mass communication and journalism
It is said that from the age of technology, we are moving into an age of media and information. Even the most popular computer field is widely referred to as “Information Technology (IT).” The people who collect information, filter and analyze it, and pass it on to the masses are those in the field of mass communication and journalism.
The media was earlier restricted to “print”, i.e. newspapers and journals, and to a smaller extent, the radio. With the coming of television via satellite, and now internet through computers, electronic media has become very important, and a very lucrative career option. The combined print and electronic media field is known as Mass Communication. As in most upcoming fields, there were very few institutions training people in these areas earlier, hence most top people are those without specialized qualifications.Those entering the field now with a strong foundation of specialized training, have a good potential to reach the top.
ENTRY: While the media still takes in people without formal qualifications (e.g. many journalists have studied only English literature, or even science), those who are serious about this career have a choice of good institutions imparting excellent education. In mass communication, JNU and Jamai Millia of Delhi, Sophia’s of Mumbai, Hyderabad University, etc. have made a mark. In journalism, other than universities, newspaper chains have also started schools imparting practical education. A graduate from any of these schools is guaranteed entry level jobs in national newspapers or TV channels, with starting salary ranging from Rs.5,000-8,000/-, and with opportunities for quick jumps.
APTITUDE: A person needs to have an exploratory and curious mind, a zest for people and travel, good command over the language being used, and power of expression. It helps to have a wide range of interests, good observation, and the ability to keep irregular hours. Reporting for the media requires special skills as contrasted with writing articles and essays. Those willing to do desk jobs as sub-editors, require good concentration and analytical skills, and should be strong in grammar.
THE FUTURE: Most media establishments do not have a rigid structured hierarchy. Promotions and increments are based on ability and performance rather than on seniority. Persons who can handle computers for page layouts, or filming equipment, have an edge over others. Those who find a niche, or specialize in particular areas of reporting, become quite invaluable and much sought after. One can go up the hierarchy and become an editor, or establish oneself as a columnist, producer, etc. The larger establishments offer job security and a secure environment, but smaller ones may offer more challenge, creativity, and financial returns.
A person in mass media may not be earning the highest salary, but the field offers a tremendous satisfaction of influencing the public’s opinion, and wielding tremendous control over people who have power, wealth, glamour or status. And one can always continue writing indefinitely into old age, without retirement. The opportunities are endless, as the new world is proving the adage that “the pen (and the camera) is mightier than the sword.”
Manipal Institute of Communication
New Udayavani Building
Press Corner, Manipal – 576 104
Mass communication courses
Indian Institute of Mass Communication
JNU new campus, New Delhi – 110 067
Full time 1 year PG diploma in journalism
Asian College of Journalism
Indian Express Building, Banglore – 1
Golden Threshold, Nampally Station Road
Hyderabad – 500 001, India
Part time 1 year PG Diploma in journalism
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
Race Course Road, Bangalore – 560001