With the advent of liberalization, and the opening of the economy to the international world and with the invasion from the sky, innumerable career opportunities exist and are being created all the time not only in India but also abroad. But very few youngsters are aware of these opportunities for jobs in practically every field.
One needs to acquire some basic job skills essential for every career. Almost every position today requires a basic level of computer literacy. Those who are best able to demonstrate computer proficiency have a definite advantage.
Language literacy is equally important. It is nearly impossible to market yourself effectively to a potential employer without adequate written and verbal communication skills.
Along with that good interpersonal skills and the ability to work in a team are assets worth investing in for a successful and confident career.
Moreover, these attributes enable a candidate to develop confidence and a clear vision of career goals.
The present chapter aims at discussing the career opportunities in mass media. Mass media are growing sector of Indian economy and requires more personnel than is being trained annually today.
The communications revolution is making its impact felt all over India. Urban India is experiencing the effects of this revolution to a greater extent and rural masses are also not completely untouched by it.
How far this revolution has been effective in making the favourable impact on the masses and in ushering the process of development? The answer to this question is very complex as various mass media have contributed to communication revolution.
One, very striking impact of communication revolution is that it has opened up number of career opportunities in the field of mass communication. Today’s mass media world emphasizes professionalism and social values relevant to our own unique social and cultural context.
It is important for the media user to recognize and appreciate how issues such as those of culture, class, race, gender and ideology, influence the creation and the ‘reading’ of any media text.
According to Ghosh (1995) some of the leading areas of career in mass communication are Journalism, Advertising, Communication design, Film production and in Electronic media. The present chapter discusses the following career opportunities in mass media.
Journalism is called mother of all media. Communicators of today have to understand the systems in which they work. They are required to have the basic skills of using language correctly and creatively and technical skills of writing, programming and production.
They need to develop the ability to process a variety of information to understand socio-economic, cultural issues affecting development. Not only in the national and international languages but even in regional languages, there has been tremendous increase in the newspapers and magazines.
This requires trained professional journalist. Journalism includes the occupations of reporting, writing, editing, photographing or broadcasting news.
A journalist may work for a local newspaper, national daily, magazine, a professional journal, a trade paper or in radio or television. A journalist may hold a field job as a reporter or correspondent or a desk job as a sub-editor or departmental or sectional editor.
A reporter covers events, and turns in a story about events and people. The angle of the story depends on what the editor requires, the type of story varies from a verbatim report of an official meeting to an account of a sports event or an account of a murder case.
Reporters have to work at irregular hours in all conditions of weather and sometimes under dangerous circumstances such as, riots, fire, war etc. Reporter’s work requires frequent traveling.
Reporters may specialize in certain areas such as sports, political, cultural, educational, or financial affairs and so on. This means that they will only follow up such events and write about them.
The sub editor has desk job. Sub editors cut down or rewrite the stories brought by the reporters or correspondents without sacrificing clarity or important points. They check for accuracy of facts relating to dates, names, spellings etc. and write headlines.
Feature writers write articles on variety of subjects of general interest and generate ideas. They collect information and opinions about current topics and may also do interviews with well-known personalities. They have to do research for their articles.
A columnist usually has had years of experience of feature writing. Columnist writes more or less about what interests him/her. Columnist and feature writers are required to travel occasionally.
Section editors do partly administrative work and also write. With relevant experience in a particular field, an editor may take over change of a particular section such as film, home, or sports.
This is the most responsible job. Editor -in- chief has the final say on what does go or does not to go in the paper. He/she decides on staff, allocates responsibility and does mainly administrative work with a little writing. In case of libel he/she is answerable.
Photo journalist deals with the photography part of newspaper or magazine. He/she is required to take photographs of various events to make the print medium more attractive and salable such as, current events, and happenings, industry, fashion, advertisements, sports etc.
He should be able to create a photo documentary or photo essay such as on scientific development, socioeconomic changes etc.
Translators are mainly appointed by regional language press. Many articles or news items from standard national and international dailies require translation so that the messages conveyed through these articles reach in different regions.
All types of journalists whether in a newspaper, magazine, journal or in radio or television have to work for long irregular hours and have to take out of station assignments.
Today journalism has become a highly competitive profession and only proficient and tough people can succeed in this field. Personal qualities rather than training contribute more to success in this field.
Specialist in any subject with good writing ability and command over the language can enter the field of journalism. An individual can enter this field through freelance contributions.
If these contributions are good, the writer may be taken on as a special correspondent. Thus, there is a hierarchy in journalism profession which one can climb up by hard work, application, experience and exposure.
It provides scope for high emoluments if freelance journalists are prolific and have a wide readership.
The qualities required by the journalists are feeling for words, ability to express themselves concisely and clearly, curiosity, resourcefulness, wide ranging interests, good observation power, punctuality, readiness to do hard work and ability to perceive what is not directly revealed.
Advertising uses the media to get products and services of the client to the consumer as efficiently as possible. With the hectic competition and tight budgets under which every advertising person operates, there can be no scope for hit-or-miss methods.
The history of advertising profession has shown that the long range interests of advertising coincide with the interests of buyers, users and consumers. Advertisement is the business of communicating a message to an audience through the media, newspapers, magazines, radio, television, hoarding in public places, etc.
Not only the corporate sector with its vast range of products and services but also the government requires advertising to convey messages of the right social values, rights and duties, and the different social welfare schemes.
TV companies, hotels, shops and industries all make use of advertisements to reach the masses. Advertising is thus, one of the processes of mass communication, journalism and public relations being the other two. It forms the basis of marketing.
Advertising agencies plan and execute advertising campaigns on behalf of their ‘clients’ or ‘accounts’ i.e. the firms and other organizations which want to draw attention to their ‘product’.
Time and space is bought from media owners’- publishers of newspapers and magazines, poster and television/radio companies, which publish or broadcast advertisements.
Advertising offers jobs on the ‘Executive’ side or ‘creative’ side. The executive department deals with client servicing, media planning, and market research. The creative department employs copy writers and visualizes along with the script writers, story board artists, typographers, etc.