10 Things Every Journalism Student Faces In College

Samreen Tungekar , 21 Nov 2014
No One Killed Jessica
No One Killed Jessica

Journalism is not a piece of cake, not if you’re in a training school and not being treated as a student but as a trainee journalist. Every media student will agree with me when I say that B.M.M is a clear waste of time and definitely not enough to know how to go about getting your stories, if you’re working with a media outlet. If you’re in a training school like me, you are in the right place. However, there are multiple things one faces in J-school.

Here are 10 things I’ve been through…

1. “Entertainment journalism is not journalism”-Says WHO?

Miranda Priestly just judged you
Miranda Priestly just judged you

So you’re telling me that readers pick up the Times Of India or Hindustan Times and drop out Bombay Times and HT Brunch? Tell me more about how you lighten your mood and chill over a cup of tea while reading about rapes and political conquests. I won’t go as far to compare the importance of hard news to entertainment features, but let’s face it, we all love us some entertainment and that’s that.

Mind you, it doesn’t only mean gossip, it’s about movie reviews, film release updates and a lot more. So well, it is a form of journalism. Period.

2. Getting thrown out of government offices

"But, I just wanted statistics!"
“But, I just wanted statistics!”

You’re basically stuck between throwing your weight around as a journalist and shying away as a student, because you are neither a student nor a journalist. You are a “Trainee Journalist”. They don’t care enough to give you appointments and when you drop in without notice, they scream bloody murder and kick you out. Been there, faced that. Yes.

3. “Please, God, one quote and my story will be in the college publication”

Deva Shree Ganesha, indeed.
Deva Shree Ganesha, indeed.

In my college, we have a weekly production where we produce a newspaper out of the stories done by our batch. Like a true editor, the professor will ask you to get really important quotes at the last minute and if you do, you have your story in the paper. Then with happy tears, you share it on Facebook :’)

4. The ban on Wikipedia for life

No, okay?
No, okay?

But, but, I have always got all my information from Wikipedia!” Uhm, NO. Seriously, we cannot even think about referring to it. Just, no.

5. Gandhi’s ‘Doosra gaal aage’ rule needs to be embraced if you want your quotes

Queen B had to do it too
Queen B had to do it too

So someone has been blatantly rude to you for no good reason. But well, they’re important if you want your story. So smile, hold back tears, and beg a little more. Didn’t work? Beg more!

6. “Someone died? There’s a story!”

THERE IS GOD!
THERE IS GOD!

Humanity kept aside, the saying “if it bleeds, it leads” is made for journalism. You’re learning to find relief in disasters because who else will get your splash if not the dead? (God bless their souls)

7. Birthday, anniversary, death. Deadlines are deadlines

Everything is new. EVERYTHING
The birthday cake can wait. It has to.

So it is your best friend’s birthday or your ‘monthversary’ or maybe you have a torn ligament. Too bad, because if a deadline is 10pm, it is 9.59pm. 10.01pm is too late. I’m not kidding.

8. You eavesdrop on every conversation and have no guilt about it

Learn from Dorota
Learn from Dorota

From “She broke up with him” to “Bhaiya aaloo bahot mehenge de rahe ho“, we listen to everything. It’s a part of the curriculum if you want to be a journalist. Throw the manners out of the window and eavesdrop (Sorry, mom).

9. If someone brings their story even remotely close to yours, you declare war

Do Not Tread On My Story
Do Not Tread On My Story

THIS IS MY STORY. DO NOT TRY TO DO ANYTHING LIKE IT OR I WILL PULL YOUR EYEBALLS OUT OF THEIR SOCKETS.

10. You have to unlearn and relearn, it’s kindergarten all over again

Sex And The City
Sex And The City

Remember your friends Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V? Yes well, we’re not friends anymore. Even a period cannot be copy pasted, or we will land up in the plagiarism jail forever. Can we afford that? NO.

Are you sailing in the same boat?

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