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Journalism and Mass Communication

What is journalism ?

Journalism is the practice of investigation and reporting of events, issues and trends to a broad audience. Though there are many variations of journalism, the ideal is to inform the citizenry. Along with covering organizations and institutions such as government and business, journalism also covers cultural aspects of society such as arts and entertainment. The field includes editing, photojournalism, and documentary.

 

 What is mass communication?

Mass communication is the term used to describe the academic study of the various means by which individuals and entities relay information through mass media to large segments of the population at the same time. It is usually understood to relate to newspaper and magazine publishing, radio, television and film, as these are used both for disseminating news and for advertising.

 

Job opportunity in media

We all have an uncanny desire to be famous, known to people at large and be seen on televisions and mentioned in news papers. We also want to have an exciting career which can shake the foundation of even well entrenched governments and politicians. We also want to be the first to break a sensational story to the world and be in the thick of action at all times and places. What about if you can do all that and also be paid to do so handsomely. If these idea excite you then Media and Journalism is the right career choice for you.


Media can broadly be divided into two categories - Print and Electronic. Journalism in the print media consists of newspapers, journals, magazines, digests, publications and news agencies. On the other hand, journalism through the electronic medium consists of television, radio and the internet. There are a plenty of career options for professionals in the field.

The plethora of 24/7 TV channels and a large number of news papers and the consequent need to be the first to break the big story has led to an increased demand for electronic media reporters spread over every nook and corner of the country bringing stories and scoops into our living rooms. It has also led to increased demand for other supporting staff such as camera men, electronics and sound engineers and technicians, content providers, researcher and presenters etc.

Print Media also requires professionals from various fields such as editors, sub editors, proof readers, content writers, field reporters, critics, photo journalists, columnists, specialists in various fields, cartoonists, feature writers, correspondents and people in sales and marketing side. There are plenty of opportunities and the growing awareness level among people is only going to make more demands on the profession.

 

How to get success in the field of media ?

Success in the field depends upon your aptitude and willingness to put in long hours at a stretch. Stress levels in the field are high and so are benefits and compensation packages. The first and foremost requirement is excellent communication skills- both written and spoken, flair for language, confidence levels, presence of mind, a sense of responsibility and willingness to cover unchartered path.

 

From where the degree of mass communication can be taken ?
Various universities and private colleges alike offer degrees, diplomas and post graduate diplomas in mass communication and media which are very handy to carve a career in the field.

For those of you who want to be a part of the exciting and exhilarating field of journalism as well for those who are guided by a desire to unravel the truth for the overall good of the society, it is never too late to be a part of this industry. There are enough opportunities for various skill sets and the growing interests and larger number of TV channels, radio channels and various publications are only making life more exciting for professionals in the field. It is a nice career and one which will give you immense satisfaction for ushering in change for the better.

 

Is it the Right Career for Me?

Answering this question requires a critical self-evaluation. You need to have creativity—a way with words and excellent communication skills as you will be required to explain and inform, about the most complex of issues, in the simplest of terms—to a large number of people. Moreover, you require great deal of patience, because in this field, it takes a lot of hard work, and quite some time, to make it to the top.

 

What would it Cost Me?

Courses in mass communication are expensive as tuition fees and charges and expenses for doing projects, internships, and field work are quite high. Most of the institutes offering under graduate courses charge anywhere from Rs 60,000 to Rs 2, 00,000 per year. It means you will have to pay nearly three lakhs for a course of three years duration. Similarly, a PG diploma course from Indian Institute of Mass Communication can cost in the range of Rs 40,000 to Rs 1,00,000  for one year. PG course in Mass Communication from MCRC at Jamia Millia Islamia can cost around one lakh for two years.

 

Funding/Scholarship

IIMC offers scholarship for candidates in each branch i.e. print media English and Hindi and Electronic Media which is almost half of the fees – for first two toppers. Several other memorial scholarships at the institute are based on merit. Other mass communication institutes too provide merit based freeships and scholarships. Education loans are available from nationalised banks such as Allahabad Bank and Punjab National Bank wherein a student can seek a loan up to Rs 7.5 lakhs at low interest rates.

 

Job Prospects

A professional course in mass communication opens doors for a career in films & TV, publishing, public relations, journalism, editing, direction, filmmaking, scriptwriting, production, etc. In nutshell, Mass Communication widens up the horizon of career options for a person. Depending upon personal interest and inclination a mass communication professional can choose a job. Attractive and high paying jobs as journalist, actor, director, editor, screenwriter, RJ, producer, VJ are available to the talented and trained individuals.

 

 Pay Packet

Whereas candidates passing out from IIMC, MCRC Jamia, Symbiosis College and many other institutes receive attractive placement after their courses and handsome salaries, students from not-so-well- known institutes have to work hard to get placed. Starting salary for a mass communication professional could be between Rs 12,000 and 25,000. After 5 Years of work experience a professional can expect higher salary in the range of Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,00,000 per month.

 

Demand and Supply

Demand and supply plays a crucial role in careers of mass communication professionals. The global recession had cost many high profile journalists their jobs and the graduates of these turbulent times found it extremely hard to get placed. On the contrary, there is a dearth of trained professionals in mass media, new entertainment and news channels and with new launches in the pipeline the demand will only shoot up. Opening up of media sector for foreign investment is expected to create new jobs in the field.

 

Market Watch

Career opportunities in mass communication are expected to increase as not less than 70 news channels will come up in next five years. Thanks to mass media, news and entertainment job opportunities are aplenty for trained professionals in various roles - particularly in journalism and films. India being the largest producer of films in the world has ample opportunities. Technically qualified media professionals can work for TV channels, production houses or can make documentaries on their own.

 

International Focus

News Corporation of Rupert Murdoch, Disney Entertainment, Warner Brothers, CNBC, Guardian Group, BBC, ABC and many others are included among the large media groups which offer attractive jobs in mass communication at different levels and positions. In fact jobs in these organisations are attractive in terms of compensation and offer challenging job profiles. Indian professionals have an edge to work in international media houses for they have excellent command over English language.

 

Positives/Negatives

Like any career option, mass communication too has positive features as well as a flip side.
A career in mass communication requires commitment, dedication and sacrifice of personal time for the sake of staying on front or top, particularly in news industry. A journalist may have to work day in and day out to get breaking news. Similarly, media professionals who are in entertainment or film making need to work with passion which may come at the cost of their personal life. 
However, in a nutshell, mass communication as a career provides job satisfaction, name and fame and a challenge to live with.

 

Different Roles,Different Names

Following are the various job profiles offered to graduates in mass communication:

    1. Fashion Photographer
    2. Film Director
    3. TV Correspondent
    4. Producer
    5. Radio Jockey/ RJ
    6. Screenwriter
    7. Sound Engineer
    8. Sound Mixer and Sound Recordist
    9. Special Correspondent
    10. Video Jockey
    11. Art Director
    12. Editor
    13. Event manager
    14. Public Relations Officer

       

      Tips for Getting Hired

      Besides pursuing a course from a mass communication institute, a candidate is required to possess certain skills or interests which help him get a job. Candidates who are interested to get into news media should have keen interest and sound knowledge of news and current affairs. Global perspective on various issues helps candidates in obtaining the position of reporter or journalist.

      Similarly, those who are interested in electronic media are required to have practical knowledge on video editing. Most of the mass media training institutes offer internship programs with news channels or entertainment channels which help candidates get a job after completion of the course.

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