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Journalist Salary in India in 2021 [Average to Highest]

With the advent of the digital age, journalism and content creation jobs have seen significant growth. More and more people are connected to the internet and wish to keep themselves updated with the latest news and happenings around the world. This has brought about an undeniable spike in the demand for competent journalists and media persons. 

If you enjoy meeting new people, have excellent communication skills and insightful questions to ask, journalism is the right career for you. Journalism can be even more lucrative if you enjoy reading and writing in English or any other regional language. In this manner, you can pursue jobs that don’t just revolve around reporting and anchoring. 

Not to mention, the salary bands for professionals in journalism are rather rewarding. The journalist salary in India starts according to Payscale is ₹370,608 /year. There are plenty of career advancement opportunities from here to attract higher salary packages. 

For this reason, people with a passion for writing, competent interpersonal skills, an inquisitive mind, and a willingness to stay in the public domain should consider taking up journalism as a career. 

How to Become a Journalist?

Journalists are creative people who are required to create unique, engaging and newsworthy/readable content on a diverse range of subjects. 

Becoming a journalist is easy if you have a passion for it. There are several different streams or career options one can choose from after completing the relevant courses in journalism, arts and mass communication.

To get started on your journalism journey, here are the courses in journalism that you can pursue:

  • BJ (Bachelor of Journalism)
  • BJMC (Bachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication)
  • BA – JMC (Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication)
  • BCJ (Bachelor of Communication and Journalism)
  • BMM (Bachelor of Mass Media)
  • BJ (Hons) (Bachelor of Journalism (Honours))
  • B.A. – Mass Communication (Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication)
  • PG Diploma (Mass Communication & Journalism)
  • M.B.A. (Mass Media Management)

Where you decide to pursue the above courses should depend on the quality of education an institution offers, the credibility of the college’s degree, and the opportunities it exposes you to in landing a lucrative placement. This is important, especially in a competitive career like journalism, because it determines how well you can shape your career ahead.

upGrad, the online educational platform, offers relevant graduate and postgraduate courses from reputed colleges that can help you kickstart your career in journalism and fetch high-paying jobs on completion. 

1. Bachelor of Arts – Journalism & Mass Communication from Chandigarh University 

This 3-year course with in-built internship opportunities comprises 450+ hours of learning content, 80+ live sessions, and 30+ case studies and projects. On completion of the course, you earn a bachelor’s degree from the UGC-recognised university that is NAAC A+ accredited.

2. Master of Arts in Public Relations from the University of Mumbai 

This 2-year course is designed to teach you new-age digital media skills. It is offered in three languages and the curriculum comprises a 6 months inbuilt internship opportunity, 20 electives, 3 personalised learning tracks, and 1 dissertation. It exposes you to upGrad’s 300+ hiring partners to help you land your dream job. 

3. Master of Arts in Communication and Journalism from the University of Mumbai 

Offered in three languages (English, Marathi and Hindi), the 2-year course has an in-built internship program spanning 6 months and personalised learning tracks that exposes you to the profession and helps polish your skills. 

You can pursue these courses alongside your work or dedicatedly depend on your time and interests.

Careers in Journalism & Salary in Journalism

Journalism opens doors to pursue several career options. These range from regular media jobs to various other specialized domain-specific roles. 

The work profile and Journalist Salary in India can vary based on your area of expertise. If you are working as a content creator, you would mostly be doing your job sitting in your office or at home if you are a freelancer. Your regular work would include creating content like blogs, media content, press releases, website contents, etc. If you are a journalist or reporter, you will be involved in fieldwork and would be expected to weave news and write-ups on the latest happenings in your city and worldwide.

Let us discuss further the career options you have with a background in journalism: 

1. Journalist/Reporter (starting from INR 1,70,000 per year)

One of the most obvious career options available after completing a degree in journalism would be to become a reporter or journalist. This job would require you to create reports on the events and happenings of a given area. As a journalist or a reporter, you are also required to conduct press conferences and open-house sessions with prominent personalities.

It should be noted that reporting is a challenging job and could become hectic if you are assigned multiple events to cover. You are also sent to remote areas or unfriendly areas so the position requires that you possess an adventurous spirit. If you do, you will thoroughly enjoy travelling and meeting new people.

2. Staff Writer (starting from INR 2,00,000 per year)

As the name suggests, a staff writer is an in-house writer whose job is to produce good quality and engaging content on relevant topics. It can be for a newspaper, magazine, online portal, or any other media channel. As a staff writer, you must be ready to work on multiple projects belonging to various niches. This is also possibly a key point why candidates prefer the position of a staff writer; you get to work on a variety of exciting subjects, are paid well, and can also pursue a number of career advancement opportunities. 

3. Content Writer (starting from INR 1,31,000 per year)

While the nature of work done by a staff writer and a content writer are almost similar, there are one key difference content writers can work freelance, if they so wish. They can work for multiple clients or agencies providing their services on a per word or per submission basis. There are several online and offline agencies that a content creator can associate with to get work. Working as a freelance writer gives you the freedom to choose your work timings and also pursue any other work or passion parallelly.

4. News Producer (starting from INR 1,80,000 per year)

News producers are in charge of finalising the news that will be aired or published on a news channel. Their job involves conducting interviews and performing research to determine the current trends, latest affairs, and other news-worthy events. Another responsibility of news producers is to assist news anchors and writers to craft relevant stories for a channel. 

5. News Editor (starting from INR 1,49,000 per year)

A news editor is accountable for all news publications, online and offline. It is their job to monitor all processes and operations of media houses, magazines, news portals, and more. They decide the layout, content to be published, headlines, content style and structure, and are the decision-makers in all the major activities related to publishing. Another additional responsibility of a news editor is to help target the right reader base with the news stories they put out. 

6. Copywriter (starting from INR 95,000 per year)

Copywriters create unique and innovative content for a company to help enhance their online and offline presence. They help the company connect with the customer through well-targeted and carefully-crafted brochures, media campaigns, emails, blogs, messages, among others. They also play a pivotal role in creating a brand image and aligning marketing campaigns to promote brand awareness. They work in teams and may be involved in several projects at the same time.

7. Social Media Planner (starting from INR 2,21,000 per year)

With the growth of the internet, online presence has become a huge criterion for the success of any business or organization. High profile social media ads are the most sought-after marketing strategies to drive optimum results in a short span using relatively few resources. These paid advertisements and social media strategies are outlined by a social media planner. They work with the content creation team, marketing team, and finance team, to produce social media campaigns that have the potential to drive growth for a business. 

8. Digital Strategist (starting from INR 2,27,000 per year)

Digital Strategists are a step ahead of Social Media Planners. The primary responsibility of a digital strategist is to identify new target areas for increasing a company’s digital presence. This requires conducting market research and keeping up with industry trends to ensure a company gets expected visibility in a chosen area. Apart from creating unique marketing content, they also have expertise in SEO methodologies that can help companies drive traffic and increase conversion rates. 

9. Corporate Communication Specialist (starting from INR 3,63,000 per year)

A corporate communication specialist is a very interesting role for someone with expertise in both marketing and PR. As a corporate communication specialist, you are required to create content for internal and external communication. Developing press releases (PR content), marketing content, and other media content is an integral part of the job description. Another highlight of the job is that you have first-hand knowledge of the policies and regulatory decisions of a company.

Based on these and the company needs, a  corporate communication specialist is expected to chart out plans to determine what part of this information will be circulated internally and which will be shared with the public. This means you would be required directly with company executives and corporate managers which would enhance visibility for the work you do as well provide exposure to leverage for high-level positions. 

10. Public Relations Specialist (starting from INR 1,56,000 per year)

As a public relations specialist, you are required to create communication plans, media strategies, and control public releases. The roles and responsibilities include creating presentations for the management, content for internal employees, and content for external communication including blogs, PRs, fact sheets, and more. You will also be required to take part in industry events and speak about the company. This position gives you a lot of exposure to the marketing world and would give you opportunities to travel and meet a lot of people across the globe.

Note: Remember, these are just the starting salaries for entry-level professionals that go upwards to approx. INR 1 million annually based on your knowledge and experience.

Final Thoughts 

Journalism is a wonderful career path and can open up numerous avenues for you to explore down the road. It is a field that recognizes hard work and can take you places with dedication and experience. For those who seek the truth and a taste of fame, journalism is a good starting point. 

Decide on a career path that is most aligned with your aspirations, and then carve out a niche for yourself in that area.

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