Journalism vs Mass Communication: Espousing the right subject domain

As the name itself suggests, mass communication deals with a wider range of media to ‘communicate’ different stories, messages, facts or statistics to the public. Innumerable amount of courses ranging from advertising, public relations, films, Journalism etc can be categorized in this domain. However a great deal of confusion arises when we discuss about Journalism and whether it is same or different from Mass Communication. While the general definition of journalism is specific to delivering news to public through print, electronic or digital media. Print media or print journalism largely covers newspapers and magazines, Digital employs various social and web based forums to disseminate information while electronic journalism is the reporting of news through television and radio. Whereas Mass Communication deals with the procedure of conveying or transmitting a message to the general population through media like radio, newspapers, magazines, television, internet and so on. Journalism is tilted towards news reporting be it for newspapers, magazines or television, while mass communication is a broader field encompassing films, online media, documentary, television, radio, graphics, events, advertising, corporate communications and so on.

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Mass Communication is a vast sector comprising of numerous branches. Aspirants can study subjects of their interest in mass communication. A wide range of graduate and postgraduate programmes in Mass Communication are available across leading educational institutions in the country. There are also specialized Diploma and Post Graduate diploma courses in mass communication offering lucrative job opportunities in both private and public sector. However a graduation in the respective fields is a requisite for the entry-level jobs. One can even find courses in convergent journalism, advertising and PR, print and TV journalism, film studies, broadcast journalism, radio and TV production etc. Those who pursue the research degress in mass communication can opt for a career as a academician or research analysts in the related areas. Various opportunities are available in commercial world, publishing houses, film industry, media industry, image management agencies and so on for these mass communication professionals.

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There are so many courses in journalism that an aspirant can pursue. It includes Bachelors’, Masters’ and even diploma courses. To become a journalist, aspirants should have atleast a graduation in journalism. Indepth awareness in political science, economics, and sociology will be really helpful in honing the talents of a journalist. They can seek out careers in print media like newspapers or journals as editors, reporters, proofreaders, feature writer and so on. Likewise, in the electronic modes of communication, they can get employed as production workers, broadcast journalist, presenters and so on.

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With such a variety to choose from, students are advised to pay a lot of attention to the programme they select. If you are more inclined towards the print industry, it makes sense to choose a print journalism programme than opting for a full-fledged course in mass communication. Similarly, if events and advertising appeal to you, don’t opt for a programme that’s related to print.
Although pure journalism courses no longer restrict only to aspects of print journalism and goes beyond to include subjects like film critic, Content writing, Social Media Marketing, advertising, PR, Radio and Television etc, but with changing times, it is advisable to do a convergent journalism course that prepares you well for the mass media industry. It exposes you to the interdisciplinary approach of looking at events and presenting a comprehensive perspective.

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