In the recent years many professional institutions have also come into existence in India, which are running full-time and part-time courses in journalism. Some of these institutions are also running correspondence courses. These courses are becoming quite popular in India.
The training for journalism in UK is organised by the National Council for the Training of the Journalists.
It was set up in 1952. The aims and purposes of the Council include the establishment of standards and qualifications for entry into journalism as well as the formation and administration of schemes for the training and education of journalists including press photographers.
In 1956, an international centre for advanced training in journalism was also set up in Strasbourg under the auspices of UNESCO.
Although it can be said that there are certain men and women who are born journalists, yet in reality they are very few. Now- a-days all those desirous of joining this profession can be trained.
Of course, vast general knowledge, common sense, objectivity, logic, clear thinking and flair for writing, are very important requirements for a successful journalist. These are the qualities which one must develop and acquire. Although methods and techniques of journalism can be taught, yet it is necessary to have some practical experience.
Educational and other Qualifications:
There is no doubt that in the past there were no hard and fast rules regarding the educational or professional qualifications for a person who wanted to join this profession.
In reality, journalism was an open profession for all. Anybody having the flair for writing and liking for this profession could join it, because ultimately his success depended upon his merit and capability. Even then there were not many institutions in the past which imparted training in journalism.
In the opinion of some authorities, journalism, like writing should and will always remain an open profession for which no specific educational qualifications should be laid down.
It is a fact that the famous writers of the world like Shakespeare and Rabindra Nath Tagore did not possess any university degree or for that matter any professional training in writing.
Similarly, many famous journalists and editors in the past did not possess very high educational or professional qualification.
Even some of the top journalists and editors of today neither possess very high educational qualifications nor any professional training. They have come to occupy the high positions in the journalistic profession due to their flair for writing and their hard work.
In fact, the two main qualifications of journalist are that firstly he should be a good writer and secondly he should have nose for news.
Possession of academic educational qualifications like a BA or MA degree and professional training like a Diploma in Journalism are not a guarantee for a definite success in this profession.
A university degree or diploma in journalism may be desirable these days, but not absolutely necessary for achieving success in one’s career.
However, some of the educational and other qualifications which a person who wants to join the profession of journalism should possess are mentioned here:
1. A minimum basic educational qualification which may enable a person to express his ideas fluently in writing. Of course, now-a-days a minimum educational qualification of a BA degree is insisted upon by the management of most of the newspapers for the new entrants into the profession of journalism.
2. A Diploma in Journalism, which is desirable but not absolutely necessary. Some newspapers do insist on this qualification also.
3. Good knowledge of shorthand any typewriting.
4. A flair for writing.
5. A good knowledge of grammar and the correct use of language.
6. An inquisitive mind and willingness to learn more and more concerning different fields of subjects.
7. A vast general knowledge about national and international affairs.
8. A person who wants to become a journalist should possess a vast vocabulary and love for learning new words, because the words are the tools with which he has to work.
9. Whatever may be your educational qualifications, if you are prepared to study hard, and then there is no reason why you should not excel in the journalistic profession?
10. You must develop the habit of reading, especially the important national and international newspapers and periodicals to increase your general knowledge.
11. You should try to possess some background knowledge of history, culture, civilization and other interesting facts of life.
12. You should also try to pick up some of the basic knowledge of business, industry, commerce, banking etc. It will help you greatly in your profession.
13. You must also have the curiosity to know about places, things and events happening around you. Knowledge of the political affairs of the country and the laws under which it is administered will also help you in your profession.
14. You must possess the qualities of honesty, integrity and character. These are essential to win the faith of the people you come across.
You should not be frightened by the long list of the qualifications mentioned above. Of course, the person who possesses all the above mentioned qualities will be an ideal in any profession.
Even if you possess the majority of the above qualities, the others you can develop by hard work and study.
But you must have the basic qualifications like minimum educational qualification, flair for writing accurately, spirit of learning and an aptitude for the profession of journalism.
There is no doubt that a young man or a woman who possesses a good educational qualification and flair for writing will not find it very difficult to become a good journalist, provided he has the liking for this profession.
If you want to join this profession, start writing small articles or join some newspaper and try to learn the rudiments of this trade practically to come a successful journalist in due course of time. There is a lot of scope for the intelligent and hard-working young men and women in the field of journalism.