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Your Complete Guide to a Career in Journalism and Mass Communication

A career in journalism and mass communication consists of several subsets, including films, television, music, and journalism. In Journalism, content is created for print, broadcast and digital media at a national and global level.

A journalist’s role is to gather news from different sources, conduct research to validate the information, package it in an easily-digestible format, and present it to the audience. Modern-day journalists rely on news networks, informers, sources, and data to create compelling stories presented to the audience via various mediums.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Journalism refers to the process of using any medium to disseminate news, information and other content to a wide set of audiences. Traditional media includes print and television. Nowadays, social media and other digital platforms are used extensively for disseminating news content.

Journalism is an umbrella term that broadly includes

  • Print journalism is a traditional form that entails writing for newspapers, magazines, or other print publications.
  • Photojournalism – Photo journalists narrate a story through powerful pictures rather than words.
  • Broadcast journalism – Broadcast journalism uses electronic media like television and radio to broadcast news, stories, and interviews.
  • Digital journalism – Also known as online journalism, this is a contemporary field where content is distributed via online channels instead of print, television, or radio.

However, these categories are not rigid anymore. Nowadays, there is a lot of overlap among different media types, which requires journalists to be versatile and flexible about their media. For instance, broadcast journalists may have to take interviews, capture and edit visuals, and post them on social media platforms. Roles such as anchors, reporters, video journalists and news producers also involve substantial multitasking.

There are multiple career options in journalism and mass communication. They can become news anchors or conduct panel discussions. In reporting, they can select fields like politics, sports, entertainment, crime, etc. Specialisation in international media, data journalism, and investigative journalism opens different career avenues at the national and international levels.

With the rising demand for quality content on social media, there are career options in journalism ample opportunities to work as content producers and managers. Media companies and corporate houses need professionals who can write articles, tweet, make podcasts, go live on Instagram, and make short YouTube videos.

Students of journalism and mass communication can make a career in news media, public relations, and corporate communications. Big corporate houses, advertising agencies, international organisations, political parties, and celebrities all seek the right persons to help them spread content effectively on various platforms.

Broadcast journalists can find opportunities in traditional and alternative media, as well as on digital platforms. Graduates of broadcast journalism have many career options in journalism. They can discover jobs as reporters, correspondents, anchors, bulletin producers, production executives, video journalists, cameramen, video editors, sub-editors and photojournalists, to name a few. More than 400 news and current affairs channels in India need skilled and talented manpower. News channels and newspapers also have their digital presence. They need journalists skilled in producing and broadcasting content from various media platforms.

If you have a flair for writing and a spirit of inquiry, choosing journalism as a career path can offer numerous exciting opportunities. Here are a few reasons why you should choose a Journalism career:

  • It helps you explore new areas and discover new things every day.
  • It involves interaction and networking with all types of people, which enriches your perspective on life and work.
  • Engaging in fieldwork allows you to travel to new places and work in various settings.
  • With your stories, you can spread awareness about critical issues and be a catalyst for initiating action.
  • You can work in a dynamic field evolving daily with new technological advancements.

Media production entails creating audio-visual content for films, television, radio, and online formats.

Content is the key to Journalism and mass communication. One needs to understand the art of creating quality content through words, photos, or audio-visuals. The knowledge of basic camera operations, editing skills, and design tools is crucial in creating content for various media platforms to reach target audiences with the desired effect. Media production accounts for all these aspects, right from visualisation to the final product.

Previously distinct media technologies and platforms are now merged through digitisation and computer networking. This process is known as media convergence.

Newspapers and TV channels have their websites and apps. Media organisation makes content available across various platforms. Journalists should be able to generate and deliver content that best fits the platform’s requirements. Therefore, they need to learn the skills to gather information, process data, and visualise and write stories for various audiences.

Mass communication is the process of transmitting a message to the general populace through varied media like newspapers, magazines, radio, TV and the internet. It also involves media theories, media research, advertising, public relations, media history and management aspects. On the other hand, journalism is a subset of mass communication that involves the compilation and transmission of news through these mediums. Journalism education is directed towards creating well-rounded professionals who can take on different roles and responsibilities, including writers, reporters, photojournalists, anchors, news presenters, correspondents, feature producers, creative writers, interviewers, camerapersons, directors, editors, documentary filmmakers, radio jockeys, promo producers, etc.

There are opportunities in various private companies, including IT companies and government departments, as corporate communication officials. There are various fields for PR work, especially for politicians, celebrities, and big finance corporations, among others.

Most institutions that offer a degree in journalism will have the successful completion of 10+2 (in any stream) as the basic eligibility criterion for admission. Apart from this, some colleges might also ask you to appear for an entrance exam, group discussion and personal interview as a part of their student selection process. During this process, the college’s selection panel basically tries to gauge your aptitude, communication skills, passion, hobbies, skills and reasons why you want to take up journalism as your profession.

Here is a list of jobs that you can get when you choose journalism as a career option, such as:

  • News Anchor

    Anchors, presenters, or hosts are individuals who deliver news stories to the audience via television or web-based channels. Anchors usually work with news studios, shooting shows or snippets to broadcast later. In other cases, presenters or correspondents travel for on-site or live broadcast reports.

  • Video Journalist

    Video journalism revolves around the creation of audio-visual news content for the audience. This could include travelling to different locations, covering regional news, interviewing people and reporting on a wide range of topics. Video journalists are expected to be all-rounders, proficient in verbal and written communication, and well-versed in video shooting, audio recording and editing techniques.

  • Content Writers

    Content writers are in charge of creating content or drafting stories for broadcast mediums. They create content in the form of words, photographs or audio-visuals for various media organisations

  • Feature Producer

    A feature producer works on studio-based shows or special segments, assisting the chief producer in the process. They enable the efficient scripting, shooting and editing of these segments while also supervising the peripheral work on a variety of news features.

  • Executive Producer

    Managing the operations and flow of a studio production is a specialised and important job. Production executives are responsible for hiring manpower, managing equipment, and supervising the production process.

Apart from the seven jobs or roles mentioned above, there is a world of opportunities for those choosing journalism as a career. Here is a quick look at some other areas that you can explore:

  • Documentary production

    A documentary is a non-fiction film that seeks to document reality, mainly for education, instruction, or maintaining a record. Training in broadcast journalism can help you in documentary filmmaking as it teaches you to research a wide variety of topics and put them in perspective.

  • Corporate Communication

    Corporate communication refers to the management of all the internal and external communication of an organisation. It includes product launches, interviews, creating flyers, and writing press releases. A journalism course will help you to develop the necessary communication skills for this role.

  • Social Media Management

    Social media management involves writing social media content for companies, communicating with their key stakeholders, creating social campaigns, and developing strategies to increase traffic to their websites. Journalists fit the profile perfectly due to their ability to create content for specific audiences and identify emerging trends.

  • Content Strategy

    Content strategists are part of a company’s marketing team. They create audio-visual and written content to attract target audiences generate and convert leads. Journalists make great content strategists because they are trained in effective communication and can write interesting and well-researched stories from a consumer-centric standpoint.

  • Market Research

    Market research is the process of studying customer needs and preferences to evaluate the feasibility of a certain product or service. While marketing is from a consumer standpoint, market research is from a business success standpoint. Broadcast journalists are especially suited for this role as they are well-versed in conducting surveys and interviews and documenting opinions.

  • Podcasting

    Podcasts are digital audio files that cover niche topics from different genres, including books, music, entertainment, and education. Podcasting is a popular career option in journalism who are already trained in the use of audio equipment, hosting, and oratory skills.

  • Public Relations

    Public relations include a company’s internal communications, strategic communications, and all communications related to public affairs. Public relations aim to ensure that all stakeholders maintain a favourable view of the organisation, its leadership, and its products. Journalists best fit this profile due to their superior interactive and networking skills.

  • Blogging

    Blogs are informative articles published on website pages, often showcasing a company’s offerings or discussing topics related to the field. Companies commonly hire journalists to produce high-quality blog posts for their websites.

  • Writing skills
  • Ability to conduct research independently
  • Fluency and control over language
  • Good networking skills
  • Journalistic ethics and unwavering integrity
  • Competent investigative skills
  • Good understanding of the news media industry
  • Knowledge of new technology and digital media
  • Ability to shoot, record and edit using industry-standard equipment

Enrolling in a journalism college will give you a comprehensive list of the hardware and software tools you will need during your course of study. Some standard requirements are:

  • Hardware

    You will need a laptop and an external drive for storage and backup.

  • Photography and video equipment

    Most smartphone cameras are good enough for traditional journalism courses. But if you plan to study photojournalism, you will need a high-end DSLR or digital camera for your course.

  • Audio recording equipment

    Smartphones have a built-in recording feature. But if you intend to specialise in broadcast journalism, you must invest in good-quality sound recorders and a headset.

  • Software applications

    Word-processing apps, automated grammar checks, image editing tools, and audio and video editing software are some essential tools for journalism students. Reasonably priced student versions are available for most software applications.

India is home to a host of media institutions that offer courses in journalism and mass communication or mass media. However, selecting the right college for a degree in broadcast journalism is important since this is the investment you will make for your professional journalism career.

Here are a few things to consider while choosing a college or course for broadcast journalism:

  • Course curriculum and practical exposure
  • Faculty and their experience
  • Facilities and infrastructure
  • Alumni
  • Job placements, internships and industry tie-ups
  • Fees
  • Industry exposure (seminars, guest lectures, field trips, studio visits)

While every university or private institute will have its own set of subjects and modules as a part of its journalism degree, there are a few key areas covered in these programmes. Here’s a quick look at the core subjects that are taught as a part of any professional journalism course:

  • Basics of Journalism and Mass Media
  • Global Media
  • Anchoring and Interview Techniques
  • Creating Content for Digital Platforms
  • Writing Skills
  • Feature Production
  • Reporting Techniques
  • Studio Production Process
  • News Production
  • Production Control Room Operations
  • Investigative Journalism
  • Camera Operation and Multi-camera Setup
  • Editing Softwares

Journalism degree courses are offered by various colleges in India. Each college has its unique fee structure, depending on where it is based, what facilities it provides, what kind of courses it delivers, etc. On average, the annual fees for contemporary journalism degree courses fall between Rs. 20,000 and Rs. 4 lacs.

Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Delhi, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Indore, Varanasi, Bhopal, Ahmedabad, and Chennai are cities known for their quality of higher education. These places have multiple media and journalism institutes that you can choose from for your degree. Apart from being educational hubs, these cities are also hot avenues for entry-level and experienced journalists in terms of jobs. All the places mentioned above have a thriving media and news industry. Hence, capable journalists have several opportunities to begin their careers, establish themselves and make their mark.

  • Watch, read and browse through the daily news
  • Read up online about journalism and broadcast media
  • Follow the leading news channels and print subscriptions
  • Develop the ability to write in different styles for different media platforms
  • Try writing your own versions of published pieces of content or news
  • Start capturing the events around you using your smartphone or camera
  • Learn to shoot and edit videos of good quality
  • Meet current and past journalism students and ask them all the questions you have
  • Sign up on LinkedIn and other job portals to keep an eye on what journalism recruiters expect from potential hires

If you have a passion for journalism or content creation for various media platforms, kickstart your journalism career support with a three-year journalism and Media Production degree at the Seamedu School of Pro-Expressionism. The media institute offers the perfect blend of theoretical knowledge, practical training, and on-the-job learning.