How to Become a Journalist In India | Schools, Requirements, Cost

Do you think that merely engaging in some kind of activities like snapping a picture at an accident scene with a cell phone or creating a blog site for news makes one a journalist?

Well, sometimes it does but, there is a clear distinction between acting as a journalist and ‘being a Journalist’. The difference is in the end result.

Actually, practicing real journalism is easy and highly lucrative. It simply involves getting the right education and training.

If you’re in India and aspiring to become a journalist, you’re making a great choice. We have put together a step-by-step guide that will create a smooth part for your career.

Who Is a Journalist?

Exercise increased caution in India due to crime and terrorism. Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.

This is a recent news headline from the India Travel Advisory and was put together by a Journalist.

Every day there is some story from around the world ranging from education, career, lifestyles, politics, science, sports to technology. Without a journalist, it is impossible for these stories to reach the masses.

That said, a journalist according to wikipedia.org, is a person who collects, writes, photographs, processes, edits, or comments on news or other topical information to the public.

Why Be a Journalist?

People enter into journalism for various reasons; some of which includes the following;

Love for Writing

The major group of people who make their living from writing are journalists. Although writing news reports and writing articles have two separate formats, the zeel to be a great writer can be found in an aspiring journalist.

Fame

A journalism career allows you to meet and interact with people from all walks of life. Through this, you have the opportunity to hear their stories. However, seeking to be famous is not bad but it shoud not be the primary reason for being a journalist. I say this because a good journalist does not care about impressing people but serving their needs.

Discover New things

Journalism makes one versatile. As a journalist, you have to seek facts and backup with a enough data. So, part of your job will be to inquire new information and ask “why?” questions to find out more.

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There are many other motives why people go into journalism like pursuing an excited career and maybe lucrative career as well but, money and fun shouldn’t be the primary focus right?

Well, you will get a better understanding if you learn more about what journalism or maybe what journalist do.

What Does a Journalist Do?

As earlier said, a journalism career opens doors for a wide array of career options. Let’s look at the most common and specialist tasks for journalists.

Writer

The are different types of writing in journalism; Feature writing and Specialized writing.

Feature writers work for newspapers and magazines, writing longer stories which usually give background to the news-according to thenewsmanual.net. The person in charge of features is usually called the features editor.

A specialist writer is someone who is employed to produce personal commentary columns or reviews. A specialist writer is experience and has the ability to write well.

Reporter

The job of a reporter is to gather information and present it in a written or spoken form in news stories, feature articles or documentaries.

Some reporters specialized in some certain areas like sport, politics or agriculture but General reporters cover all sorts of news stories.

Photojournalist

Photojournalists tell news using photographs. They often work with the reporter to cover events or take photographs to illustrate the written story, or attend news events on their own, presenting both the pictures and a story.

Editor

For the editing task, we have the Sub-editor, the News-editors and then the final editors.

The sub-editors usually do not gather information themselves. They arranged the stories written by reporters and put them into a form which suits the special needs of their particular newspaper, magazine, bulletin or web page.

News-editors are in charge of the news journals. And, the editor checks what is included in the newspaper or magazine.

Although there are opportunities in this field, it is competitive. However, with hard work and passion, a career in journalism can be very fulfilling.

What Skills Do I Need to Become A Successful Journalist?

To excel in the journalism career, you must learn a skill that is suitable for the profession.

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  • Reliable: This is one of the qualities that will announce you in a journalism career. Your employer and your audience rely on you to do your job.
  • Good communication skills: The ability to communicate well will help you to connect with the audience and enables them to make their point well. 
  • Digital Literacy: To succeed as a journalist in today’s world, you need to know how to use modern technology like social media, websites, apps, smartphones, laptops, tablets, and any other broadcast mediums. 
  • Ability to solve problems: You must be able to find the best possible solution to any issue that might pop up during work.
  • Investigative skills: As a journalist, you must be persistent and committed to finding facts and information and that entails you being aware of current affairs. 
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How to Get Into Journalism In India: Step-by-step guide

A journalism career opens the door for a wide array of skills that can prepare one for many different careers. It also offers numerous opportunities for individuals to showcase their talents.

Now you understand what journalism is, if you consider it as the best fit for you, the following information will help you to get started.

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  • #1. Earn a Bachelor Degree
  • #2. Go to a Journalism School
  • #3. Complete an Internship
  • #4. Choose an Area of Specialization
  • #5. Land An Entry Level Job
  • #6. Get an Advanced Degree
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Earn a bachelor Degree

The first step to becoming a journalist is by earning a bachelor’s degree. This is the minimum entry requirement for journalism school.

However, some institutions in India offer journalism as an independent course while others offer it as a major under mass communication.

During your undergraduate level, you will learn the basic coursework in the Development of Journalism, Governance, and Politics, Fundamentals of Computer, and Introduction to Electronic Media.

Upon graduation, you can apply for an entry-level job or proceed to journalism school where you will be exposed to advanced coursework in Journalism.

If you are from Australia and you stumble on this post, you can click here and learn How to Become a Journalist in Australia

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Go to a Journalism Schoo

Journalism schools feature a master’s degree programs. This program prepares you to chase leads and write on a deadline.

Coursework covers advanced topics in writing for print and online readers, strategic communications, and techniques for storytelling.

Some of the specializations available in this program include the following;

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  • Broadcast Journalism(M.A)
  • Science and Technology Journalism(M.A)
  • Digital Media Journalism(M.A)

With this degree, you can apply to teach journalism at the college level.

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Complete an Internship

Internships forms an important part of journalism. Journalists can receive on-the-job training at media outlets, including newspapers, magazines, websites, and broadcast stations.

Internships generally attract a smaller pay or no pay at all. The idea, however, is for young, ambitious journalists-in-training to work alongside the professionals in newsrooms.

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Most media organizations have some kind of formal program affiliated with one or more colleges or universities for interns.

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Choose an Area of Specialization

Journalism is a broad discipline and is therefore broken down into different areas of concentration. Some of the common specializations are listed below.

As a graduate journalist, having gone through an internship, you should know the concentration that best fits your interest.

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  • Broadcast Journalism
  • Business and Financial Reporting
  • Environmental Journalism
  • Feature and Magazine Writing
  • Global and International Journalism
  • News Reporting
  • Online or Multi-Media Journalism
  • Photojournalism
  • Political Journalism
  • Science and Health Reporting
  • Sports Reporting
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Get A Job

There is actually no clear or direct path to getting a first job as a journalist. As a graduate in this field, you should aim to have a portfolio of work in the form of published stories and/or photographs, or clips from radio or television broadcasts. 

Also, with a clearly written cover letter and professional queries that contain portfolio materials, you can approach editors and producers at publishing and media organizations.

Gaining the relevant job experience will prepare you for an advanced degree program. This program will prepare you for bigger job opportunities.

What Schools Have the Best Journalism Programs In India?

Selecting the best journalism college can be very challenging for many. This is due to the multiple options available and the deceptive advertisements all over the media.

However, through careful research, reviews, and contacting individual schools, we have been able to put together a few colleges that offer the best journalism programs.

These are well-accredited top-ranked institutions that offer journalism programs at all levels. Note that a few of these schools offer journalism as a course under mass communication.

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How Much Does it Cost to Become a Journalist In India?

The cost of acquiring a journalism degree usually varies by school.  In general, an annual course fee of enrolling in a Journalism school ranges between ₹15,000 – ₹3,00,000 per year.

How Much Do Journalist Earn?

Journalists’ salaries are dependent on the level of seniority and can range from INR 25-30k to INR 1,00,000 per month, with experience. On average, journalist earns about INR 3.5 lacs per annum, according to Payscale.

What is the Job Outlook of a Journalist?

Journalism work may be challenging but it is very satisfying and quite demanding. With the intense growth in online journalism and media as companies are investing heavily in new media possibilities.

Conclusion

How to Become a Journalist in India-Frequently Asked Questions

The average annual income of a journalist is INR 3.5 lacs.

The cost of enrolling in a good journalism school in India ranges between ₹15,000 – ₹3,00,000 per year.

The skills needed to succeed in journalism career include but not limited to the following;
Communication
Investigative skills
Problem-solving skills
Digital literacy

Reference

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