Yes, that's right. Today half of the youngsters want to be a journalist. Journalism has turned into a profession like engineering and doctor, as they were some twenty years back. Everyone wants be a Barkha Dutt or a Rajdeep Sardesai, everyone wants to work in NDTV, CNN-IBN or TIMES OF INDIA. But do they really know what exactly journalism is?
I guess no. Most of the people I know, once, had no idea of journalism and didn't hear the term also. All they knew was the reporter and the anchor. Suddenly after the advent of news channels like NDTV & CNN-IBN everyone knows what journalism is! Funny thing they even know how to be one!! But very few have an idea about what it really takes to be a journalist. You can't become a journalist overnight and neither have this people like Barkha Dutt or Narasimhan Ram have! Just one bright morning you got up and saw them in your television, reporting from Kargil or writing about Govt scandals didn't make them a journalist.
Very few people have least idea of how the media works. Many think knowing few good words and having great vocabulary makes you a journalist. Many even go to the extent of thinking, IF YOU ARE GOOD LOOKING, IF YOU CAN TALK TWO EXTRA ENGLISH WORDS, you are a journalist. They think just writing two words about what some PC thought or some SRK said will make them a journalist. They don't even have any idea how this words end up in the newspapers and how this channels are reporting day and night live, instantly!!
Journalism is not a glam job, nowhere even near it. It's not a social-work or some duty of a journalist to go ahead and save the world!! Sorry it isn't. I guess half the people don't even know what the meaning of the word NEWS is! If you don't know let me help you, it means North East West South. Journalism is not some government office job, where you get up early in the morning, go to office chit chat about what is happening around you, jot down what to cover, whom to send where and come back home at the time when all office-goers return! Sorry it isn't!
Again people slam Media whenever they dislike something about Journalist. Journalism is one branch of Media, the others being advertising, publishing, radio, television and new media. Having a degree in Journalism doesn't make you one journalist and neither writing two-three articles for some agency. Journalism is not about knowing thousand languages!
And yes like everything else, journalism has negatives too. So don't go brooding about it. Just because you are seeing it on television doesn't mean journalism and journalists are bad. Let me tell you had there not been television or tough print media then Mamatadi wouldn't have got so much of importance too. Yes I mean it. Media has some ethics and there is ethic-less journalism too. But hadn't there been a little bit of ethic-less journalism then possibly no one would have come to know about Swami Nithayananda or Love Sex Aur Dhoka. But that is a type of journalism, which is known by the name of TABLOID!
In India where news pops up in every five minutes it is really hard thing for a JOURNALIST to report all. News don't come to them, like you expect, they go to cover news, only the rumors of the news reach them or more often they know about the news from before hand (it's the instinct of a journalist that works then). So if you think you will go to the office and news will come to you early morning alongwith tea, sorry it won't!
Please don't be a journalist because you can't be anything else. It isn't a call centre! Half the people go after fame and money, when in reality it takes years to achieve it. It isn't the only profession in the world. Please let the people to be journalists who really want to be one. Don't disrupt their life by wasting your time running after the profession and creating more stupid competition. Journalists are not police (unless you want to be a Arnab Goswami) and neither they are NGO workers. They are the one's who even in their dreams run with a mic and camera after a tank rather than SRK'S car. They dream of taking interviews of Osama bin Laden more and Shilpa Shetty very less. They are the one who wants to stay at every place till the end! They don't care about anything, they just care about reporting facts that most of the people don't know or are ignorant about.
And yes Barkha Dutt isn't the only journalist for god's sake, she is one of them. And your Chetan Bhagat or Suhel Seth isn't a journalist, they are columnist. If you don't know your Indian journalists only nicely, it will be really heard for you to be one yourself. By the way mugging up things, knowing numerous words, having bags of marks doesn't make you a journalist, sorry to say.
Wanna be a journalist go cover how Talibans killed a South Indian engineer, how shrewdly SRK made profit out of MNIK controversy and how many Naxals are hiding in PC's house! You want to be a journalist you have to play with mud. You can't stay out of the crowd and go on commenting on things. You can never complain about anything. If you really want to be a journalist, learn to take criticism sportingly!!
I always use to wonder why anyone I meet asked me - "Why do you want to be a journalist?" Now I know the answer. Because through one person's answer they can quickly understand who can be a journalist really. With so much of people running after journalism, as if it is some kind of Indian Idol going on, people are meant to ask questions, like this - WHY JOURNALISM!!!