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Study Journalism Abroad - the Definitive Guide

“Good journalism is a society in conversation, argument, often raucous argument, debate, and discussion with itself.” – P.Sainath

Mahesh Ramani
Journalism

Five people of Indian origin have won the Pulitzer Prize, which is awarded to people who show exemplary brilliance in writing and journalism.

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Subject modules & entry requirements

Can you imagine a world without newspapers or news channels on television? What if we were left to figure out things for ourselves and not know what is happening around the world? It is a scary thought indeed.

Newspapers and television news channels disseminate information and are integral to every citizen’s life. From politics to sports and entertainment to business; a quick reading of the newspaper with tea or coffee is how many of us start our day. Being a journalist at a time meant only writing, now with the advent of television and the internet; there is a lot more to do as a journalist.

Postgraduate programme options

The MA in Journalism is the most commonly offered postgraduate degree in Journalism offered by in the UK. In the USA the Master of Science in Journalism is also offered. Specific programmes that focus on Television Journalism and Digital Journalism are also offered.

How long will you study?

The MA in Journalism is offered by most universities in the USA and the UK as a full-time one-year programme.

What will you study?

Typically the MA in Journalism programme will include modules on effective writing, news analysis and reporting, research skills, television and digital journalism and news-reporting. The main focus in is on writing effective news-copy that is precise and easy to read and understand.

Typical entry requirements

Applicants should have a relevant undergraduate degree in communication, media studies, literature or journalism.

English language proficiency

A score of 7.0 on the IELTS or 79 on the TOEFL is usually considered to be fair enough for admission into a postgraduate Journalism programme.

GRE scores

In the USA a number of universities have now waived of the mandatory submission of GRE scores to study the MA in Journalism programme; but submission of the GRE score will strengthen the applicant’s admission prospects. Premier programmes like the Stanford Journalism programme that just admits 15 students every year; still requires applicants to submit their GRE score. A minimum score of 150 on the verbal and 145 on the quantitative is mandatory for admission.

Fees

The cost of studying a postgraduate programme in Journalism abroad ranges from INR 15 lakhs to INR 30 lakhs. Quite a few universities offer scholarships as well. 

Subject specialisations

The most popular subject specialisations in Journalism are listed below.

Investigative Journalism

From investigating war-crimes and human rights violations to unmasking corruption in public spending; investigative journalists are admired for their courage and the risks that they take. View all postgraduate programmes in Investigative Journalism.

Copywriting

Have you wondered who writes those funny taglines for iconic brands like Amul Butter and Pepsi. Well copywriters are some of the smartest people who can make or break a brand. Quick thinking and a way with words are the key skills that every copywriter should possess. View all postgraduate programmes in Copywriting.

Photojournalism

A good photograph can capture a thousand emotions. One photograph that created immense grief in recent times was that of the young Syrian immigrant child – Aylan Kurdi lying dead on the Turkish seashore. The photograph was shared across various newspapers, TV channels and websites. It magnifies the crisis that Syria is undergoing. A good photojournalist is trained to use the camera to capture events without losing his/her emotions. View all postgraduate programmes in Photojournalism.

Television Journalism

When the cable television boom happened in India, news channels began to mushroom, 24/7 news channels became a reality and today we have people like Barkha Dutt, Arnab Goswami and Rajdeep Sardesai who seek to represent the collective consciousness of the country with their news programmes and interviews.  View all postgraduate programmes in Television Journalism.

Press Journalism

In addition to newspapers, magazines play a key role in sharing information and influencing public opinion. This specialisation focuses on writing in key subject areas like – politics, economics, sports, nature, etc and prepares journalists to work in magazines. View all postgraduate programmes in Press Journalism.

Programmes in focus

The University of Kansas offers a highly acclaimed Master of Science degree in Journalism specialising in Mass Communication. 81% of graduates of this programme are in employment within six months of graduation in leading media houses.

The University of Central Lancashire offers an innovative MA in Sports Journalism programme.  This is a one-year full-time programme that teaches students all the skills needed to be a successful sports journalist. Graduates of the programme work in leading channels like Sky and BBC.

The University of Sheffield offers the popular MA in Broadcast Journalism programme. This degree is accredited by the Broadcast Journalism Training Council. Students will learn to use various tools to polish their news clips and make them presentable for television broadcast. Graduates of the programme work for Sky News, the BBC, and The Guardian.  

Career prospects

Journalism is a rewarding career. Be it working for a newspaper or magazine or television or a wholly digital service a lot of opportunities are available. Leading newspapers in India like “The Hindu” and “The Times of India” have had many staff-members who have worked for over thirty years with their respective companies. 

The infographics sourced from Payscale and listed below indicate the average salaries for those with an MA in Journalism in India and the USA.

India

Median Salary by Years Experience

 

USA

Median Salary by Years Experience

 

This clearly demonstrates the value of an international degree and the higher wages offered abroad.

Luminaries

Palagummi Sainath is an eminent journalist and photojournalist. His book – “Everybody Loves a Good Drought” brought him wide acclaim and opened the eyes of the public to the problems of the Indian farmers who are heavily dependent on the monsoon. He was awarded the prestigious Ramon Magsasay Award in 2007 in the category of Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication Arts.

He has a beautiful line on journalism, which I quote here – “Good journalism is a society in conversation, argument, often raucous argument, debate, and discussion with itself.”

Professional associations

The Journalists Federation of India is a leading organisation working for the rights of journalists in India. The Press Council of India was set up in 1966 by the Parliament of India to help improve the standards of press journalism in India.  

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