Journalism has emerged as a popular career option among the youths recently. Although a journalism degree is not mandatory to become a journalist, choosing Mass Communication and Journalism (MCJ) as an undergrad discipline to study can be remunerative in many ways. The Financial Express talked to a few journalism students, who are either currently studying or have graduated, to better understand what motivated them to choose this subject.
Fresh thoughts from a fresher: Abir Ayon, a fresher at Dhaka University (DU) journalism, likes to write ever since he was a teenager and has a strong interest in cinema. He thinks, "There is no substitute for studying journalism to prepare oneself for both passion and profession at the same time. So, when it came to higher education, that's what I chose."
Journalism is always challenging. With increasing demand, journalism departments are being added to public or private universities. "Along with the challenging aspects, the theoretical aspects of MCJ also attracts me," remarked Abir. The multidimensionality of the subject can be one of the reasons for studying this.
The similarity in curriculum and the prospect of a government job is an added advantage of choosing this subject. According to Abir, job opportunities in print or electronic media right from student life are unparalleled. Hence, journalism is for those who want to begin their career early on and keep building practical networks along with an academic base.
Work while studying: Shams Rahman, currently studying Mass Communication and Journalism (MCJ) at DU, is also a full-time sports journalist at an English daily. He stood 29th in the DU D-unit admission test in 2017. While he could go for any subject, he chose journalism.
"It was my dream to become a journalist, it was a field I had always wanted to pursue. So, when I had that chance, I did not think twice," said the young journalist proudly.
"The investigations, running behind a story, pitching in an idea and then trying to put it together piece by piece, that's exhilarating," Shams explains why journalism is interesting.
Shams believes studying journalism makes a person a jack of all trades. The flexibility and acquiring a great deal of both academic and practical knowledge makes it easier to explore various career highways.
The career flexibility of this subject reflects on Shams' job too. While still being a student, he is managing a full-time job. "I shifted back and forth from full time to part-time as per my convenience. This didn't hamper neither my work-life nor the academics," said the satisfied journalist who previously worked for two other media organisations.
What a graduate says: "I would not say that I was visionary when I chose journalism for higher education. However, there was a desire to work on something outside the concept of traditional success. That is why I chose journalism," said Sumya Arefin Arni, a newsroom editor from a national television channel.
Sumya is a recent journalism graduate who is pursuing her master's degree in the same subject. According to her, when it comes to journalism, there is a generalised idea that students don't have to study much here which is true to some extent.
"But since a large part of the study in this department is participatory, and not always initiated by the department, students should become entrepreneurs themselves and improve their learning skills," she opined.
Sumya's attraction to unfold mystery was one of the reasons for choosing journalism. "To me, a crime journalist is no less than a detective. What attracts me the most is crime journalism."
Journalism as a career is not very tempting at the moment. However, there are obstacles in all careers. She believes that journalism can be a fulfilling career provided that one exploits academic freedom properly and obtains practical skills right from the beginning as most journalism students do.