These days a lot of youngsters want to make a career in the challenging field of journalism. Of course, a journalism degree offers lucrative job and career opportunities. When you talk of Careers in Journalism, terms such as job prospects after journalism, recruitment opportunities, journalism degree, definition of journalism, freelance writing, purpose of journalism, online journalism degree, photojournalism etc. are likely to come up for discussion.
Role of journalism in a country, particularly in a democracy is another pertinent topic of discussion nowadays. Before we look at careers in journalism, let us give a brief look to some of the key aspects that are closely linked to the topic.
In addition, we have also put a nice video in this blog.
What is Journalism?
The term journalism can be defined and understood in many different ways. Broadly speaking, the act of collecting and presenting news and information for newspapers, journals, magazines, news websites and apps, radio, television or any other segment of media is referred to as ‘journalism’. The end product of all or some of these activities is also referred to as journalism. The news or reports that are collected by journalists may pertain to people, events, concepts or facts which are of interest to the masses. It is commonly believed that the more democratic a society or country is, the more news it tends to have. Such news is also likely to have a definite impact on the society, in general. Many journalists also go for freelance writing.
Accuracy, proper balance and impeccable credibility are the essential pre-requisites of an ethical journalistic practice. Journalists act as the people’s watchdog against the government and policy makers and media has an important role to play in this regard.
Role of Journalists in a Society
Journalists have a very important role to play in any society. They serve as a link between the public at large and the policy makers or the government. As a part of media, they can blow things out of proportion or sweep them under the carpet, on many occasions. They need to maintain a balanced approach at all times and be impartial while keeping a strict check on their morals, values and ethics. Everyday decisions in many segments by a large part of any society are based mainly on what is reported by the journalists and the media. Towards this end, even the journalists who opt for freelance writing and contribute the content to media also have a responsibility upon themselves.
Careers in Journalism
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Let us first look at some of the specific career options available after a journalism degree in Print Media as well as Electronic Media. In the second part of this blog,we shall look at the salaries of the journalists in USA and India.
A journalism degree or an online journalism degree offers lucrative job and career opportunities, particularly to youngsters who have a knack or liking for this kind of challenging work. Of late, online journalism degrees are catching the fancy of many young enthusiasts. This helps them in freelance writing as well. Also, large scale recruitment are done by big media houses every year and this opens up huge career opportunities for young boys and girls who have such online journalism degrees. Photojournalism too offers many career options to those who possess a regular journalism degree or an online journalism degree. Some of the other career options after a journalism degree or an online journalism degree are briefly discussed below:
This is a basic requirement every newspaper, magazine, news agency, radio or television channel. As a reporter, your job will be to report with speed, clarity and accuracy.
2. Correspondent / Special Reporter
Here the person is required to be a reporter for a particular area or purpose. For example, there could be a political reporter or a sports correspondent. Therefore, you must have thorough knowledge in that particular field like politics and sports etc. You must also have the ability to analyse and explain the news.
3. Broadcast Journalism
Often, when you think of broadcast journalism, the picture that comes to your mind is that of some well known news anchor on the television. But there is much more to broadcast journalism than just that. Equipped with a journalism degree or an online journalism degree, you have a larger role to play behind the television camera, in addition to multiple other opportunities that are available in the field of broadcasting.
Broadcast journalists deliver the news to the public in a variety of formats, including radio, television and the Internet.
4. Investigative Journalism
Economies across the world are ever expanding and evolving. As the economies grow, many undesirable elements also make a place for themselves. There are many scams, white collar crimes, environmental violations, societal violations, electoral malpractices and the like in any society. Investigative journalists make it a point to get to the root cause of all such ills ailing our societies and help in getting the culprits booked for their crimes. They serve an important social purpose while doing all this for the common good of the citizens and bringing about an improvement in the world that we live in. An online journalism degree can open up many avenues for you.
If you have an inquisitive mind with a keen eye for details and the desire to go back a little to look for ‘behind the curtain’ goings-on, then this is the appropriate branch of journalism for you. You can explore the options of having an online journalism degree as that would leave enough time for you to hone up your investigative skills as you study for your degree qualifications.
5. Sports Journalism
There are vast career opportunities for people who have a journalism degree or an line journalism degree in sports. Keen sports persons find this to be both challenging as well as interesting. Recruitment and career options exist in writing, producing, broadcasting and commentating etc. once you have an online journalism degree or a regular journalism degree in sports. You can start as an intern and make steady progress from there.
6. Photo Journalism
If you have a liking for photography, then your passion can help you make a career in photo journalism. You can opt for a regular journalism degree or go for an online journalism degree. Your passion for photography and your online journalism degree or regular journalism degree will give you the option to be a freelance photo journalist. You can enjoy your freedom and flexibility while making a career for yourself.
7. Social Media
The emergence and huge popularity of the social media in the last few decades has opened up huge career opportunities for youngsters having an online journalism degree or a regular journalism degree.
Mobile and Social Media Journalism is all about the use of mobile and social media to gather news, distribute content, and create audience engagement.
Various social media platforms also serve as ready sources of news to most young people today. Equipped with a journalism degree or an online journalism degree, you can turn your hobby into your profession where web designing, blogging, multi-media designing and social media management play an active role in your career progression.
8. Public Relations
If one-to-one communication is what you like doing, you can look for a career in public relations. A journalism degree or an online journalism degree helps you find a suitable recruitment and career opportunity in this highly paying field. As you progress in your career, you also enhance your communication skills to achieve greater heights.
Now let us look at the compensation packages you can look forward to as a journalist.
Pay packet of Journalists in USA
In 2015, the average annual salary for journalists (working in most fields) was about $38,000.
To be more specific, the average salary for broadcast new analysts was $65,000 and the median annual pay for reporters and correspondents was $36,390.
Individuals with little or no experience earned less than $27,000 per year, whereas those at senior levels with many years of experience earned more than $187,000.
Pay packet of Journalists in India
A Journalist earns an average salary of Rs 346,511 per year in India.
As a fresher or with less experience, you can expect to start off with a salary of Rs. 10,000 per month as a trainee. As a reporter, you can expect to make around Rs.18,000 per month
Editors draw a salary of Rs. 35,000 per month, besides that perks like housing and travelling concessions are also provided. As the experience grows, you can go beyond Rs. 1 or 2 Million per annum mark also or rather sky is the limit.
Short Video: Careers and Salaries in Journalism
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About the Author
Sundeep Kataria is the CEO of ACS Consultants – a Management Consulting Firm. He holds multiple qualifications: MBA, PGDIT (IIFT), MS in Counselling & Psychotherapy and Diploma in Company Law. He has also formally learnt Digital Marketing and Website Making.
In 1995 he pioneered the concept of professional Career Counselling, Executive Coaching and Mentoring. Over the years he has mentored many professionals, like CAs, Engineers, Sales & Marketing Professionals, IT Experts etc.
The unique style of Sundeep Kataria is that he connects with each and every individual personally, holds in depth discussion before undertaking the assignment.