The job however is very time consuming!
- You need to decide on the beat (preferred topic) you wish to create a niche in. It could be politics, sports, health or lifestyle as per individual choices.
- You need to decide whether you would prefer to be a reporter or a feature writer as the writing styles differ as per the beat of your choice and the kind of report or article you will write.
- You need to be technologically sound. Most sub editors in papers are required to make pages too so you should know how to use softwares utilised in creating layouts. Many papers prefer photojournalists. You will therefore need to be familiar with digital camera usage.
How to become a journalist in a few easy steps
- Most start working with their school or college newspaper. There are others who take on freelance assignments with regular papers and still other who research for TV channels. Any of these will help you figure out if you have the aptitude for writing, research and journalism.
- When you are part of these groups or internships you should take the initiative and speak up at meetings to offer suggestions for stories and layouts. You also need to learn to be enterprising and look for stories and photo opportunities. Thinking out of the box helps as you can figure out new story ideas and tackle a given situation in a different way.
- You also need to be a peoples' person as most stories evolve out of leads given by people you know or people you build relations with.
The bottom line
- Experience is the key. It's easy to get that experience at the college or university level.
- You need to be creative in your approach, but don't forget the basics. Any good article should answer the five basic questions -- what, where, when, why and how.
- You need to be good at what you do, whether it's writing or page layouts.
Most journalists hold a bachelor's degree in journalism, communications, English or political science.
Eligibility for Journalism Programmes
For a Bachelors degree in journalism, one needs a minimum eligibility of 10+2 certificate and for post graduate degree courses a graduate degree in journalism is required. Graduates in any stream from a recognised university with 50% marks can apply. Some institutes offer one year certificate courses in journalism for which eligibility is 10+2.
A rookie journalist can expect to get a salary of Rs.5,000 - Rs.10,000. As a reporter, candidates can expect to earn Rs.15,000 to Rs. 20,000. Editors earn a salary of anything from Rs. 75,000 and upwards. Perks like housing and travelling concessions are also provided.
- Bombay College of Journalism, K. C. College of Management Studies (KCCMS), Tel: 22882069, 222871174
- Bhavan's College of Communication and Management, Tel: 23691508
- K. J. Somaiya Institute of Journalism and Mass Communication, Tel: 25161752
- Sophia Shree B.K. Somani Polytechnic, Tel: 23513157, 23514147
- Xaviers Institute of Communications, Tel: 22621366