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Journalism – A Thrilling Career

by Vijay Garg
0 comment 10 minutes read

Journalism is an exciting occupation that allows the person to meet different kinds of people, communities and also gives in a chance to travel to new and exciting places. Journalism can be defined as the activity or product of journalists or other professional engaged in the preparation of written, visual, or audio material intended for telecasted to be viewed by general public through public media like newspaper, magazine, news channel or online news etc. with reference to factual, ongoing events of public concern. These events may be some events of political concern or some sports tournaments etc. Journalism is intended to inform society about itself and to make public, things that would otherwise be private or things that would not come to the knowledge of the people. Journalism or media helps to explain the events that impact the lives of the common man and is developed in a number of forms and styles. Each journalistic form and style uses different techniques of investigation and publishing and writes for different purposes and audiences keeping in mind the relevance and language to be used.
For a journalist to do justice to his work he needs to possess some basic qualities of discovering, collecting the information, assembling, analyzing and presenting information in an attractive way. To do this effectively, journalists require highly developed skills in language, a good understanding of the media and local languages, an interest in current affairs and a broad general knowledge. A journalist can only perform well if he is able to communicate clearly, concisely, accurately and quickly, and have an inquiring nature and well-developed people skills. A lot of media houses is entering into the market every day and hence competition is rising day by day. To stand out from the crowd, successful journalists need to enhance their all-round competence skills with personal enterprise, innovation, imagination and creativity. Only those who have skills and passion towards the job and are willing to take a calculative amount of risks can perform well in this field.
Modern Society and Journalism
A journalist is a professional who collects, writes, and distributes news and other information to be processed and finally telecast through one medium or the other. A journalist’s work towards collecting information and adding some relevant views and facts is referred to as journalism. Journalism is directed at the consumers of media products, who may comprise nonspecific general audiences or narrower market segments. In modern society, news media have become the chief purveyor of information and opinion about public affairs and important events from the fields of sports, politics, entertainment and world, but the role and status of journalism, along with other forms of mass media, are undergoing some rapid changes resulting from the Internet.
Internet these days is playing a major role in giving a tough competition to media and information sector. There was already a tough ongoing competition among print media and electronic media, but with the internet becoming so popular these days, the competition has even increased. As a result of rapid technological growth, the technology these days has become really affordable and this has resulted in a shift toward reading on I-pads, e-journals, e-readers, smartphones, and other electronic devices rather than print media and has faced news organizations with the ongoing problem of monetizing digital news. These days there are a lot of internet-based applications available for media which is giving a new dimension to reporting and publishing. Within seconds of some major events, we can have full information about the event. This has made the process of journalism even more challenging.
Role of a Journalist
In this modernized and sophisticated age of information, every individual wants to be aware of what is happening around them in the world. Everyone wants to have information related to every genre of human life. It is the media that is the source of all that information. Dimensions of media these days are spreading day by day, be it print media like the newspapers and magazines; electronic media like the Internet or Audio/Visual Media like TV, Radio everyone is working hard day and night out to keep us updated with every single event of importance around us. And it is the ‘journalists’ who are the ones actually responsible for all that information. Journalists hold the power to influence the crowds with the first-hand information that they possess. However, there can be some just sitting in their office and collecting some random stuff for the internet and publishing out in their columns, which is something that a real journalist would never do.
Journalism is a highly responsible job, and highly thrilling at the same time. There are times when one needs to be fearless and present the truth in front of the public, no matter how harsh the truth is. Sometimes it becomes difficult due to the involvement of some prominent people in some scandal or a crime, a true journalist is one who without any fear carries on his investigation and brings out the truth in front of the public. If someone is looking for a career in journalism, they should have a presentable and confident personality, along with the ability to write and present information accurately and concisely without any fear or external pressure.
Other essential requirements that highlight a good journalist are: an inquisitive bent of mind, good writing and communication skills in the local as well as national language, strong ability to differentiate effectively between fact and fiction, tact to collect information and take some calculative risks, high intelligence level, awareness towards the general issues and facts, interest in current affairs and happenings around the world. One of the most important qualities needed is the capability of handling the unforeseen situations efficiently. Journalists may expose themselves to danger to cover in all aspects of information about a particular event, particularly when reporting in areas of armed conflict or in states that do not respect the freedom of the press. There can be some cases of corruption or bribery where some high-rank officials are involved, hence in these situations, journalists do risk in themselves to get the truth out. Organizations such as the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters without Borders publish reports on press freedom and advocate for journalistic freedom.
Different fields of life including politics, art, economics, business, history, sports, entertainment and many other areas are covered by journalists and provide you with news about the latest happenings in these fields. If you are talented and hard-working, a bright career in journalism is awaiting you, which can take you to a good salary package and perhaps even fame and recognition. With the growing importance of media today, the opportunities in the field are numerous and the job is also demanding and exhilarating at the same time.
Different Types of Journalism
Thinking about pursuing journalism as a career, you have a wide range of principles of journalism to choose into from. The best foundation begins with an undergraduate liberal arts education that exposes you to a wide range of disciplines of study and helps you supplement your native curiosity with a habit of critical thinking. Whatever course of study you follow be sure to include a strong foundation in ethics. After that, once you have made up your mind for journalism, and then consider study at a university that offers a graduate degree in journalism. Each journalistic form and style needs some different techniques for collecting information and writes for different purposes and audiences. There are four principal types of journalism namely investigative, news, reviews and columns.
News: Most widespread form requiring journalism approach is the news coverage. News journalism is often to the point and does not contain any kind of added personal views or any kind of manipulation. It is often referred to as straightforward journalism. Facts are relayed as it is without any change or interpretation. Typical news must be relayed as it is without any tampering with the facts and figures. A normal news story often constitutes a headline with just enough explanation to give an idea of the rest of the article to the reader. News stories relay facts, events and information to society in a straightforward, accurate and unbiased manner. Any deviation from the original facts can at times lead to some serious consequences.
Investigative Journalism: The most important and famous form, investigative journalism aims at uncovering the true facts about a particular subject, person, or event of public interest. The investigative journalism is based on the basic principle underlying all journalism-verification and accurate presentation of the facts. It is advised that investigative reporters must work with uncooperative or recalcitrant sources that would maintain the confidentiality of the information and would never divulge or manipulate the information. The investigative journalist should always be aware of their responsibility and should always bring the truth to light. They should also keep in mind that honesty with their work is very important as it can lead to some major public unrest also if something wrong is published. Hence reporters need to be well aware of the fact.
Columns Writers: There is an important place for column writers in all the dailies and weekly publishing’s as well. There can be a wide variety of topics for these columns which can be for a newspaper, magazine or an online media and these are based primarily on the personality of the author. Column writers usually write about subjects or topics in a personal style and usually are associated with one field only which is either related to entertainment, sports, art or culture etc. It is possible that column writers can take a humorous approach, or specialize in a particular subject area or topic. Column writers are usually noticed by their constant focus on a single topic and it’s important for columnists to develop their own voice that is recognizable by their readership. Columnist particularly writes their views about some ongoing important event, or some interesting extract or journey from their lives, some important historical event or some new technology. Usually, these articles by the writers are published weekly in a specific fixed column, or these may find a place in a magazine too.
Reviews Writer: Reviews can be stated as partly opinion and partly fact-based. Along with news, there can be views from some prominent people that may create a greater interest of the people in the news. These reviews can be about an ongoing event. For example, there can be reviews about an ongoing match by some ex-players from the same field. This creates an added interest of the general public and makes news item even more gripping. The review serves to accomplish the following two functions:
Precisely describe or identify the subject being reviewed.
To provide an intelligent and informed opinion of the subject based on research and experience.
The review can be provided by prominent people on various topics owing to their experience in the same field, which gives a clear picture of the event and also creates in an understanding of the topic quite well.
Career Options
For those who are interested in this thrilling field of journalism, they can do a course in journalism right after passing the senior secondary examination i.e., 12th standard. One another available option is the option of doing a professional degree in journalism, right after completion of an undergraduate course in any subject. Generally, a background in arts/humanities is preferred. For a student opting for journalism, it is very important to possess a good command over his language and communication skills. Knowledge of regional languages is an extra advantage as one do not know where exactly in future an important event is about to happen, and knowledge of regional language gives in the ability to interact well with the locals about the situation and the event. The courses of journalism are offered in English, Hindi and regional languages. Candidates can go for a graduation in journalism (Bachelor of Journalism) or can even go for a post-graduation in journalism (Masters in Journalism).

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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