While the traditional definition of a journalist was always tied to the world of news journalism across print and broadcast mediums, this is no longer the case. Of course, news reporters, anchors, photojournalists, researchers, presenters and studio professionals (audio-visual production experts) are and will always be in demand. However, there are several alternative careers for journalists that fall under the ‘relatively-unexplored or underappreciated realms of work’ category that most people tend to ignore or overlook.
Journalism as a career in India is perhaps one of the most exciting, thriving and rewarding professions today and the way the industry is evolving, people contemplating long-term work in this field are at a definite advantage.
Amongst the most lucrative and creative journalism career options is that of a content writer or editor.
Understanding content writing as a career option
Whether you talk about print, television, radio or web journalism, content writers are in high demand across journalistic avenues and other fields as well. Content writers are required to fulfill specialized roles, including creative writing, technical writing, scriptwriting, screenwriting, dialogue writing, business writing and copywriting in setups such as:
- Television news studios
- Radio channels
- News channels
- Digital marketing companies
- Social media marketing enterprises
- Advertising agencies
- Media houses
- Companies that offer creative solutions
- B2B and B2C setups that prefer having their own editorial and creative team
And these are just a few examples of the career avenues open for qualified and capable content creators. Content writing and editing usually refers to the generation of original or curated content in the text format. This content can be utilized and published in various ways, including the following formats:
- Newspaper articles
- Magazine features
- Website content
- Marketing material
- Online blog articles
- Technical content
- Ads and commercials
- Social media posts, stories and more
In fact, the text written by content writers is often rendered via the audio-visual medium in the form of:
- Broadcast news
- Documentary films
- Television/web news shows
- AV content for entertainment
- Educational videos
Basically, any written or spoken word that you read, hear or see, originates from a content writer’s mind. Whether it is the news ticker on a TV channel, a funny post on Instagram, the things you read or interact with on any website, the primetime shows you watch, or the ads and promotional marketing material that is spluttered around us 24×7 – everything begins with an idea that is worked upon by a content writer or team of writers and editors.
Qualifications, experience and skills required to become a content writer
If you were to look up job offers and vacancies across any of the aforementioned avenues for content writers and editors, you would notice that most recruiters prefer writers with one or more of the following educational qualifications:
- Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication
- Degree in Broadcast Journalism
- Degree in Communication Studies
- Masters in Journalism
- Masters in Mass Media
- MBA (Media specialization)
- BA English / Hindi (or any regional language)
- MA English / Hindi (or any regional language)
Past experience in the field is a bonus. Apart from looking at your CV, employers like to get a taste of your writing. For this, you might be required to send them samples of your writing or copies of your past work. While some employers are finicky about your experience in a specific domain or subdomain, most avenues accept content writers as generalists at the beginning of their careers. Even if you are a fresher who has just graduated with a journalism degree, the options are countless. As a writing sample, you can even submit a poem, rant or story that hasn’t been published anywhere. Most companies or recruiters will set a test or give you a mock assignment to work on, in order to gauge whether you have certain skills that they are looking for.
Here’s a list of skills that content writers are expected to have:
- A natural flair for language
- The ability to communicate flawlessly
- Excellent writing skills
- Error-free, well-punctuated writing
- The ability to grasp a range of topics and subjects in minimal time
- Creativity and the ability to say the same thing in multiple different ways
- Writing (typing) speed and accuracy
- The ability to write in different formats
- Time management and workload-bearing capacity
- The ability to work independently as well as in collaboration with other creative minds
Ready to leap into the world of content writing?
If you believe you have a great sense of linguistics, good communication skills and a penchant for the written word, content writing could prove to be a fantastic career choice in the long run. While writers and editors are generally hired for full-time or part-time positions, today’s remote working trend also allows you to explore freelancing opportunities.
Salaries and roles in the content domain
Starting salaries or project payments could range anywhere between Rs. 240,000 and Rs. 400,000 PA in India. With relevant experience and a rich tapestry of projects, content writers can start getting paid handsomely and rise through the ranks rapidly.
Over time, you can explore roles such as:
- Content writer
- Content developer
- Content specialist
- Content editor
- Content strategist
- Content head
- Creative head
Seamedu School of Pro-Expressionism offers a comprehensive degree course in broadcast journalism and mass communication, which is designed to help you step into this field with ample theoretical as well as practical knowledge.