‘The pen is mightier than the sword’ is an adage that has never gone out of fashion.”
In an ever-connected world, media has become an integral part of our everyday lives and has completely changed the way we communicate. This demand to know about events happening across the world is fed by the burgeoning media industry. We are now connected than ever before through mass communication channels providing us 24/7 information on the go.
Media and communication covers a wide expanse of careers, comprising closely related fields of advertising, communication, public relations and journalism. These services are availed by most establishments whether business, government or education. Due to new and exciting possibilities in different areas of mass communication, it now attracts numerous young creative minds.
Anyone who is creative, dynamic, and enterprising, with flair to project ideas, thoughts or observations through different mediums of communication should consider a career in this domain.
1. Career Options
The Media Industry offers careers in several domains such as print journalism, broadcast journalism, online media, advertising and PR.
1.1 Print Journalism: Newspapers, Magazines, and Tabloids
- News Reporters
A reporter covers news stories and current happenings and reports them to the newspaper. Reporters keep their ears to the ground and develop sources that help get information on events as they happen. Usually based at newspaper headquarters from where the paper is published, they need to think out of the box, constantly innovate with new ideas and questions, and keep their readers interested.
Here are some specific kinds of reporters:
Sports reporters have the task of informing and entertaining people about all events in the realm of sports. With a keen interest in sports, they report game stats, team predictions and player performance and major sports related announcements.
- Political reporters present information to the public about significant political events and current government moves at the local, state, and national level. This can include reporting on elections, political rallies, campaigns, press conferences, presidential speeches, Supreme Court hearings, acts of Congress, and/or legislature.
- Financial reporters focus on happenings in the business world. They have to write, edit, report and gather data on the economy, financial markets and monetary policy and are responsible for the daily, weekly, or monthly financial reports on companies and industry. A financial reporter will also interview and interact with investors, company representatives and industry experts and build collaborations with them.
- Features Writer contribute in-depth articles on specific subjects of social interest with a view to clarify, educate, entertain, and enlighten the reader. This kind of journalism focuses on particular people, places, or events that are researched in depth. Writing a feature article can be a highly creative and fun activity, but it does take hard work and planning to write an effective and engaging article.
An editor polishes and refines a piece of journalism. They direct the focus of the story or article cutting out what doesn’t fit, or is nonessential to the story. They enhance the key aspects of the story, drawing attention to central issues.
Some different roles of an editor:
- Sub Editor
Sub-editors take the stories written by reporters and format them to suit the special needs of the particular newspaper, magazine, bulletin or web page. Their job is to concentrate on how the story can best be presented to their audience. They also plan the layout the story on the page, write headings and are involved with overall page design.
- News Editor
Newspaper editors have the responsibility of deciding which news stories are printed in the paper every day. Newspaper editors must make personal decisions on which stories to include based upon sound professional judgment of audience receptivity, timing, relevance or other factors. Long before the paper is published, the editor assigns reporters to cover the news, check for accuracy, and fairness in the newspaper’s articles, decide headlines, and make changes before they are published.
- Resident Editor
In the case of multi-edition newspapers published from different cities, there are local editors who head that particular edition; called resident editors. They head the local editorial wing of the newspaper and coordinate with the different departments including advertising and circulation.
1.2 Broadcast Journalism (Television)
- News Presenter
TV news presenters also know as anchors, delivers news to TV audiences in a clear, concise, informative manner. They must be able to read and interpret information quickly as they inform their audiences about issues that are continuously changing and shaping the world, whether locally, nationally or internationally. Television news anchors broadcast breaking news and updates on current news events. Timing is essential for news anchors, who have to make judgment calls on the length of a report to fit time constraints.
- News Correspondent
A correspondent is an on-the-scene news reporter who is also the journalist. Whenever anything newsworthy occurs in the world, a correspondent may be sent to cover the event and report on what is taking place. Correspondents could work from remote areas and foreign countries. Unlike reporters, a correspondent may introduce opinions into the news report as they closely observe events as they unfold. The story may be shared through video, vocal recordings, or written articles.
A TV news producer needs to have strong journalistic skills. Not only should they be able to identify and launch a story, but they need to work with a team of people – writers, anchors, and researchers — to put the story together. A producer may also need technical knowledge and a background in TV production.
- Programming head (Director)
A news director is the individual at a broadcast station, network or newspaper who is in charge of the news department. In local news, the news director is typically in charge of the entire news staff, including journalists, news presenters, photographers, copywriters, television producers, and other technical staff. The director also keeps track of the progress of work, coordinating with the producer to get things going.
- Production JOBS
A cinematographer is a person who works in video production — recording moving images and sounds on videotape, disk, and other electro-mechanical devices. They are the technical team in a media house, that use technology, cinematography and photography skills to film news and programs that are edited, and finalized before they are broadcasted .
Sound Engineers operate consoles and other equipment to control, replay, and mix sound from various sources. In media houses they are in control of high quality recordings of music, speech and sound effects.
1.3 Broadcast Journalism (Radio)
- Presenter: RJ, News Reader
Radio presenters are the public voice of commercial, public and community radio stations. They compile and present radio programs to the public on a range of topics and with specific musical or topical focus that may vary according to the type of station or their particular area of interest. Their on-air presentation may focus more on a particular style of music, news, interviews or information on topics like sports, cooking, current affairs or gardening. Newsreaders must be good at conceptual planning, interpersonal interaction and speaking. They need to be confident, well-read and quick thinkers, with good decision making skills. Innovation and creativity are also important.
- Radio Programming
A radio programmer is someone who schedules the content that is broadcast by a radio station. Programming is a very important part of the broadcast media, whether radio or television. Every minute of a program has to be carefully planned and structured to avoid gaps, silence on the air, prevent program overruns, and ensure that the content is appealing to listeners and viewers.
- Sound Engineer
Sound engineers should have expert knowledge of radio and electrical equipment as they work on live radio and there is very little room for error. They should be able to mix, master, fade in and fade out, reduce noise, pick up soft voices, and everything else related to sound that is required in radio programming.
- Radio Producer
A radio producer plays a key role in creating the content of a radio show, though not involved in presenting. The producer brings together all the different contributions of a show, ensuring that the broadcast is of suitably high quality, entertaining, appealing to the listeners and revenue generating while also compliant with applicable broadcasting regulations.
The ‘Ad World’, as it is frequently referred to, includes communications directed at consumers of products and services. Advertising generates sales and opportunities by building awareness of products and services, identifying potential customers and recognizing their needs and purchasing patterns. Through the use of effective media channels such as television, radio, newspapers and magazines, advertising executives create content required to attract, influence and encourage consumers to buy their clients products and /or services.
- Branding and Concept Creation
Branding is the process of using a word or an image to identify a company or its products. Advertisers use branding to highlight a product from its competitors and so that the consumer remembers the product. The purpose of branding is to increase sales by making the product or service most visible and desired by the consumer. Powerful brand images are created by ad agencies through television ads that may use catchy jingles, quirky mascots or celebrity endorsements.
The copywriter in an advertising company creates the catchy slogans, phrases and descriptive words that create a unique brand image, concisely convey the benefits of the product/services while capturing the attention of the consumers. As a copywriter you must have a keen understanding of market influences, consumers’ needs and mastery of the language.
- Creative Design
Also known as Graphic design, this is a method of visual communication through images, patterns, designs and fonts. Creative designers use various methods to create and combine words, symbols, and images to create a powerful visual representation of ideas. A graphic designer uses this combination to create ad material for marketing materials such as brochures, billboards, pamphlets, newspaper advertisements and newsletters.
The production team creates the content visualized by the creative design team in the production of TV advertisements, radio jingles, print collateral and other ad material. The production team consists of cinematographers, sound engineers, studio engineers among other technicians required to create ad content.
- Client Service and Account Management
The client account manager is a person who develops a relation with agency clients and is responsible for the management of sales and revenue generation through interaction with clients. Client service managers have responsibilities like client communications, workflow, budgets and billing. They work alongside the directors to create an overall marketing/strategy plan for each client, creating presentations as well as writing proposals and engagement strategies.
1.5 Online Media
- Digital Marketing
Digital marketing makes use of personal computers, smart phones, tablets and game consoles to engage with stakeholders. Through techniques such as tracking mobile usage, ad word searches and mobile clicks; this method of marketing is used to target specific users using their online patterns and purchases. Platforms such as websites, e-mails, apps and social networks are used to reach potential clients worldwide.
- Market Researchers
Online marketing research is the process by which companies use the Internet to gather data and evaluate how well a product or service is selling to consumers. The information provided by competent market analysis can help identify popular trends and assist a company in creating a sound marketing strategy.
- Social Media Managers
The Social Media Manager manages a client’s social profile that may include their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages to engage with clients. Their role includes content strategy, developing brand awareness, generating inbound traffic and cultivating potential leads. The Social Media manager is a highly motivated individual with experience and a passion for designing and implementing the company’s online strategy, writing engaging content, blogging, and creating community participation.
The Public relations (PR) department of an organization communicates with clients, consumers and media. PR representatives correspond with target audiences through different media channels with an aim to create and maintain a positive brand image and develop relationships with the audience. They use different media tools such as press releases, conferences, events, and newspaper ads as well as utilizes of the World Wide Web to create a healthy public image for their clients.
The minimum Educational Qualification required to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism is the successful completion of the 10+2 or equivalent level of education.
- Entrance Exams
-Various Universities and institutes conduct entrance exams based on which students are selected for programs in journalism.
-Some of the most common and popular entrance tests include:
- Journalism and mass communication entrance exam
- Indian Institute of Mass Communication Journalism entrance exam
- Asian College of Journalism Entrance Exam
- Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism Entrance Exam
- Andhra University Common Entrance Test (AUCET)
- Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University Common Entrance Test
- Symbiosis National Aptitude Test
- Exam Pattern
The IIMC entrance test is a two hour examination with objective as well as descriptive type of questions related to English, current affairs and general awareness. For media entrance exams, candidates should be proficient in English and have a good knowledge about current affairs.
As you have understood from the career choices above, media covers a vast array of careers and most media colleges offer subject that include:
Print Journalism Radio and Television Journalism TV and Video Production, Digital Media and Web Journalism Advertising and Public Relations / Public Relations and Corporate Communication Journalism and Mass Communication (covering all aspects of Communication like Electronic / Print / Web / Advertising / Public Relations and Traditional Media) Communication Management / Communication Studies
- Higher Education
Higher education with specialization in your area of interest – such as science, economics, law or politics – is a great step towards better job placement.
Some of the Post graduation courses:
-2 year full time Postgraduate Diploma in Mass Communication
-Full Time Postgraduate Diploma in Broadcast Journalism
-Full time Postgraduate Diploma in Media Management.
3. Scope of Career
With the advent of 24hr television channels, the burgeoning media industry is looking for aspiring media students. There are many career prospects at hand for journalism students. Candidates who have finished their course successfully can find employment with newspapers, magazines and periodicals in addition to television channels. Apart from this, the film industry and its production houses also employ media students. This industry is poised for growth, with pay-on-demand entertainment channels, personalized sports and movie apps and every newspaper planning a digital format of their editions.
Remuneration in this field varies according to creativity and experience. At the initial stage, creative writers can earn anywhere between of Rs. 12000/- to 15,000 per month, depending on the organization. Within a short span of time, if they excel, the pay scale may increase rapidly.
Candidates passing out from reputed institutions such as IIMC, MCRC Jamia, Symbiosis College and many other institutes receive attractive placement and handsome salaries. Attractive and high paying jobs as journalist, actor, director, editor, screenwriter, RJ, producer, VJ are available to talented and trained individuals. Starting salary for a mass communication professional could be between Rs 12,000 and 25,000 depending on communication skills. After 5 Years of work experience a professional can expect a salary in the range of Rs 50,000 to Rs 1, 00,000 per month.
4. Information on Colleges
Given Below are some of the more reputed colleges in India (not in rank or order).
Note: This is not an exhaustive list.
- The Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi
- Asian College of Journalism in Chennai
- AJ. Kidwai Mass Communication Research Centre in Delhi.
- The Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication in Pune
- Xavier Institute of Communication
- Department of Media Studies, Christ University, Bangalore
- Lady Shri Ram College for Women
- Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University
- International Media Institute of India (IMII), Gurgaon
- University of Calcutta
Funding and Scholarships
Given Below are some institutions offering scholarships
Note: This is not an exhaustive list.
- IIMC offers scholarship for candidates in each branch i.e. print media 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.
- SAF-Madanjeet Singh Scholarships to Study at the Asian College of Journalism (ACJ), Chennai
- Centre for Development Studies (Affiliated to JNU, New Delhi), Thiruvananthapuram, offers Journalism Education Trust Fellowships for Journalists and Postgraduates.
- Human Welfare Trust 195, A. F. Enclave, Jamia Nagar, Okhla, New Delhi: Loan scholarships are available for the poor and meritorious students pursuing higher studies for different courses, including in Journalism and Mass Communication in Indian Universities: e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
• SJMC Scholarships and Fellowships Asian America Journalist Association (AAJA) Minnesota Journalism Scholarship: This scholarship is to assist Asian American students pursuing degrees in Journalism and Mass Communications. It is established by members of AAJA Minnesota.
- JEA National High School Journalist of the Year
• Reham al-Farra International Scholarship in Journalism at Bournemouth University, UK
• UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism Gaduate School of Journalism
• J-MC Scholarship School of Journalism and Mass Communication
5. International Focus
Given Below are some of the more reputed colleges outside of India (not in rank or order).
Note: This is not an exhaustive list
- University of Missouri at Columbia
- University of Georgia
- Arizona State University
- University of Alaska Anchorage
- Auburn University
- London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), London
- City University London, London
- University of Westminster (UWE), London
- Loughborough University, Loughborough
- Cardiff University, Cardiff
- SMF Institute of Higher Learning
- Curtin Singapore
- Bond University
- JSchool: Journalism Education & Training
6. Top Companies
- The Times of India
The Indian Express
The Economic Times
- Reliance Media Works
- Star TV
Sony Entertainment Television
- Nimbus Communications
- The Wall Street Journal
The New York Times
Comcast Interactive Media