Category Journalism

Who is a citizen journalist, and can you be one?

Have a smart phone with a good camera? You can get a scoop if you are at the right spot at the right time. Nowadays, newspapers and TV channels encourage ordinary people to actively participate in news-making by requesting them to send reports, videos and photographs of incidents taking place where they live. This is called citizen journalism or participatory journalism. Citizens post comments on news sites and blogs, and write letters to the editor. Citizen journalists perform the important task of pointing out errors and bias in media reports. They may even land a 'scoop', getting to the breaking news before the media, by virtue of being on the spot at the right time! Reports featuring celebrities and politicians antics, police misbehaviour or even footage of crimes in progress, are often the result of citizen journalism. Terrorist bombings, natural disasters and major accidents have also been covered extensively by citizen journalists. Citizen journalism has been possible because of the easy availability of high-quality mobile cameras and recorders, as well as the reach of social media. Any incident is capable of going viral' on the Internet in a matter of minutes.

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What is the career in Architectural journalism?

 

Whether it is the Taj Mahal, the Pantheon or the Notre-Dame Cathedral, all great monuments are timeless. And it is the job of the architecture journalists to document these spires and domes for posterity.

Architectural journalism has emerged as a language that helps internet, understand and celebrate new ideas and the built environment. Many architecture colleges in India have started offering Architectural Journalism as an interdisciplinary subject. So if you are interested in combing your passion for design and writing, this field holds promise.

How it works

Architecture journalists write about architecture and design. They comment and critique on the architecture and its philosophy.

Often architects with a flair for writing pursue architectural journalism, but you can develop a career in this field even without a background in architecture, if you have a keen sense of aesthetics and design and brush up your knowledge on architecture by reading voraciously on the subject.

Scope

Newspapers, magazines and architecture journals and even web portals hire architecture and design writers and critics to write about architectural projects, track the latest trends and developments. Besides national publications, you can also work for several international publications. If you are inclined towards academics, you can also teach the subject in design schools.

Required skills

  • Insights and deep understanding of architectural projects
  • Technical writing skills
  • Communication skills and ability to simplify jargons for readers
  • Design interpretation and creative thinking
  • Research skills
  • Knowledge and expertise in architecture
  • Ability to critique and spot trends in architecture

What to study

Architecture is a highly specialized field, so having Bachelors in Architecture (B. Arch) will give you insights and the necessary expertise to comment on architectural projects. Many architecture colleges offer Architectural Journalism as an elective in B. Arch. Admissions for B. Arch are based on the National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA) examination, conducted by the Council of Architecture to shortlist students for admissions to B. Arch in different architecture schools in the country. (Note: The NATA is now held twice a year – in April and in July).

But if you do not want invest three to five years in B. Arch, you can also opt for a journalism course and then specialize in architectural journalism by interning in architecture magazines and journals.

Where

  • Chandigarh College of Architecture: B. Arch with Architectural Journalism elective.
  • Rachna Sansad Academy of Architecture, Mumbai: B. Arch (five years, full-time) and B. Voc Interior Design (three years, full-time).
  • The Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture and Environmental Studies; Mumbai: B. Arch and M. Arch in Urban Design and Urban Conservation.
  • Padmabhushan Dr. Vasantdata Patil College of Architecture, Pune: B. Arch; M. Arch Landscape Architecture and Urban Design.
  • University of Mumbai: Master’s in Communication and Journalism.
  • Asian College of Journalism, Chennai: PG Diploma in Journalism.
  • Newhouse’s Goldring Arts Journalism Programme Syracuse University, New York: Master’s in Arts Journalism. This includes Architectural Journalism.
  • Stonebridge University, the U.K.: Diploma course in Freelance Journalism.

 

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I want to become a journalist and pursue higher studies in broadcast journalism.

I am in my first year of graduation (English). I want to become a journalist and pursue higher studies in broadcast journalism. What should I do for this? Please help me out with the course and college needed.

A many institutes offer a 3-year degree in journalism for which the eligibility is 10+2 in any stream. You may go for a one-year post-graduate course in journalism after completing your graduation.
Some of the good institutes are Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan Centres, Indian institute of journalism & new media, Bangalore, Indian Institute of Mass Communication, JNU New Campus, New Delhi, and Makhanlal Chaturvedi Rashtriya Patrakarita Vishwavidyalaya, Bhopal, Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi school of Communication & Management Studies, S, Kalamassery, Cochin, Xavier Instittute  of Communication, St Xavier’s college, Mumbai.

 

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Media & Mass Communication

What is Media & Mass Communication? What are the career opportunities in the film and advertisement industry? What is the possibility of taking an MBA in Communication Management after this degree?

The term Mass Communication refers to the process of delivering and transferring of messages and news to a large group of people using different forms of media like newspapers, radio, internet and television. Many institutes offer a 3-year-Bachelor’s and 2-year—Master’s degree programme in Mass Communication. It is also known by various names like Communication Studies, Media Studies, Communication Science, Communication Arts and Media Science, Communication Arts and Media Science. For an MBA in any specialization, you require a Bachelor’s degree in any field.

Career opportunities in any field depend on your capability and the courses you’ve done. For a qualified person in a specific field, the scope may be very good, but the same field will not offer the same opportunity to an unqualified person. So try to focus on your capability, aptitude and interest and go for the courses, and hence career, which is suitable to you. Don’t opt for a career just because someone says that it has good opportunities.

 

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Investigating options

I am a student of class X. I am going to join humanities in class XI. I wanted to know whether it is necessary to have journalism as a subject in college if I want to become a journalist. Also, if I join a particular media, can I hop from one media to other, or will I be stuck with one media?

It is not necessary to join a degree course in journalism. In fact, people from as diverse backgrounds as Hindi, English, Sanskrit, history, economics, physics and chemistry join journalism. Study of a liberal arts or science subject broadens their perspective. If you want to hone your skills, you can do a PG diploma in print or electronic media after graduation.

Again, journalists are known to switch from print to electronic media. The other way round is also possible, provided you write well.

 

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I am in XII. I want to be a good English news reader. Kindly guide.

I am a student of class XII. I want to be a good English newsreader. For this purpose I want to know which exam do I have to pass. I have been reading English news on the stage everyday in school. I have also won a number of prizes for being the best newsreader. I hope that you will help me fulfil my ambition.

You have made the right beginning by reading English news on a regular basis in your school. But you don’t have to appear for any exam to be a reader. News channels have a diction test, wherein they test your fluency, speed, diction and presentability. So hone all these aspects.

Besides diction, speed and fluency, certain other skills also matter: how good are you at interviewing people (for as you would have seen on news channels, news readers are also supposed to interview guests in the studio during the news hour); how good is your knowledge of happenings around the world and whether you keep abreast of happenings; and also how well do you handle difficult situations, like having to report the meagre facts again and again for two hours before more footage arrives, say in the Akshardham attack last year, or Indian Airlines hijack episode in 1999.

 

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