Journalism, the write choice

"Journalism is a very good career option these days and it is also a very glamorous job," said Ruchika, a student of Kendriya Vidyalaya.

india Updated: Jun 06, 2006 03:16 IST

Most old timers in the media fondly remember how journalism happened accidentally to them. It is a very different story now. Journalism is one of the most sought after courses in Delhi University, be it an undergraduate degree or as a part-time add-on course. Thanks to the spurt of TV channels, journalism is currently hot and has almost become a mainstream career option.

Five colleges in Delhi University offer journalism at undergraduate level — Lady Shri Ram, Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, Kamala Nehru College, Kalindi College and Maharaja Agrasen College. All the colleges hold separate entrance exams for admission to Journalism (Honours).

"Journalism is a very good career option these days and it is also a very glamorous job," said Ruchika, a student of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Tagore Garden, who has applied for journalism (honours) in LSR.

"My daughter is a commerce student but I think it is better for her to do journalism than go for B.Com. (honours)," said Malavika Chakraborty, a parent. "It is a sought after career these days and it also pays very well. Moreover, journalism is a respectable vocation,” she said.

However, to fulfill your desire of pursuing journalism, you will first have to cross the hurdle of the entrance exam.

"We are basically looking for a student's knowledge of current affairs and their skills in writing and expressing English," said Kanika Khandelwal, media coordinator of LSR College.

"If you have been following the newspaper for the last six month-one year, you will be able to answer the current affair questions," she said.

Apart from current affairs, your awareness about media would also be tested. You can be asked the names of editors and owners of newspapers, owners of FM channels and news channels. You can also be asked the meaning of phrases to test your language skills.

"We test students' journalistic aptitude. We ask them to write on topics that require innovation and the use of imagination," she said. For example, the college last year asked students 'what makes Jassi tick'. Once they were shown a cartoon of Osama Bin Laden and US President George Bush shaking hands and asked to write their reaction.

The entrance tests in other colleges follow a mostly similar pattern. "We test students' aptitude for journalism, their knowledge of current affairs, language skills and their commitment," said a journalism teacher of Kalindi College.

The course

Journalism is not only about glamour but hard work and the three-year course reflects that. "Everyone wants to be another Barkha Dutt but they do not see the years of hard work she has put in," said the teacher. "Journalism is a tough job and students should be prepared for the grind. That is why we want to see their commitment," she said.

"It is a professional course and unlike other UG courses, 75% attendance is mandatory. Students are also required to do internship in the industry," Khandelwal said.

However there are rewards also. "About 10 students from our journalism class go on an exchange programme to Kinnaird College, Lahore, every year. They have to make their presentations in audio CD format and selected ones are played on Prasar Bharati," she said.

Kalindi College also provides add-on courses like photo journalism, video production and cartoon-making. Many colleges like Hindu, Miranda, Gargi and IP College offer part-time journalism courses. So if journalism is your cup of tea and you are prepared for a tough but exciting career, go ahead and get yourself registered — for that entrance exam.

First Published: Jun 06, 2006 03:16 IST