Question & Answers: Journalism
Our son is studying in Grade 10 – CBSE. He is interested in Journalism. Can you advise us how to proceed as in options in XI – Science, Arts or Commerce?
Would you also be able to advise if this is good career to pursue? Will our son have job opportunities in this field ? After Grade XII what needs to be done to pursue Journalism as a full-time career?
He is good at Academics though not exceptional at Math and Science but overall an extrovert – gets into all extra curricular activities.
An inquisitive mind, good communication skills, commitment and perseverance are excellent attributes to have for a career in journalism. Even while you have not mentioned where your son wants to study, but with the multitude of newspapers, publications and television news channels and the phenomenal growth of the media industry, it is undoubtedly and exciting industry with potential for growth.
At school English Language, English literature, social sciences, history, psychology and Maths should be the subjects to choose from.
Courses in journalism may appear under different nomenclatures either independently or in combination with other subjects. For e.g. Mass communication, media studies, journalism and new media etc.
Madura Institute in Ahmadabad, The Indian Institute of Mass Communications in New Delhi, the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media in Bangalore, Symbiosis, Pune and Asian college of journalism in Chennai are well-known institutions in this field. In the UK some of the better known institutions would include Cardiff University, Sheffield University, University of Central Lancashire, City University, Kent University and London School of Journalism.
Journalism is now more diverse than ever and it is advisable to establish your area of interest. This should help you focus on the right subjects at an early stage and carve a niche in your chosen field.
Career options include newspaper journalism, web journalism, photo journalism, fashion journalism, investigative journalism, and sports journalism among several others.
While choosing a college, it is not only important to review the course but also check the opportunities the college offers to practice what you have learnt. This might be in the form of projects, on-the-job training programs or internship opportunities. This kind of real-world experience will also help in build a portfolio to showcase your work for future employers.
Sharpen your writing skills and get as much practice as you can in putting pen to paper. Even though most of the work these days is online (with the benefit of spell check) it pays to have good grammar, spelling and writing style. Remember, knowing shorthand is also useful.
It is also becoming increasingly important to develop multimedia skills and that includes audio-video platforms, internet, Photoshop, basic web designing skills and use of social media and blogs. It would be helpful if you can also improve your photography skills.
Take advantage of online forums such as social networking. Read the papers and magazines, explore different media, be curious and stay abreast with current affairs. Being persistent and motivated are important traits for success in this field – combine this with talent and experience and you will be on your way to becoming a successful journalist.
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