Fascinated with the world of news, but have doubts whether to pursue it at the undergraduate or the postgraduate level? Let’s see what the experts say.
The UG level
Mona Sinha, Head, Department of Journalism, Maharaja Agrasen College, says, BA (H) journalism is a popular course, with demand for the programme increasing as media gains centrestage in public life. Students get lots of openings in media houses and can opt for print or the electronic media. Internships prove to be a great help to students as they get to know what it is all about. Students pursuing this course should have an inquisitive mind. “We are not looking for students in journalism; we are looking for journalists amongst the students,” says Mona Sinha.
Shikha Jhingan, Head, Department of Journalism, Lady Shri Ram College, says, the future prospect of this course is very good. Students can find a job after graduation. They can also go for postgraduation in reporting, public relations and other related fields. It is a professional programme; if a student goes for it after class XII, it’ll always be beneficial, adds Jhingan.
Kanika Khandelwal, Media Coordinator, LSR, says that going for this discipline at the UG level will make a student ready for any media organisation.
Minoti Chatterjee, principal, Kamala Nehru College, says, “The demand for BA (H) journalism is increasing because the colleges that offer the course are very few” – five for journalism and one for mass communication. It’s an enticing course and when pursued at the undergrad level, it enables an individual to explore his/her creativity.”
What about pursuing a PG qualification in journalism after graduation in any academic discipline? Chatterjee says she does not agree with that and that journalism (H) is an academic programme with its theory and practical aspects. Aspiring journalists, she says, should not think that the industry is only about glamour. Students should focus on both Hindi and English languages as this will help them build a base. Journalism is not an easy programme; it requires a lot of hard work. It forces you to toil and sweat, she says.
S R Chari, Professor of Broadcast Journalism, Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), says the profession requires maturity, which comes after three years of graduation.
UG in mass communication/ journalism
Adds to your skills
Readies you for any media organisation
Lack of much practical knowledge
Narrow spectrum of teaching
More emphasis on theory
PG in mass communication/ journalism
Provides good grooming
Enables quick entry into the industry
Teaches you how to communicate in a professional environment
A PG qualification in journalism/mass communication is “desirable” as the job ads declare
Not always necessary to enter the industry. Think about this: Some of the renowned media personalities do not have any degree in mass communication or journalism
Experts say that there are some skills and qualities that are needed to become a journalist. It’s not everybody’s cup of tea