Twenty years in active journalism as reporter with Press Trust of India and 15 years in media academics now, I have witnessed and believe that the aspiring Journalist are very poor in content and current affairs but too fascinated to become Anchor or a field journalist, RJ and even bollywood reporter.
I have been part of expert panel and often practically interview aspirants seeking admission in Journalism and Mass Communication, advertising, PR and electronic media.
Most of them are poor in content and if you inquire whether they read newspapers or watch news channels, in all probability the answer would be a yes, but ironically they don’t even remember the last time they had read the newspaper.
SMS and Whatsapp have spoiled their language as these aspirants are accustomed to SMS lingo and can hardly write one word properly. Athr for Author; frnd for friend and cmng for coming. If technology has helped us in certain respect, it has also ruined the youngsters at the same time.
Most of my friends in media criticize me saying “Is this how you train your journalism students?”
If you invite a prominent media person for a talk, you find it very difficult to glue the audience together because neither do they prepare themselves well to understand a subject, nor are they curious enough to ask relevant questions.
No wonder they know nothing about the international media houses. Their role models are a selected few from the list of Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep and Arnab Goswami, but lack the knowledge of the style and content used by these celebrity anchors. Twitter is certainly an art of writing wherein you inform in 20 words what used to be 200 worded stories in our good old days.
With all the editions going online, there is a paradigm shift from simple newspaper working to new media and there is a huge demand for young journalists who are quick to understand the digital working.
Unfortunately in the media houses there are hardly any Senior Journalists to train these young minds, rather a cub reporter is under tremendous pressure to do 5-6 assignments in a day, without any guidance from “Chief Reporters” or” Bureau Chiefs” on how they should network with the likely sources and accordingly shape their story.
The concept of reading literature in the archives or newspaper library is a near extinct, though many newspapers are now creating Digital Library. Style books are there but no one follows them.
On the contrary there are few good candidates, especially girls who come with a focused mind and have great determination to pursue career in media. On the completion of the course they are sure to get placed and they do get into the right kind of field they have prepared themselves for.
The top and senior media persons need to ponder over these issues and should have some kind of working arrangement with the universities / institutions to help train these aspirants as per the industry requirement in order to get right kind of talent.