What courses I should take to become a journalist?

Photo: © St Pauls Institute of Communication Education, Mumbai

Q I am a student of Std X. I am interested in Journalism. I want to know what courses I should take to become a journalist. Please help me with the list of courses and colleges.
Abhismita Paul / Kolkata

A To become a journalist, you should go for courses like Bachelor’s in Journalism/ Mass Communication. Many corporations do not require a specific specialisation and some students do perform quite well, without specialised education in journalism. However, an advanced degree can offer an edge; it teaches the basics of journalism: what is news, how to gather information, how to think on your feet, how to conduct an interview, how to write a good story, etc.

A Bachelor’s in Mass Media (BMM) teaches students the skills necessary for careers in reporting, writing, and editing functions with newspapers, wire services, magazines and special publications. It has been designed to provide students with a firm grounding in communication skills, critical thinking and creativity. Students after completing 10+2 can join this course.

Some of the good institutes are:

  • Mass Communication Research Centre (MCRC), Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi (jmi.nic.in)
  • Mudra Institute of Communications (MICA), Shela, Ahmedabad (mica-india.net)
  • Asian College of Journalism, Chennai (asianmedia.org)
  • Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan centres (bhavans.info)
  • Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media, Bangalore (iijnm.org)
  • Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), JNU New Campus, New Delhi (iimc.ac.in)
  • Makhanlal Chaturvedi Rashtriya Patrakarita Vishwavidyalaya, Bhopal (mcu.ac.in)
  • Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication, Pune (simc.edu)
  • Times School of Journalism, New Delhi

Personal qualities rather than training are more important to become a good journalist. In order to develop your communication skills, start writing — maybe for your school magazine or a website or a magazine like THE TEENAGER TODAY. Maturity, objectivity and a sensible train of thought are essential.

Dr Vibha Gupta
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Dr Vibha Gupta

Dr Vibha Gupta is a Ph.D. in Mathematics from IIT Roorkee. A feature writer, her book Careers: A Pathfinder and articles in various publications attempt to guide students in choosing a career according to their natural strengths, talents and skills.