors, designers, and photographers etc.


    Career Prospects and Salary Outlook:-

    Journalism is a profession whose demand graph has increased over the past few years at the same velocity as the chart of the world stock exchanges has befallen. One who looks for excitement, prestige, glamour, and money and much more in one particular profession, then journalism is the best profession I can say.

    A journalism degree is something that provides you with an array of key journalistic abilities such as researching, investigating, interviewing, reporting, analyzing, and writing additionally, with the technical skills including video, editing, shorthand, audio, content management, as well as web design.  One can attain a pretty prosperous career while working in media houses also.

    Job opportunities:

    The journalists can get into the following job profiles:

    • Broadcast journalist
    • Editorial assistant
    • Magazine features editor
    • Magazine journalist
    • Newspaper journalist
    • Press sub-editor
    • Publishing copy-editor/proofreader
    • Web content manager
    • Writer
    • Advertising copywriter
    • Digital copywriter
    • Market researcher
    • Multimedia specialist
    • Public relations officer
    • Science writer
    • Translator

    Journalists have a vast field area for performing work. There are innumerable organizations in India that demand journalists. If you aspire to perform inside the walls of journalism, then you can get employment opportunities in the following organizations such as:

    • National, regional and local newspapers (print and online)
    • Radio and television stations
    • Magazines
    • Media and broadcast companies
    • Creative digital media companies.

    Outside the world of journalism and media, there are plenty of possibilities for you to apply your creativity and communication skills. Typical employers can incorporate the following:

    • PR consultancies
    • Corporate communications agencies
    • Advertising and marketing companies


    Compensation Package:

    If talking about the salary package of the multi-tasking profession, then it starts from a low wage because of the tough competition but can help you get lucrative pay as well depending on the attributes one acquire.

    A fresher employee or journalist can expect a minimum salary of about Rs. 15000 to Rs. 30,000 on a monthly basis in a reputed organization whereas the small organizations or news channels even pay less than Rs 10,000 to the freshers. In the same field, candidates with 5- 8 years of experience can get the chance to join the top-notch news channels and attain salaries in lakhs around 1 to 4-5 lakhs or even more per month depending upon your capabilities. These professions include the job profiles of editors, producers, directors, news anchors etc. With the salary package, journalists get the power of doing things earlier before anyone by earning a tag from press agencies.  

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