Once a media teacher asked his students “who is a journalist? “ The students replied with answers like “one who informs people”
“Journalist gives news to people”
“A journalist connects the commoners with government”. The media teacher said that every answer is correct but the most simple and appropriate answer is that “Journalists are storytellers”.
But every storyteller is not a journalist. A journalist narrates a real incident, discovery, progress which impacts people’s life with objectivity in his narration. Facts are sacred for a journalist. They narrate happenings of world to the masses with the most attainable form of truth.
Now the next question of the teacher was what are the most important traits of a journalist?
Do NOT get INFLUENCED
Handle their FAME and maintain their CREDIBILITY
Skills to CONFIRM AND CROSS-CHECK facts could become a good journalist.
A journalist connects the missing links of society with each other. The problems of common people reach the bureaucrats and state through reports of journalists. The information about new policies and programmes reach general public through journalists.
Without being CURIOUS, a person could not become a good journalist. QUESTIONING is another quality a person needs to become a journalist. As a journalist you must question governance and check if bureaucrats and politicians are honest.
NOSE FOR NEWS, if you could distinguish between what is news and what is not news Congratulations! You could become a good journalist. Journalists always keep their eyes and ears open and grab all the newsy things. Learning to give a news peg to your news story is also an art.
If you want to join journalism for MONEY then you are in a wrong profession. Journalism is more about passion towards connecting people and exposing the truth. Money is important but joining Journalism only for making money is injustice to this profession.
JOURNALISM IS NOT LITERATURE: flowery language in reports should be avoided. Objectivity and clarity in news reports are required. SIMPLE LANGUAGE is jewel of journalism. Your language should be simple and accurate so that commoners could easily understand. AVOID JARGONS in case using jargon is unavoidable, explain it to your readers. Narrating your story fairly with minimum possible words is an art and challenge in journalism.
If politics, policies, environment, development, bureaucracy, women empowerment, child rights, agriculture interests you. You read newspapers extensively, love narrating every new thing you learned then you could become a good journalist.
Being ADAPTABLE to different situations is important too. Always be a curious child at heart and a fair narrator to become a good journalist.
The author Renu Kotwal is student of Master’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication at Central University of Jammu