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How to Make Career in Journalism in 2024

Last updated:
14th Sep, 2022
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How to Make Career in Journalism in 2024

Journalism and mass communication are among the most creative and lucrative fields in the modern job market. We are living in a time when the media has become an integral part of our lives. Naturally, more and more young people are looking to pursue a career in journalism. 

Journalism is a highly in-demand profession and is constantly evolving and growing. The market size for journalism is estimated to be $2232.62 billion in 2022 (Source).

In today’s times, there is not only growth for traditional journalism, but digital journalism is seeing a rise as well. With the advent of technology and digital mediums, digital media houses are seeing growth, and that makes more employment opportunities for journalism graduates.

Finding the correct information and guidance at this defining juncture is difficult, as is the decision of choosing the befitting career path for yourself. So, here is an overview of all that you need to know about a career in journalism! 

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Why Choose Journalism?

Before we delve into the skills and job profiles, let us first examine why journalistic profiles are gaining ground among students and professionals. Upon looking closely, one comes across multiple reasons to enter this domain besides the attractive job titles and salary packages.

The media is often referred to as the ‘fourth pillar of democracy.’ It focuses on gathering accurate and relevant information and communicating the same in an impartial manner. Media plays a significant role in shaping society by reflecting upon the past, reporting current events, and contributing to cultural influences. Therefore, a career in journalism and mass communication involves much more responsibility than merely minting money and gaining the spotlight. 

Journalism is a path to open new gates to an existing issue; the journalists approach the deep-rooted issues and add a new perspective for the masses. 

They are also highly responsible for creating an impact, and they educate the masses on various issues. The channel to reach the audience are many, from digital to non-digital. The journalists are able to create a sense of inquisitiveness among the users so that they are able to form an opinion of their own.

Another very important reason to choose journalism as a career would be how it helps in finding stories and giving a voice to those who don’t have any. Journalism allows the subjects that have been set aside to come to light to the public. Many times, these efforts of journalists have resulted in getting the people their rights and justice.

Finding the correct information and guidance at this defining juncture is difficult, as is the decision of choosing the befitting career path for yourself. So, here is an overview of all that you need to know about a career in journalism! 

Here are some other highlights of this profession: 

  • It is a well-paying occupation that gives you plenty of opportunities to connect with people while voicing your opinions.
  • Journalists empower people with knowledge and make a difference in the world with their work.
  • Explaining complex ideas to varied audiences in different formats is an art form in itself.
  • It combines storytelling, collaboration, and managerial aspects, equipping practitioners with critical thinking and life skills.
  • Media careers help you develop diverse skill sets, which are also transferable to other industries.

Skills Journalists Need

This line of work is an excellent choice for people who like interacting with people. Also, if you are interested in learning how different production techniques (radio, television, digital channels, etc.) work and how combining research with intuition can help in the search for truth, a career in journalism is for you. 

For journalism roles, one requires a balance of both technical and soft skills, including:

  • Writing and editing skills

These are among the most sought-after competencies in journalists, especially in the digital and print industry. Writing a story that captures the intended audience’s attention and informing them about something relevant is not something that many can ace. Professional education and training can help in building and refining these skills.

In a journalism career, the skills of writing and editing hold very great importance. A journalist should be able to communicate their research, and whatever they communicate has to be free of errors in order to avoid any plagiarism or ambiguity.

Editing brings a balance to the journalistic writing process because journalists gather information and data through their research; now, this data needs to be presented in such a way that it does not tell a side of a story but instead is putting facts. In order to not look biased, journalists need to be proficient in editing skills.

  • Attention to detail and research aptitude

To ensure that your work is credible, you must conduct extensive research before producing a story/report. It is crucial to understand that you can never know everything about a topic. Prior preparation and grasping the nitty-gritty details of a given issue can help you figure out the right people to talk to, which brings us to the next core skill. 

Objectivity is achieved through research, and errors can be avoided. The journalists must rely on the primary source of information in order to be accurate with the information that they are giving. 

A career as a journalist requires investigative and research skills for another reason, and that is to stay transparent. The research methods can be various depending upon the subject matter for example, on the field, polls, surveys, etc.

  • Interviewing skills

After you have selected an interviewee to gather insights about the subject at hand, you must prepare a list of relevant questions. This might entail talking to a peer, brainstorming with industry experts, or referring to your research notes. It is also essential to work on your tone, non-verbal communication, and listening skills so that you can extract the necessary information without missing the essence of the topic of discussion. 

Interviewing skills are important because to gather information from the interviewee, it is necessary to be at ease with them so that they can give information without feeling uneasy. 

Getting information is a skill, and rapport building plays a significant role in it. The interviewee may give the information, facts, correlating information, quotes, or anything that could serve the purpose of the interview.

  • Digital literacy

Computer skills are a standard requirement for journalism roles. Plus, with the advent of digital marketing and social media, digital literacy has become indispensable in modern workplaces. From using multimedia for storytelling to creating visual content (graphics, slideshows, videos, etc.) and using social media to amplify reach, digital applications pervade almost every aspect of a journalist’s job.

Journalism job opportunities are not confined to the traditional mode of journalism; rather, there are ample opportunities available in the digital medium. The digital media houses are far and quickly reachable to the larger audience creating larger impacts. 

In addition to journalism skills, there is also a big requirement for digital skills that increases the chances of getting better opportunities and make one stand apart from the crowd.

  • Production knowledge

In the information age, news and facts are overflowing everywhere. However, not all news is credible or reliable. It is the masterful strategies and detailed research of journalists that transform a piece of information into a trustworthy report. All professionals in this field have a good grasp of written, visual, and audio media and their specific functionalities.

  • Communication skills

Effective communication lies at the heart of the job of any media professional. It includes proficiencies like clarity, brevity, choosing the suitable medium and soft skills like constructive feedback, empathy, respect, open-mindedness, etc. 

The way you speak can make or break your reputation. The journalists should be eloquent, and they must know how to use their tonality while speaking. The content matters, but if not communicated properly could defeat the efforts.

A journalist is constantly interacting with people coming from different walks of life. They should be comfortable speaking with anyone that crosses their path regardless of their background.

  • Objectivity and logical reasoning

Be it sports, politics, crime, or world events, the way a journalist presents the subject matter makes all the difference. This involves breaking down the content in an easy-to-understand format and backing it up with facts and statistics. So, it needs a good mix of problem-solving, analysis, and technical competence. Nowadays, journalism courses and training programs incorporate case studies to help students practice, polish, and master these skills. 

  • Time management 

Another hallmark of a responsible journalist is time management. Being late for an interview, rambling during a timed news report, and missing deadlines won’t take you very far in the game. So, you must learn how to multitask, priorities, and stick to the schedule. 

Scope in Journalism

As a journalist, you can find work opportunities in many different industries besides traditional media. You can work in public relations, law firms, consulting firms, corporate businesses, or digital marketing companies.

Some may choose to apply their skills like sales and marketing professionals in multinational companies, while others may join startups to explore multiple parallels simultaneously. 

In the modern-day, the transition to digital journalism is evident. Content is being produced in many ways, such as articles, reports, and even videos, podcasts, and tweets. These changes have also opened up new avenues for young graduates entering the workforce. Depending on your interest and chosen career path, you can diversify or specialize in a particular domain. 

In India, the scope of journalism is incredibly vast, considering the country has the world’s second-largest population, and a growing economy replete with developmental challenges that need visibility, deliberation, and solutions. 

“Is journalism a good career in India?” could be a fleeting thought for anyone entering this field. Ro answer, journalism has not one medium rather it has various mediums such as radio, print, television, digital, etc. India is a big country with numerous dialects. Journalism is considered to have a good scope in the country.

There are various opportunities in the field of journalism, such as-

  1. Fashion journalism
  2. Political journalism 
  3. Education journalism
  4. Entertainment journalism
  5. Photojournalism
  6. Investigative

Journalism Salaries in India

The annual salary of a beginner journalist in India ranges from INR 1.5 lakh to 2.5 lakh. This figure goes up depending on the educational qualifications and work experience of the candidate. On average, a journalist with about 5-10 years of experience can earn between INR 4.5 to 5 lakh per year in India. According to Payscale, the total pay can go up to INR 10,00,000 per annum.

Typically, those with a master’s degree are offered more remuneration than those with a bachelor’s degree. Then again, the job applicant’s skill profile is given due consideration during the hiring process. For instance, copywriting skills usually pay above the market average. Also, if you are proficient in data analysis, research analysis, and verbal communication, you can earn high pay packages. The salaries also vary depending on the industry, location, and job role. 

Top Career Options in Journalism

1. Photojournalist

Photojournalism is about interpreting and conveying events in a visual format, i.e. through photographs. A photojournalist’s job has elements of storytelling, technical photography, operating camera equipment, editing, and complying with legal requirements (for example, consent and privacy norms). Some understanding of print, digital publishing, and design also helps.

Skills that are required from a photojournalist are-

  1. Photography
  2. Storytelling
  3. Creativity
  4. Keen eye
  5. Attention to detail
  6. Research skills
  7. Editing (Image and Video)
  8. Flexibility
  9. Networking

Photojournalists bag a good compensation; on average, they earn ₹550,000lakhs per annum (Source). They need to keep polishing their skill sets, seek out more opportunities and build a vast portfolio in order to bag bigger opportunities.

2. Copywriter

Copywriters can work for publications like newspapers, magazines, websites, and even online video production companies. As the name suggests, copywriting is about creating content, which may be in the form of news reports, articles, blogs, features, editorials, or video scripts. 

Important skills required for a copywriter are mentioned below-

  1. Writing 
  2. Creativity
  3. Technical 
  4. Research 
  5. Communication 

On average, a copywriter earns a salary of 4.2 LPA and the salary ranges from 2.0 LPA to 10.1 LPA (source). The salary could be higher contributed to various factors.

3. Editor 

An editor makes sure that the content going out for public consumption is coherent, uniform, and in line with publication guidelines. They work with proofreaders to spot wrong spellings and grammatical errors, rewrite content for easy readability, and verify facts cited in the material. 

The editor must be proficient with skills, such as-

  1. Grammar
  2. Proofreading
  3. Drafting
  4. Spelling
  5. Style of writing
  6. Vocabulary

On average, an editor earns a salary of 4.0 LPA and the salary ranges from 1.5 LPA to 13.0 LPA (Source). The salary could be higher owed to various factors.

4. Media Researcher

A Media Researcher’s work revolves around finding out background information and collecting factual data. They support the production departments of television, radio, and documentary films by filling out the details of show locations, contributors, etc. For some jobs, you may need specialized knowledge in a particular subject area. For instance, the researcher opening for an ‘emerging technologies’ program may list engineering or expertise in computer science as one of the required qualifications.

Some of the skills required by the media researcher are-

  1. Research 
  2. Creative 
  3. Investigative
  4. Interviewing 
  5. Resourceful
  6. Idea generation
  7. IT 
  8. Visual thinking
  9. Written
  10. Communication 
  11. Interpersonal

5. PR Specialist

As a public relations professional, you are concerned with maintaining and enhancing your client or company’s public persona. Your primary tasks would be to build a good brand image, handle crises, make press releases, organize press conferences, and so on. 

Skills required by a PR specialist are-

  1. Communication
  2. Research
  3. Interpersonal 
  4. Social Media
  5. Organizational 
  6. Creativity
  7. Attention to detail

6. Social Media Manager

In the current technology-led industry, a social media manager is an integral part of any marketing team. The role is about creating, executing, and managing brand promotions and campaigns across different online social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. As a social media manager, you also monitor, moderate, and reply to audience comments and develop strategies for partnerships with other brands. Analyzing data and campaign results is the analytical component of this job.

Some of the skills required from a social media manager are-

  1. Understanding the vision of the organization/ individual
  2. Social media understanding
  3. Technical skills
  4. Networking
  5. Creative
  6. Honesty 
  7. Patient
  8. Problem- solving
  9. Critical thinking

On average, a social media manager earns a salary of 4.1 LPA and the salary ranges from 1.2 LPA to 10.5 LPA (Source).  With more skill sets, a number of projects, and a vast network the opportunities grow.

7. Broadcast Journalist

This career path is perfect for those who want to produce broadcast-worthy stories, anchor news segments or develop content for television and digital outlets. There are opportunities to work both behind and in front of the camera. Some journalism students come up with novel ways of utilizing their training, such as collaborating with artists or studying emerging trends in digital broadcasting. 

Some of the skills that are required from a broadcast journalist are mentioned below-

  1. Storytelling
  2. Research
  3. Investigative
  4. Language proficiency
  5. Knowledge of media production
  6. Communication

The average salary of a broadcast journalist is 5.0 LPA and the salary ranges from 2.4 LPA to 12.0 LPA (Source). The salary procured could be higher owed to various contributing factors.

8. News Producer

It is the responsibility of news producers to tie all the newscast elements, such as videos, graphics, voice-overs, live shots, etc., into a cohesive show. They oversee the reporters, director, field crew, photographers, and editors to ensure that the news production unit delivers a successful show with a good ‘flow’. 

Some of the skills required from a news producer are mentioned below-

  1. Information gathering
  2. Resourcefulness
  3. Creativity
  4. Investigative
  5. Collaboration

9. News Presenter

A presenter’s job is to communicate in a manner that holds the attention of the audience. Apart from having a good command of the language, speech, and diction, it is vital for a presenter to be calm and composed under stressful situations and demonstrate intelligence, especially where live shows are concerned. Special reports need to have thorough knowledge about their domain (politics, sports, crime, etc.)

Some of the skills that are required from a news presenter are mentioned below-

  1. Communication skills
  2. General Knowledge
  3. Presentation skills
  4. Problem- Solving
  5. Patient

10. Critic

Critics are experts who dish out their assessments or opinions on particular subject matters in which they have comprehensive knowledge and experience. They may write for a newspaper or magazine, host a television or radio show, or even disseminate their analysis in the form of podcasts or YouTube videos. Usually, critics cover social issues,  government policies, or creative works, including cinema, literature, music, art, fashion, and food, to name a few. 

11. Cartoonist

This is a highly creative vocation that involves the application of wit, humor, and art to illustrate and comment on current happenings in a satirical manner. Indian cartoonist R.K. Lakshman’s daily newspaper comic scripts are an excellent example of this kind of work.

In the digital era, this concentration has taken many forms. Today, you can work as an online content creator, making digital comics for Instagram, or take a job as a graphic designer or animator with a marketing or design agency. 

Some of the skills required from a cartoonist are-

  1. Artistic
  2. Creative
  3. Innovative
  4. Organizational
  5. Time management
  6. Collaboration
  7. Ability to accept criticism 

12. Data Journalist

Job roles in data journalism bring credibility and a dynamic personality to news coverage and reportage. A survey by Google News Lab and PolicyViz indicates that 51% of news organizations employ dedicated data journalists. Students and professionals trained in data science can contribute to creating compelling, data-driven articles, eliminating fake news. 

Leading Journalism Courses to Pursue

The minimum eligibility to qualify for the roles mentioned above is a 10+2 school certificate followed by a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Some may enter the field after completing postgraduate programs in marketing and communications. The key here is not to focus on the academic credentials but emphasize how the training and skills match with your professional goals. Employers tend to prefer candidates who are well-versed in industry tools and exhibit leadership acumen. 

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Advanced certifications and courses offer a great way of showcasing this prowess. Here is a list of online programs offered by leading institutions that you can consider to upskill and advance your career in journalism: 


To be successful in journalism, you must not only remain curious and inquisitive about the new developments but also make efforts toward building a professional network. So, opt for study options that provide opportunities to implement projects, interact with industry experts, and gain mentorship.

With this, we hope to have brought you up to speed on how to build a career in journalism and mass communication. If you have any further insights beyond what we’ve shared, do let us know in the comments below!

Siddhant Khanvilkar is an experienced Content Marketer with a high degree of expertise in SEO and Web Analytics. Siddhant has a Degree in Mass Media with a Specialization in Advertising.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1Is journalism a difficult career?

Becoming a journalist is not one of the easy careers. Rather it is a demanding field that requires effort and tough working hours. Despite that, it is a highly prestigious and rewarding career.

2What qualifications do journalists need?

Journalists are preferred to have completed Bachelor in Journalism and Mass Communication. Despite that, certain higher education and skill sets are preferred to get better opportunities.

3What should I do after journalism?

After finishing their formal education, journalism graduates must intern or get a full-time offer in the industry to gain practical skill sets. The graduates must get as much experience as they can to develop skill sets and gain better opportunities.

4Do journalists travel?

Travelling depends upon the kind of work the journalists are into. If the work requires field visits, attending seminars, conferences, and events, then the journalists travel. But if the work requires the journalists to be at the studio, then there is not much scope of travel.

5Are journalists in demand?

Yes, journalists are in demand. There are various forms of journalism print, digital, television, etc. And there seems to be no limit to the journalist’s demand.

6Is it too late to be a journalist?

No, it is not late to be a journalist. People can pick up the profession at any stage in their career. They can bring their skills from their background and bring diversity to journalism.

7Is journalism a high-paying career?

Journalism is a prestigious and rewarding career. The professionals can build their portfolios and get better opportunities. There are various respectable media houses across the country and globally. One needs to build a niche for themselves and develop their skills.

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