How to Have A Career in Journalism

Journalism is the creation and distribution of reports on current affairs based on facts and provided with evidence. Journalism refers to the occupation and people who gather and publish information judging by facts and proofs.

The publication of news to the general public in a standardized manner began to appear in the 17th century. The first newspaper of India, Hicky’s Bengal Gazette, was published on January 29, 1780. Indian publishers introduced English newspapers with English-speaking Indians as the target audience. 

Nowadays, online journalism in India is a rapidly growing field shared between traditional media and the growing blogging community. Large media companies, traditionally print and television focused, continue to rule the journalism environment online now. The Indian Media is traditionally left-leaning liberal, particularly the English-language media, which has been a point of friction recently due to the popularity of Hindu nationalist politics.

About a Journalist

Journalists write, research, and assemble news stories that will be of interest to their audience. The job involves:

  • Reading press releases 
  • Researching articles
  • Establishing and maintaining contacts
  • Interviewing sources
  • Writing, editing, and submitting a copy
  • Attending events
  • Proofreading
  • Verifying statements and facts
  • Staying updated with privacy, contempt, and defamation law
  • Liaising with editors, sub-editors, designers, and photographers

It is also possible to change between television, newspaper, radio, and publishing work.

Eligibility for Becoming a Journalist

To be a journalist, one must complete a Bachelor of Journalism and Mass Communications (BJMC) after completing class 12 in any stream from an authorized state or central board. After graduation, one can also choose to pursue a Master’s in Journalism and Mass Communications. A person has to possess the following skills to become a journalist:

  • Command over language
  • An intrigued and investigative mind
  • Confidence, enthusiasm, patience, and perseverance
  • Alertness
  • Adjusting and tolerant of changing and challenging situations
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Potential to differentiate between fact and fiction
  • Team viscidity
  • Sensitive to different views and lifestyles
  • Deep-routed knowledge about various fields such as politics, culture, religion, social and current affairs.

How to Become a Journalist

Journalism courses at the UG level

  • Aspirants must have completed higher secondary education in any stream from a recognized central or state board.
  • Aspirants must have previously scored a minimum of 50% marks for general category students and 45% for reserved category candidates in class 12.
  • Aspirants must have cleared class 12 with English as one of the subjects. Some colleges may conduct entrance exams too.

Journalism courses at PG level

  • Candidates must secure a minimum of 45% marks in total or any equivalent qualification. Some colleges may conduct entrance exams for admission to the PG Diploma courses.
  • For masters, candidates must have a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism or Mass Communications with a minimum of 50% score. Some colleges may conduct entrance exams for admission into masters.

Top Institutions in India for Journalism

  • Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media, Bengaluru.
  • Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune.
  • Lady Shri Ram College for Women, New Delhi.
  • Christ College, Bangalore.
  • School of Communication, Manipal.
  • Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, New Delhi.
  • Indraprastha College for Women, New Delhi.
  • KishinchandChellaram College.
  • Kamala Nehru College, New Delhi.
  • Madras Christian College.

Journalism Entrance Exams

  • MU-OET - Manipal University Online Entrance Test

Organizing Body – Manipal University

  • SET – Symbiosis Entrance Test

Organizing Body – Symbiosis International University (SIU)

  • IPU CET – Indraprastha University Common Entrance Test

Organizing Body – GGSIPU

  • IP College for Women Entrance Exam, Delhi University

Organizing Body – University of Delhi

  • WLCI AICET – WLCI All India Common Entrance Test

Organizing Body – WLCI

Career Opportunities in Journalism

  • Investigative – it is about investigating the truth about a specific subject, person, or event. This type of journalism is based on verification and an accurate showcase of facts.
  • News – it is elementary. News stories lack the abyss of the questioning raise of an investigative report.
  • Reviews – partially demand and partially reality-based. 
  • Feature Writing - gives the chance to provide scope, depth, and evaluation of style, vogue, events, topics, or people.

Employment Sector/Industry for Journalism

Some of the top sectors/industries that need a journalist are:

  • Public Relations
  • Corporate Businesses
  • Teaching
  • Marketing
  • MNCs
  • Law Firms
  • Consulting Firms
  • Sales

Jobs in Journalism

As a journalist one can choose from various job profiles such as:

  • Photojournalist
  • Researchers
  • Copywriter
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Editor
  • Reporter
  • Social Media Specialist
  • Cartoonist
  • Critic
  • Columnist
  • Lead Writer
  • Feature Writer

Salary in Journalism

  • Copywriter- the salary at the starting level is Rs 1,72,888 per annum which amounts to Rs 6,17,479 at the senior level
  • Editor- the salary at the starting level is Rs 1,84,838 per annum which amounts to Rs 9,16,592 at the senior level
  • Reporter- the salary at the starting level is Rs 1,20,805 per annum, which amounts to Rs 6,14,631 at the senior level.

Study Material to Become a Journalist

  • Media Planning, Jim Surmanek.
  • Issues in Mass Communication by J.S. Yadav & Pradeep Mathur.
  • The Argumentative Indian, Amartya Sen.
  • Bhowani Junction, John Masters.
  • The English Teacher, RK Narayan.

Pros & Cons of Becoming a Journalist


  • It helps you develop writing, reporting, editing, headline writing, photography, and page designing skills.
  • One becomes skilled at interviewing sources and can write various kinds of news/stories about different topics.
  • Benefits of a press card.
  • Opportunity to meet new people.


  • Extremely competitive job to get in.
  • Low job security.
  • Not lucrative.
  • Life risk.
  • Unsociable working hours including late nights, weekends, and holidays.

FAQs about Journalism